Three Musketeers

In the Brooder
Mar 13, 2021
34
31
34
Updated: March, 17th 2021.

Hi all,

This is my first post on this forum, so hopefully I am posting this in the right section.

*DISCLAIMER [1]: I'd like to start off by stating that it is always best to go to a veterinarian - specifically one specialized in poultry if possible. I am currently studying biology at University and am NOT by any means a vet - just one wanting to help out my chicken and hopefully your(s). However, this thread consists of home remedies/medication that seems to work so far for our family's chicken (based off personal research, vets opinions and others' experiences - some of which will be cited below), after exhausting pretty much all possibilities including going to see vets. Hopefully this will be able to help you out as a final attempt of saving your chicken in a case of absolute emergency.*
*DISCLAIMER [2]: I originally started this thread in another post (wasn't finalized back then); however, I am not sure how to edit an original post - my apologies for that.*
*DISCLAIMER [3]: There may be some grammatical/spelling errors throughout this post, as I have not thoroughly re-examined all of it.*



UNIT I: SOUR CROP SYMPTOMS

I'd like to preface this by mentioning the principal/accepted symptoms of Sour Crop; beware it is easy at first to confuse certain symptoms with other crop issues e.g. impacted crop. I've added a stars regarding my personal experience; 1 star = sort of present ranging to 3 stars = absolutely present.

NB: this is based off of my experience.

  • *** Squishy/boggy crop - feels as if it full, filled with liquid (balloon-ish) - in comparison to a crop that is rather filled with food and thus will feel harder. This should be an initial indication, specifically in the morning when the crop would be expected to be emptied out. This was my chicken's initial symptom; however, if will discuss that in the latter part of this post. This is a crucial exhibited symptom that differentiates sour crop from an impacted crop. This filled watery-crop will just not seem to go down (specifically in the latter stages) and will simply enlarge. Usually there is brown chunky-liquid in crop (can't be noticed really from the outside, and difficult to notice during overflow - can be observed when making your chicken throw up which will be discussed later on).
  • *** Chicken having weird spasms - trying to realign their crop (ducking/twitching of their head). Basically to keep what is in their crop from entering their esophagus. This alteration in my chicken's usual behavior was the most significant symptom that made us fully realize something was off.
  • * Foul/putrid smell from breath - smells sour (you will smell this when opening your chicken's beak - place finger in between their beak to aid keep their beak open). However, from personal experience you may fail to notice this early on - and honestly is not always that easy to distinguish as some state. However, it is important to note that this is a notable symptom i.e. disruption in the normal microflora, which may result in a yeast infection (will be discussed, in Unit III).
  • *** Decrease in egg production/change in quality of shell (this could be a symptom for other underlying issues that may result in sour crop i.e. cancer). Unfortunately this was noticeable ~year prior; however not a primary concern at that point as we simply thought our chicken was ageing.
SYMPTOMS EXHIBITED LATER - IF FAILED TO NOTICE EARLY ON

NB: Most of the symptoms mentioned prior should still be present, though.


  • *** Fluid that will be observable as it comes out of your chicken's beak - caused by overflow of the crop. Please do not confuse this with your chicken overdrinking - this occurs too when chickens drink too much, and their crop is simply full (not in relation with a fungi-infection). In our experience it even degenerated to my chicken ''throwing up'' (yes I know chickens cannot technically throw up - but my poor chicken's overflow/spasms were seriously frightening at certain points, it resembled throwing up).
  • *** Gurgling/gassy sounds in your chicken's crop.
  • *** Weakness and lethargy - this will absolutely be noticeable the longer you wait (!). Your chicken will refrain from their every day activity and mainly sleep (close their eyes)/exhibit mentioned symptoms. Your chicken will be drowsy and appear quieter than usual. Furthermore, you may notice them in their coop with their backs towards the (turned away from) other chickens to not appear weak.
  • *** Weight loss, loss of appetite/thirst this happened slowly concerning our chicken - should have already been a cause of concern prior. We could feel our chicken's breast and keel bone (the sternum) protruding. During the later stages, we noticed our chicken just simply couldn't keep food and water down and this resulted in yet again overflow from the beak. Furthermore the chicken simply didn't eat nor drink.
  • *** Chicken being hunched over. From personal experience the feathers near its saddle/tail covers where ruffled and its tail was dropping as time went on.
  • *** Pale comb and wattles. Chicken's comb was also becoming deflated and started losing its shape.
  • *** Unable to sit - standing constantly.
  • Diarrhea (this was not particularly noticeable in our chicken).

