Does sour crop *always* smell sour?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by austradork, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. austradork

    austradork Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh bother. One of the resident chickens at my local community garden has a crop problem. Her crop is feels HUGE, tight, and bloated. Kind of like a really full water balloon. I do NOT really feel anything solid in there. Anyway, this evening when I went to check on her it was obvious that her condition was getting worse. When I felt her crop she immediately vomited a small amount of liquid. So I kind of went with it and massaged her crop in an upward motion. A ton of liquid came up. Towards the end a bit of brownish black liquid dribbled out. The liquid was a little smelly but not overpoweringly so. I mean, it didn't make me gag or anything. From what I've read, liquid from a sour crop smells disgusting. So now I'm confused. I'm not sure if the hen has a sour crop or an impacted crop. I guess I have two questions:

    1) Does liquid from a sour crop always smell really bad? Or, how can I tell which one she has?

    2) Is inducing vomiting beneficial? If so, are there instructions anywhere on how to do it correctly?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can take a minute to respond on this lovely Christmas Eve. I'm a volunteer chicken caretaker for the sick chicken and her flock mates and the community garden manager is out of town on holiday . . .
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So far I haven't had to deal with this, try google search right side of page, it should help you with answers. Hope this helps. Merry Christmas
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  3. EastinChickens

    EastinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a bird like that once, and it smells horrific. I had to keep the poor girl outside because my mother couldn't stand the smell.

    As far as it not smelling very badly, maybe the infection is just starting? If so, then you might have a better chance at saving her.
    But, it might also be a sign that she is plugged up and those are fluids building up... She's got me stumped [​IMG]

    Either way it would lead to an infection of the crop, and untimaltely, death. I would say start her on some sort of antibiotic from a local feed store, and if she gets any worse, corp surgery? If you think crop surgery might be the answer, I have the step-by-step procedure saved on my computer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  4. EastinChickens

    EastinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just wanted to add- be careful when trying to get her to vomit- she might get the fluid in her lungs. (Another mistake I had made with my hen who had sour crop...) I think it could be beneficial though...

    Look out for a purple comb and difficulty standing- these are signs that she got the fluid in her lungs..

    Have you tried soaking some bread in olive oil and feeding it to her? That could help break up anything that could possibly be plugging her up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  5. austradork

    austradork Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for those suggestions. I don't think I could ever do crop surgery, but I'll try the bread with olive oil and the antibiotics.
     
  6. Lofty Dreams

    Lofty Dreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cocksidiosis hold her upside down and look for the liquid -clean watterers -isolate her its spread through water.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  7. EastinChickens

    EastinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just remembered how to tell the diffrence- if she isn't pooping, then she is impacted. If she is pooping frequently/regurlarly, then she has sour crop.
     
  8. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The term "sour crop" was coined because when food remains in the crop, it sours and therefore, a pungent odor develops. If this is a "new condition," there may not be as much odor. The problem is that food is not moving from the crop. When this happens, the bird is not getting nutrition and with no food passing through, the bird does not poop either. Lack of poop and a "squishy" feel of the crop are key indicators. A hard crop, on the other hand, means the crop is impacted but there is also no food moving through either. It's the feel of the crop that differentiates the two.

    With sour crop, from my experience, the bird needs to have the crop emptied. Since it can't do it on its own because of something blocking it, we have to cause the crop contents to be "vomited" out. This is done by turning the bird upside down (making certain to keep the head from lifting up) and massaging the crop to help the contents come out. If the head is allowed to lift up, that's when fluids can be aspirated and the bird can die. The bird should be isolated from the others after it has been vomited so that you can monitor it more closely.

    After as much of the contents of the crop have been expelled, do not allow the bird to eat anything...nothing for at least 2-4 hours. If you have a feeding tube and can insert that, after the 2-4 hour time frame, you can inject some baby food diluted with water to try to give the bird some nutrition. By the following morning, the crop should be flat and there would be signs that it is beginning to poop. If it is, do NOT give any hard foods for at least 2 days. Instead, give baby food and applesauce and free choice water. If the bird is eating well for 2 days and also pooping (this will be very soft or even quite liquid), you can add 1 tsp of layer crumbles or whatever regular feed you are using, into the baby food so that it is somewhat soft. After 2 days of adding progressively more crumbles, if the bird is doing OK with that, it may be able to go back with the rest of the flock.

    If the crop is not emptied on any morning, you would need to start again back at the vomiting stage, trying to empty the crop. If you have a feeding tube and can attach a 60cc syringe with no needle, you can inject water into the crop to help flush the contents. You may need to inject the water and vomit the bird several times until you can get the crop contents out. Whatever is blocking the crop will be the last thing to come out, so it may take some time and patience. The important thing is to keep that bird's head down as you try to get the contents out of the crop. It may try to lift its head so you must keep the head pointed to the ground. If you have to do this process several times, allow the bird to rest quietly for a couple of minutes before you repeat the process.

    I hope this helps. Do not be afraid to vomit the bird but keep its head down. Do not do crop surgery. Surgery is a last ditch effort. I believe the flushing and vomiting process will work if you keep at it. Keep us posted.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Is she drinking on her own I have seen here in the forum that adding ACV to water can help with sour crop. 1 tab. to one gallon of water. My birds get ACV everyday.
     
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a turkey who had sour crop and while the liquid I drained from her (turned her upside down) had a smell, it wasn't powerful. Next time you help her vomit, do be sure to turn her upside down and hold her head down so the liquid doesn't end up in her lungs. I don't use modern medicines/chemicals on the birds so I just treated with a garlic mash after draining, she pulled through fine and is still alive and kicking today. Good luck with your hen. [​IMG]
     

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