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Slow Crop or Sour Crop

When food sits in the crop of a baby bird and doesn’t move out properly, bacteria and yeast can grow and cause problems.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: August 7, 2013, 11:45 a.m. PDT


When food sits in the crop of a baby bird and doesn’t move out properly, bacteria and yeast begin to proliferate.


Slow or sour crop is a symptom of a motility problem of the GI tract. A baby bird that doesn’t digest its food properly can then suffer from other problems, such as dehydration, bacterial infection, fungal infection, toxemia, malnutrition.


The old formula needs to be pumped out of the crop within 12 to 24 hours by a professional. The bird may need fluids administered under the skin, intravenously or intraosseously.


Take your bird to an avian vet (one who practices mainly on birds) for a thorough checkup. The vet may recommend antibiotics and antifungal medication.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health section is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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