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Gaping chicken and another with sour crop

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We only got back from Holiday on Saturday - the neighbours looked after the chickens and our dogs and cat (lovely people, who LOVE our pets and are very kind)

As you know, we battled Mycoplasma the week before we went and seemed to have beaten it, so i was pleased to come home and see all the chickens looking fine.

At this stage I need to admit that, being so worried about them, i had been TOTALLY overdoing the corn and mealworms in an effort to make sure they were full of food. Also, i had been encouraging the kids (and the neighbour, whilst we were away) to feed them handfuls of pulled up grass because I felt bad that they were missing out on free ranging due to fear of the fox.

A couple of days ago, i noticed that when titanic jumped down from her roost, she dribbled a bunch of slime out of her beak. Yesterday she didn't look so clever, so this morning i caught her and felt her crop which was, predictably, like a water balloon.

I tipped her up and squished out a whole ton of vile yellow slime, and now I know I have to treat her for sour crop.

I have also noticed that Tulip - the worst affected with Mycoplasma - has started swelling around her eye again and is gaping a LOT.

Honestly, guys, I'm feeling a bit emotionally exhausted by it all.

My last bunch of chickens never had a health complaint between them. The one chicken that came to us sneezing just stayed that way and was never ill with it. Now, with a cleaner coop, in a better position, the birds just seem to be catching every disease going.

Just hope I can get Titanic over the sour crop. There will be no more treats or s"Ooops, word censored!"s now anyway, and I'm off to town for some fluconazole tablets. Not sure what to do with Tulip. I think I'll check her for sour crop, too, as the Tylan and immunity dip from being ill might have predisposed her to it. I'm also going to stop shutting the coop door at night as I fear there just isn't sufficient ventilation coming through the heart shaped holes at the top of the coop and I'm pretty sure there is no fox access to the run (And if there IS fox access, he can bust into the coop through the nest box anyway, so I'm not really helping by shutting the coop up at night).

As usual, I appreciate any sensible advise from you guys xxx

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Unfortunately it sounds like Titanic has a digestive impaction CPG, which has left the crop full and the contents has rotted. All you can do is keep her on a diet of water only (no point feeding her if the food isn't going through) and hope the blockage shifts. It may be caused by long grass combined with a lack of grit to grind it up.


Tulip sounds as though she has a Myco flare-up caused by the stress of you not being there. Try a one-off 1mL shot of Cod Liver Oil, which should give her a vitamin boost and boost her immune system. Presumably they have been recently wormed with Flubenvet as a worm burden can also depress the immune system.

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Undoubtedly you are right, Beantree. I can feel a dense lump in her crop. I have been hoping that emptying the gunk regularly and treatment with fluconazole would alleviate the problem, but i am beginning to feel a bit hopeless about the impaction dispersing alone.

All chickens were wormed three weeks before i got them. There is plenty of grit in a hopper that they help themselves too, and on the advice of a friend i have also scattered it around the run so they can scratch it up.

Tulip is fine. I think she's just going to be a bit of a "Ooops, word censored!"py chicken.

Am wondering now if we will have to do crop surgery to remove the blockage from Titanic. She feels very thin...

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2 of mine have had crop surgery which was very successful :D (after eating chicken bedding)

I spent a long time massaging the first one until I realised the lump just changed shape and was very mouldable.


A few days later, I noticed the same feeling lump in one of the others.


An expensive few days but well worth it.


If you can afford it and think she is up to surgery I would give it a go.

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How is Titanic doing?


We lost our last original hen to Sour Crop today. She was two years old. Poor little girl had a vet appointment at 4pm today but passed at 1pm. I've checked the other girls and topped up the grit so hopefully it's a one off. Not sure what caused it as they're not on grass and cleaned out regularly. I'm putting it down to bad luck, but will see if I can get some tonics for the other two.


Any ideas on preventing sour crop?

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An impacted crop is usually cleared by carefully dripping some cod liver or olive oil down the bird's throat, and massaging the crop firmly 3 times/day. Cut out all food for 24-36 hours, but make sure that she has plenty of liquid - I usually lace this with some poultry tonic to ensure that she gets some nutrients.


If you are going down the road of emptying crops, then please remember that they don't have a gag reflex, so make sure that you let them come up for air, and don't respirate any crop contents.


A sour crop is best emptied before treatment - don't bother with over the counter anti-fungals; give her 3mls of neat ACV twice a day for 3 days. I have just been out to treat someone's cockerel with the same problem - he had been gorging on windfall plums!!!! :roll:


Please keep their diet to just pellets with the odd bit of dark green vegetation at the end of the day only; it's when people start adding other stuff to their diet that problems occur.

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A bit late but....


I read somewhere (suspect on this forum) that live maggots were the way to go for impacted/sour crop (as the maggots eat/clear the blockage)


So I went to a fishing shop; got a big boxful. Chickens and every bird for miles around thought it was Xmas and within 24 hours (several feedings of maggots), problem all solved


I've fed maggots twice since when I thought crops looked 'not quite right', but not at 'definite problem' stage and not had an incident since

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