How to Save a Choking Chicken? All You Need To Know

Looking for a guide on how to save a choking chicken? You have found the perfect article.

People often report noticing their chicken making some strange motions that imply it’s choking. For instance, it would stretch the neck up towards the sky, open the beak and try to gulp something down. This can go on for some time and the chicken only gets weaker and restless.  

Here is all you need to know in order to deal with this situation and help your chicken make it out alive.

What’s an Impacted Crop?

A crop is found just beneath a chicken’s neck to the right and center of its breast area. All the food your chicken eats goes directly to the crop, which is engorged until digestion is complete. If anything blocks the digestive tract, your chicken can end up with an impacted crop.

An impacted crop is usually due to some kind of interference with the normal functioning of the crop. As a result, food becomes completely or partially blocked. Your chicken will feel full because the crop is not emptying naturally. This causes discomfort and maybe the reason why your feathered friend appears to be choking on something.

What Causes an Impacted Crop?

The main cause of crop impactions is the ingestion of foreign objects. It could be a piece of plastic, metal objects, string, feathers, or long blades of grass.

However, it can also be due to a secondary condition especially for chickens suffering from muscular contraction issues and is unable to naturally control the movement of food.

how to save a choking chicken

How to Save a Choking Chicken Due to Impacted Crop Issues?

There are many ways you can treat a choking chicken. The mode of treatment will depend on the severity of the impaction and the bird’s health.

Following are some ways on how to save a choking chicken:

1. Turn The Bird Upside Down

When the chicken chocks while hand-feeding, most veterinarians recommend gently turning it upside down.

However, you shouldn’t restrain the head. This will automatically allow the gravity to dislodge the object.

2. Perform a Short Inward Compression of The Kneel with The Bird Inverted

Chicken unlike humans doesn’t have a diaphragm that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity. This means that you cannot perform standard Heimlich Maneuver.

However, you can still carefully and quickly invert the chicken and try to perform a short inward compression of the kneel.

3. Put The Bird on a Water Only Diet

It’s easy to treat mild crop impaction issues on your own. What you have to do is put the bird on a water-only diet for a while before reintroducing food.

You can also add nutritional supplements to the diet to help loosen up the crop and get things moving once again.

Magnesium sulfate also referred to as Epsom salts when added to water can work to reduce the occurrence of crop impactions

4. Empty The Bird’s Crop on Your Own

In some severe cases, it may be necessary to empty the bird’s crop yourself. It’s not entirely safe to do so and that’s why you must consult a vet before proceeding.

Keep in mind, this procedure is stressful for the chicken. You’ll need to flip the chicken upside down to successfully empty the crop right through the beak.

The first step should be to pour warm water with olive oil or liquid paraffin down its throat. Massage for about five minutes then turns the chicken upside down and gently massage the contents out of its crop. Regularly turn the bird back upright to let it breathe before continuing.

5. Take The Bird To a Vet

In extreme cases, you have no choice but to take the bird to a veterinarian. A foreign body like plastic is non-digestible.

As such things can’t be removed through simple treatments, the vet will have to perform emergency surgery in order to get rid of the foreign body and prevent damage to the digestive tract.

6. Endoscopy To Remove The Substance

Under vets’ care, one of the advanced procedures is to use endoscopy to remove the choking substance.

The vet might use antibiotics and antifungal treatment to prevent all secondary infections.

7. Nebulization Therapy

This therapy is also important if a semi-liquid or a liquid substance has entered the respiratory tract. The vet can surgically place an abdominal air sac tube to help the chicken breathe.

Final Words!

I hope you have liked the tips on how to save a choking chicken and I am sure they will help your chicken.

If the tips do not work then it is highly recommended to consult a veteran.

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