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Stinky poop, clings to feathers, strains to poop

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, the title pretty much covers it. I have a hen who has had poop clinging to her feathers for several weeks now. I've noticed that she strains a lot to poop. She's too wild to catch easily, but today I was able to grab an approximately 1 inch diameter piece of poop hanging off her feathers near her vent. As all good chicken owners do, I took a whiff, and man did it smell. Something more like horse or pig manure. It was very dry. I looked with a magnifying glass and didn't see any evidence of worms, though there were a few bits of undigested food particles. She has only been on a diet of organic layer crumble with dried meal worms as treats for the last couple weeks. Prior to that the only other treat she would get regularly was sunflower seeds late in the day before roosting, but I decided to stop that in case it was causing the constipation. Other occasional treats were raisins, about five per day, but I also stopped those.


It's cold here now, so the messy feathers below the vent aren't a fly issue, but come spring and summer, I'm sure this will be a problem. She's never been the most dynamic chicken, so standing around a lot is her norm. Her tail is not down and she's not hunched up. I have seen her eat an occasional feather off the ground. She is in with one other chicken now who is the top hen. There was one other hen with them last fall who was the top hen, but she fell ill and has been separated from them for three months now. They have two separate feeders, so she has opportunity to eat without being picked on. I do see her drink. The run is sand and dirt with some leaves in a corner to take a little chill off their feet.


Any thoughts about this stinky poop problem would be appreciated.

post #2 of 11

Maybe she ate something, I really have no idea

Someone will respond soon with a better answer

Does she eat and drink?

She might be constipated



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

As far as eating, she certainly gobbles up the meal worms, and I do see her at the feeder occasionally, though I don't spend a lot of time out there in the winter.


One thing I should have mentioned in my original post is that she has never laid an egg for me. I adopted these two chickens last September to keep my one remaining hybrid chicken company over the winter. Unfortunately, that hybrid chicken fell ill around Thanksgiving and has been separated from the new hens since. When I first got these two hens, I was told they were about 1 year old, but the person wasn't really sure as they had 18 chickens, all different breeds and ages, including three roosters. The person I got them from was just guessing they were about 1 and were a mix between a bantam and a regular size chicken.


I kept these two new ones in isolation in a spacious garage for a month before introducing them to my one remaining hybrid chicken. The introduction when fine, and all three were together for about a month before the hybrid was taken out. No one was laying any eggs, and it was molting season, so I didn't worry about it. Both of these new hens are not exhibiting any evidence of wanting to lay soon. There combs have reddened up a little but I wouldn't say they are super bright yet. They are pea combs, and I'm not as familiar with how they should look in a laying versus non-laying hen.


My hybrid is fully recovered and ready to be introduced when the weather warms up. I thought I'd address this constipation problem first. The other hen doesn't have any problems other than not laying.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Another tidbit of information. The two chickens sleep in the two nest boxes on top of newspaper. For the last two nights, one of them hasn't had any droppings on the newspaper. I just went out to verify where the one with the problem is sleeping and it's in the box that hasn't had any poop for the last two nights. That's not to say she isn't pooping because of she had that big hunk stuck to her feathers today and that was new. I also saw her have a tiny poop when I was out there earlier. However, this no droppings overnight certainly does have me concerned.

post #5 of 11
Have you ever wormed your hens? Is her crop full when she goes to bed? Is her crop empty in the morning? Can you post a picture of her?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yes, I wormed the best I could about at the end of January with Safe-guard by putting it inside raisins. Can't catch her to check her crop, but I don't see any pendulous crop or bulges on either of them. They are very slim looking chickens but maybe's it's the mix of bantam and full sized throwing me off. I'll try to get a picture of her tomorrow, including her bottom.

post #7 of 11
Why did you put the wormer in raisins? Did you repeat it in two weeks?
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I put safe-guard goat paste in raisins because they would not take it any other way. And, yes, I repeated it in 10 days as recommended by my vet. Believe me, it's not easy to disguise it in raisins. I did the best I could.

post #9 of 11
I don't mean to be blunt, but it would be so much simpler to use a syringe and just put it in their mouth. Do you remember what dosage you gave them?
Edited by enola - 3/4/16 at 2:08am
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yes, I realize that there are a lot easier ways, but I cannot catch this chicken. I've tried. She will, however, eat raisins. I tried putting it in yogurt, grapes, etc. with no luck. I gave them a pea-sized dollop each day for 3 days and then repeated the same routine in 10 days. I just saw her poop outside, a small wet poop, and there were 3 or 4 small droppings where she slept last night.

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