1615657541180.png
1615658065394.png

I] REFERENCE PICTURE - G. GALLUS EXTERNAL ANATOMY II] REFERENCE PICTURE - G. GALLUS INTERNAL ANATOMY


______________________________________________

UNIT II: INTRODUCTION

I felt lucky with our Sussex of nearly five year; she was usually lively and usually never got sick. Unfortunately we lost one of our three (Sussex) chicken last year, probably due to Marek's disease, and thus only two remained (one exhibiting respiratory issues).

Hence, the journey begins a couple years back when we noticed our chicken decreasing her egg production, and laying quite porous eggs (with a soft-shell). This was promptly followed with her losing weight and a decrease in appetite; this happened over a course of months and we thus took it as a sign of ageing with some concern, however. It wasn't until a month back, when I noticed her crop being quite squishy thinking it was odd. My mom took her to the vet (who didn't feel her crop and simply said it was normal). Fast forward a week ago (approx. Thursday) - when we noticed something was off. It was the evening and she seemed quite off, quieter than usual with reduced motility. The next morning it hit us than a more pressing issue was at hand. Our chicken exhibited weird spasms continuously, was lethargic, had an enlarged boggy/squishy crop and overall wasn't her normal self. At this point I thought it was sour crop; however the vet gave her antibiotics (thinking there was a bacterial issue - as a secondary issue that must be treated). This did not aid our chicken at all, and she was on the verge of death the next day. NB: antibiotics can also destruct the good bacteria, which may lead to sour crop becoming more severe. Thus, we brought her back in (the next day), the vet stated she was doing better (although in my opinion she was quickly deteriorating, hadn't eaten nor did she really drink),wanting to inject our chicken with corticosteroids, I refused and instead the chicken was injected with a saline solution (in her abdomen - if I'm not mistaken - with solely salt). This did give her a boost but it was short lived. Knowing, she would die if no additional action would be taken, we brought her to another practice where our chicken was made to vomit, which I was very grateful for. I understand this is very controversial, due to the risk of aspiration, and therefore I recommend bringing them to a vet to perform this. However, in such a case of life and death, vomiting may be beneficial IF DONE THE RIGHT WAY and as an absolute last resort (absolutely look it up prior to performing this). It was the weekend and thus the specialist wasn't present. A certain anti-spasm/vomiting medication was given (for dogs/cats) that would help treat my chicken's secondary issues (her spasms); however, did not go into the root of her issue. It was mentioned, like we thought initially, that fungi might be an issue however there was no anti-fungal medication at hand (at any of the vets). Knowing she would most likely die if nothing was done, I absolutely wanted to buy Clotrimazole (Canesten, brand name) as a last try (the details are mentioned below); which is utilized to treat yeast infection in humans. If not mistaken, Nystatin can also be utilized however is seemingly more difficult to find for a lot. However it is important to note that Miconazole is seemingly more effective than either Clotrimazole or Nystatin (however, Miconazole nor Nystatin was utilized in this case).


UNIT III: SOUR CROP

So what is sour crop exactly? Sour crop is a yeast infection in a chicken's crop (a muscular pouch - basically and enlarged part of the esophagus), that in turn leads to the thickening of the crop wall (dilating). The crop is crucial to chickens, as it serves as a temporary food storage - moistening the chicken's food intake. Moisture, microorganism and enzymes - attained from food intake - aid a chicken's chemical digestion. A desirable amount of probiotics may reduce the chances of the crop becoming a pathogenic-advantageous environment - enhancing crop function, and thus the digestive tract.

Sour crop (Candidiasis) is caused by the disruption of the normal bacteria in a chicken's crop (normal crop flora), often along with a build up of Candida, most commonly the pathogens: C.tropicalis, Candida albicans, C.glabrate, and C.krusei. Candida. These species are a part of the chicken's microflora; however, excessive build up of such species may take a drastic turn (causing the crop's content to become fermented). There are various factors that may prompt/worsen sour crop, e.g. (but not limited to) an ongoing infection, worms, damp moldy foods, prolonged antibiotic usage, an underlying illness (and thus sour crop may simply be a secondary issue) and administering corticosteroids. Antibiotics are not advised, as these will kill both the good and bad bacteria; which leads back to the build up of undesirable bacteria leading to sour crop. Tumors may also result in poor crop emptying (unfortunately reproductive and other tumors are quite common among chicken). This may be determined by your vet (although its quite difficult to pinpoint), and unfortunately in this case euthanasia may be recommended.

