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 Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon

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fantail39



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PostSubject: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:55 pm

Hello Pigeon Angels,

I was hoping for some advice and found ur website. I am currently hand raising a baby fantail and have been since 1 day old. I done massive amounts of research and as a result he has been doing absolutely brilliantly and is now 2 wks old. However 2 days ago following a big feed i noticed his crop hadnt emptied ... i proceeded to feed him only apple cider vinegar water for 24 hours (which i have always used to mix his Kaytee formula) and massaged the crop. As a result the leftover food in the crop became very liquidy and i was sure it would pass ... however things are still slow :S ... his crop will not empty completely however as he has been pooping i have today given him small amounts of very diluted Kaytee and poops are still coming and appear normal (sometimes black, dark brown with white or dark brown tinged green with white). I know the crop needs to empty but i was nervous for him goin so long with out any kind of food ... but like i say its very dilute.

He is good in himself and very active ... i noticed that his crop appeared very saggy, so i have now attempted with vet tape to "crop bra" him. I am still concerned that the last liquidy food wont clear through still tho. I have looked in his mouth and its beautifully pink with no white patches and doesnt smell ... i hav also smelt his poop :S and they dont smell either.

Im petrified of losing him as am very attached and have gone through serious exhaustion to get him this far. Unfortunately there appears only one Avian vet in my area ... who i took him to last week to help me tape a splay leg (which has fixed beautifully) but i seemed to know more about how to care for them then she did. Im worried how long he can survive on only the small dilute amounts of Kaytee (maximum 5-6 mls at a time diluted 1 kaytee to 5 water).

Could someone offer any further reassurance or advice regarding my crop issue?? I would be extremely grateful. Many thanks.

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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi Fantail39,

Sorry to hear the baby is having difficulty emptying his crop. I would suggest five things to do asap: keep him warm, temporarily replace the formula by (human) baby apple sauce (perfect pH and easy to absorb), feed him little and often (8ml max. per feed), massage his crop frequently, but especially after a drink or feed, and get hold of Nystatin to combat any existing or latent yeast infection, which is always the consequence of a slow crop. A little warm water with ACV, as you've been doing, is also a good idea.

If the situation doesn't improve in 24 hours, the baby will have to have the contents of the crop flushed at the vet's, and will almosy certainly need an antibiotic.

The crop bra won't help in this case, unless his crop is sagging from being overfed. The presence of liquid and/or air in the crop when it should be empty indicates either a blockage (might he have canker or worms? Did he ingest something he shouldn't?), a GI tract infection (perhaps not, if he's in good spirits), or some problem with the feeding routine, like the food not being at the right temperature.

I'm including a couple of good links on slow crop / crop stasis / yeast infection. I hope that helps. Please keep us posted.

http://www.pigeonangels.com/t2435-candidiasis-infectionyeast

http://www.pigeonangels.com/t966-sour-crop-article
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:23 am

Thank you very much for that Teresa ... I actually managed to find another vet this morning a little way from me and hav just got home.

The vet examined EggBert's poop and crop matter under the microscope and found no infection, paracites or fungal :) he proceeded to remove the crop matter with tube (which was around 5 mls worth) and then rinsed with saline. He has given me a Probiotic to add to EggBerts food for the next few days and advises that i go back to the start with feedings little and often and very dilute, increasing consistency gradually each day. His thoughts are that i increased amount and consistency too quickly and hence caused the crop issue this way.

EggBert is ok but a little stressed from the procedure so am letting him settle down and warm up for a little while longer and then will get some food into him.

I will keep u posted and thanks again, fingers crossed for a healthy EggBert :)
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:40 am

Thank you so much for the wonderful update! Feeling great Celebrate

I'm so glad that the baby has been seen by someone really good and caring, and that he's going to be alright!
The crop flushing procedure your vet did is precisely as described in one of the links I'd posted. I'm so glad all the stagnant stuff has come out and didn't have enough time to start a yeast infection. Your keen observation of the little one and decisive action were top notch! Way To Go


You know what's coming up next, don't you? Now that you told us about the baby, everybody will want to see him... So if you have the chance, please post a photo of him -- I love baby pigeons! Happy

Just in case: http://www.pigeonangels.com/t709-instructions-for-posting-pictures
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:13 am

Thank you! and of course I hav taken pictures of EggBerts development :) so will try post some for you to coo over now! Laughing
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:26 am

Oh brother Sorry, ive just tried to post pics of my gorgeous EggBert but apparently as i am now to the forums, I am not allowed to for 7 days!?! :(
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:28 am

"new" to the forums!! i will see if i can contact someone to ask :)
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:07 pm

That's a new one on me!  Hmmm  I wonder why that's happening, maybe some setting changed...

