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Sour Crop *Update* Another hen has Impaction/Sour Crop.....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LuvinChickens, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. LuvinChickens

    LuvinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Northern, CA
    Every now and then I learn things the hard way. This week the price of my tuition almost cost the life of one of my beloved hens. I thought I was being a good farmer by applying practical, even enterprising, uses for the hay the goats were wasting. I happily tossed it to the chickens. They seemed overjoyed at their bounty and reduced it to nearly nothing in a matter of hours. All seemed right in our little world. Then I woke up to find one of the hens acting strangely. She was doing this head and neck bobbing thing. As she moved, her throat gyrated back and forth in a pendulous shimmy. It was as if she had trapped a liter of water in her throat. I searched online for the symptoms. I was suspicious about Sour Crop. Sure enough that is what it was, and as I began to palpate the hen's throat area I could feel a very large mass. It was easy to manipulate but ultimately it was still a mass. I was almost certain all the wonderful hay I'd been joyfully tossing into the chicken coop was now causing our problem. We have a wonderful veterinary hospital that sees all types of animals, even chickens. They were able to get us right in and it was determined that our hen needed surgery or she was not long for this world. She was already very thin and I cringe to think of how long she had the impaction before I noticed. We spend a lot of time with all of our animals everyday. We hold them and talk to them. They are our family. Why hadn't I seen this large bulge days earlier? Why did I miss the signs of this hen loosing weight? It was a long day as I waited by the phone praying for the Lord's will to be the same as ours and that our hen would be back home safe and sound again. When the call came that she had made it through the surgery just fine and that I could pick her up I was so relieved.

    So, this is the mass of Timothy grass hay that was lodged in the crop of the hen, it measures 5” x 3” x 2”.


    [​IMG]


    Our little hen is doing well. She has her own personal chef now and she gets to have really neat food like: rice, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, and even scrambled eggs, every hour.


    [​IMG]

    She has decided that bananas are gross but crumbled-up bread is wonderful. She also gets to live in the house for the next couple weeks.



    [​IMG]

    Hopefully the other hens will be nice about letting her back into the flock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. CLawhon

    CLawhon Out Of The Brooder

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    Naples, Florida
    I know the feeling! I love my hens like my dogs and we are always with them, they free range a good part of the day but i noticed that one of my Rhode Island Red girls was walking kinda funny. I thought at first she was just sticking her chest out but when I picked her up she had a grape fruit sized mass under her neck [​IMG] I freaked and went around and checked the other 7 girls and she was the only one that was huge! I jumped online and read about sour crop so I immediately went out and was able to drain some of it via vomiting. I feel terrible that I didnt notice it sooner. When I went out to try and drain it the other hens were already roosting for the night and she was on the ground which is odd. So I am going to try it again in the morning and get some yogurt ect for her. I hope your girl has a speedy recovery!!
     
  3. LuvinChickens

    LuvinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Northern, CA
    Thank you Clawhon. I hope she ends up being fine. [​IMG] She is doing great. Unfortunately another one of my hens has an Impaction/Sour Crop. I am going to take her to the vet too. Luckily I noticed the signs before it got to little Speckles point. Odd head movements, large crop, etc. I'll report later on the status of Fluffy Cheeks. <-- (the hen we take to the vet.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  4. luvmychickens12

    luvmychickens12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
    Vermont
    Wow, I am so happy you got her to a vet. My chicken has the same thing but my problem is there is no vet that works on chickens in my area but I finally found one an hour away but they had to book me in April UGHH. I called a local vet and she did drain the crop but it came right back the next day. When your chicken had surgery was it on the crop for the blockage or in the neck?
     
  5. LuvinChickens

    LuvinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern, CA
    On the crop. Apparently there is a way to do the surgury youself, but I don't want to risk that..... Sadly, Fluffy Cheeks did not make it through the surgery and passed away. I hope my other 16 hens/rooster don't get Sour Crop.
     
  6. luvmychickens12

    luvmychickens12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
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    It's so sad. I had to have my chicken put to sleep. It was horrible and stuff was just oozing out of her. I feel so bad,but I know it wasn't fair to keep her like that either. Sorry to hear about Fluffy Cheeks.:(
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sour crop and impacted crop are really two different things. Your hen's crop was impacted. Sour crop is when it feels gassy and bloaty and the breath is fermenty-smelling-that can be caused by eating something moldy/rotten they find somewhere. Often, crop issues happen during a molt. Of course, if stuff sits in there long enough, it can ferment, but they usually starve to death before that happens, it seems.

    I lost a Speckled Sussex hen to impacted crop, even after doing surgery and removing the dead leaves she ate (which she had eaten her entire life, but she was in hard molt and her crop quit working, causing it to become impacted), she refused to eat or drink afterward. Have lost several Blue Orp hens to crop stasis and/or sour crop during a hard molt as well. They seem to be prone to crop issues.
     
  8. KimKimWilliamso

    KimKimWilliamso Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Nanton, AB, Canada
    Impacted Crop can actually cause Sour crop, becuse the food that cannot pass the blockage ferments in the crop, causing fermeny breath and yeat growth, etc. But its true, your bird can get Sour Crop (yeast infection in the crop) without an impaction as well. I know, because I have a parrot who had a small impaction and some sour crop.

    If you feel comfortable, you can try to clear an impaction yourself, by using a red rubber catheter, inserted in the crop, and flushed with warm water. It can be easy to asphixiate the bird with water, so maybe have a vet show you how to do it first, or watch some videos. But this is how I cleared my parrots impaction, and it worked perfectly. They all get ACV in the water now too, to make sure we dont have any yeast.
     
  9. LuvinChickens

    LuvinChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Northern, CA
    Thank you for all of your advice. It really helps.
     
  10. LNinOH

    LNinOH New Egg

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    I just lost a second hen to an impacted crop this morning (first one died last November). I had hoped that since I recognized the symptoms sooner that she might survive. I volunteer at a raptor rehab center so I brought her there, gave her sub-Q fluids and irrigated the crop with a small amount of water, but no luck. If I had a large flock it wouldn't be so bad, perhaps, but I only have 2 other hens and they are more like pets! [​IMG] Guess I'll just have to watch the other hens more carefully. I suspect it was some leftover steak pieces we gave them. I cut them up very small, but they could have blocked her up somewhere along the digestive tract.
     

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