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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two babies recently rescued from a building site at home, and one of them seems less hungry and less active than the other. I would not say the slow pigeon is unhealthy looking, but I am worried it may develop into something worse if I do not do something now.
Yesterday I had to feed the hungry squab last thing at night, but the slow squab still had food in its crop. Both pigeons had emptied their crops by this morning, but that puts the slow squab one whole meal behind the active squab. I have never known a squab to take so long to empty their crop. This may well be my first case of sour crop, but I do not want to jump to conclusions. I gave the slow squab some critical care formula last night in case there was a dehydration problem. It had taken some time to get the squabs out of the building site and all the way home, so they may not have had a meal for some time by the time I got them home.
If the slow crop continues, should I try some ACV next? or go straight to antibiotics. I have read an article on slow crop, but I could not decide from the information given which thing to try next. If anyone would like to offer guiding words, I would be grateful. Brian.
 

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I hate slow crops, but don't worry too much, what is their age? with older babies the crop does move slower than when they were hatchlings on pigeon milk. add some unsweetend apple sauce or human baby carrot food to the formula, make sure it is the right temp! warm but not too warm, a cool formula can make a slow crop, also massage the crop. make sure if they are not featherd out to keep them warm and never feed if the baby is cold or cool, only when it is warm, if they have feathers then supplimental warming is not needed at that age. don't worry if it takes a long time for it to empty and dont be tempted to put more on top of it, unless it goes on for weeks. keep an eye on the droppings also, he needs to poop. depending on what you are feeding if it is homemade then there may be a problem with him being able to digest it, most times starting with small amounts and feeding more often is better. I think folks want them to be fed so bad they over feed and it can make for a slow crop. they really don't need as much as we think. it never hurts to add an anti yeast medication into the food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. Two of your suggestions I have started to implement already. Instead of apple sauce, I have put a couple of drips of apple cider vinegar in their food. I have also started to give them smaller meals, even if this means they have to be fed more often. I would rather the crop empty properly so I feel confident to give the next meal. They are young, only just starting to grow feathers. They still have some bare patches of skin, but UK is in the middle of a heat wave and if anything they feel a little too hot. I was concerned that one baby is digesting food much faster than the other and yet they are both from the same nest! I am using Katee formula by the way.
 

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formula is good. be sure to clean your instruments that feed them in the hottest soapy water you can, sometimes we can introduce bacteria into the crop from not cleaning stuff well. using the ACV is good and also nystatin can be used too it is an anti yeast medication. also I have noticed if you are feeding direct in the crop they don't get stimualted as much and can have a slow crop, the act of pumping for food from a parents mouth can get them going to so you may want to act that out with them with a hand and then feed if you are crop feeding, if they are able to gulp from something themselves I think it is more natural and may keep them digesting well. BUT SOMETIMES a baby has undisclosed things that one can not possible know and it does not go well as hard as we try, so take it a day at a time.
 

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oh using kaytee, make it thin and let it sit to make sure it is not too thick, it can get hard in the crop if not enough h20 is in with it. using the baby carrot food helped with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you. I will try mixing some baby carrot food into the Kaytee if I can find it. I tend to lean on the side of a more watery mix of Kaytee for the reasons you mention, I don't like to risk a mixture to thick. Its a bit of a balancing act to get enough nutrition into them. I have wondered if playing with them and letting them nuzzle yoour hand would help them digest their food. I will do this for a while in future before feeding them. I have tried alternative feeders instead of crop feeding, but I have not made one that I am happy with yet. I hope someone will show me one day, you cannot do it from video's easily. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I drew a small amount of blood on the end of the crop tube when feeding the baby with the slow crop today. I have noticed that it is more difficult to get the crop tube into this baby and I am beginning to wonder if she has the beginnings of canker or something. I did not push hard, it just takes a little more pressure than with the healthy chick. They both came from a rather dirty building site and I am wondering if this chick may have been fed something she should not have eaten or something. The crop remains puffy even when empty. I cannot see anything unusual in the mouth, although there may be some slight lightening of the skin in the mouth compared to the other chick. When I fed her today she did regurgitate some of the food, but this may have been caused by a little too much apple cider vinegar in the food. The chick is very sleepy and does not nuzzle very much even when the crop is empty. If anyone can offer a treatment I should follow for these symptoms I would be grateful. I have never had this trouble with squabs before!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am a bit confused by all the different dosing regimes. I have read 1-2 days, 5-6 days or up to 14 days? Can you tell me how long you give a single dose a day for? Also I will probably need to treat the other squab as well, but I want to wait until I see an improvement in the sick baby before I assume I am giving the right medicine. The other squab still has a healthy appetite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have noticed a slight improvement already and the baby is nuzzling a little for food for the first time. I hope there will be further improvements in the morning, I will then give a protective dose to the other baby once I am certain I am using the right medicine. Anyone have any useful tips?
 

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Hi. Glad to know the baby is improving.
The flagyl is usually given for 10 -14 days so it is cured completely. The dosage is 50mg per kilo per day, so I guess the baby may need half that amount or less, depending on weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
This was a close run thing, I think if I had left it another day the canker would have been all through his system. He had black bits round his mouth soon after I gave him the flagyl, I hope that was a sign of the canker being killed. I did not see anything coming from the mouth before I gave the flagyl, but he did have some sliminess coming from his mouth. I have also noticed some discharge from the little ear sockets which are still visible, I do not know if this is food or discharge from the canker. I have noticed some darkening round the eyes as well. I am having to feed him from a 1ml syringe for the time being because I think it is hurting him to open his mouth too wide. Hopefully this will all fade away quite quickly?

I am unable to get the flagy suspension at the moment, but I am going to keep trying. I hope it has not been banned in Europe? It is hard to judge the correct amount with babies and small birds by breaking a 250mg tablet. I have given her another dose this morning as I wanted to keep the attack up on the canker, but I think I should have waited as her head is lopsided now and apparently this can be a sign of overdosing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm afraid I had a terrible accident last night. I was worried about how much weight the baby was losing and she was fighting me all the way when I was trying to get food into her with a 1ml syringe. I tried to crop feed her with the home made crop tube I have. I dislodged something in her throat and she choked to death on her own blood. There was nothing I could do. I am still in a state of shock about this. I must admit I have hardly ever dealt with canker, for some reason I just do not see much of it round here. I am starting to see more cases now I have joined the charity that I am working for, but other people are treating them. If I had proper crop feeders it may have been thin enough to get down her throat without dislodging the canker, but I am doing everything on my disability benefit and I have to buy everything myself. I do wish I had someone actually here to guide me sometimes, but none of the local free vets will offer any help. After making a mistake like this, I would happily stop doing this if I felt someone else would do it instead, but I know there is only me and the other people in the charity I work for. At least I am doing something despite the council trying to shut me down all the time. At least I am helping sick pigeons rather than just leaving them to die. So despite this accident, which has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me, I am going to carry on.

I have continued to give the other baby flagyl doses even though she is not showing any signs of canker. I am giving her extra time with me as well, she is bound to notice that the other baby is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am very sad for the poor baby. There was nothing I could do. I realise when things like this happen that I am an amateur doing a job that should be done by professionals, but there are no professionals who could take my place if I stopped doing this. The pigeons(and crows and starlings) would simply not get any help at all. I have to continue for their sake.
 

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