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Old hens and "water bottom"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I have taken in two old girls (4&5 yrs.) from a friend 3 days ago. The flock they came from is local and healthy, they just dont produce much any more. They seem to be situating nicely, eating and drinking nicely, good color and behavior and all but I've noticed 2 things: they have watery poop (clear with some dark green and somewhat explosive) and one has laid a shell less egg- the other laid a beautiful egg. What could it be? I have a batch of chicks coming in May which i had ordered vaccinated for mareks and coccidosis and i want to keep them healthy of course. It was suggested in another forum that I cull the old girls but for the last 15 or so years I'm kind of known for being a retirement home for old hens. smile.png thoughts?
post #2 of 10

There are any number of diseases that will result in the your hens displaying the kinds of symptoms that you listed. 


Not all soft-shelled eggs are the result of a lack of oyster shell, especially on older hens, laying softshell eggs it is usually the result of a disease or infection in the hens' reproductive tract. 


The two hens now belong to you.  You and you alone must decide if the few eggs these two hens do lay are worth the potential danger that these birds pose to the rest of your flock.


In-other-words do what ever it is that you think is best and abide by your decision.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
post #3 of 10

You might give them some Corid in their water for 5 days in case changing soil has exposed them to a new strain of coccidia they are not resistant to yet. Then I would put them on some probiotics (if their food has none) and vitamin supplement for a few days, and then twice a week. Look for lice and mites on their skin, and I would also worm them with Valbazen 1/2 ml orally, and repeat that in 10 days. Feed them a good balanced layer feed. All of that may build up their immunity, and you can watch for any disease symptoms.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your thoughtful response, I will weigh my options and actions carefully :)

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for advice! I was actually thinking about how different the soil is between my friend and myself. Although we're only about 6 miles and we live on the same volcano, her soil is very black, fine, rich soil, mine is very sandy pumice dust. Surely our ground organizims vary as well...  

 Valbazan is a wormer? I will try all three and keep a close eye.

post #6 of 10

:( I am the friend. I am going to check my coop tonight when I get home, but my 6 - one year old hens seemed fine  this morning, as do the three juvenile ducks. Could it be something from the ducks? They were in with the hens and rooster for about a week before the two old hens were picked up by Jemezhens. 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Chin up, 2 boys, we'll figure it out before the babies arrive! Yesterday her poop seemed a little firmer, I'll let you know what todights looks like in about an hour.:D

post #8 of 10
Older hens can start laying soft shell or she'll less eggs. Several of mine do. Since the soil can contain up to 9 or more strains of coccidiosis, I always advise people to either give a preventative 5 day treatment of Corid or watch closely for cocci symptoms when they move to knew soil. Worms are also a cause of diarrhea, and all soil contains worm larvae. Many people worm their flocks twice a year just to keep them healthy. Good luck with the hens and the new chicks.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
A poop update:still loose but definitely less watery. Another beaut of an egg last night. They hung out with me while I inspected poop and tolerated a lice inspection. I can't get to the feed store until tomorrow but will start a worm cycle, corid and I've dusted the hen house and runs with DE. Even our cat is longing for chicken company (he LOVES hanging out with chickens) so... Welcome to Ginny and Tonal.
post #10 of 10

So glad they are enjoying their retirement home.

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