Got Sour Crop?? EVERYBODY Needs To Read This!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TwoCrows, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I have a long story to tell all of you in hopes that if any of your birds turn up with a sour crop and have gone down this long road as I have, you have a happy ending as I have had here.

    I am new to chickens this year and last March brought home 4 bouncing day old Australorp girls from my local small feed store. Now being in a rural town, my only feed options were Hy-Pro non-medicated feed or Purina medicated. I had used Hy-Pro products before and had good luck with them, and not wanting to medicate the chicks feed, I went with the Hy-Pro non medicated chick starter feed. They grew up in the normal fashion and at 5 3/4 months old, when they started showing signs of near to laying, I went to the feed store to get layer feed.

    Ok...so I of course wanted to stick with the same brand of feed, the Hy-pro so that it was not a new tasting feed. However I was warned that many times the Hy-Pro layer feed is not cut right and the crumbles can turn into dust. And Hy-Pro does not offer us pellets. Anyway, I bought 3 bags of the Hy-Pro and came home with them. Well as I was told, upon opening these bags, all but one of them was nearly powder. I tired to get the chickens to eat the finely ground stuff, but they had no interest. And I could not go thru the purchasing of bags of powder for the rest of these chickens days and have them not eat it, so I decided to give the Purina Layena a try.

    I purchased 2 bags of the Purina Layena and decided I would mix the Hy-Pro and the Layena together to make the taste similar and that they would eat the layer feed. (At first they turned up their beaks at layer feed and I had to wet it down for a week to get them to eat it).

    Ok, so everybody is on layer feed and they are starting to lay. About 1 1/2 weeks or so later one of them, "Molly" turns up with a sour crop. I knew something was wrong when she didn't come for her favorite snack and I picked her up and she lost the contents of her crop all over me. Well, of course the first thing I did was search these archives here on what to do about a sour crop. I vomited her, gave her some olive oil, (in case she was impacted), got her to eat some yogurt and did some more research here and google.

    All I could really do at this point was keep up with the yogurt, I kept probiotics in her water, kept her vomited and gave her only soft foods. Actually all she would eat was hard boiled eggs drenched in yogurt. Well, a few days later she seemed a bit better, started eating her layer feed again and improved. But only a for a few days and was back to being ill. This time her breath stunk of infection. White chunks were coming up and I knew she definitely had a sour crop. She got really sick and stopped eating and drinking. So I called the vet and had an appointment to bring her in for a crop flush.

    The vet flushed her crop and after a stay over night at the clinic for Molly, she was sent home the following morning with some Nystatin. I was to syringe it down her throat every day, (versus putting in her water and having to keep her separate from the others). Well, after getting over the crop flush and vet stay, she started to improve. However a few days being back on her feed, she got very sick again. Mean while, she has diarrhea, her crop is huge, having never emptied yet by itself. So the vet said to keep up with the Nystatin for another 5 days.

    As you might imagine, she got sick again. This time worse than ever. She needs constant vomiting, she is losing weight very quickly, her crop is the size of a baseball and hanging low, she is getting dilerious, confused and is really bad off. So the vet started her on another medication. Something that starts with a K and ends in a zole...I can not remember as it has been too long.

    She again begins to improve. Meanwhile I have been keeping probiotics in the water, shoving yogurt down her throat on days she refuses to eat just to keep her alive. But I am noticing something else going on. All the girls are getting runny poop. Stinky poop. Nearly diarrhea. Molly is getting a slight runny nose and both me and vet attributed this to possibly her immune system is getting very weak. However all of the girls are occasionally getting a runny nose!!! What is going on here!!! She is also doing something really odd here, she is constantly scratching the outside of her crop with her foot. All day long. And when she isn't doing this, she is wiggling her neck around in order to relieve something in there. She has also started to pull the feathers off her crop area in order to relieve the itching. So I assume it itches from the yeast infection as that is what yeast does it itches.

