newbie dealing with first sick chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bethsp7, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. bethsp7

    bethsp7 New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2010
    Hi. This is my first post. I have six 8-month old hens of various kinds. My barred-rock seemed a little lethargic two days ago. Yesterday, I noticed that her comb was kind of pale, and flopped over, and she wasn't eating normally. When I picked her up, she had poop stuck to her bottom. I brought her inside to clean her up, and as I was holding her tipped down (butt up so I could clean) she drained out a bunch of nasty smelling, dark liquid from her beck. After searching this site, I think she may have sour crop, but I'm not sure. Her crop felt full, but not hard. I tried giving her oil, and massaging it. I put her in a box in the bathroom with just water. Her poop in there has been mostly watery. Today I gave her ACV in her water, then (since she hadn't eaten for 24 hours) a little yogurt and egg with probiotic powder mixed in. She's eating some, and definitely drinking. Her crop still feels the same. Her last several poops have had small brown poop in the watery stuff. She's moving around a little more. Was perched on the edge of the box last time I checked.
    I tried to feel the other hens crops first thing this morning for comparison. Only managed to pick up two hens. Their crops seemed flat. One had slightly sour breath. But they all act and look normal. I added some ACV to their water today.
    My six young hens share a raised coop, with deep pine shavings (probably could keep it a lot cleaner), and an enclosed yard. They have access to some grass and weeds in the yard. I feed them organic laying crumble and a little cracked corn, plus some kitchen scraps. Last week I threw some leaves from my yard in their yard. Thought they would like to shred them and look for bugs. Can't think of anything else that's been different. Except the weather has gotten cooler and some days damper. (I put their feed under the coop where it's dry, and they have a feeder inside, too. Most of the six are laying regularly, except for this barred rock and maybe one other. I tried to feel if there was an egg stuck somewhere inside, but couldn't feel anything.
    One person at the feed store said it was probably coccidia, and that all of them probably have it and need treating with sulfur medicine, but I haven't seen any evidence of bloody stools or vents, which is listed as a symptom of coccidia.
    These are my first chickens ever, so I would like any advice you have. Should I continue doing what I'm doing (massaging, giving ACV in water, limiting food to soft), or should I try to make her spit up again, or do you think it is something other than sour crop?
    Thank you. And thanks for having such a wonderful site. I've had you on my desktop since last spring, but only now joined.
    Beth
     
  2. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    First off [​IMG] I would continue doing what you are doing. Sounds like sour crop to me make sure when you use the oil and massage it you press firmly as to try and break it up some. sometimes they don't seem to get it out and the grains can sour. in there crop. you might add some vitamins and elecrtolytes to her water as well. Also Open her vent and check for blockage inside if you see blockage use a toothpick to carefully clear the blockage.
     
  3. bethsp7

    bethsp7 New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2010
    Thank you. Will do.
    Beth
     
  4. bethsp7

    bethsp7 New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2010
    An update:
    Last night, I cleaned her rear end some more. The vent itself seemed ok. Just some messy feathers.
    Madeline's crop was still full and squishy this morning. While massaging it, she started to spit up a little. So I decided to do a flush with baking soda in water. (See thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=219050) After putting it down her throat, I held her in my lap horizontally over the bathtub, and massaged upward. She spit up a bunch of grass and other stuff. I kept having to pull stuff out of her mouth so she could breathe. At one point, I thought she was dead. But now she seems ok. She's resting.
    I'm not sure what to do now. The thread above suggested flushing three times, but I don't know if she could handle that. But I think she still has stuff in her crop. After seeing what came out of her, I don't want to feed her anything unless it will help break up the rest.

    Beth
     
  5. WiscoChiko

    WiscoChiko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Portage county WI
  6. bethsp7

    bethsp7 New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2010
    After reading tons of threads, there doesn't seem to be much agreement about how to handle sour crop. Some say use ACV in the water, others say that's the worst thing to do. Some say to flush by holding the chicken upside down, others say keep the chicken upright. I'm very confused.
    Madaline is still with us. She didn't eat anything yesterday. Her crop is about half as full as yesterday morning, and very squishy. It definitely did not empty overnight. She's been drinking alot (water has ACV and electrolytes/vitamins). Most of her "poop" since the flush has been extremely watery, with some small brown stools.
    I don't know whether to flush again, or start feeding her more soft food and hope the rest in her crop can work its way through.
    Anyone have a suggestion?
    Wisco, is your chicken's crop emptying normally now?
    Thanks.
    Beth
     
  7. Chicklitt

    Chicklitt New Egg

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    Nov 7, 2010
    Hi
    When I had the same problem I gave my hen natural yoghurt for a few days with a bit of garlic mixed in and its seemed to work but I may have just been lucky!
    I also use ACV on a regular basis with all my hens now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I had my first sour crop this summer and I was just as confused as you are but this is what had worked for me. I separated her from the rest of the flock and brought her into the house. I withheld any food at first, gave her ACV in her water only and massaged her crop numerous times per day. Her crop felt kind of like a balloon. I did cave and give her some yogurt the next morning and it seemed to flare up again so my second attempt, I did withhold food until her crop was empty. Once it was empty, I gave her bits of bread soaked in olive oil. This is supposed to help loosen and allow things to pass more easily. This is where I seen the HUGE poop. LOL Once I was sure that went OK, I then gave her yogurt, after that, back to feed. I continued to massage her crop until it was empty and I continued with the ACV for about a week after that. Now I add it to all waterers about once a week and I have not had one with sour crop since.
    I hope you can get yours fixed up!
     

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