My first 'bout with sour crop. Now I need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RM44, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    So one of my black australorps, affectionately known as "mother plucker" was looking sort of down for a few days. I noticed when all the chickens were in the run, mother plucker (MP) would keep to herself, a bit stand offish, which is not normal for my flock. (I only have 11 birds in a 10 x 26 foot run and 10x10 coop attached). I also then realized I haven't seen MP in the nest boxes in a few days either, but she does get up on the roost to bed each night.

    Today (about day 4 or 5 since I noticed something wrong with MP) I decided to pick her up and investigate. As soon as I grabbed her (from behind, fingers laced around her breastbone area) I felt her chest/breast/crop was very squishy. Thanks to you BYCers, I immediately suspected "sour crop". I came in and read a few of your articles along with a few google articles, and everything seemed to include the basics of lifting the bird up, turning them upside down, massaging the crop until liquid poured out.

    Well, I didn't even have to massage her. As soon as I tilted her forward a very thick, snotty looking and putrid smelling liquid started pouring out of her mouth. I kept tipping her and draining until she started coughing (a hoarse raspy cough, but no more liquid coming out). I massaged/squeezed her crop some, and it still felt a bit inflamed, but she was completely drained of the nasty liquid. I then came inside and found the only yogurt in the house (banana flavored, sweetened yogurt), which I took out to her. She actually ate some, sticking her nose deep in the bowl and then pulling out to tilt her head back and swallow. She ate with mild enthusiasm, which encouraged me. However, tonight when I went to close up the coop, she was on the floor, unable to get on the roost. She seems very weak. I lifted her up and put her on the roost, but now I am worried that she might fall off, or might not be able to get down in the morning.

    She seemed better (or at least able to get on the roost) before I drained her. Is she going to need time to heal? Should I keep her on the ground/floor to avoid her getting hurt? How long will it take for her to be her old self again? I read an article on google that indicated in the "old days" farmers just grabbed the chicken up, tipped them over, drained the liquids out and let the chicken go about her day. Not much fussing over the chicken after the draining. But others seem to indicate a week of babying the chicken in order for her to return to health.

    Any advice would be welcome!

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