Home » chickens » Cleo has sour crop

Cleo has sour crop

At least I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. Last night she didn’t want anything to do with her bedtime treats, which is very unusual, and was hesitant to go into her coop. Then, after work today, she didn’t come to greet me with Gloria, and I tried to tempt her with a cuddle in the hammock, but she still wouldn’t come out of the bushes. She was just crouched in there with her tail drooping. I was finally able to lure her out and examine her, and discovered her chest to be very soft and swollen. After doing some research, sour crop sounded like the most logical answer, probably from eating long stringy grass that got impacted into her crop. Jonah helped me dribble olive oil into her beak, and then I massaged her crop for quite awhile, trying to use upward motions, which she actually really seemed to enjoy, and occasionally I would tip her downwards at about 60 degrees to try to get her to spit out some of the sour acid. I was scared to keep her upside down for more than a couple of seconds, though, as I hear they can’t breathe while they are in this position. Eventually she did spit out some very smelly acid, and we also put a squirt of olive oil in her water, which she drank a little of, and then she pooped what looked like some runny acidy poop as well. I’ve read that we need to do this 3 times a day for a few days to clear it up, and that maybe some pro-biotic yogurt will also help with possible infections. Any other ideas out there? I really want my sweet girl to get well soon! She looks so sad and pathetic with her droopy comb and tail.

hen with sour crop, a droopy comb and tail


6 thoughts on “Cleo has sour crop

  1. Oh dear. I hope you’ve moved any blockage that might have been there and she gets well soon.

    Has she laid an egg in the past couple of days? Bronwyn has had something like this (tail down – I called it “high bum” because she arched her back funny which made her bum go up and her tail go down. Each time she laid a bad egg (soft, broken shell with the contents running out). Her behaviour is (it’s happened about 4 times) that she doesn’t lay in the morning as usual and then in the afternoon or next morning we see that drooping tail posture, she naps, looks lethargic and doesn’t eat. We carry her down to the coop where she clearly doesn’t want to be at sunset. Once she ran back out to the shrubs where we’d picked her up and immediately laid a messy pile of soft shell and egg. Another time she stayed in the coop and laid a mess under her roost. The other 2 times she laid bad eggs in the run but not in her nest box. I posted about it here http://laurarittenhouse.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/bronwyn-bounced-back/

    Bronwyn has recovered each time with little or no intervention (we did massage her crop – though didn’t feed her oil or anything else) and I hope Cleo does as well.

    • Thanks! I was remembering Bronwyn’s issues, and just went back to read that post again. But Cleo has been laying regularly and well up until today. Her last egg was yesterday morning. Gloria is the one with the weird egg issues right now, but she seems healthy and happy. I read that a droopy tail is a typical sign that chickens aren’t feeling well in general, which is actually really helpful for us. I don’t know if I would have known for sure that something was wrong otherwise.

      • The problem is, knowing she’s unwell doesn’t help a lot. It’s really hard to help chickens heal. It’s up to mother nature in most cases. I hope she takes pity on poor Cleo.

        As for her laying well, one time Bronwyn was droopy the first day she didn’t lay an egg. I wonder what goes on inside her and if it hurts or what. I don’t think it needs to take days to build up. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Cleo.

  2. Oh poor Cleo. I hope she gets better soon 😦 I don’t know much about chickens at all (the ones I have now being the first in years) but I’m sure you are giving her all the help she needs. Thinking of you all. ❤

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