If you continue having problems, email them to me and I'll post them for you!  


Last edited by Teresa on Sat May 24, 2014 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:57 am

Hi Fantail, Hi there/Bye
Welcome to Pigeon Angels. It's great to have you here.

Thank you so much for caring for Eggbert. Pigeon angel
I'm glad you were able to get him checked out and that he's doing OK.

I have never heard of having to wait 7 days before posting a picture either.
It could be just a crazy glitch or something the server has done, as I have no control over settings like that.
Whatever the case may be, I wish it would 'correct' itself. Disappointed

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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:18 am

I have emailed pictures to Teresa and hopefully she can post :) am gonna take some more today of EggBert as he looks very different and is now 15 days old Happy
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:10 pm

Eggbert is such a cutie!!! I love it/them I love it/them I love it/them







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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:22 pm

Yay!! Thanks for that :) ... his wings hav bizarrely trebled in size in the last couple of days so will take some new pics tomorrow I love it/them cheers
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:50 am

Hey guys,

Jus another update with EggBert ... his crop still appears slow :S taking about 8 - 12 hours to empty so is only getting a maximum of three 8ml Kaytee a day :( im worried this is not enough, however he is crazy active, jumping all over the place and pooping well, so i am confused!! the main reason being is that i keep reading on forums how much he "should" be eating and it appears a lot more!! Could it be that he is jus built this way?? Are Fantails smaller than other pigeons and maybe eat less?? Do pigeons crops and amounts of food jus vary in each individual bird??

I have found some organic baby apple puree today and bought a few cartons to maybe try, but hes ALWAYS been on ACV water. Like i say he is active and chirpy and appears to be growing, his feathers are getting longer and thicker every day ... should i jus accept that as long as he is happy and developing, all will be ok?? Hmmm

Thank you for reading and for ur support.

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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:59 pm

Hi Fantail39,

A maximum of 24ml formula per day really isn't enough for a baby that age. At this time, when he's growing so quickly, he should be getting much more than that, around 60ml. It's good that's he's active and lively, but at this crucial stage Eggbert needs to have adequate nutrition, otherwise his development and health will be affected.
There isn't a huge amount of difference between young squeakers of different breeds of pigeons. I don't have fantails, but I understand they are larger than common feral pigeons.

If the crop is really taking 8 hours or more to empty from an 8ml feed, there's still a problem, and you may need to phone your vet and discuss this with him/her.
The apple sauce usually allows the crop to empty a lot more quickly. It doesn't have as many nutrients as the formula, but it's very easy to digest and it keeps the right pH in the gut. I hope it will solve the slow crop problem.

Just as a rule of thumb, any patient of mine who can't manage more than 8ml of formula per feed needs to be fed every 3 hours -- but of course, the crop must have emptied before each feed.
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:13 am

Hi Fantail, Hi there/Bye
Thank you for the update and pictures. Eggbert is adorable.

Thank you for posting the photos, Teresa.

I did notice in the second picture his right leg is sticking out quiet a bit.
This could easily turn into a splayed leg situation if not watched carefully to make sure his legs are under him.

Just a thoguht . . . You might want to put a little wash cloth under him so he has something to really grip in to.

We look forward to future updates and of course photos. Smile

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:45 am

Thanks for the replies guys ... right, EggBert's crop appears to now be emptying by 6 hours and Im feeding him between 13 and 15mls a time. Ive given some of the Organic Apple Puree and hoping that is also assisting and his probiotic powder once a day. He appears well so far :) I was holding back a bit on the amount due to desperately not wanting to cause crop issues again. I will keep u posted, but am hoping to steadily increase his food intake each day.

