Sour crop support needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ipana, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    My Black Australorp 6 mo hen apparently has sour crop. Two days ago, I noticed she was jerking her head a little bit and when I picked her up, her crop was very squishy. At the time, I didn't realize the problem. She seemed to be eating, drinking and laying. When I felt the same thing this morning, only possibly a little larger, I was alarmed! In searching for answers, I was directed to this forum. After reading quite a few similar situations, I first want to thank everyone here for posting such good information. Now, I want to make certain that I am dealing with this correctly. From what I've read, this has been handled in similar manner by many people but also somewhat differently. I have brought her into the house since it is quite cold here right now. This way she will not have access to any feed and will also be warm and safe.

    The chickens are fed layer crumbles in a self-feeder. I also hand feed them fresh bread morning and evening and have been giving them a little (handful for 4 chickens) Red Rooster Premium 5 grain feed. They also have oyster shell as free choice. They do not have grit except from their own scratching outside.

    My main question is on the massaging and holding the chicken upside down. I have done this twice today with quite a lot of liquid coming out. It worries me that I may cause her to aspirate some of the liquid. On both occasions, she has coughed but no gurgling or lingering effects, it seems. I have withdrawn all feed and have added ACV to the water, although it is the ACV from the grocery store. There continues to be some liquid in her crop tonight. I have also used a needleless syringe to put some vegetable oil into her mouth. It was approximately 3 cc.

    Question: Do I continue to massage and try to get her to vomit until there is no more liquid?
    Question: Is the grocery store ACV adequate? I have never seen ACV at the feed store but I will call them tomorrow.
    Question: Should I take the feeder out at night so that their crops have a chance to empty?
    Question: Should I stop giving them the 5-grain feed?

    Thank you for any suggestions or help you may be able to give. As with all on this forum, I love these little birds. I regret that I didn't react the first time I felt the squishy craw but now I know.
  2. ultasol

    ultasol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    I had one bout with an impaction/sour crop. I did the massage/pushing the liquid out of crop manually (while upside down) then gave her nothing but water with ACV for 24 hours. Then I slowly reintroduced food, but food that was easy on the stomach (I purchased a powdered food that you reconstitute with water that is made for ill or recovering parrots. The brand is Harrison's.) Her crop went sour again after two days, so I repeated the massage/vomit, flushed her crop with acv/water mixture (using a tube), and again took her off of food, gave her polyvisol, and after 24 hours started her on food again but in smaller quantities, smaller feedings more frequently to keep up her caloric intake, and I added a probiotic.

    After a week or so I started adding some soaked crumble to the parrot food (which was a liquidy paste when reconstituted). Although she never got weak, I thought for sure I would lose this hen because of the slow recovery (her crop felt 'liquidy' and was slow to empty for two+ weeks). I think hers was brought on due to eating shavings after a very stressful shipping experience (the birds were lost in the mail) as shavings were in her initial vomitus.

    I'm not an expert, but the hen has recovered (though slowly). Her appetite is voracious and she is back on normal food now without any problems.

    I hope something from my experience helps you. I read through all the threads I could find on here and drew from other members experiences to direct my treatment.

    I also have a tube that I purchased from a vet to tube feed birds that was invaluable when flushing the crop. The tube is small with two staggered openings near the bottom and the other end connects to a syringe. I would insert it gently from the left side of the beak gently down the throat until I could feel it near the crop. I then slowly pushed the water/acv mixture in and induced vomiting.

    Good luck. I look forward to updates and I will keep my fingers crossed for your dear hen
  3. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    Thank you, ultrasol. Your input is extremely helpful, especially in knowing that this healing is a process and that if I get this under control, it may return quickly. It's also good to be reminded to introduce food when it is time in small quantities but frequent intervals.

    I have only checked visually this morning. She has been in a spare bathroom with a nightlight. She cooed at me which is her usual manner. She has been very gentle and always the most tender of the four. I'm hoping that I find her crop to be reduced in size as I begin her new day of "therapy."
    The interesting part was that I had to find a large branch from my firewood to put across the bathroom sink for her to roost! She was hanging on the soap dish with one foot at first. What a case.

    Thanks again.
    2 people like this.
  4. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    I hope I'm not overdoing on the posting but I did want to report that my little Black Australorp is soooo much better this morning. Her crop is flat and she is quite lively. She was really looking for some food so I soaked a quarter of a slice of bread in olive oil and you would've thought she hadn't eaten forever! I plan to give her other small amounts at intervals throughout the day. By tomorrow afternoon, she may be able to go back to her own home since it's going to be in the upper 40's again.

    Thanks again for all the good info on this board. I am really thankful that my little bird was able to get the right care quickly.
    1 person likes this.
  5. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    That's great to hear! and [​IMG]
  6. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    So happy to hear that. I have been going thru te same thing since Friday night. This am mine was much better and did not feel as swollen but still some vomit. I am hoping to be able to feed her some yogurt today with a small amount of crumble softened in it.
  7. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    Well, as many have experienced, the squishy crop returned this evening with my Black Australorp. I had to massage her crop and hold her upside down again to expel some more fluid. It was not as much as before but the small amount of bread that I had given her was still there, so that can't be good. I'm going to try to go the pet store tomorrow to find the parrot food that ultrasol mentioned. I will wait until late evening to try to give her a little. Bless her little heart. You won't believe, but she even laid an egg at the bathroom sink today! It wasn't fully broken from landing on the hard surface but it did have a "dent" in the end of the shell. What a dear she is!

    If there are any other suggestions, I'm eager to hear. Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I'll keep you posted.
  8. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I don't have any suggestions, but I want to thank you for posting through this. I haven't experienced this, and it helps to follow you through it so that I will be better prepared when it happens. So don't ever worry about "overdoing on the posting". We appreciate it!

    I wish you luck with your sweet girl! She sounds very well loved.
  9. upthecreek

    upthecreek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    South Alabama
    I know this is gonna sound crazy but it will work --- take a 3cc syringe (take the needle of -you're not gonna use it) pull up about 2-3cc of wine and give it to your bird orally and she should be ok tomorrow .(any cheap wine is OK) The wine gets rid of all the bad stuff - in other words it blows it out .
    I know a lot of people will laugh at this and make jokes about it but it will work

    Be careful when giving it to her .... go slow giving her time to swallow it and not get any in her windpipe .

    If you have any worrys about this then don't use it .
  10. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    Upthecreek, I'm going to get some wine and give it a try! Everything at this point is welcomed. Thanks for the tip. I'll post the results. Once again, thank you for taking time to suggest.

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