On the brighter side there are various ways to go about treating sour crop:



UNIT IV: PROGNOSIS/HOMEMADE REMEDIES AND MEDICINAL TREATMENT

Sour crop can ABSOLUTELY be deadly, specifically if there is an underlying issue i.e. possible ovarian cancer (Ultrasonography and a more detailed CT scan can help diagnose this) however; unfortunately scientific treatments regarding chickens aren't as developed/studied/utilized as for other pets e.g. dogs (sadly I doubt your vet will have this at hand).

MEDICINAL TREATMENT:

  • MY COURSE OF ACTION (EFFECTIVE) - CLOTRIMAZOLE: As no fungal treatments were available for our chicken as told by the vets, I decided a trial and error method was our last chance (as our chicken was absolutely exhausted from the lack of nutrition and in possible pain). For those saying chickens don't feel pain; they do they just hide it - evolutionarily speaking - as they do not want to appear weak regarding the pecking order - instead turning their backs to other chickens in the coop and suffering in silence. I researched for a while and we bought Clotrimazole (some use the cream-version; however, I do not recommend this) in the oral form. NB: find clotrimazole pills with least possible amount of additional ingredients, beware for lactose as poultry are lactose-intolerant (however a bit is fine though, ours did have some lactose). Therefore it is important for your chicken have an empty crop prior to administering this medication, as otherwise the Clotrimazole will simply float in the watery crop. It was difficult to know how much to give the chicken (as I did not see others utilizing the oral-form of Clotrimazole), so after researching for a bit the best I found was 10 mg/mL regarding a saline flush (as stated on the site). We did not know what a saline flush entailed (not knowing how/how much) and simply administered 10 mg of clotrimazole the first time, diluted one mL of water; as this was a trial and error run and I did not want to go overboard with an excessive dose.

    This can be difficult to do, but as we had 500 mg of clotrimazole I divided this into 4 pieces, and then diluted 1/4 (one of the four pieces - for a total of 125 mg each) into 12 mL of water (our solvent) resulting in approx. 10 mg (=10.41 mg) of Clotrimazole per mL. Then with a syringe we took 1 mL of that solution (hence 10 mg per mL) and administered this 1 mL to our chicken. She was very weak and thus this was easier to give (as her motility was minimal) versus the following days.
NB: be careful when administering the solution that you do it properly (in small quantities at a time - approx. 0.5 mL per time) and research prior how
to correctly administer the medication without risks of aspiration.

For a 1.8 kg chicken (Sussex) - over the course of a week:

  • From my perspective I would administer 10 mg of Clotrimazole in 1 mL of water, up to a maximum of 2 times a day (for a total of 20 mg of Clotrimazole a day) the first 5 days - morning and evening. This is because 30 mg of Clotrimazole a day, seemed the max we could administer her (and she smelled to what seemed to be antifungal medication). If this seems to aid but minimally, you could bump this up to administering Clotrimazole 3 times a day (for a total of 30 mg of Clotrimazole a day - morning, afternoon & evening) but this should be the absolute limit (worked for us).
    NB: if you are truly unsure how much to administer I would simply give 10 mg to start off with and see how your chicken reacts (monitoring her for the next couple of hours).
  • Lastly reducing this to approx. a total 10-12 mg a day for the next two days.
  • Prolong the course, if necessary - while adjusting the dosage.

What should I feed my chicken?
  • During the first two-three days I placed my chicken in a rather large cardboard box (with a lot of space to breathe), with hay and blankets - and monitored her during the night (next to my bed). I would hear gurgling sounds, and every 3-4 hours I would massage her crop. As I felt the content of her crop go down (even just a couple hours after administering the Clotrimazole - thus it worked like a charm) I would give her some yoghurt with powdered probiotics and a bit of lactase. (monitor you chicken and adjust the amount of monitoring according to her recuperation time). Add some water near your chicken so she can drink. If she is completely dehydrated - and doesn't drink - you may administer a bit with a syringe (not too much). A bit of vitamin mix may also be added to the water,
  • I knew correlation didn't immediately mean causation, but after every time we administered the Clotrimazole things only got better and better (and we could hear the contents going down). The second day, we mashed some pellets (this has vitamins too, which is useful) with a tiny bit of water (to make it easier to breakdown), yoghurt, probiotics, chicken mash and a bit of flint grit.
  • Afterwards on the second-third day we placed her back with my other chicken, and left some pellets, mash and water near her.
  • After your chicken recuperates, keep adding probiotics every now (with a pellet/mash base) to avoid any relapse.
It was very much observing and adapting the medication. However, do not simply stop giving her the medication after one or two days (unless adverse effects are noted of course), simply because your chicken is doing better - you want to carry on the course as you absolutely want to avoid relapsing.

