Sometimes baby pigeons’ crop will stretch too far, hanging down low and unable to move the food through the system.
If this happens, make a support bray by wrapping a piece of ½ inch first aid tape around the very bottom of the crop, just above the breastbone, and bring it up and under the wings, overlapping behind the neck. Feed the bird smaller amounts more frequently so as to not keep stretching the crop, and because the crop area will now be smaller and able to hold less food. The food sitting in the crop initially might need to be flushed out if the crop does not empty the first few hours after putting on the support tape. The tape can usually be removed in 2 weeks, after the crop muscle has regained its normal size.
Doves and pigeons of all ages can have holes in their crops from trauma, Trichomoniasis, predator attacks, pellets, darts, or burns from too hot formula. Crop holes are often discovered when the bird is given Gatorade or formula and it runs out over the front of the bird.
1. Assess the extent of the damage and gently clean off debris or formula to reduce risk of infection.
2. Put bird on Baytril and keep on heat (inject Baytril so it stays in the bird).
3. The bird must be given fluids if it cannot see a vet right way. If the hole is up high, insert crop needle down past the hole and give small amount of fluids or food. Repeat every 2-3 hours. If the hole is near the bottom of the crop is too large, fluids will not stay in, so birds must be injected with lactated ringer solution on the breast muscles and/or near the skin on the back of the neck.
4. A very small hole can sometimes heal itself, but generally the bird will need to see a vet for stitches ASAP.
This condition is commonly found in doves and pigeons. Food sits in the crop fermenting and developing bacteria because it cannot pass through the digestive system.
Causes can include:
1. Bacterial infection in the crop or elsewhere in the body.
2.Eating something that makes the bird sick, like spoiled or soured food from someone's picnic.
3. Dehydration. This often happens after intake when birds are fed formula before they are rehydrated with fluids, or are given formula that is too thick, too soon, or are given too much for their size. The bird's body pulls the liquid out, leaving thick formula in the crop with not enough moisture to move it along the digestive system.
4. Any other condition that causes the bird to get sick and slows down the digestive process (e.g. virus, egg binding, Trichomoniasis, pox, poisoning, etc...)
1. The best treatment is to pull out the sour food or liquid with a crop needle, then put warm water in the crop and massage it gently before pulling it out again. Repeat the process a few times. The whole process may need to be repeated at each feeding until the crop is emptying properly.
2. An alternative treatment is to give the bird warm apple juice and massage the crop gently to help with digestion. Gatorade or warm water can be used if apple juice is not available. At the next feeding repeat the process if the crop has not yet emptied and check if poop is coming out normal. Keep in mind that the longer food stays in the crop, the more it will sour and make the bird sick. If this method does not work within several hours (24 at most) the crop needs to be flushed out as in treatment # 1.
3. Feed the bird a much thinner formula in smaller amounts until the crop is emptying better. Check the poop for formation and color to also indicate digestion is working properly.
4. Put the bird on Baytril and nystatin in case of yeast infection for 10-14 days.
5. The bird needs to be on heat until its condition stabilizes.
Give us a call to speak to an experienced rehabber.