Question How to treat sower crop

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Bamboochicken, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Bamboochicken

    Bamboochicken Member Premium Member

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    Hello everyone. I have a chicken with sower crop. I have had other chickens with sower crop and all have died. I wondered if anyone could help?
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    'Sour' crop is caused by a variety of mostly environmental circumstances.

    Sometimes they don't get enough grit or the wrong type of grit that is not big enough to grind the grain.
    Sometimes the grain mix is not right for the time of the cycle the hen is at so it doesn't get digested soon enough before it goes off.
    Sometimes the hen is not drinking enough water to mix with the type of grain she is consuming.
    There is a fungus that chooks can get in the crop. It is often on the grain & if the conditions in the crop are not correct, it allows that fungus to grow & multiply. The fungus is called Candida albicans. Its a little bit like thrush that humans get & lives in the moist lining of the organ.
    Chooks that are fed on the ground are more susceptible to getting Candida from the manure in the soil or from mouldy grain.
    Best to rake the manure away daily if you like to throw the grain on the ground. Or throw the grain on the short lawn grass.
    Rodent droppings in food left in a bowl, tray or on the ground can also harbour various diseases including this fungus & other ails that can upset the natural flora of the crop.

    The usual veterinary treatment for sour crop is either Nystatin or fluconazole both of which are antifungals given orally using a 1ml syringe into the beck at roosting time when the chook is easier to catch.

    But by far the best way to clear up sour crop is to clean up the living environment of the chooks. So rake the manure away daily, don't allow water to overflow & cause wet patches of soil or bedding, make sure the roosting area or night perch is not above the egg laying or feeding part of the pen or coup. Make sure the chooks have free range on clean ground daily. If they are co-housed with ducks, make sure the chooks have separate dripper drinkers so they are not forced to drink the polluted water the ducks use. Ducks poo in the water & if other poultry are forced to drink that water they can get quite sick.

    Worm the chooks with chemical wormer. Sorry about that one but the only stuff that works is horse, sheep,cow, pig wormer based on pyrental & ivermectin which might be called Moxidectin in many countries.
    ACV, garlic, wormwood, etc don't work once the chook is infected & has adult breeding worms in its system.

    Massaging to crop is one way to release the undigested grain from the crop if it is tightly packed. However this can be painful for the hen if the crop is very impacted. Flushing with a light solution of epsom salts can help remove the impacted grain or milky gunk.

    So get an antifungal, administer according to directions, clean up the pen thoroughly, get a closed feeder so rodents & chooks cant poo in the feed. Only feed clean feed that has not gone rotten or mouldy.

    Natural remedies that may assist are ACV 1tablespoon per gallon or 4lt. This may create an undesirable environment for the fungus to keep living in the lining of the crop. If the chook wont drink due to feeling ill, then use a 1ml syringe & drop a little down the throat. Be careful about doing this as the chook may aspirate it into the lungs.
    Copper Sulphate may help also but it is an involved recipe requiring the making of a stock solution then breaking it down to a much weaker drinking solution.
    Feeding unsweetened yoghurt can also help re-establish a good crop environment.

    Chook guts sour crop 1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  3. Bamboochicken

    Bamboochicken Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the help I'll try now
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Might pay to read my post again since I edited & updated it just a minute ago.
     
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  5. Bamboochicken

    Bamboochicken Member Premium Member

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  6. Annebelle

    Annebelle Member Premium Member

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    Hi
    I give my chooks Diatomaceous Earth mixed in their feed for intestinal problems. Also I always mix Apple Cider Vinegar into their bucket of water. About 1/2 cup to a bucket. So I never have mites (dust boxes with DE (diatomaceous earth) or worms or very rarely have sour crop. I have done this for a couple of years and very successful. Some say the chooks will get dust on their eyes but I’ve never found any problems. My chooks are bit and really healthy and happy.
    Hope this helps.
    Anne
     
  7. Bamboochicken

    Bamboochicken Member Premium Member

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    She died last night:(thanks for the advice anyway.
     
  8. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    So sad about your chicken Bamboo. I'm sure you tried your best.

    Re what Annabelle said re DE etc. I would want to see a faecal egg count done before I was sure my alternatives were working.
    I'm as green as the next person but I also know from experience that many alternative remedies for worms & mites don't work well enough to keep the population healthy.
    Afterall, intestinal worms have evolved to live in the most atrocious conditions inside the gut & adding a bit of grit or herb certainly does not change the environment enough to kill them. Also nothing gets through worm egg shells.

    I went through the 7yr process to have my property certified organic so I could sell my produce for the premium it deserved, but due to needing to worm both horses & chooks it was not possible (if I wanted to use the manure on the gardens & orchards & have the chooks free range).
    It was such a heart break but I wanted healthy animals.
    The very expensive Faecal egg counts for both horses & chooks showed the green alternatives were not working. The chooks still had dirty bums & a few various types of mites now & then & the horses were ragged with dull coats.
    So it was back to chemical wormers & no certification.

