What Is Sour Crop in Budgerigars?

Sour crop is a common condition that can affect budgerigars and other birds. It occurs when the crop, a part of the bird’s digestive system where food is stored before being broken down, becomes infected with bacteria or fungi. This can lead to a build-up of gas and a sour-smelling liquid, hence the name sour crop. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at sour crop in budgies, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.


Sour crop in budgies is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi in the crop. This can happen when the bird eats spoiled or contaminated food, or if the crop is not functioning properly. Other factors that can contribute to this problem include stress, a weakened immune system, and an improper diet.


The most obvious symptom of sour crop in budgerigars is a distended crop, which may feel firm or doughy to the touch. The bird may also regurgitate food, have difficulty swallowing, and produce foul-smelling liquid. In severe cases, the bird may become weak, lethargic, and dehydrated.


If you suspect your budgerigar has sour crop, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away. Your vet will likely perform a physical exam and may take a sample of the liquid in the crop to determine the cause of the infection. Treatment may include antibiotics or antifungal medication, as well as supportive care such as fluid therapy and nutritional support. In some cases, the bird may need to have the crop emptied.


Preventing sour crop in budgies involves taking several steps to promote good digestive health. This includes providing a balanced diet that is high in fiber, avoiding foods that are high in sugar or fat, and making sure your bird has access to clean water at all times. It’s also important to avoid overcrowding and stressful environments, as stress can weaken the immune system and make birds more susceptible to infection.


In conclusion, sour crop is a common and often serious condition that can affect budgies. Veterinary care can successfully treat it, but prevention is key. By providing your bird with a healthy diet, clean living conditions, and plenty of TLC, you can help ensure that they stay happy and healthy for years to come.