Result:


The next day is was as if a miracle had occurred and she was feeling better. She was eating and drinking (not too much but this was already such a huge progress). Her feces seemed to slowly but surely return to normal. Our mistake the following day was that we gave her half the dose, resulting her sort of relapsing the following day (Monday). Hence we brought her to the specialized vet, who presumed her to have a (ovarian - if not mistaken) cancer. Funghi/yeast levels weren't tested though (regarding her excrements), and it was told that euthanasia was the best course of action. Thinking she wouldn't get better, we brought her back home for one last time visiting our garden. To this day we believe that this (cancer) might very much be the primary issue, and that he was right in stating so as he felt nodules; however, until now the Clotrimazole seems to be working wonders. She is now (a week later) pooping normally, her appetite returned to (more) than normal. Thus I hypothesize that this must have been going on for months, as her crop was squishy, and her appetite/weight was declining. Additionally, she is is now able to lay down completely whenever she's tired (prior to this she could solely stand), she is running again (and pecking the other chicken again - (sadly, haha) her tail is up all the time, she is making adorable sounds again, some color has come back to the comb (although slight discoloration/dehydration in the comb is still present). Hopefully it will remain this way, but only time will tell.
edit 1: it's been nearly 2 weeks, and she is doing better every day and her discoloration in the comb has subsided. I'm still amazed every day by her improvement (as I was sure she would die last week).


OTHER POSSIBLE MEDICINAL TREATMENT THAT WEREN'T TRIED:

  • The use of copper sulphate; stated to be successful but this must be carried out under veterinary supervision.
  • Other anti-fungal medication e.g. Nystatin and Miconazole. (Look up how much to administer PRIOR as this differentiates from Clotrimazole)
  • Homemade remedies: garlic does exhibit some (but minimal) antifungal properties, and thus might be an option to add some garlic your chicken's water. However, I don't believe this is an adequate substitute to the Clotrimazole - rather a temporary fix until you can obtain the medicine.
    Diluting coriander extract in some water (do not simply administer this!), seems more promising and effective than garlic regarding fungi -
    Candida; it doesn't hurt to dilute a few drops in bit of water.

REFERENCES:
1) Useful overview of diseases/health issues affecting chickens: https://opensanctuary.org/article/common-chicken-health-issues/
2) Saline flush of Clotrimazole - Amount of Clotrimazole (only site I found that seemed sorta credible): http://www.poultrydvm.com/drugs/clotrimazole
3) Clotrimazole versus Nystatin versus Miconazole (HUMAN BASED STUDY NOT CHICKEN!)
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/476023/
4) Probiotics may enhance crop function:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...y-production/1B8129FC8897E3A1C9D4A0D074F65BB7
5) Other site regarding common poultry diseases:
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
6) The effect of Garlic on Fungus:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629014/
7) Useful Backyardchicken post:
- https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
8) Dosage for other anti-fungal medication (as mentioned in the Appendix):
http://avianmedicine.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/35.pdf
9) Coriander and Candida:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4047076/

APPENDIX:

1615971852897.png

Figure I - Dosage other anti-fungal medications (please do a more thorough research prior to administering these, regarding the dosage).

This is my first post - hoping it is in the right section.
Best of luck to all of you and your poultry! :)
 
Last edited:

Three Musketeers

In the Brooder
Mar 13, 2021
34
31
34
I give my chickens homemade kefir and yogurt. Hopefully this doesn’t do them any harm.
Yes that seems like a great option regarding the feeding as it contains probiotics and may help rebalance the yeast overgrowth (in not too severe cases)! :)

Regarding Clotrimazole (as a last resort) and the dosage administered, it is something that worked for my chicken as was on the verge of death - ready to be euthanized by the specialized vet. She is is doing amazingly as of now (couple weeks later), has gained weight and is happier than ever; with no observed abnormal behavior.

All in all I think each chicken should be treated on a case by case basis concerning the severity of the infection, and I'm happy to hear you give your chickens yoghurt and kefir (I'm sure they are in great shape)!
 

