1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hen with sour crop? - black drippy foul-smelling liquid when vomitted

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by iadmirechickens, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. iadmirechickens

    iadmirechickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 24, 2013
    Hello all,
    It is Christmas Eve and I am worried about my dear, beloved lavender orpington hen, Agnes! I have been noticing her acting lethargic and solitary the past few days, with no appetite, more napping than usual. She wasn't touching scratch or pellets/crumble... only pecking at the dirt and grass half-heartedly. She is seeming to lose weight. Her comb and wattle have gone pale, and she's lost her spunk. She looks wobbly on her legs, is too easy to catch, and when I set her down collapses onto the ground. She was slow to come out of the hen house today, which is very unusual - usually she is top dog. She has also had a dark/bright green diarrhea streaked on her bottom, with some dried on green droppings dangling. Twice I brought her into the house for a warm bath, concerned that it could be a stuck egg (she has never started laying... is about 8 months old and usually a very large, strong hed). I isolated her and got her to eat a tiny bit of egg + shell + yogurt 2 days ago, and since then she won't eat anything. I finally brought her into the house tonight and tried giving her her favorite... a strawberry with some cooked egg. She wouldn't even taste it. I am so worried about her. I saw a youtube video about massaging the crop and vomiting the chicken, in case something is wrong with the crop. I did that to her and black liquid vomit dripped from her mouth - it was very foul smelling. I turned her right side up and poured some water + ACV over her beak to get her to drink some liquid. I'm concerned that she could be dehydrated, as I haven't seen her drink. I currently have her in a cage in the house where she is resting listlessly on a towel, under a heatlamp. I'm guessing that the foul odor means that she has sour crop? Is there anything else that I can do for her? I can't find anything about black liquid dripping vomit... has anyone seen that before? Is it something more serious than sour crop? I am so worried about her... hoping to get some advice for other more seasoned hen friends. More info: she is part of an original flock of 5 pullets, and I added 2 younger pullets about 2 weeks ago... they've adjusted pretty easily. The flock goes out early in the AM and free range in the yard (Sonoma County, Northern CA) all day, and also have access to a protected run and their hen house (which I clean almost daily). They eat fresh greens from the garden, grass, and get a mix of organic crumble/pellets + veggies scraps + a few handfuls of "treats" like scratch and seeds each day. They have access to plenty of clean water from multiple sources. Is there something that I did that caused this? All of the other chickens seem healthy and fine, though do seem to be acting protectively towards her. I found her in the hen house in the corner, surrounded by the other hens. I think we are all very worried. Hoping she will recover! What can I do??
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

    84
    2
    41
    Jul 17, 2009
    Cadiz
    I had this same experience with one of my chickens a while ago. I had no idea what was wrong with her until I picked her up and she vomited very smelly black fluid. I assume it was sour crop all along and I didn't know about it. But she died that same night. I know that's not good news, but I don't know if once it turns that black and smelly if there's much you can do. But maybe you were able to go onto one of those suggested threads and someone can help you better. I hope she gets better! :D
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Crop issues are serious and they certainly won't all recover -- but at least these are some things to try. Best of luck.
     
  5. iadmirechickens

    iadmirechickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 24, 2013
    Right now she is holding on. I'm forcing her to drink water... sometimes with garlic, sometimes with ACV. She still won't eat ANYTHING (though I'm forcing her to ingest some olive oil by pouring it over her beak), but is mysteriously still pooping (black, runny) a couple of times each day. Tomorrow morning she is going to see an avian vet. I just can't bear to see her like this, and I don't want to lose her. The latest thing is that she is tossing her head from side to side a lot. I'll post an update after she sees the vet. Hoping she can beat this! Thank you both for the comments and suggestions and empathy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  6. hensintheHOUse

    hensintheHOUse Chillin' With My Peeps

    340
    7
    78
    Nov 21, 2013
    NewYork
    Did you check her crop in the morning?
    If she has, her crop shouldn't be flat.
    Always a bump on it as you can see clearly.

    It sounds like more infections or worms plus something may be going on.

    It is a good choice to bring her to a vet.

    I hope your hen will recover very soon.
    You are a good owner of her.

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  7. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,368
    71
    208
    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    Can you post a picture of the black poop.

    Her moving her head side to side is adjusting her crop trying to get things moving.

    She needs to be tube feed if she isn't eating or drinking on her own.
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    547
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    You will most certainly kill the bird if you force ACV, garlic, and olive oil down it's throat. Likely there's intestinal trouble like enteritis, or the gizzard not operating properly, lack of grit, worms, eating wads of grass, etc. The crop gets impacted, and if left too long in that condition, a fungal infection develops (candida).

    Medistatin (Nystatin) is active against internal fungal infections. If the crop is full, you need to invert the bird while supporting the body against your stomach or hip. Gently massage the crop in a downward motion to expel the contents of the crop (assisting the bird to vomit).

    I haven't had that problem in a long time, but once I removed the wad of grass that began to exit the mouth and the bird recovered afterwards. A fungal infection in the crop was cured with a 5cc spoon of Medistatin in a quart of water for 5 days. You can also mix it with feed. Here is what it looks like:
    http://www.jedds.com/-strse-651/MEDISTATIN-100-g-(Medpet)/Detail.bok
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  9. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,368
    71
    208
    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    The crop should be completely flat before she eats in the morning, if not, there is a problem with the crop.
     
  10. iadmirechickens

    iadmirechickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 24, 2013
    Just got back from the vet. He said that he could not feel anything wrong with her abdomen/egg-related, and her crop was flat/empty and he couldn't feel anything impacted, etc. She fought him when he tried to look in her beak, which he said is a good sign. He thinks that she could have picked up a bacteria or virus from the new hens - and prescribed antibiotics to give her once a day. And treat her for lice. [​IMG] Otherwise, I am to continue to keep her warm in the house and try to entice her with different foods... like baby food, etc. And he gave me a syringe for water, but I will likely continue to pour it over her beak as I'm afraid of choking her/getting it in her lungs. Does anyone have any ideas about hen favorite foods that might entice? I have tried scrambled egg... little interest. It seems like I should maybe avoid things like seeds or bread or fruit at this point? If there is something fungal going on, don't want to encourage that. I'm sure the antibiotics will not help if it's fungal. Hoping she will recover. She is weak and laying around, but was bright and curious about the trip to the vet. I love this hen! (By the way, that is a picture of her as my image.) Come on, Agnes! Pull through! The vet did also mention that he has seen freak things like cancer in young hens.... so there is a slight chance that it could be something very severe and untreatable like that. He advised against doing all of the expensive diagnostic tests for something like that, given there wouldn't be a treatment anyway. It is a little odd that she has never started laying at 8-9 months - especially since the other 4 that I got her with are.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by