But, for a happier note, read on!
Last week marked the first time we were able to enjoy fresh garden-grown veggies this year (excluding the dandelion and mallow we've been eating from the yard since April). It also marked the completion of several chicken-related projects, which we'll cover in upcoming posts. Some of those projects became top priority when it became clear that the chickens were outgrowing their expanded brooder box much faster than the fall batch did. (Due in part, no doubt, to the fact that there are ten more chickens this spring!)
|Although this post is mainly about chickens, we couldn't help but include a picture of our first spring produce: radishes and green beans! The latter actually came from our seed sprouting experiment, and grew in pots outside our bedroom window. We've never had green beans this early before!|
For the most part, the chickens are happy and healthy, and some even seem to be getting used to their weekly weigh-in on Tuesday nights. Actually, as of the writing of this post, there is only one chicken on the fritz--one of the McMurray Pioneers has an impacted crop. So, we had to ask ourselves, 'what does one do when one has a chicken with an impacted crop?'
There are options ranging from isolating the chicken from food all the way up to surgery. The flow chart below summarizes, in a simplified way, a collection of the advice from various places on the internet. There are additional considerations if the impacted crop becomes sour or pendulous, so don't take the chart as gospel and do some additional reading up on the matter!
|These are the most instructive videos we found on how to "vomit" a chicken (be sure to read the comments for improvements on the technique shown), inject water or oil into the crop (see also part 1), and perform crop surgery. The key indicators seem to be a change in the size/feel of the crop and whether or not the chicken is pooping, which indicates that things are passing through the digestive tract.|
How do you deal with impacted crops in your chickens? Do you use a proper poultry needle when flushing the crop, or do you get by with an eyedropper? Let us know in the comments section below!