Three Musketeers

In the Brooder
Mar 13, 2021
34
31
34
IMPORTANT NOTE I: I failed to realize I wrote in the ''oral'' form. This is supposed to be a capsule (used to treat vaginal yeast infections). For anyone wondering we bought the ''CANESTEN GYNO 1'' capsules (containing 500 mg of Clotrimazole). The quantity, dilution and the rest is just as mentioned in the post - nothing changes - it's just not the ''oral'' form. Sorry for the confusion. :)
 

handicappersnurse

Chirping
12 Years
Nov 18, 2009
17
2
78
Gainesville, Fl.
Updated: March, 17th 2021.

Hi all,

This is my first post on this forum, so hopefully I am posting this in the right section.

*DISCLAIMER [1]: I'd like to start off by stating that it is always best to go to a veterinarian - specifically one specialized in poultry if possible. I am currently studying biology at University and am NOT by any means a vet - just one wanting to help out my chicken and hopefully your(s). However, this thread consists of home remedies/medication that seems to work so far for our family's chicken (based off personal research, vets opinions and others' experiences - some of which will be cited below), after exhausting pretty much all possibilities including going to see vets. Hopefully this will be able to help you out as a final attempt of saving your chicken in a case of absolute emergency.*
*DISCLAIMER [2]: I originally started this thread in another post (wasn't finalized back then); however, I am not sure how to edit an original post - my apologies for that.*
*DISCLAIMER [3]: There may be some grammatical/spelling errors throughout this post, as I have not thoroughly re-examined all of it.*



UNIT I: SOUR CROP SYMPTOMS

I'd like to preface this by mentioning the principal/accepted symptoms of Sour Crop; beware it is easy at first to confuse certain symptoms with other crop issues e.g. impacted crop. I've added a stars regarding my personal experience; 1 star = sort of present ranging to 3 stars = absolutely present.

NB: this is based off of my experience.

  • *** Squishy/boggy crop - feels as if it full, filled with liquid (balloon-ish) - in comparison to a crop that is rather filled with food and thus will feel harder. This should be an initial indication, specifically in the morning when the crop would be expected to be emptied out. This was my chicken's initial symptom; however, if will discuss that in the latter part of this post. This is a crucial exhibited symptom that differentiates sour crop from an impacted crop. This filled watery-crop will just not seem to go down (specifically in the latter stages) and will simply enlarge. Usually there is brown chunky-liquid in crop (can't be noticed really from the outside, and difficult to notice during overflow - can be observed when making your chicken throw up which will be discussed later on).
  • *** Chicken having weird spasms - trying to realign their crop (ducking/twitching of their head). Basically to keep what is in their crop from entering their esophagus. This alteration in my chicken's usual behavior was the most significant symptom that made us fully realize something was off.
  • * Foul/putrid smell from breath - smells sour (you will smell this when opening your chicken's beak - place finger in between their beak to aid keep their beak open). However, from personal experience you may fail to notice this early on - and honestly is not always that easy to distinguish as some state. However, it is important to note that this is a notable symptom i.e. disruption in the normal microflora, which may result in a yeast infection (will be discussed, in Unit III).
  • *** Decrease in egg production/change in quality of shell (this could be a symptom for other underlying issues that may result in sour crop i.e. cancer). Unfortunately this was noticeable ~year prior; however not a primary concern at that point as we simply thought our chicken was ageing.
SYMPTOMS EXHIBITED LATER - IF FAILED TO NOTICE EARLY ON

NB: Most of the symptoms mentioned prior should still be present, though.


  • *** Fluid that will be observable as it comes out of your chicken's beak - caused by overflow of the crop. Please do not confuse this with your chicken overdrinking - this occurs too when chickens drink too much, and their crop is simply full (not in relation with a fungi-infection). In our experience it even degenerated to my chicken ''throwing up'' (yes I know chickens cannot technically throw up - but my poor chicken's overflow/spasms were seriously frightening at certain points, it resembled throwing up).
  • *** Gurgling/gassy sounds in your chicken's crop.
  • *** Weakness and lethargy - this will absolutely be noticeable the longer you wait (!). Your chicken will refrain from their every day activity and mainly sleep (close their eyes)/exhibit mentioned symptoms. Your chicken will be drowsy and appear quieter than usual. Furthermore, you may notice them in their coop with their backs towards the (turned away from) other chickens to not appear weak.
  • *** Weight loss, loss of appetite/thirst this happened slowly concerning our chicken - should have already been a cause of concern prior. We could feel our chicken's breast and keel bone (the sternum) protruding. During the later stages, we noticed our chicken just simply couldn't keep food and water down and this resulted in yet again overflow from the beak. Furthermore the chicken simply didn't eat nor drink.
  • *** Chicken being hunched over. From personal experience the feathers near its saddle/tail covers where ruffled and its tail was dropping as time went on.
  • *** Pale comb and wattles. Chicken's comb was also becoming deflated and started losing its shape.
  • *** Unable to sit - standing constantly.
  • Diarrhea (this was not particularly noticeable in our chicken).

