We have five hens, hatched this past spring--two cinnamon queens, two black sex links, and one Brahma. All seem quite healthy, and everybody's laying (except for the gentle Brahma--a late bloomer, apparently).
My concern is about one of the sex-links. She had been going around with dark poop on her bum. I thought it was just a superficial, "cosmetic" issue, but when we eventually decided it was time for a clean-up, there was, like, a big poop ROCK dangling from her behind. About the size of a large walnut and cemented on. Her fluff was so embedded in it that it had already created a bare spot. Ouch! I carefully cut it off with scissors. (Those scissors got washed VERY well.)
I should mention that someone(s) is having blackish, tarry poops. Yes, I went online, and I have now seen many (too many!) pictures of normal and abnormal poop. Most of the doo we see about the place is unlovely, but normal. This greenish-black stuff, however, is really a mess. I'm assuming the afflicted hen is the one making it.
All the hens seem happy and lively. I should say that they are free range, get fresh water every day, have their chicken mash but seem to prefer to eat mostly what they find foraging in the field/yard. In terms of treats, we give them small amounts of chopped apple or tomato or the like. Oh, and they also eat the black sunflower seeds that fall from our birdfeeder.
Is this chicken in need of some medicinal intervention, or is her affliction just a cosmetic indignity, to be remedied by occasional discreet clean-up?
Thanks for any comments you can offer!