sour crop

Sour Crop in Pigeons

Sour crop in pigeons can be quite common and is usually linked with the poor grit or the consumption of bad grains.

The term “sour crop” generally refers to an infection in the crop or digestive tract. The infection causes the crop to shut-down and any food content in the crop to turn “sour”.

Additionally, the hand feeding of pet birds such as parrots, especially young birds has been known to increase the risk of infection.


Contaminated birds often show the following signs:

  • Won’t eat anything
  • Open the beak, crop smells if it’s sour
  • Lose a lot of weight
  • Crop fills with water
  • Adult pigeons may pull out feathers
  • Frequent Vomiting – This vomit can have a quite putrid odour.
  • In less serious instances, thrush will show as just small whitish spots in the throat, which is often mistaken for canker.


Plenty of good quality grit at all times, a good diet and corn that isn’t mouldy.


About the Author Racing Pigeon Sport

Arshon says 11/06/2018

I have a bird with a similar symptom of sauer crop but instead of the crop area filling with water it feels with air I tried using syringe to extract the air on a daily basis but it continues to fill back up. Do you have any suggestions on how to treat this

    Racing Pigeon Sport says 02/09/2018

    Are the pigeons droppings okay? If they are, you need to puncture the crop with a pin. Don’t worry it won’t damage the pigeon, but it will release the air pressure. The pigeon has a faulty valve in the crop itself.

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