Eat a bird with sour crop?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MungoSummer, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    I have some 18 week old RIR cockerels we were about to process within the next two weeks. Yesterday I noticed one didn't seem keen on breakfast (weather was rubbish so thought that he might just be a bit fed up). Same again this morning and it turns out his crop is all big and squashy. We have massaged it and managed to get him to bring up some liquid with a little food in it and have given him some diluted yogurt. He did a liquid water poo when put back on run. The question is should we try to get him through this to grow on for a couple more weeks, or do we process him tomorrow and is it safe to eat him.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It's safe to eat but whether to grow out or do it now is up to you. I guess it would depend on if he improves or goes down hill.
     
  3. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for that ChickenCanoe, we'll see how he is tomorrow. His brother crowed today so their time is obviously very near!
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over the years I've had several meat birds that developed sour crop during their short lives. In each case they failed to thrive and were much smaller than their flock mates on butchering day. So, if your thought is to keep him for two weeks to fatten him up more, the chances are that won't happen. In fact he might actually lose weight since the mess in his crop will keep him from getting much nourishment from what you are feeding him.

    If you have the time in your schedule, you may be better off taking him early.,

    There isn't any reason you can't eat the meat although you have to be extra careful removing that huge, distended crop and fasting him overnight before butchering won't be much of a help. The good news is, there will be no problem finding the crop because it will be so obvious.

    Good luck.
     
  5. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much for that Hummingbird. He came out (in nasty wet weather) to eat some corn this morning, so he seems a bit brighter. I think we will take your advice and butcher him at the weekend (hoping it will stop raining for long enough!).

    Do you think there is a reason why the meat birds develop sour crop (bearing mind he's a RIR not a fast grower)? I've had hybrid layers for years and never had sour crop, but this is my first year breeding with pure breeds. It is possible that there wasn't enough grit available (I have them in a house with electric netting run on short grass). There is grit in the mixed corn I use but now I have bought some separate grit.
     
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've guessed that perhaps my meat birds were more prone to sour crop than my heritage layers becuase they stuffed their crops so full at meal times that it allowed for fermentation to start in the crop.

    I've only had one heritage pullet develop sour crop and I thought it was because my mom kept coming over and feeding the flock an entire loaf of bread, which I learned can cause a big lump to develop in the crop that starts to ferment.

    However, I may actually just be a numbers game. After all, in 5 years I've probably raised 170 or 180 meat birds and had 2 or 3 cases of sour crop and in the same time only maybe 25 layers and had 1 case.

    Probably not a very helpful answer, but I'm pretty that sure adequate grit, while it wouldn't hurt, isn't the issue, since the grit breaks down the feed once it is in the gizzard and sour crop takes place before the feed gets there.
     
  7. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    Could well be numbers with me too,as I had 6 hybrid layers and now have 34 birds in total! The only thing which has been different for my birds is I gave them some leftover cooked rice. I did give them half a plain naan bread too but they didn't like it!! Perhaps they're not good with Indian food!
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree to go ahead and butcher him now. I don't think a few weeks are going to change his body weight/condition for the better in a noticeable way.

    My first solo butchering I didn't fast the bird and had a full crop to deal with. Same with a turkey my Honey shot. It does make them easier to see, and it's not too hard to deal with. I've got pics under the thread My First Solo Processing if you want.
     
  9. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, thanks Donrae, will check out your pictures. When I processed the first one last week I had trouble finding the crop to start with. My mum used to process birds for a few shillings when I was a child and they always had grain in their crops so was surprised at how an empty one looked. All very interesting. Excited about the next batch now. Had chicken pie from the leftovers of the chicken last night which we enjoyed.
     
  10. MungoSummer

    MungoSummer Out Of The Brooder

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    Update on the RIR which had sour crop. Processed on Sunday and the crop looked normal. We only massaged the crop once and gave one dose of yogurt. I don't know if we caught it early or if he just had something stuck which dislodged when massaged. Definitely had a crop which felt like a water balloon when he was off colour. He was lighter than his brother but guts all looked healthy. Now resting in the fridge!
     

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