Prolonged sour crop - HELP

carlaashdown

In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
39
17
41
SE Georgia, USA
Sour crop is frustrating to me, because there is no definitive treatment. I’ve never had a chicken with crop issues for this long, usually resolves in a few days.

About five weeks ago, my (then) 8 month old girl had what was probably a leg sprain and was limping. This prompted me to bring her inside.…and subsequently discovered she had an impacted crop. It likely occurred the day before, because I’d moved some things around in their pen and she gorged herself on all the goodies underneath. I called the chickens in for bad weather, but she was determined to get all of whatever was there (bugs and dirt for sure, maybe some tiny rocks - they have a secure covered, enclosed run and coop). THEN she ate a ton of grit either that night or the next morning. I’m guessing because she was instinctively trying to clear things out, but unfortunately a crop full of grit made things worse.

Prior to this, she was laying daily and perfectly healthy. None of my other chickens are sick either.

It took weeks of massaging, olive oil, mineral oil, and the cinnamon/ginger/cayenne/lemon juice mixture to clear things out. Slowly but surely we made progress. At one point, she passed a smooth rock that was about the size of a dime. Off and on during this time, she’s had sour crop also, as everything was slow moving. Occasionally doughy. It does not seem like she has a blockage now, when I massage her crop I can’t feel anything other than the food she eats - but it’s full, watery, and gassy. (I can’t smell it though, because I can’t smell very well anyway).

WHAT WE FEED AND WHAT WE’VE TRIED:
They have two waterers - one with ACV added, and one with probiotics added.
We have well water.
They eat Purina Flock Raiser crumbles with a brewers yeast and vitamin added (Fresh Eggs Daily).
Free choice oyster shell.
I also bake, crush, and feed their eggshells back to them (Free choice in a feeder beside the oyster shell).
Free choice grit.
Massaging several times a day.
Olive oil.
Coconut oil.
Mineral oil.
The cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, lemon juice mixture.
Baking soda.
Miconazole for weeks.
Scrambled eggs, soft mash of her food, etc.
HydroHen.
Nutri Drench.

Her poop is normal. When she had the blockage, she pooped small amounts, small pieces, but now it appears normal.

She is active, doesn’t appear sick, except when her crop is full and she’s miserable.

Her crop is contracting often and it’s strong. I can feel it when I’m holding her or massaging. It seems to be working like it should.

She is very thin now. Obviously not getting the nutrition she needs.

None of my other hens are sick nor have been sick.

She was laying daily for months until this happened. She laid twice after I brought her in for the leg sprain, then stopped. She has not laid now in four weeks. Has no signs of being egg bound.

The leg sprain resolved in a few days and is now fine.

QUESTIONS:

I have ordered Acidified Copper Sulfate, will be here Thursday. Should I try that??

I have also ordered a crop bra. Although her crop doesn’t appear to be pendulous. Yet.

Should I treat the whole flock with Safeguard just in case? No diarrhea or signs of worms in any of my chickens.

We do not have a local avian vet.

Any new suggestions or something I‘m missing?

Like most of y’all here, my chickens are pets. And of course, this one is special and my son’s favorite.

Thank you in advance for reading and any advice you have to offer.
 

hollyhock17

Chirping
Sep 15, 2021
83
241
96
near Chicago, IL
Sigh. Let me put down my tea. This'll be a lot.

My chicken had sour crop. For 8 weeks straight. Her and I were both miserable. She got so skinny and had been away from her flock for so long we had to go through a whole reintroduction process that took another 3 weeks. This was back in September-October and she still is significantly smaller than her sisters.

That being said, I know it is frustrating. I live 25 mins to Chicago, so obviously not in a country setting by any means. I am a sophomore in college, barely 19, living at home with my parents, driving to the city for school during the day and doing homework at night. I'm actually writing this during school right now. Ergo, I do not have the time nor the money nor the resources to go driving hours down into the country in search of an avian vet, so I know where you stand with that. I feel ya.

My chickens are pets as well. We keep them solely for the companionship, eggs are a bonus. My home life is more or less unpleasant and they are a good source of comfort. They're mine, I paid for them, they're actually the reason I chose to stay home for college (well, that and out of state tuition is a scam:th) so when I had this issue with Winona, who also happened to be my favorite chicken, just shy of 7 weeks old, I knew I just needed to keep going until something good happened.

We induced vomiting on her. All the time. I know they say not to do this and you should educate yourself on how to do it but it did help a ton to get her blockage out. We did Miconazole as well, twice a day for 7 days, that was towards the end and it did help a ton with the yeast problem. However, it did require two doses several weeks apart. We didn't get our act together about this until she was already pretty sick and malnourished. She did spend the final few weeks with a crop bra as well, so kudos to you for that.

We gave her water with ACV, mostly oatmeal mixed with certain herbs to boost her immune system as well, did not let her eat any hard food until she was better for 48 straight hours. We kept her in the house and basically just let her roam free so that she could keep busy and so she wouldn't become depressed (I have submitted a fair amount of papers with a little gibberish from Winona walking over my keyboard. My teachers adore her.)

