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Impacted crop

Video discussing surgical treatment of an impacted crop.
I use a water soluble lubricating gel to hold back surrounding feathers, to minimise the amount of feathering removed. Most chickens will happily tolerate minimal restraint while this procedure is undertaken, and should be allowed to stand in a normal position rather than lateral recumbency. I inject local anaesthetic. I usually use lidocaine, 2 milligrammes per kilo. I inject in a linear pattern over in the ventral midline of the crop. I insert the needle through the skin to the muscle layer. The skin is prepared with chlorhexidine or iodine. I make a small incision over the ventral midline, close the thoracic inlet, and blunt dissect the skin edges from the underlying crop.
And incise into the crop taking care not to contaminate the subcutaneous tissue. I then remove the impacted material through the small opening. The emptied crop is then flushed copiously with saline to remove any debris before starting to suture. I close the muscular layer in an inverted suture pattern using an absorbable suture material. Vicryl 3-0 is perfectly suitable. And then I suture the skin with either absorbable material or nylon suture, with a simple interrupted pattern.
I generally recommend to withhold food and water for up to six hours before offering water and food, little and often post-surgery to allow a smooth healing process.

Marcella Perversi MRCVS will now take you through a surgical procedure for an impacted crop which resulted in a successful outcome.

Have you had experience of emptying an impacted crop? What are your comments about this procedure? Share them with us.

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Poultry Health

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