In relation to the right leg, yes it appeared splay but I taped it up with vet tape when he was five days old and after four days it was perfect and still is and very strong :) hes flapping and hopping all over the place with no issues cheers

Just one more thing, I noticed this morning for the first time that EggBert jumped out of his little nest and began "pecking" at the kitchen towel flooring he is on ... could this mean seeds at some time soon?!?! He is three weeks old on Monday ... I did go to the pet shop the other day and saw Pigeon seed but its very big!! What would you recommend he start with??

Thanks again for your ever support and help :)
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:15 am

Hi Fantail39,

Good to know that you started correcting his splayed leg when he was 5 days old, but his bones are still hardening and it may reoccur. I agree with Cindy that it would be a good idea to make sure any surfaces he walks/rests on allow his feet to get a grip, and a donut-shaped nest (like a rolled-up, curved towel) would be great, so he can rest without putting too much weight on his legs.
The thing with splays, even slight ones, is that once they get past 3-4 weeks it's too late to do anything about it.

Please don't increase the amounts of food he's eating just yet, especially if the crop is still a bit saggy, because if some of the food accumulates in the folds it will stay there to fester and cause bacterial and fungal infections. I would go with your vet's recommendation of feeding little and often. I personally wouldn't go above 10ml five/six times a day at the moment.

Our member Matilda also recommends smaller amounts of food more often, and said that Eggbert may still need that crop bra, and that it's important to check if the formula isn't too thick.

About the seeds, he's at the age when he starts getting interested in them. That's great news! But I would hold on for a few days more, to make sure the slow crop problem is definitely cured.
After that, I usually start them on thawed frozen peas and corn, served nice and warm, popping them into his beak and well to the end of the throat, one at a time. About 35-40 three times a day is good.
Another good idea is to buy dove mix for him, which has a very similar composition to pigeon mix, but much smaller grains.
Other members offer small wild bird seeds. These aren't as nutritious, because unlike parakeets and others, little pigeons don't have the right beaks to shell them.

When his crop is functioning properly and he can safely be given seed, you can put some in a bowl and "peck" at them with your index finger and thumb, and soon enough his curiosity will lead him to copy what you're doing.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:31 am

PS. Would love to see what he looks like now!
Anything like this? http://www.albertaclassic.net/youth3.htm

You can email me the photos as before, if you like.
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:47 am

Thanks again Teresa, i really appreciate ur advice!!

Ok, i will keep it easy on the food however i am now back to work :( i hav been off for the last couple of weeks, but now back and work a minimum of 9 hours a day so tried to give him a little extra to get him through whilst im away, however my work have been very good and are trying to allow me to pop home once a shift but the timing depends on how busy we are :S (emergency services)

In relation to the leg, i did hav him sitting on an anti slip mat (used in incubators) but i took that out a couple of days ago thinking it wasnt needed, but maybe should pop it back in for a short while.

I will keep monitoring him and hopefully nex wk i will try and get him eating some peas Happy Dance

I hav been trying to take some new pictures to show u as he is really coming out with feathers now, but he doesnt sit still for a moment so they all come out blurred!!!! i will keep trying!!!
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:52 am

Ive just seen the picture ... hes not quite there yet Disappointed

Now am worried!!! his feather are good on his wings and chest, around the rear end but not quite covered on the body yet ... they are getting more and more every day so i really hope he catches up soon Very sad
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:56 am

It's really difficult to look after a youngster when you have to work 9 hour shifts! I can understand why you were trying to feed him more, less often.

I don't suppose you have anyone who can help you with that? Just a thought, when I come unstuck like that I get my veterinary clinic to look after the youngster/patient until I can manage (or the bird can). Would that be very expensive for you?
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:25 am

I have received your email Teresa ... thank you so much again for ur advice and support, i dont know where i would be without it!!

Unfortunately im having a really bad time with EggBert and im actually really scared im goin to lose him :'( ... i desperately tried to slightly increase his food amount on Friday and managed to get 35 mls in him for the day and then Saturday I only managed to get 30 mls in which did not empty. I started on Friday giving some apple sauce and all his feeds yesterday were also supplemented with it. Since Midnight this morning he has had only apple sauce every three hours ... he is doing some poops and they appear normal. As he is still small for his age, I am so scared about him losing weight with having no formula. I have again examined his mouth and there are no signs of infection and his poop still doesnt smell.