    Meanwhile, every few days, Molly is on this roller coaster ride of getting violently ill, going off the feed, getting a bit better and then down again. At last resort I even tried vaginal cream down her throat for 2 weeks. Same roller coaster ride.

    Now by this time Molly is very very thin, she has been sleeping in the greenhouse under an infra-red heat lamp as she has no meat on her bones to keep warm at night. Her crop is swinging like a pendulum. She is barely alive some mornings and I am beginning to think she has some virus either from birth or picked up, or possibly a genetic disorder that is causing this sour crop to be a secondary infection to something much bigger. I am completely stumped. However the next day I thought about using raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in everybodys water. What could it hurt. If nothing else, it should stave off the yeast/fungal infection (which by the way the vet did a culture of the contents of her crop while at the vet and she did in fact have a yeast/fungal infection.)

    So she is on the ACV and no other drugs for 2 weeks. It does in fact stave off the infection quite well and I highly recommend using it for keeping fungus and bacterias from taking hold in a chickens body. However it did not cure Molly and she still got very very ill. This had been 7 straight week of complete h*ll for this bird and it may be time to put her down. She had had all sorts of tubes, meds, foods shoved down her throat, vomited several times a day, sick and deteriorating fast.

    So 3 weeks ago, after Molly awakes to being tremendously ill, I called the vet to tell her that she should expect me to bring Molly in within the next 24 hours to have her put down. So I had to do some quick thinking here and fast. I got to thinking about his roller coaster ride and all the symptoms she and the others had, when this started and what to do about it. So all of a sudden I got suspicious about the feed. I tore off the tags of the bags of Hy-Pro and Purina Layena and looked them over.

    Ah HA!!!! I think I may have discovered something about his Layena!!! One of the ingredients in this bag is "Marigold Extract" which is fairly high on the list. Now I have been in to alternative medicine and have used herbs nearly all of my life. And I do know that Marigold is KNOWN to cause allergic reactions in humans, releasing histamine into the body. It has even been known to cause anaphylactic shock in some people. Herbs can be very toxic and dangerous if not used properly. I have gotten sick from using certain herbs on a daily basis and this herb ESPECIALLY does NOT belong in chicken feed. Supposedly it is put in there to "brighten up the yolks". Well if the feed is of good quality in the first place than this herb need not be in there for good color in yolks. So my birds have been forced to eat this herb daily and not knowing the potency of this extract, there could be one flowers worth or an entire field of them in their daily food!!

    So, this being the LAST trick up my sleeve and having no other options than to either whip up some homemade chicken feed or go back to the Hy-Pro semi powder food, well Hy-Pro it is. I picked up another bag, and it wasn't ground too powdery, I filled up the feeders and watched. That day, all the birds started eating like they were starving to death! With in 24 hours, all the diarrhea and runny noses disappeared. But here is the good part...after Molly began eating after recuperating for the last time, she started eating the new feed. By the end of that first day, for the FIRST time in 45 days, she had a hard crop!! The following morning, for the FIRST time in 45 days, she COMPLETELY emptied her crop!! This was huge for me!! 48 hours later, she no longer has ANY gas in her crop, again for the first time in 45 days. It WAS the feed.

    Molly slowly gained her strength. (Her crop stayed distended, although empty and had no gas, for 2 weeks, no doubt do to the irritation). She stopped itching her crop 2 1/2 days later after starting in on the Hy-Pro. She has no diarrhea, in fact all the girls poop have a nice dry consistancy. No smell to the poop either. She is gaining weight rapidly, her crop works in the normal fashion, emptying every night. She looks really good, she is back to laying eggs, eats like a pig and to me appears to have fully recovered. It has been nearly 3 weeks since going on this new feed.

    So what I am getting at here is, if you have a chicken, turkey, quail, pheasant, anything with a crop and have been down this very long road of no recovery. Have tried everything you can think of and the vets office, consider changing their feed. I am sure this feed nearly killed my Molly. I have never had good luck with Purina products in the past...the dogs throw up and get diarrhea, the horses got colicky on it. Now I am not bashing Purina here, however I will never use it again.