    However all this does not mean you should not use those products. ACV & DE are both good for all animals for other reasons, just not as the sole wormer.
    I dusted my chooks, their perches, nest boxes & the ground in the pen with a combo of DE & yellow copper & something else I cant remember right now. I made it up in the toe of a stocking & puffed it all over the birds after covering their eyes with one hand at roosting time in the evening when they were much easier to handle. If they got a few mites on their legs I applied a mix of coconut oil with tea tree oil drops to their legs & feet which worked most of the time. Red mites are much harder to kill but you can smother them with oil. Its why the old timers used old engine oil.
    There are a myriad of good solutions that mostly work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  9. Owlonthewing

    Owlonthewing Active Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the great explanations ClissAT. Really good info.
    So sad Bamboo you sound like you did the best you could.
    I will be raking out our pens tomorrow.
    Does it help to keep lots of straw etc on the ground and if so how often should I change it. I notice it is always really dusty should I wet the soil a bit or will this encourage more disease.
     
  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I used camphor laurel sawdust from my local men's shed which I got in wool bales. But I'm sure it was available in smaller horse feed bag sizes too.

    I didn't use hay or chaff due to the shed having a leaky roof so in the wet season there might be wet patches on the ground.

    Being camphor it had a mild airway clearing effect & was a slight antibacterial.
    However someone scolded me roundly for forcing chooks to breathe in the camphor aroma & 'fumes'. I felt I had aired the sawdust enough so the 'bad' fumes had escaped.
    Also I always raked out the pen after letting the chooks out in the morning.
    If the sawdust needed replacing I did it then as well. I fed the chooks outside in trays on the crusher dust so they rarely went back inside for a few hours.
    I never felt the chooks suffered any sort of bad effect from using it.
    I do know that in the latter stages when 2 of them were in their last weeks of life when they were getting lung congestion at night time, the camphor smell helped clear their airways by morning.
    They got lung congestion at night because they were not moving around & their heads were nestled into their feathers close to the level of their lungs so there was no drainage occurring. On the nights after I replaced the sawdust under their perches, they had clear lungs in the morning.

    The sawdust was very course & not very dusty because I got it from under the big rip saw at the men's shed. The men's shed processed large wide planks of camphor laurel logs regularly so the sawdust was pretty much 100% camphor. Some sawdusts are not good to use such as hardwood from freshly cut, still sappy logs.
    Pine sawdust from under a rip saw would yield the same sized particles & very little dust, but without the camphor aroma.
    Sawdust that is not dusty is a very good absorbent ground cover.
    Whereas hay & chaff will get wet & stay wet, then go mouldy. I don't think it is advisable to hose down the ground except in the middle of the day in summer time when there will be time for the ground to dry before dark.

    I also purchased from Bunnings, what is called a Patio Rake made by Cyclone. It is a small rake with a short(ish) handle but has very broad tynes.
    It was very helpful for raking the poo out of the sawdust which I added to the big compost pile.
    It also had a flat side that I could use to push the sawdust up into heaps around the sides of the pen if there were any wet areas of dirt due to the old leaky roof.
    I used to push the older sawdust towards the door & add new sawdust to the cleared area. That way it was always being renewed about a third of the pen floor each time. I made sure it was always at least 10cm deep, much deeper infront of the perches so when they flew down in the mornings they landed on the soft footing.

    Actually I did more 'housework' in the chook pen than I did in my house! But all in all the 4mx2m chook house took me around 15mins to do the housework each morning. I raked & moved the sawdust, added replacement from 2x 20lt drums which I kept in the corner, put the poo on the compost pile, cleaned & replaced the hanging water container, checked for eggs. During that time the chooks ate their breakfast outside. Then I picked up the feed trays, hosed them off & picked a large bunch of greens to feed the chooks. Sometimes I sat with them particularly in winter when the sun warmed the front of the pen. They never left the pen/chook house area to free range until I went back to the house to refill the drums of sawdust.
     
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  11. Owlonthewing

    Owlonthewing Active Member Premium Member

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    So I spent the whole day out with the chooks and the Quail. I raked out both the pens and did a lot of cleaning up. I am sure the girls all appreciated the extra attention.
    I have a few gum trees near the pens so I raked up lots of old leaves and put them in with the quails. They loved them. When I went out this morning they were all sitting happily camouflaged in amongst the leaves.
    I set up some compost bays to put all the used straw etc from both pens. Hopefully I will be able to use this on the garden later. I also planted up some big pots of wormwood and placed them near the doors so the chooks brush past it when they come out each morning.
    I don't know of any sawdust around our area but we do have a Men's shed so I will check with them.
    Thanks for your help.
    Owl
     
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  12. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I had a little titter to myself thinking of those quail.
    They'll be thinking they have gone to heaven now having all that camouflage material at their disposal.
    Just watch out for ticks in the gum litter but I guess the quail will be onto them anyway.
    I'm sure your men's shed will have some sawdust or shavings for you particularly if you can take a 20kg fertilizer or chook food bag to gather it in.
    In your case you might find the shavings to be better than the fine sawdust that ordinary saws would create.
    If you can get onto some canna plants, they will grow very fast & provide the bulk greenery to go with the dry material from your poultry pens to keep your compost in balance while it works down.
    Even if the cannas aren't yours, offer to cut them down periodically for their owner. Munch up the course stems by running over them with the mower then mix it all through the dry stuff & stand back as it heats up!
     
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  13. Owlonthewing

    Owlonthewing Active Member Premium Member

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