This is exactly how i prepare and serve EggBerts food and how i keep him, please tell me if i could improve anywhere; EggBert is in my room with a large plastic crate with a lid ... i leave this about 1-2 cms off to allow fresh air. he is sitting on a towel over a heat mat, there is kitchen roll down (for ease of replacing when pooped on) and i also hav some incubator non slip matting down. i hav a jar in the crate which has some water in to allow humidity. my thermometer normally reads 93 degrees for temperature and between 40 and 48% humidity. when i prepare EggBerts food i make sure my hands are clean and all utensils are boiled with hot water after use. i use ACV water to prepare his formula (Exact) and always serve this to EggBert between 102 and 104 degrees without fail. He eats well from a nipple/syringe method. I hav been mixing formula 6 parts water to about 1 and three quarters part formula ... it is nicely runny without being overly watery (hope that makes sense). As i said, i hav been adding 1 part apple sauce also. I hav been giving a pinch of probiotics and now a pinch of multi vit with calcium in one feed a day.

As it is Sunday, a suitable vet is impossible to get, therefore i am hoping to get him seen tomorrow but the vet was quite negative about the whole thing last week so im nervous he is gonna just try and put him to sleep or something :( ... i also feel that again he will tell me there is no infection like last time and if this is the case, what on earth could be wrong and causing this issue?!?!?! Very sad

also, another bit of bad news, since the mention on the forum about his splay leg (which was happily corrected), i yesterday noticed that he was not using this leg that great anymore and the toes are curled up :S ... i hav a friend popping round shortly to help me re-tape them *sigh* ... i am so attached to EggBert, i cannot imagine not having him!!! I am also so exhausted and so very emotional Not feeling well Very sad

thank you for reading x
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fantail39



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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:31 am

ps Teresa, im sorry to hear about Halo but hope she is doin ok?? well done, you certainly sound like a real pigeons angel :)
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:06 pm

Hang on in there, I'll try to find you someone in London who can help!
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing crop issues - 2 wk old baby pigeon   Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:55 pm

I've messaged several friends in the Uk -- someone has to have a reliable contact in London.

Sonja, I don't suppose you have any meds for him, as he tested negative for everything at the vet's. Whatever the vet said or says, and as everything else you did was perfectly correct, I'd have to assume he does have canker, and that's causing the sour crop and an existant or latent GI tract infection.

I've appealed on Facebook for the contacts of experienced pigeon people in London who may have the meds you require, as I know you won't be able to get them at the drop of a hat on a Sunday, and without a prescription.

He needs an antibiotic, an antiprotozoal and Nystatin.

For the sake of anyone reading this, I'm including the relevant part of my email to Sonja:

Turning the temperature up just a notch was a brilliant idea! Was there a draft, even a slight one, where Eggbert was? I usually drape a towel over the sides and back of the cage to keep the warmth in, but unwrapping the mat a bit seems to have done the trick -- good thinking!

Another idea: massaging his crop often, downwards, to encourage the food to move -- especially after meals and drinks.

What about the temperature of the food? Is it just over 90ºF too? Because if it gets too cold between preparation and feeding, it will slow down the digestion. The same goes for any drinking water.

I've also heard that sometimes the formula can thicken up into lumps in the crop and that makes it harder to digest. To be on the safe side, it might be a good idea to add just a little more water to his formula while his digestion is slow.
And the apple sauce should help a lot, as that goes through the system very easily, and the acidity helps digestion. It shouldn't have any added sugar, just the natural sugar from the fruit, or it will ferment and lead to a yeast/fungus (Candida) infection.

Although your vet tested him and he was OK, do look out for signs of:

1) Yeast infection, the most obvious signs being a sour smell coming from inside his beak, and air or excessive water retention in the crop. If you can, get some Nystatin oral suspension (marketed as Mycostatin, Nilstat or Nystex), as it's great to have on hand. The one I use is Mycostatin, 0.3ml twice a day for an adult pigeon.

2) Canker/Trichomoniasis, which is the most common cause of slow crop. In its early stages it may not be seen if not enough protozoans were present in the area tested. There are some good links here, describing the symptoms: http://www.pigeonangels.com/t238-canker-trichomoniasis
The best treatment for canker is Flagyl (Metronidazole) or that plus Spartrix (Carnidazole). Dosages depend on the bird's weight and the severity of the disease.
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