PLEASE - WHAT TO FEED AFTER SOUR CROP

heron

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
26
0
32
What do I feed a chicken after she empties sour crop?

Read on, if you like drama.

She'd been off her food and water for a few days and this morning was gurgling when she breathed. This afternoon I went out to try massaging the crop. She began drooling yellow liquid and then it became thick dark green, almost black, disgusting, smelly stuff just pouring out. She aspirated some of it and couldn't breathe. She started flapping around and fell lifeless to the ground, not breathing. I picked her up and compressed her chest, yelling at her "you can do this." I know - sounds like a very television show, but really, that's what happened. And she started to breathe but with great difficulty, craning her head up with every breath.

Then she was still struggling for breath and her breath got shallower and shallower. I sat in the sun in the backyard and held her for a long time - like two hours. By that time she was hardly breathing and I kept waiting for her to die.

Then I had to pee, so I put her in the coop and went back 5 minutes later to put fresh bedding in her nesting box, thinking I would put her in there and she would probably die overnight. She was still lying on the floor. I put her into the nesting box (which is on the floor) and she shook herself, got up, climbed out, walked over to the water and started drinking.

Unbelievable. Now I wonder if the whole thing, and almost dying just wore her out and she was maybe sleeping in my arms that whole time. She's definitely not a "lap chicken" and she would have had to be totally out of it to lay in my lap for two hours. Or if the sleeping or whatever it was gave her trachea a chance to clear.

Anyway, I took her food out of her coop because I didn't wanting her eating it right away. But what should I feel her? Also, I'm not sure that the crop is completely emptied, but a hell of a lot of stuff came out.
 
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debakadeb

Songster
12 Years
Apr 8, 2008
569
3
164
SW Indiana
I don't have a really good answer but I would try yogurt. That would put some nice healthy vitamins in her system
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and shouldn't clog up her crop.
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
5
154
I think I would go with soft foods. Maybe some hard boiled egg chopped up fine.
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,427
170
221
Houston
You'll want to readjust the pH of her system, replace living bacteria that keep her running, keep her hydrated, and keep her nourished.

As for Nourishment: Easily dissolved foods only - high in nutrients. That means her pellets, ground up perferably. No grains, no greens, no grit for now. I'd give her two weeks of doing well before I'd slowly reintroduce those items. You can also use boiled egg yolk to help her get nutrition in her - just mush it well and wet slightly first. (See below for mixing with probiotics).

While the food was in there souring, it leaked toxic liquid into her digestive tract. That fluid probably had bacteria in it, and also damaged the bacteria upon which chickens are dependent for digestion of the bits that come through the gizzard. So you'll want to replace the living bacteria. The way you do this is through the use of probiotics, literally living bacteria that are beneficial and will colonize her gut again. You can use plain yogurt (1 teaspoon per adult bird), acidophilus tablets or capsules from the grocer/pharmacy/healthfood store. You can also buy probiotics for livestock at the feedstore. In the horse aisle, you can find a number of them including Fastrack and Probios (my favorite). If you don't see them there, check the counter staff. Probios comes in a tube or powder. In a pinch, you can get small tubes of probiotics at some petstores.

Whichever form you use, make a quickly eaten small amount of food containing the probiotics, her crumbles, some water or non-sweetened applesauce, and a little boiled egg yolk (freeze what you don't use). Mush it all up into a wetness she will accept and feed her that. It only takes a little. For that sort of spot treatment, I use one teaspoon for the glop - which might be as little as four ounces in total after adding liquids.

If you use non-sweetened applesauce, it helps adjust the pH slightly, and the apple pectin feeds the good bacteria in her gut to help them thrive and get back and established.

As for pH, in a bird with a crop like this, I like to use organic apple cider vinegar. It's important that it's organic, and it lasts forever so buy the small bottle. The organic still has living bacteria in it - the same bacteria that will help the gut. The pH of 1 teaspoon of ACV per 1/2 gallon of drinking water will help the pH of the gut be friend for good bacteria, bad for bad bacteria. Also there are electrolytes and enzymes in it. If that weren't enough, it also contains some vitamin D to help calcium absorbtion. It's wonderful stuff. I'd use that every other day for a couple of weeks. You can use it daily, but at least every other day for this healing bird. The electrolytes in it will help her keep hydrated.

The above is her support. What you really need to do is figure out *why* this happened. Can you tell us about her diet? Any changes recently? Any new spring grass that maybe she doesn't get as often? Does she have a good source of grit if so? Anything else that you, with your good instincts, can think of?

Hope this helps!
smile.png
 

heron

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
26
0
32
Threehorses, Thank you!

She was not gurgling this morning, and was interested in the tiny bit of bread soaked in olive oilbread/oil I gave her.

What concerns me most is that I think she still has material in her crop.
Do you think that the treatment you describe might be enough to help her process what might be left in there?

As for reasons, she had eaten grass recently and my guess is that there was not enough grit around the run to process that. Otherwise, she gets crumbles, some bread, fruit, occasional scratch. I've ordered vitamins, so will add those.

I will make up the mash you suggest. I put ACV in her water, but not the organic, will get that tomorrow.

I REALLY don't want to have to express the crop again, since it almost killed her. I don't think the tube asperation will work for her because the gunk was extremely thick and I'm pretty sure it won't come up any tube that is small enough to go into her.

Thanks so much. If you have any advise based on this additional info, I would be so grateful. I hope it's okay if I pm you with this info in case you don't see it here.
 

threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,427
170
221
Houston
If there's a little in there, hopefully it should pass. Therein lays the importance of feeding her foods that readily dissolve. They can dissolve in the crop and at least sneak through to nourish her. However, as long as there's something there in the crop, it'll sour so keep her on the probiotics and acv for as long as there's an issue. That will help to clean her system and replace the good bacteria until this passes.

Good news on her doing well today! I'd wait on trying any more removal of material from her crop. Hopefully the little bit of oil will help it. Just monitor her crop contents by feel (and smell really) to make sure she's staying at the same point, not worsening. Of course if there are any changes, let us know, please.

And you're very welcome. That's the pleasure of owning these birds: finding others that love them as well and sharing our experiences back and forth!
 
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heron

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
26
0
32
Update --

Two days since crop crisis (see above for the whole drama), and her crop is MUCH smaller. I fed oil/bread yesterday, feed soaked in water, tried yogurt, mashed egg yolk with no luck. She's definitely perkier. I'm not assuming that she's out of danger yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
 
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threehorses

Songster
10 Years
Apr 20, 2009
3,427
170
221
Houston
Did she eat the food soaked in water? (brainstorming here)

Can you mix a little yogurt with water (so that it's barely detectable) and use that water to soak stuff maybe?

All in all, great news!! Good job on her care!
 

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