Antibiotic, or no antibiotic.. Sour Crop


11 Years
May 7, 2008
Bergen, NY
Wasn't sure how to title this.

This is the deal.. Crystal the 5.5 month old leghorn has/had a sour/impacted crop. This started on Wednesday. With much TLC and 2 sleep deprived nights for me, she seems to have gotten things moving along. And I could NOT have done that without this WONDERFUL website!

I started by separating her from the flock and giving her olive oil from a dropper. Not much, just a little. I also made her throw up... just a little. Only got fluids, so I didn't bother.

Yesterday I purchased some Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and yogurt with 7 live cultures. I mixed the yogurt with some rinsed, smushed, canned spinach. She was reluctant to eat it at first.. but after I ripped off some tiny pieces of grass (what got us here in the first place) and put them on top of the yogurt... she went to town and has been eating it good ever since. She has eaten roughly 8 ounces of yogurt. She has also been pooping grass and undigested grain.

my question... She seems on the road to recovery.... Does anyone know... Should I give her some Terramycin or not? Will the yogurt kill the bacteria from the sour crop?

We eat her eggs and the package says not to give to chickens producing eggs for human consumption.

Also.. should I limit her yogurt intake? This am I added some soaked pellets into the mixture. She also just ate a feather.. silly bird.

Thanks for any opinions.. this is our first sick chicken.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I added some dirt on a paper plate for grit. Would it be OK to give her Chick grit?
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I wouldn't treat with antibiotic unless she takes a bad turn. It sounds like you've got it in hand, just keep on keepin' on. Congrats on a successful treatment plan.
If she is to continue to free range I would give grit free choice, in a seperate container.
As far as the antibiotics as long as she is doing well and her breath doesn't smell like rotten grain I would hold off on them. If her breath does smell bad/rancid then a culture of her crop needs to be done to determine a course of action to take.
I am not sure about using ACV and yogurt at the same time. Sounds like it would sour even worse.

Is her crop still not emptying at night? I guess that is the first thing to determine.

A sour crop can be caused by several things, one of which is a fungal infection in the mouth and upper digestive tract (rather like what infants and toddlers can get). If this is the case, the yogurt may help correct some of the bacterial imbalance. You may end up having to treat with an antifungal liquid medication from a vet. The usual course is twice a day for 5 - 7 days.

If you don't want to do the vet thing, you could also try 1/8 tsp. of Oxine (chlorine dioxide) in one gallon of drinking water. Use for a couple of days, then follow with probiotics to restore the helpful bacteria the Oxine will have killed. There is no guarantee this will clear up a fungal infection, but I have had good luck with this as a follow-up to my own hen's fungal infection/sour crop issues.

** One important thing to note with sour crop is that the longer the old food stays in the crop without emptying, the longer the food has to spoil and really cause problems. My hen had to have her crop "evacuated" by suction at the vet, and boy did it make a difference in her recovery. If that old food had passed through her digestive system, it would have poisoned her.

Hope that info helps. Good luck!
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Thanks for the replies!

Sounds like I am on the right tract.

I got rid of the vinegar water.. I don't think she was drinking it anyways. She is just addicted to this yogurt! lol.

Her crop is emptying. I would guess that by tonight, it will have been flushed of the yucky stuff. Thank you for the meds advice Jenn.... I will keep an eye on her.

She is doing a lot of preening today, so shje must be feeling better.

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