Most of this is stuff you have tried. Not everything works for everyone and it did take us a very long time as you can see but it did work eventually and she has been healthy and happy since. You just have to keep going and not give up. I almost gave up a few times and now I am so glad I didn't.

And copper sulfate should work, I read about that a ton. Treating your flock is smart as well. Better to be safe than sorry. And research chicken diseases too because sour crop is often caused by something. The crop bra seemed to do the trick for Winona so sometimes it is just an pendulous crop but it can very well be something else.

So, that's what I got. I'm sorry I don't have any new suggestions for you. You seem to be doing the right thing and hopefully the bra and the copper sulfate help to get the job done. You just have to be persistent with your treatments. And also keep an eye on her mental health as well. And make sure you're educated on how to find the early signs so that you can prevent something like this. Prevention is always better than treatment. I wish I could have avoided it too. And I'm sorry for rambling as well. Good luck!
Screenshot 2021-12-06 2.19.53 PM.png
Screenshot 2021-12-06 2.20.01 PM.png


Here was Winona back in September when she was super sick (top picture) and then her a few weeks ago, all healthy getting ready to sleep with her big sister (bottom picture). Curing may seem impossible but it isn't!
 
Last edited:

carlaashdown

In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2021
39
17
41
SE Georgia, USA
Sigh. Let me put down my tea. This'll be a lot.

My chicken had sour crop. For 8 weeks straight. Her and I were both miserable. She got so skinny and had been away from her flock for so long we had to go through a whole reintroduction process that took another 3 weeks. This was back in September-October and she still is significantly smaller than her sisters.

That being said, I know it is frustrating. I live 25 mins to Chicago, so obviously not in a country setting by any means. I am a sophomore in college, barely 19, living at home with my parents, driving to the city for school during the day and doing homework at night. I'm actually writing this during school right now. Ergo, I do not have the time nor the money nor the resources to go driving hours down into the country in search of an avian vet, so I know where you stand with that. I feel ya.

My chickens are pets as well. We keep them solely for the companionship, eggs are a bonus. My home life is more or less unpleasant and they are a good source of comfort. They're mine, I paid for them, they're actually the reason I chose to stay home for college (well, that and out of state tuition is a scam:th) so when I had this issue with Winona, who also happened to be my favorite chicken, just shy of 7 weeks old, I knew I just needed to keep going until something good happened.

We induced vomiting on her. All the time. I know they say not to do this and you should educate yourself on how to do it but it did help a ton to get her blockage out. We did Miconazole as well, twice a day for 7 days, that was towards the end and it did help a ton with the yeast problem. However, it did require two doses several weeks apart. We didn't get our act together about this until she was already pretty sick and malnourished. She did spend the final few weeks with a crop bra as well, so kudos to you for that.

We gave her water with ACV, mostly oatmeal mixed with certain herbs to boost her immune system as well, did not let her eat any hard food until she was better for 48 straight hours. We kept her in the house and basically just let her roam free so that she could keep busy and so she wouldn't become depressed (I have submitted a fair amount of papers with a little gibberish from Winona walking over my keyboard. My teachers adore her.)

Most of this is stuff you have tried. Not everything works for everyone and it did take us a very long time as you can see but it did work eventually and she has been healthy and happy since. You just have to keep going and not give up. I almost gave up a few times and now I am so glad I didn't.

And copper sulfate should work, I read about that a ton. Treating your flock is smart as well. Better to be safe than sorry. And research chicken diseases too because sour crop is often caused by something. The crop bra seemed to do the trick for Winona so sometimes it is just an pendulous crop but it can very well be something else.

So, that's what I got. I'm sorry I don't have any new suggestions for you. You seem to be doing the right thing and hopefully the bra and the copper sulfate help to get the job done. You just have to be persistent with your treatments. And also keep an eye on her mental health as well. And make sure you're educated on how to find the early signs so that you can prevent something like this. Prevention is always better than treatment. I wish I could have avoided it too. And I'm sorry for rambling as well. Good luck!
View attachment 2920412 View attachment 2920413

Here was Winona back in September when she was super sick (top picture) and then her a few weeks ago, all healthy getting ready to sleep with her big sister (bottom picture). Curing may seem impossible but it isn'
Thank you for your reply and for sharing your experience. I’m so glad your girl is doing better!!

I have induced vomiting on her many times also. Not ideal, but each time it was because she was so full and sick, it was basically a last resort.
 
Last edited:

hollyhock17

Chirping
Sep 15, 2021
83
241
96
near Chicago, IL
Thank you for your reply and for sharing your experience. I’m so glad your girl is doing better!!

I have induced vomiting on her many times also. Not ideal, but each time it was because she was so full and sick, it was basically a last resort.
Same with us. I was so nervous throwing her up but she seemed so miserable at times that I couldn't help it. Sour crop was probably the worst experience of my life as well as hers. I sure hope I never come across it again, but with my luck, I probably will :rolleyes: I hope I never decide I want to move on campus, because I'll have to be sneaking chickens into a dorm :p
 

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