Monday, March 24, 2014

Sour crop chook

Our restful Sunday afternoon suddenly went in to first aid mode when Ads noticed one of our chooks was acting weird. She was bustin' some pretty funky dance moves - something like a cross between a snake and a youthful Young Talent Time hopeful. But she didn't look happy. Her eyes were blinky and her tail was droopy. After an extensive 10 minute Google lit review I diagnosed sour crop. This is when the crop gets full of sour, fermenting, smelly, acidy liquid possibly caused by some kind of fungal infection. You can feel her crop and its enlarged and soft like a balloon - so the computer told me.

The cure was unnerving. We had to make her vomit. The idea of sticking my finger down my chooks throat to release the stinking mess in her crop did not appeal to me. But as luck has it, my sister walked through the door just at this moment. Adam and Sarah are the crisis A-team. While I go all flakey and start dry reaching at the thought of leaky animals, Adam and Sarah hold their nerve. 

The strategy was to maker the chook spew then give her yogurt. Sarah also suggested adding garlic to the yogurt, Tzatziki style. Quin wanted in on the action and made mix under his aunty's watchful eye. 

Now, the vomit bit was pretty gross but not difficult to achieve. In fact Ads just picked her up and she started dripping liquid from her beak. Then he just tipped her like a teapot and more came out. You have to only do it for a few seconds at a time so they can breath. Good to know. Sarah gently pressed her crop to get the last of the liquid out. It didn't seem to distress her at all - I imagine it would have been a relief. Poor spew girl. We let her have a little run then spoon fed her the yogurt/garlic mix. We probably only got about a a teaspoon down her.

I put her in the broody box overnight with a small amount of grain mixed in with her yogurt and clean water. Poor spew girl.

This morning she seems fine, so I've let her out and will keep a close eye on her. Fingers crossed she pulls through!


  1. Well done! We sometimes have mystery sick or dead chickens and never know what's wrong with them! Will keep this in mind....

  2. Hi Liz, Yeah we have that too sometimes. But I'm happy to announce that she seems to have pulled through okay. We have 'teapotted' her most days but now she doesn't have the balloony crop and seems totally perky. We have also renamed her Teapot. :)