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sour crop,if my hen has it will she die

(13 Posts)
floaty Mon 29-Sep-08 20:50:45

Really confused here ,think I have been sent home with chicken to die,all because we gave her some sweetcorn,didn't think it was that bad it was only yesterday surely things can't have gone so wrong in one day.Dh away at work(as usual)ds1 the only one big enough to be any use hates chickens ,I am knee deep in work and I don't know what to do.Some web advice is to give yogurt and oil ,breeder says nothing but water ,gave me massive lecture about how they shouldonly eat pellets ...how do you manage this if they are free ranging?

mistlethrush Mon 29-Sep-08 21:03:10

What's the problem - had chickens for a long time, although not at the moment. Always freerange, they didn't like pellets.

tortoiseshell Mon 29-Sep-08 21:14:45

Ok, don't panic!

Sweetcorn is absolutely fine. Ideally they should have pellets first and if you want to give treats it should be later on in the afternoon, to avoid blocking the crop up.

Sour crop is when the contents of the crop ferment. If she has this, the crop will feel swishy, like it's full of water, and her breath may smell.

An impacted crop is one where the food has impacted so that the crop can't empty. It will feel like there is a 'lump' in the crop.

In both cases, the crop will be suspiciously full in the morning, when it should have emptied overnight. But a lump could signify impacted crop, a squishy crop could be sour crop.

To treat;

Sour crop - a vet can prescribe Nystatin which is an anti-fungal medicine, and possibly baytril which is an antibiotic, if it is a bacterial infection causing it. Live yoghurt can also help. You can also 'flush' the crop - if you sort of hold her with her head downwards and massage the crop, some of the liquid may come out.

Impacted crop - again, massaging the contents may break it up a bit, you can also give the bird olive oil (syringe it in) to help the contents slip down. Otherwise a vet can operate.

Seems strange advice from the breeder - have you only just got the bird? Which breeder was it? Most places offer a few weeks 'guarantee'.

floaty Mon 29-Sep-08 21:16:33

Had chickens a week,only hybrids;2 speckledys and a bluebelle,breeder says only give them pellets nothing else but does mention that the odd treat in the afternoon would be OK says they love sweetcorn (all 5 of us hear him say this)also says keep on grass as slabs can give bumblefoot(?).

Yesterday saw friends (husband is vet)who give their hens alsorts,ds2 desparate to give ors a treat so gives thema bit of sweetcorn.Today one of the speckledys is very off colour,only wants to stay in coop,if put in run very subdued and docile and sleepy.Pop around to breeder (30mins away) this evening as worried he empties crop manually by holding hen upsude down and gives me a lecture on feeding anything other than pellets ,practically accuses me of murdering hen,also says not good to be on grass (his are mostly on grass).Hen now in pet box with water,he says keep her like this for 48 hours then put in separate run and try to getherbeating before reintroducing to the others.

Petrified hen ,ds2 with SEN is devoted already ,will die whist I am at work and have read all sorts of stuff online about feeding oil and stuff not sure I feel confident about that yet.We did do a lot of researcha dn didn't take this on lightly but general advice was that on the whole hens were fairly straightforward,now feel completely daunted

floaty Mon 29-Sep-08 21:21:00

Sorry that should read get her eating before reintroducing!We got the hens from the Hen House at Eye

tortoiseshell Mon 29-Sep-08 21:37:53

She doesn't sound very well, but it's not necessarily a death sentence. Having said that, hens can go off colour very quickly, and sometimes a move can be stressful for them and can cause them to develop problems - I had one die within 4 days of getting her. The place I got them from offered a replacement, but I asked for dry products instead to the value of the hen which they were happy to do.

Slabs - absolutely don't give bumblefoot. I keep mine on slabs with aubiose/easibed. If they have a very big jump down from the roost or from the house onto slabs and are a heavy breed then I suppose you might get bumblefoot. Long grass can be an issue as it can get tangled round the food and cause an impacted crop.

Now this speckeldy - are you convinced about the sour crop diagnosis? In which case, give some live yoghurt and if you've got a decent vet who knows about chickens take her along if she doesn't perk up. If it's sour crop, then there's no need to separate her particularly - I would make sure she has water. When I got 2 new ones, one was very under the weather following the journey, and I gave her beef cat food with some poultry spice for a few days - made sure she could get some before the others scoffed it! It does seem to perk them up if they're a bit under the weather.

Tbh I would keep her in there with the others unless she is coughing or anything, because it could be a nightmare reintroducing her. Will keep thinking - hope she is better in the morning! Hens are both very good at hiding when they are ill until they are at death's door, and also believing they are dying when in fact they've got a tummy ache or something! smile

tortoiseshell Mon 29-Sep-08 21:38:57

I should add, the breeder REALLY should replace her if she doesn't recover - it is fairly normal practice to offer a couple of weeks guarantee, and the place I got 2 of my hybrids from gave a month's guarantee.

floaty Tue 30-Sep-08 09:05:13

Weel after all that panic,hen sems much better this morning,we have put her back in the runa dn she went staight down with the others ,I know the breeder said to keep her separate but we don't really have the facilities and also I was worried that as she was the bottom hen anyway we might have problems if we kept her out of the run ..so we will see how she does today

tortoiseshell Tue 30-Sep-08 17:31:09

Glad she's feeling better! Try them all on the catfood/poultry spice mixture to give their immune systems a boost.

floaty Tue 30-Sep-08 20:16:55

What sort of catfood do you use and do you just mix the poultry spice in with it?Thanks for al the help by the way,it is really reassuring to have all these experts at the end of a keyboard

tortoiseshell Tue 30-Sep-08 20:41:27

Just any sort in jelly, not gravy! Yes, just mix a small amount of poultry spice in with the food. You might want to get organic, but I usually just get Whiskas. It's important to use cat food not dog food, as cat food is higher protein, dog food is more carbs. You can also mash up some hard boiled egg for them which they love, and helps give them a protein boost!

Other things you can use are bokashi bran which helps their digestion, citricidal in the water or apple cider vinegar - all of which help keep the hens healthy. The bokashi bran also stops their poo smelling so bad (always a good thing).

How is the invalid this evening?

floaty Tue 30-Sep-08 22:36:31

Much better thank you ,after my telling off yesterdayI will have to summon my courage to feed anything other than pellets !she seems to be quite cheerful and is snuggled up with the other two in the roosting area I just hope it continues tomorrow.

moondog Tue 30-Sep-08 22:38:29

'sour crop'
What a great mediaeval sounding ailment!
(Hope chook is rallying. Obv.)

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