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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to share my experience with sour crop, in case anyone else is having problems. I have 6 chicks, about 5 weeks old, and they've been in their outside coop for about 2 weeks. I started letting them go out of the coop about 5 days ago and 3 days ago I noticed an enlarged crop on one of the chicks. I did some research, checked her again in the morning, and it was, indeed, sour crop. I have not separated her from the flock. I did look up how to make her vomit, and tried it a couple times without a result. I don't think I was tipping her upside down enough. So, I tried again and achieved vomit. I've been making her vomit 2 different times a day, usually mid morning and late afternoon, as to give plenty of rest in-between so I don't stress her too much. She's hanging in there. Still has energy, running around and doing usual chicken stuff. I'm just hoping that I can get the problem out so she can get better. She is thin, but food coming up is digesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I noticed yesterday afternoon that her crop feels like it is full of grit/rocks. I can't feel any squishy part anymore. I tried to make her vomit before bedtime, but there was nothing. She's still in good spirits, and she has a very full crop this morning (Friday). This has been going on for almost a week. I massage her crop before trying to make her vomit each time. I added apple cider vinegar to their water starting on Monday. Organic acv, that says 'with the mother'. I feel like I'm just prolonging what is meant to happen. But I can't take myself to kill her, on the chance she will get better, and I can't just not do anything to try to help, but I can't justify spending a few hundred dollars on a vet visit and surgury.
 

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Were you sure it was sour crop? What were the signs that told you that ? Just curious, I have yet to have a bird with sour crop.
 

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I wouldn't try to make her vomit. Give her a little olive oil and massage the crop to try to break up whatever is blocking the passage of food. You can soak small pieces of bread in olive oil to help get things moving.

Apyl, a sour crop is enlarged and feels like a water balloon and they tend to have an odor coming from their beak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sure it was sour crop. Her chest looked swoollen on the right side, so I touched it, and it was indeed squishy. I didn't put my face up to her beak to 'smell her breath', but as I was carrying her, she did throw up on me (I was just carrying her normal, not upside down) and it smelled terrible! I did a lot of research online, watching videos, and reading about how to make her vomit, so I didn't hurt her, it is actually quite easy, and I hold her whole body so she feel secure and gently massage the crop with an upward push to help it come out. I don't hold her upside down for more than 10-15 seconds at a time, and give her a good minute of being upright before trying it again. Last night I noticed her crop feels like its full of rocks. And this morning too, I tried to vomit her around 10am, and nothing came up (only tried twice, with a good massage before attempting). I will try some oil-soaked bread for her tonight. Thanks for the suggestion. Feeling a crop full of gravel is frustrating me a little. It could be food though, she is eating and drinking. I may mix their food with yogurt for a day, seeing as that won't hurt any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She wouldn't eat the bread, but everyone else did. She also won't eat plain yogurt, so I'll mix some food in with it to see if that helps. Seems she's getting something out of what she's eating because she sure is pooping a lot this morning. Some solid, some wet, but about 6 different poops in about 10 minutes. That encourages me a bit, so I'll just massage her crop and watch her intake and output or the next couple days and hopefully she can go back with her sisters early next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She got better on the yogurt/feed diet. Her crop went back to normal size, and she looked in good spirits. However, when I put her back in the coop with her sisters her crop swelled again, so we put her down. I didn't have the patience or time to have a chicken in the house for another week or two, just to have her crop possibly swell again. Plus, 2 of the 4 humans in the house are very allergic to feathers, so the health of the children/ adults in the home was more important to me.
 

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Didn't happen to open up that crop and see what was going on did you? From what I've read from other folks, a bird with that level of sour crop going on isn't eating or pooping a whole lot..usually just sitting around fluffed up.

If I were you I'd do an examination of her crop to see just what was happening, if it was enlarged, inflamed, full of a foreign substance that was blocking adequate function, etc.

Depending on what a chicken eats, a full crop can feel squishy and the stuff that comes out can smell a little sour or off, depending on how long it's been in there or what she is eating.

I've never had a chicken with sour crop before either and I've had chickens quite a few years, so when I hear of all these sour crops I'm always wondering if folks are just seeing a full crop and thinking the bird is suffering from it or what? You'd think if it was that common a person who has had a lot of chickens would run across it every now and again....
 
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