A month or so ago some of our chicken-keeping neighbors down the block had to go out of town. They left the chickens in the care of their housemates. The housemates, not being used to chickens, were not prepared to deal with a case of sour crop that hit one of the chickens.
What is sour crop? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I can try to explain it. The crop is where chickens sort of chop up and begin digesting the food they eat. Sometimes they eat too much or too fast or something bad for them and that affects the crop. In this case, the crop (which is in the chest) feels like a big squishy water balloon. With many crop issues you have to massage the crop to help food go down. With sour crop, you also have to help the chicken barf. Yes, chicken vomit.
So we went over a couple times a day over that weekend to tip the chicken upside down and see if she'd vomit, then massage her crop. We also gave her a bowl with water and apple cider vinegar to help, and no food. Don't want to add more to that mess!
Oh, I should say 'we' as in Jeremy. I watched, but he's the one that got chicken vomit on his pants, and he's the one that did the massaging. I did the...moral support. Yes, moral support.
It seems to have done the trick and the the chicken is just fine these days.
Anyway, a couple weeks ago these friends came by with an incredible gift basket! A fresh loaf of bread they'd just made, some things they had canned, and a beautiful basket. Such a great thank you gift! It's great to have so many chicken-keeping, canning/preserving, homestead-y friends in this neighborhood.
Isn't that a sweet gift!? =)