Hen had sour crop - now wont eat much and is generally feeling sorry for herself!

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Hen had sour crop - now wont eat much and is generally feeling sorry for herself!

Post by GemmaEllen »


It's been a long time since I've had to post on here, but I've got an issue with one of my Hens, Rosie. She is a Maran Cuvree, and will be 3 years old in the new year.

About a month ago, she stopped laying, after giving us an egg on a fairly regular every other day. She had been through a fairly hard molt recently, and we figured it was just her taking a breather, and let her get on with it.

Then, a couple of weeks later (Sunday 15th Sept) we noticed that her comb had flopped over, and she seemed quiet as she went up to bed.

The following day, I examined her and found a crop filled with water. Sour crop! My favourite!

We started her on the treatment we've always used - thrush cream (a dollop on the tongue every day) and nutri drops, since she was not eating anything. I was monitoring her poop as best I could, and found there was very little, generally only a yellowish splodge (the urinate?) plus the occasional tiny lump of pellet-like, dark green stuff.

After a few days of this, she wasn't getting any better, so Andy vomited her. Along with the usual nasties, I found a tightly wadded clump of fiborous green stems, which I hoped was the bulk of the problem.

Once she'd gotten over the shock of this, she seemed to perk up, and the dark green bits in her poops got bigger, and she started eating bits and pieces (cucumber - her favourite - meal worms, cat food, scrambled eggs)

Since then, we've been seeing no improvement. She keeps up with Pepper most of the time, but will go and have a sleep in a quiet spot far more often. Her comb has yet to straighten, although it's a better colour now (less grey!)

Today, however, she seems to have gone the other way a bit. More sleeping and, although she's happy to much her way through a cucumber innards, she's stopped eating anything else that I can see. I checked her crop before she went up to bed and it was squishy with liquid - but that is probbably just the cucumber. There were grainy bits that I could feel, but not many.

I will check in the morning to see if her crop is empty. Assuming it is, whats going on? The weather did take a turn yesterday, with torrential rain, and we wondered if this would make her more tired (having to keep herself warm etc, on top of being ill)

I've considered medicating for worms, but I'm just not sure she's up to it yet - I know worms give off toxins as they die and I'm not convinced she'd survive that.

I'd love to hear if anyone has any suggestions!

Thanks in advance.

Rosie (front)  and Pepper (back) when both were healthy!
Rosie (front) and Pepper (back) when both were healthy!
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Re: Hen had sour crop - now wont eat much and is generally feeling sorry for herself!

Post by chrismahon »

Sour crop will be accompanied by slimy smelly poos so it sounds to me like a digestive impaction. This can be caused by worms in large numbers preventing any undigestible solids from passing through the gut- in our case it was often cherry stones. After the digestive system blocks the crop contents will eventually go sour and you didn't mention smelly crop contents. My only suggestion is worming her, accepting that she may not survive it. In cases like this we mix Flubenvet with olive oil and dose them by syringe. A hen would normally eat 150g of food a day so you can calculate the dosage as a scoop of flubenvet treats 2Kg of feed I think?
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