Sick Chicken In the House – All Is Well

All fluffed up and ready to re-enter the barnyard!

All fluffed up and ready to re-enter the barnyard!

I am very happy to report that my sick hen, Sofia, aka Short Beak is getting along fine now.  She had sour crop, which I suspected from the research I did BEFORE I took her to the vet.  The confirmation came during my wait at the vet, when I used my smartphone to get an answer as to why Sofia had stinky burps (yes!)

Notice I didn’t say the vet confirmed this.  Because she didn’t.  While she was very nice, I was there for TWO HOURS.  She kept on going in and out of the exam room.  I was totally convinced she was Googling “chicken diseases” on her computer in the back.    She tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to empty the crop.

I found this vet online and with a few phone calls because I didn’t have a chicken vet. Dog vet, yes. Goat vet, yep, a nice old dude who only does goats. I’ve even got a pig vet (the ONLY vet I’ve found that does pigs) who might treat chickens but he is not a nice man and I don’t like him.  So I called a few vets and took Short Beak to the first one who said, “Yes, we can treat chickens!”

When I got home, I was SO mad at myself.  I didn’t trust my ability to make a correct diagnosis (which I did) mainly because the information online, especially the appropriate treatment, was all over the place.  After about thirty minutes of research my head was spinning.  No two recommendations were the same.  Use apple cider vinegar in her water – no, use baking soda! !  Get antibiotics – don’t do that!  Feed her eggs – no food! Make her throw up – no, you’ll kill her!

Liberty the rooster was right on the other side of the gate, waiting for her to return!

Liberty the rooster was right on the other side of the gate, waiting for her to return!

I am such a newbie at this whole thing farm animal thing and I got frustrated at the sheer volume of information available to me, especially with a sick chicken on my lap.  Yet later on, I realized there’s a great community of people out there giving honest advice on what’s worked for them.  I think I’ll trust myself, and all of you, more the next time this happens.

Oh, and by the way….thanks!

Short Beak and Hermione.    A little welcome home moment.

Short Beak and Hermione. A little welcome home moment.

(Shared at Clever Chicks Blog HopHomestead Barn HopBackyard Farming Connection HopYou’re Gonna Love It TuesdayDown Home Blog Hop, Link Love ThursdayHomeAcre Hop, Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest and Farm Fun Friday!)


  1. So what did you finally do…or the vet finally did?
    Linda recently posted…A Project With One of My Grandchildren

    • I have no idea what made the difference! I did a LOT of crop massage. The vet did get some, but not much very vile stuff out. She also gave me antibiotics but I decided to use them only if Sofia got worse.

      I’m voting on lots of TLC, some peace and quiet, and the massage – I think that might have loosened up whatever was stuck.

  2. I’m so glad she’s doing better! I know what you mean about seeing so many different remedies and not knowing which ones to trust. Like you, I’ve come to trust forums and actual people more than wikipedia or any other site. I find backyard chickens to help with almost everything. The people on their forums are so nice and knowledgeable! Anyhow, I hope she stays healthy for you!

  3. I am so happy to hear she is doing better. I wonder too sometimes if one of my girls got sick what I would do. The internet and the blogging community is such a wealth of information and I do find some comfort in that. We in a an ag area but don’t have vet’s for chickens either.
    A View From A Brown Dog recently posted…Bud Break and Green Sangria, our weekend in photos

  4. It is very frustrating when you can’t find a vet who knows about chickens. The vet I take my animals to is fabulous and I really like her, but honestly I’ve found better info online (backyard chickens forum) and from other chicken keepers than what I’ve learned at the vet. The vet is great if you need medicine, but to really know what is going on I’ve found other chicken keepers are a better resource. Where I live, most people would just cull a sick chicken with not a second thought, so the vet never sees them in her office.
    Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods recently posted…Once Upon a Flock: Review and Giveaway!

    • I agree Tammy! I’m learning to rely on myself and online info more and more. I don’t like having a sick chicken, but I do love this new adventure I’m on with the animals!

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have some friends who won’t touch my “knarly” eggs, lol! Or, “My wife won’t eat THOSE kind of eggs”.

    Oh well, more for me 😉

    Glad your girl is doing better, it’s so hard to find someone who will treat chickens. I live in chicken country and still haven’t found one.
    Grace recently posted…Eggs for my friends – Yay for bloom!

  6. I found you through the Down Home Blog Hop today Joan. I am so glad to hear the good end the story earlier in the week. Chicken care is new to us too. I find online forums very helpful. We recently took two of our chickens to a local vet after a dog attack and they were fabulous. Used to dealing with dogs and cats, we found both vets more than willing to help and our two girls had everyone fall in love with them. Yesterday when I took Breanna back for the last time (hopefully) for stitch removal everyone greeted her and knows her name. They are now seriously contemplating getting a few chooks for the surgery to hang around in the back yard. We live in coastal New South Wales in Australia but we are semi rural.

    • Thanks for stopping by Fiona – long way from Australia to Colorado – gotta love the Internet! Glad your girls got good care from your vet. Ours was nice but maybe not very skilled in chicken care. And the bill for the care was so expensive – I’m sticking with being the chicken nurse for them myself from here on out!