1615657541180.png
1615658065394.png

I] REFERENCE PICTURE - G. GALLUS EXTERNAL ANATOMY II] REFERENCE PICTURE - G. GALLUS INTERNAL ANATOMY


______________________________________________

UNIT II: INTRODUCTION

I felt lucky with our Sussex of nearly five year; she was usually lively and usually never got sick. Unfortunately we lost one of our three (Sussex) chicken last year, probably due to Marek's disease, and thus only two remained (one exhibiting respiratory issues).

Hence, the journey begins a couple years back when we noticed our chicken decreasing her egg production, and laying quite porous eggs (with a soft-shell). This was promptly followed with her losing weight and a decrease in appetite; this happened over a course of months and we thus took it as a sign of ageing with some concern, however. It wasn't until a month back, when I noticed her crop being quite squishy thinking it was odd. My mom took her to the vet (who didn't feel her crop and simply said it was normal). Fast forward a week ago (approx. Thursday) - when we noticed something was off. It was the evening and she seemed quite off, quieter than usual with reduced motility. The next morning it hit us than a more pressing issue was at hand. Our chicken exhibited weird spasms continuously, was lethargic, had an enlarged boggy/squishy crop and overall wasn't her normal self. At this point I thought it was sour crop; however the vet gave her antibiotics (thinking there was a bacterial issue - as a secondary issue that must be treated). This did not aid our chicken at all, and she was on the verge of death the next day. NB: antibiotics can also destruct the good bacteria, which may lead to sour crop becoming more severe. Thus, we brought her back in (the next day), the vet stated she was doing better (although in my opinion she was quickly deteriorating, hadn't eaten nor did she really drink),wanting to inject our chicken with corticosteroids, I refused and instead the chicken was injected with a saline solution (in her abdomen - if I'm not mistaken - with solely salt). This did give her a boost but it was short lived. Knowing, she would die if no additional action would be taken, we brought her to another practice where our chicken was made to vomit, which I was very grateful for. I understand this is very controversial, due to the risk of aspiration, and therefore I recommend bringing them to a vet to perform this. However, in such a case of life and death, vomiting may be beneficial IF DONE THE RIGHT WAY and as an absolute last resort (absolutely look it up prior to performing this). It was the weekend and thus the specialist wasn't present. A certain anti-spasm/vomiting medication was given (for dogs/cats) that would help treat my chicken's secondary issues (her spasms); however, did not go into the root of her issue. It was mentioned, like we thought initially, that fungi might be an issue however there was no anti-fungal medication at hand (at any of the vets). Knowing she would most likely die if nothing was done, I absolutely wanted to buy Clotrimazole (Canesten, brand name) as a last try (the details are mentioned below); which is utilized to treat yeast infection in humans. If not mistaken, Nystatin can also be utilized however is seemingly more difficult to find for a lot. However it is important to note that Miconazole is seemingly more effective than either Clotrimazole or Nystatin (however, Miconazole nor Nystatin was utilized in this case).


UNIT III: SOUR CROP

So what is sour crop exactly? Sour crop is a yeast infection in a chicken's crop (a muscular pouch - basically and enlarged part of the esophagus), that in turn leads to the thickening of the crop wall (dilating). The crop is crucial to chickens, as it serves as a temporary food storage - moistening the chicken's food intake. Moisture, microorganism and enzymes - attained from food intake - aid a chicken's chemical digestion. A desirable amount of probiotics may reduce the chances of the crop becoming a pathogenic-advantageous environment - enhancing crop function, and thus the digestive tract.

