A crop full of food in the morning

1. This condition is found commonly especially during the racing season. Obviously when a bird shows this ALL IS NOT WELL.

2.The most common causes of this would be:

a. Fatigue from recent hard training toss or race. When a bird is tired its Digestion would slow down resulting in the detection of the undigested food in the crop the following morning. Some birds returning late from a toss or race overeat anyway, which would mean an aggravation of the problem.

b. Canker. One of the most common causes of the problem. Delayed Emptying would be as a result of a thickened crop wall.

c. Viral infections which we have found commonly over the last few years (Adeno, Herpes, Circo etc.). This is one of the first symptoms (as a result of thickening and inflammation of the pro-ventriculus) followed by vomiting and then well known diarrhea.

d. Candida infection (Sour crop).

e. Birds feeding youngsters often have food in the crop in the morning, as a result of the fact that the crop wall of these birds is thickened due to production of crop milk.

3. During the race season, when a bird is found with food in the crop in the morning, STOP TRAINING IT. If the problem is one of fatigue a few days rest will bring about a complete recovery. Treat against canker as a precaution, (or have a crop swab tested). If the problem is being caused by a viral infection, further tossing would aggravate the condition, but if a viral infection has not manifested itself yet, further training places the bird under additional stress resulting in the flare up of one of the viral infections anyway.

The bottom line:

DO NOT TRAIN BIRDS WITH UNDIGESTED FOOD IN THEIR CROPS IN THE MORNING.

by DR. ROB CONRADIE

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