Crop bound and constipation are two very different things
This is some information on a bird that is said to be crop bound that may help
Impacted Crop Information and Treatment
If it IS an impacted crop and not what is called "sour crop" in which the bird
has gotten a hold of moldy or bad food or has a Canker in her crop, here are
some suggestions--I got this info off of another chicken forum I am a member
of, hope it helps:
By Alan Stanford, Ph.D.
Brown Egg Blue Egg
I Relied Upon Glenda L Heywood National Poultry News and the The Chicken
Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
Copied with Alan's permission From: http://www.browneggblueegg.com/ImpactedCrop.html
Impacted crops are not caused by your birds needing more grit.
Grit is indeed necessary for birds that eat other than commercial feed; they
need grit when they eat scratch grains, greens, and when they free range.
Birds use grit in their gizzards to grind food; but the gizzard is far
"downstream" from the crop. The crop is a kind of foyer into which all the
food packs before moving into the digestive system.
Things that cause impacted crops are anything a bird eats that is too big to
move into the digestive system. Some of these too big things are whole grain
(especially for small birds), grapes, and greens. When free ranging birds eat
greens they rip off small pieces and these pieces pass freely out of the crop.
One way I caused impacted crops in our flock was letting the flock out on once
long, freshly mown grass. They have no problem with long unmown grass because
they can rip off little pieces. Long strands of fresh cut grass pile up in the
gizzard and can't get out.
You need to flush and empty an impacted crop. You can use an eyedropper, a
syringe without a needle, or a child’s ear syringe or a crop tube (I prefer to
use the crop tube). Be sure to put the dropper or syringe all the way back in
the bird’s mouth. There is a hole at the base of the tongue that leads to the
bird’s lungs. You must be way past that or you will damage your bird.
I have put a diagram at the bottom of this document to show you how it is done
and what a crop tube looks like
First Treatment – Day one
You can start by putting an eyedropper full of vegetable oil into the crop and
then massaging the crop, make sure it does not go into the airway or it will
drown the bird. This will soften the impaction. Put the dropper all the way
back in the bird's mouth and slowly push out the oil. Any vegetable oil is
good: olive oil, corn oil, or canola oil.
1/2-cup baking soda
1 pint of warm water
Fill the syringe and insert it as far as you can into the mouth of the
chicken. Have someone hold the bird upright in front of you. Slowly and very
gently fill the crop, do not over fill and get liquid into that hole at the
base of the tongue (it goes to the air-sacs of the bird). Gently press up
under the chicken’s breast and slide your hand up to the crop. This makes the
bird open its mouth and the impacted mess will come out the bird's mouth.
Push the contents up and out of the crop and out of the mouth. You can face
the bird toward the ground to help empty the crop. Repeat this gentle stroking
pressure until nothing comes up.
Make sure none of the impacted mess goes back down it may go into the air
ways… so keeping the birds tipped forward while doing this process will be of
benefit to the bird
If there the crop is not empty, flush it again until it is empty.
Once the crop is empty, give another dropper of oil.
Coop the bird away from other birds so it can rest. Provide about a cup of
water with 1 teaspoon Terramycin dissolved in it. Give no feed.
If the bird is droopy on the next day, put molasses in the bird’s water for
about four hours (1/4 cup per gallon of water). Remove the molasses water
after four hours and give the bird fresh Terramycin water.
The molasses water will flush soured food from the bird’s digestive system.
Follow Up Treatment
If the crop impacts again, repeat the flush.
Continue the Terramycin for 7 days to avoid secondary infection.
After 24 hours, give only soft food for a week or so. This lets the inflamed
and irritated crop recover and prevents another impaction.
The soft diet can include crumbles and chopped hard-boiled or micro waved
eggs. You can feed bread if it is soaked in milk or buttermilk. Buttermilk is
especially good because active culture buttermilk has good bacteria in it that
help the bird’s digestion.
Be sure to also give the bird some beneficial bacteria. They keep digestion
going correctly and fight disease by crowding out disease bacteria. You can
just mix 1-2 teaspoons per bird of ACTIVE culture yoghurt with a small amount
of food and give this as the only food until they eat it.
You can also buy lactobacillus at health food stores
Give no grains, no large pellets, no not soaked bread, and no grass or greens
because these can cause another impaction.
Feed only things that almost fall apart when wet.
Glenda Heywood likes to feed this for the week
1 slice wheat bread
3 tablespoons active culture yoghurt with no artificial sweetener
Baby food (or unsweetened) apple sauce (as Barb recommends below).
Adding oil to the food will help avoid another impaction.
Cod liver or wheat germ oil are good because they provide vitamins A, D, and
Only add about 2% of the feed’s weight. (4 or 5 drops to the beak.. no more
than this or you can poison the bird with an overdose of Vitamin A)
Barb Silcott's Preventative and Follow-up Treatment
"If you have a bird that continually comes up with an impacted crop, once
you've emptied the crop and start making your soft feed for it, add some baby
food type applesauce. (Unsweetened regular applesauce should be as good.)
The applesauce helps get the crop emptied a little quicker and is also acidic
which helps with the bacteria problem."
"This works for sour crop, too. In fact, when we're hand-feeding parrots, we
always add some baby food applesauce to the formula to prevent sour crop.
Works great! With all the parrots I've hand-fed over the years, I've never had
a case of sour crop. I specify baby food applesauce because it doesn't have
any added sugar which just aggravates the problems."
If the bird has a problem with what is called "pendulous crop", in which the
crop appears engorged and is hanging out from the birds' body like a baseball
this might help also.
The info below I also copied from the other chicken site so it includes one
person's personal anecdote:
Pendulous crop sometimes results from impacted crop but sometimes it's
spontaneous or from a fungal infection or a canker carried by doves and
When the food can't pass through the crop, it gets more and more full.
Eventually the crop loses a lot of muscle tone and it won't push the food
through the gizzard. If not caught, the bird will just starve to death. It's
really hard to keep a bird alive after developing this.
If you catch it early on, it can possibly be treated with anti-fungal agents
or freeing the impaction. There is a surgical treatment for more advanced
1) it's extremely difficult to find someone who knows how to do this
2) 2) it's VERY expensive to have it done; and
3) 3) it only is effective in about 50% of cases.
I lost our first one, Amazon, after an incredible fight but I didn't know what
was wrong for so long. It was my inexperience that killed him really.
Puff has it too. I massage his crop every day for half an hour to make sure
some food is going through. You have to make sure the crop empties.
He has fast days so I can monitor that the crop is actually functioning. An
alternative to fast days is to milk the crop... squeeze it and make it all
come up out his mouth, it being a little dangerous that they will aspirate the
stuff... or empty it with a tube and syringe.
You'd not believe how nasty the stuff is in there! I was syringing... but I
find fast days are easier on both of us!!!
He's a little underweight but he's happy and has normal stools. I give him
only softened foods and monitor how much he's eating so the crop never gets
over extended more than it is. He's a major sweetie pie and tolerates
everything I have to do to him so well.
It is also possibly genetic and you shouldn't let birds who have it breed.
Studies are being done on it. It's a lot more common in waterfowl than in
poultry but you do see it in poultry and in other avian birds as well.
you can use a larger syringe for a chicken… just make sure you don’t put too
much into the crop and burst it
requirements: 1 syringe and 1 piece of soft plastic tubing to attach to the
end of the syringe about 15 cm long
If the picture of the crop tubes or the “how to insert the crop tube” does not
show up on your computer go to this site and see the pictures relating to
pigeons but they also relate to chicken