This is caused by a yeast infection which makes the crop lining sore and inflamed. The condition is sometimes called thrush and can be successfully treated.
- The crop feels like a balloon which has filled with water. Gentle pressure applied to the crop when picking the hen up may cause fluid to spill out from her beak.
- Classic sour crop has a foul smell and the fluid which is voided is often brown, although this is not always the case.
- The hen may frequently flick her head.
- Damp or mouldy feed.
- Following a course of antibiotics.
- Sour crop is often secondary to other issues and may recur if the underlying cause is not discovered.
Note that this home remedy is not intended to offer a cure or replace veterinary treatment, but may alleviate symptoms where no professional support is easily available. The suggestions are based on experience gained with our own hens.
- Seek veterinary advice.
- If veterinary support cannot be found, a home remedy may be offered as follows:
- Withhold food and water for 24 hours to allow the crop to naturally empty as much as possible.
- On an empty crop, dose apple cider vinegar (diluted to the manufacturers recommendations) syringed into the side of the beak.
- 12 hours after the apple cider vinegar administration a few sips of tepid water can be offered together with a small amount (teaspoon) of soft solid food.
- Monitor to check the sour crop does not return and gradually build up to normal rations of feed and water.
- Store feed in weather-proof, rodent-proof containers.
- Use a probiotic following any course of antibiotic.