Saga of a little chicken with Sour Crop...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sunbear1224, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. sunbear1224

    sunbear1224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2012
    Hello! I have this crazy little chicken who is 7 months old now named Snowflake (because her little specks look so much like how snow looks when it first lands on you). She is the sweetest thing. Unfortunately she has had sour crop for quite a while now. So I wanted to blog a bit about it and maybe get some opinions or comments..all are welcome! A couple months back I discovered she had an enlarged crop and when I picked her up it was filled with hay or straw so I massaged it a bit and started scouting around on the internet. I'd never heard of it before so had no idea what to think. I've only been a chicken owner for a little over a year. I believe at that point in time it was an impacted crop so I massaged and treated as I'd read to treat it. The impaction was gone but then turned into sour crop and an extended crop and I/she have been dealing with it ever since.

    I posted on here as well as read everything online I could find about sour crop and I did absolutely everything I read to do (except cut her open..which I've read that some people do. Far too cruel and hard for me to imagine even trying to do at my level of experience..better left to the experts). Anyway, I put her in the barn in a large dog kennel and gave her cider vinegar in her water, scrambled eggs and yogurt. I then read that cider vinegar was not good for sour crop and in fact could make it worse due to the acidity so I switched her to a probiotic powder that included electrolytes and vitamins as well as live cultures; but left her on the scrambled eggs and yogurt mix. Eventually I added instant oatmeal to the yogurt for some added substance which she loved. She did well on all of it and ate very well. She remained completely active the whole time which lasted about 10 days. But the same thing kept happening..the crop would go down some (never completely) only to swell back up again. When she looked really uncomfortable I would take her outside and put her under my right arm like a football; tip her forward and down and then squeeze the crop for just a few seconds to get out as much as I could. I only would do this for a few seconds and only twice..no more than that. Usually fixed her right up but still would swell up again later. The crop would never go completely flat so I knew there was still a problem. Another oddity is that her droppings were a bit runny at first but after a couple days it looked completely normal again.

    After about 10 days and trying everything I knew how to do and had read to do (including crop bound pills), I decided there probably wasn't much else I could do. She missed her flock and I hated keeping her away from them. I could not afford a vet and we don't have any in my area that will deal with chickens anyway. I even checked around at our local poultry show and all I got was to turn her upside down and squeeze it out and if that didn't work, cull her. Well, she had such a strong will to live and really never appeared sick; just uncomfortable from time to time so I wanted to give her some time. So I decided just to put her back with the flock and let nature take its course. That was about 2 or 3 weeks ago and that crazy little chicken is still going strong!! Its unbelievable to me that she is still going the way she is. Every morning when I open the coop she's one of the first ones out. Her crop is smaller than the evening before but never flat by any means. She comes out and immediately starts pecking around or drinking water and acts perfectly normal. I do still empty her when she really swells up and appears uncomfortable, but she seems used to it now. I still give her the crop bound pills if it feels like food and not liquid that is in the crop to help break it up. But every time I go to the hen house I honestly expect her to be dead but she's always going strong.

    She has such a strong will to live and never acts sick so I don't want to put her down. Do I expect her to last forever like she is? No, I really don't but I want her to live as normally as she can till she can't anymore at which point I would certainly consider putting her down. She is pretty light with not a lot of weight but she is every bit as tall as her counterpart which is the same type of chicken (speckled sussex), so I think she's growing ok. I super admire her determination to keep up with all the other chickens too, its amazing to watch.

    What I would like to know is if anyone else has ever dealt with a situation like this? If so, how did you handle it?
    To be perfectly honest she is exactly the same condition as when I had her isolated in a kennel; no better, no worse. Thats the most mystifying thing..she now eats a regular diet of crumbles and whatever else she can find in the chicken run and her condition stays the same. Can a chicken live with an extended crop like that?

    Thanks all!!
     
  2. tomhoogstra

    tomhoogstra Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2012
    My chicken recently had sour crop, I found her in the middle of the night clucking and having breathing problems, I took her out and made her vomit and put her back away.
    Next morning breathing problems were gone, but she wasnt her self.
    We went to the supermarket and bought live yogurt, it was called "Yakult" and started using a syringe to feed that to her.
    We made her vomit every day because her breath smelt real bad as well as where she was sleeping.
    After about 4 days she was eating on her own again and scratching in the grass.

    What you have to do:
    Don't give her access to long grass, hard to digest foods.
    Give her scrambled eggs and regular yogurt, or live yogurt to help fight the infection.
    Make her vomit by tipping her slightly upside down and massaging her crop from bottom to top, or top to bottom. Give her time to breathe in between each try otherwise she may aspirate and suffocate to death.
    So basically you are doing everything right.
    Keep this up.


    Edit: I also read somewhere that you can put baking soda in her water, 1/tbps per galon.

    Best of luck
     
  3. sunbear1224

    sunbear1224 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2012
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for your suggestions! I have tried all of those things and I keep on trying..so we'll see how it goes! Glad it turned out ok for you!
     
  4. tomhoogstra

    tomhoogstra Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2012
    If you can smell her breath, make her vomit,
     

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