Sour crop or “crop stasis,” is a condition by which a baby parrot has a crop or some food in its crop which is causing the bird to be ill. The crop is a small pouch of skin above the stomach which stores food before it is pushed down into the stomach. If the food the bird eats is bad or if the food in the crop goes bad, then the parrot suffers from ‘sour crop’. Sour crop leads to a lot of other diseases inside the parrot which eventually results in death and this is why such a symptom should be identified before it brings about the effects of sour crop.
One of the most widespread troubles that a parrot encounters is sour crop and it gives a red alert signal for the vet as it needs to be treated immediately.
There are many causes of crop stasis and some of them include:
- Fungal infection: The food that you might have given to the bird might be infected by fungus.
- Bacterial infection: The bad food intake might cause any bacterial infection anywhere in the intestinal track of the bird.
- Obstruction:This is the indigestion of any food or foreign objects inside the parrot given during the day.
- Viral diseases:This accounts to proventricular dilatation disease
- Metabolic diseases: Diseases like liver malfunction and pancreatitis can also be a cause.
- Improper feeding: Improper feeding of young birds might also cause an infection like this. Young birds who are being hand fed, might show change of a symptom like this because of extremes of temperature in the food, or improper consistency of the food or even maybe the climatic conditions which might not suit the bird.
- Vomiting, diarrhea or regurgitation
- The crop being over distended
- Decreased appetite -the birds will be in no condition of eating, and you might notice a decrease in their appetite.
- Lethargy – excessive sleeping, keeping their head under the wing, ruffled feathers indicate that the birds are too weak to stay awake and an immediate call for the vet is necessary.
- Less active: the birds will be less interested in food and will not respond to any kind of sound.
If you observe any of the effects of sour crop listed above then you need to immediately contact a veterinarian so that he can immediately remove the spoiled food from their body as quickly as possible. In most birds, the food is removed through a tube passed orally. But this specifically depends on the size of the food and the condition of the bird.
When a bird has been suffering from sour crop they will also be suffering from dehydration and an intake of fluid is essential. So once the parrot has been attended to by the vet ensure that there is a good clean supply of water for the parrot to drink.
Sour crop is more prevalent in baby and young parrots as they cannot always feed as easily and are not always aware of how much they have eaten and the quality of what they have eaten. In saying that, it can occur in older birds too so a parrot owner needs to keep a regular check on their parrot in terms of their eating habits, lifestyle and health. Any change in their usual habits should be taken into immediate consideration.