Sour crop (Candidiasis) is caused by the disruption of the normal bacteria in a chicken's crop (normal crop flora), often along with a build up of Candida, most commonly the pathogens: C.tropicalis, Candida albicans, C.glabrate, and C.krusei. Candida. These species are a part of the chicken's microflora; however, excessive build up of such species may take a drastic turn (causing the crop's content to become fermented). There are various factors that may prompt/worsen sour crop, e.g. (but not limited to) an ongoing infection, worms, damp moldy foods, prolonged antibiotic usage, an underlying illness (and thus sour crop may simply be a secondary issue) and administering corticosteroids. Antibiotics are not advised, as these will kill both the good and bad bacteria; which leads back to the build up of undesirable bacteria leading to sour crop. Tumors may also result in poor crop emptying (unfortunately reproductive and other tumors are quite common among chicken). This may be determined by your vet (although its quite difficult to pinpoint), and unfortunately in this case euthanasia may be recommended.

On the brighter side there are various ways to go about treating sour crop:



UNIT IV: PROGNOSIS/HOMEMADE REMEDIES AND MEDICINAL TREATMENT

Sour crop can ABSOLUTELY be deadly, specifically if there is an underlying issue i.e. possible ovarian cancer (Ultrasonography and a more detailed CT scan can help diagnose this) however; unfortunately scientific treatments regarding chickens aren't as developed/studied/utilized as for other pets e.g. dogs (sadly I doubt your vet will have this at hand).

MEDICINAL TREATMENT:

  • MY COURSE OF ACTION (EFFECTIVE) - CLOTRIMAZOLE: As no fungal treatments were available for our chicken as told by the vets, I decided a trial and error method was our last chance (as our chicken was absolutely exhausted from the lack of nutrition and in possible pain). For those saying chickens don't feel pain; they do they just hide it - evolutionarily speaking - as they do not want to appear weak regarding the pecking order - instead turning their backs to other chickens in the coop and suffering in silence. I researched for a while and we bought Clotrimazole (some use the cream-version; however, I do not recommend this) in the oral form. NB: find clotrimazole pills with least possible amount of additional ingredients, beware for lactose as poultry are lactose-intolerant (however a bit is fine though, ours did have some lactose). Therefore it is important for your chicken have an empty crop prior to administering this medication, as otherwise the Clotrimazole will simply float in the watery crop. It was difficult to know how much to give the chicken (as I did not see others utilizing the oral-form of Clotrimazole), so after researching for a bit the best I found was 10 mg/mL regarding a saline flush (as stated on the site). We did not know what a saline flush entailed (not knowing how/how much) and simply administered 10 mg of clotrimazole the first time, diluted one mL of water; as this was a trial and error run and I did not want to go overboard with an excessive dose.

    This can be difficult to do, but as we had 500 mg of clotrimazole I divided this into 4 pieces, and then diluted 1/4 (one of the four pieces - for a total of 125 mg each) into 12 mL of water (our solvent) resulting in approx. 10 mg (=10.41 mg) of Clotrimazole per mL. Then with a syringe we took 1 mL of that solution (hence 10 mg per mL) and administered this 1 mL to our chicken. She was very weak and thus this was easier to give (as her motility was minimal) versus the following days.
NB: be careful when administering the solution that you do it properly (in small quantities at a time - approx. 0.5 mL per time) and research prior how
to correctly administer the medication without risks of aspiration.

For a 1.8 kg chicken (Sussex) - over the course of a week:

  • From my perspective I would administer 10 mg of Clotrimazole in 1 mL of water, up to a maximum of 2 times a day (for a total of 20 mg of Clotrimazole a day) the first 5 days - morning and evening. This is because 30 mg of Clotrimazole a day, seemed the max we could administer her (and she smelled to what seemed to be antifungal medication). If this seems to aid but minimally, you could bump this up to administering Clotrimazole 3 times a day (for a total of 30 mg of Clotrimazole a day - morning, afternoon & evening) but this should be the absolute limit (worked for us).
    NB: if you are truly unsure how much to administer I would simply give 10 mg to start off with and see how your chicken reacts (monitoring her for the next couple of hours).
  • Lastly reducing this to approx. a total 10-12 mg a day for the next two days.
  • Prolong the course, if necessary - while adjusting the dosage.