    So please remember all this stuff in case one of your beloved babies comes down with sour crop and there seems to be no saving them. PLEASE...change the feed. It could save their lives.

    Thanks for reading...Leyla
     
  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, thanks so much [​IMG]
     
  3. donna8424

    donna8424 Out Of The Brooder

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    I usually just read the forum, but this time I have to thank you for the info. I think I may be having the same problem with Julie and the others have stinky runny poo off and on. I am going to try a new brand today.
    I’m happy your girls are getting better. [​IMG]
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Thank you to everyone that read this and or commented on it. I would like nothing better than to help save someones precious baby from the slow death road that my Molly was on. I would love for someday, that someone in the same situation that I was in, to stumble on this post, tried everything they could to save their bird, and come to find that a simple change in feed, no matter what feed they are on, saved their loved ones life. Chickens can't tell us what is wrong with them, so it is up to us to help figure it out. And I hope others are able to do this as I did. [​IMG]
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh, thanks for taking the time to post all that. I'm amazed you had the strength to stick with them through all that.

    Yes, quality of feed can make a HUGE difference and I'm so glad you figured out what was wrong and got them on something that's working for you.

    I buy the crumbles and sift them into their feeder. I save the dust and either mix it with water to make a paste and then add some seeds or worms or mashed up banana to make it interesting and they love that. I've also baked a modified banana muffin recipe with the dust and I'll chuck one of those muffins into their treat bowl and they love pecking at that for as long as it lasts. So a few options for using up the dust.
     
  6. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Your post has me thinking. My issue is not with commercial feed but free-ranging. I have one hen that has had trouble off and on this summer but I notice she is MUCH better when they are confined to the coop for a few days which makes me think she's finding something outside that is upsetting her. Your comment about allergies resonates. However, how am I EVER to discover what my girl may be getting into that is causing her trouble???? [​IMG]
     
  7. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Thak you Leyla,

    So good to hear that you saved your chickens. It is real food for thought about what feed our chooks get.
    I appreciate you took the time to post.
     
  8. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This if obviously different but still related to feed.

    I had been feeding Nutrena to my girls since they were chicks. Their Nature Wise line. Well, I went to buy more one day and they brought out a bag of their Country Feed line. Well, the hens wouldn't eat it. I mean wouldn't touch it and weeks later, they were starving. They were holding out for me to come home and give them treats and they were getting REALLY aggressive over treats. So I switched to a local brand, King. And they LOVE IT.

    They are calmer and really seem happier if that's possible.

    And, they don't touch their oyster shells anymore. They used to eat quite a bit while on the Nutrena layer rations. I was intrigued by this so I went onto both sites to look up the calcium content of both feeds and the King brand has less % of calcium. Go figure. It's obviously in a form that is easier for them to digest so that they are getting more from their feed.

    And their egg shells are just as hard and beautiful as ever. So no loss in quality there.

    So not all feed is created equal. Worth experimenting if your hens don't seem happy or healthy on their current feed.
     
  9. geoff40

    geoff40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good stuff, thanks. Too bad you don't have more grain options near by. Maybe you should start begging your store to special order something different. If you haven't already, tell the manager/charge person this story.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Quote:Wow thank you for the great tip on the banana muffin using the excess powder! I am sure my girls would love this! I have been wondering how to use this extra powdery food. [​IMG]

    And I am glad I got you all thinking about how your chickens are reacting to their feed or surroundings. Feed is everything to a chicken, especially those that don't free range as mine don't. When you think about it, we humans get a huge variety of foods each day. But if you were served up the same bowl of feed everyday, eating the same food round and round, it had better be good and healthy or you also would get sick.

    And Barn Goddess, it does sound like your hen is getting into something that is not good for her, irritating her digestion. You may never figure it out. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

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