Crop impactions occur when there is an interference with the normal functioning of the chicken's crop. This is usually related to the presence of indigestible foreign substance(s) which result in the partial or complete blockage of passage of food. Substances which may cause this include:
- String (crafts, hay bale twine, artificial grass, carpets, etc.)
- Long blades of grass (ornamental or pasture/yard variety)
- Skins from certain fruits (banana, persimmons, etc.)
- Bedding or ground litter (straw, wood chips, mulch, shavings)
- Misc plastic or metal objects
Crops impactions can also occur secondary if birds are having muscular contraction issues, since these contractions are what controls the normal movement of food through the crop. Some forms of Marek's disease
are known to cause muscular contraction issues, specifically related to crop functioning.
Treatment for Crop Impactions
Treatment depends on the cause, the health status of the bird (why early discovery of this condition is ideal), and severity of the impaction. Trauma to the gastrointestinal tract often occurs as a secondary result of ingestion of foreign objects. For example, there were several cases where chickens who had ingested baling net wrap lost their tongues from ischemic necrosis. Others developed secondary septicemia and airsacculitis. When treatment is delayed, the condition rapidly worsens and leads to secondary infections, starvation, dehydration, and death.