What should I feed my chicken?
  • During the first two-three days I placed my chicken in a rather large cardboard box (with a lot of space to breathe), with hay and blankets - and monitored her during the night (next to my bed). I would hear gurgling sounds, and every 3-4 hours I would massage her crop. As I felt the content of her crop go down (even just a couple hours after administering the Clotrimazole - thus it worked like a charm) I would give her some yoghurt with powdered probiotics and a bit of lactase. (monitor you chicken and adjust the amount of monitoring according to her recuperation time). Add some water near your chicken so she can drink. If she is completely dehydrated - and doesn't drink - you may administer a bit with a syringe (not too much). A bit of vitamin mix may also be added to the water,
  • I knew correlation didn't immediately mean causation, but after every time we administered the Clotrimazole things only got better and better (and we could hear the contents going down). The second day, we mashed some pellets (this has vitamins too, which is useful) with a tiny bit of water (to make it easier to breakdown), yoghurt, probiotics, chicken mash and a bit of flint grit.
  • Afterwards on the second-third day we placed her back with my other chicken, and left some pellets, mash and water near her.
  • After your chicken recuperates, keep adding probiotics every now (with a pellet/mash base) to avoid any relapse.
It was very much observing and adapting the medication. However, do not simply stop giving her the medication after one or two days (unless adverse effects are noted of course), simply because your chicken is doing better - you want to carry on the course as you absolutely want to avoid relapsing.

Result:


The next day is was as if a miracle had occurred and she was feeling better. She was eating and drinking (not too much but this was already such a huge progress). Her feces seemed to slowly but surely return to normal. Our mistake the following day was that we gave her half the dose, resulting her sort of relapsing the following day (Monday). Hence we brought her to the specialized vet, who presumed her to have a (ovarian - if not mistaken) cancer. Funghi/yeast levels weren't tested though (regarding her excrements), and it was told that euthanasia was the best course of action. Thinking she wouldn't get better, we brought her back home for one last time visiting our garden. To this day we believe that this (cancer) might very much be the primary issue, and that he was right in stating so as he felt nodules; however, until now the Clotrimazole seems to be working wonders. She is now (a week later) pooping normally, her appetite returned to (more) than normal. Thus I hypothesize that this must have been going on for months, as her crop was squishy, and her appetite/weight was declining. Additionally, she is is now able to lay down completely whenever she's tired (prior to this she could solely stand), she is running again (and pecking the other chicken again - (sadly, haha) her tail is up all the time, she is making adorable sounds again, some color has come back to the comb (although slight discoloration/dehydration in the comb is still present). Hopefully it will remain this way, but only time will tell.
edit 1: it's been nearly 2 weeks, and she is doing better every day and her discoloration in the comb has subsided. I'm still amazed every day by her improvement (as I was sure she would die last week).


OTHER POSSIBLE MEDICINAL TREATMENT THAT WEREN'T TRIED:

  • The use of copper sulphate; stated to be successful but this must be carried out under veterinary supervision.
  • Other anti-fungal medication e.g. Nystatin and Miconazole. (Look up how much to administer PRIOR as this differentiates from Clotrimazole)
  • Homemade remedies: garlic does exhibit some (but minimal) antifungal properties, and thus might be an option to add some garlic your chicken's water. However, I don't believe this is an adequate substitute to the Clotrimazole - rather a temporary fix until you can obtain the medicine.
    Diluting coriander extract in some water (do not simply administer this!), seems more promising and effective than garlic regarding fungi -
    Candida; it doesn't hurt to dilute a few drops in bit of water.

REFERENCES:
1) Useful overview of diseases/health issues affecting chickens: https://opensanctuary.org/article/common-chicken-health-issues/
2) Saline flush of Clotrimazole - Amount of Clotrimazole (only site I found that seemed sorta credible): http://www.poultrydvm.com/drugs/clotrimazole
3) Clotrimazole versus Nystatin versus Miconazole (HUMAN BASED STUDY NOT CHICKEN!)
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/476023/
4) Probiotics may enhance crop function:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...y-production/1B8129FC8897E3A1C9D4A0D074F65BB7
5) Other site regarding common poultry diseases:
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
6) The effect of Garlic on Fungus:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629014/
7) Useful Backyardchicken post:
- https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
8) Dosage for other anti-fungal medication (as mentioned in the Appendix):
http://avianmedicine.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/35.pdf
9) Coriander and Candida:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4047076/

APPENDIX:

View attachment 2573442
Figure I - Dosage other anti-fungal medications (please do a more thorough research prior to administering these, regarding the dosage).

This is my first post - hoping it is in the right section.
Best of luck to all of you and your poultry! :)
Thank you so much for your thorough message on this issue. I have not been successful in curing this issue but now I have more ideas as to helpful treatment.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom