Runny, smelly poop.
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Most common problem with chicks and diarrhea is coccidiosis, a protozoa overgrowth in the gut, which is essentially chicken dysentery. It often produces bloody poo, listlessness, and rumpled appearance. Chicks often stand humped and huddled. By the time you get to bloody poo, they go down hill very quickly as they generally stop eating and drinking by then making it hard to treat them with meds.
It is essential that you get them on something such as Corid or Sulmet asap as coccidiosis can wipe them out pretty quickly.
I like Sulmet as it also treats gram negative bacteria such as eColi and Salmonella and Pasturella. That is the other possibility.
Make sure their food and water is clean and not sitting under the heat lamp which helps it grow bacteria and protozoa even faster.
You can find Sulmet and Corid at the feed store.
If other symptoms develop such as runny noses, sneezing, then they likely have a bacterial or viral infection. Broader based antibiotics are in order then such as Tylan or Duramycin 10, which you can also get at the feed store.
Treat all birds, not just those affected.
It is also important to clean out and dispose of all litter as the poo build up harbors the pathogens. Disinfect the feed and water dishes as well (wash in clorox solution or with hydrogen peroxide).
Let us know how they progress.
The situation can become lethal very quickly if it is Coccidiosis. I would get some meds into tomorrow latest.
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It is a matter of personal preference, though.
About two weeks ago I had a couple that had pasty butt and someone recommended putting a ACV in the water. I put 2 teaspoons to 1 gallon of water and they all drink from it. Just this past few days I have been putting just water in the waterer. Could it be a possibility that the Apple cider vinegar gave them the runny poop?
They can still get an overgrowth of coccidiosis even on medicated chick feed. The Amprolium in the feed is the same as the med in Corid, but it is at a very low dose. The goal is to let the chick slowly develop natural immunity to the coccidia as the medicated feed only retards the growth rather than eradicating entirely. The idea is to let the chick grow until it has that immunity, then stop the medicated feed (generally around 12 to 18 weeks) so that as an adult it keeps the protozoa at bay naturally with its own immunity as the coccidia are ever present in the soil.
However, if there has been an overgrowth in the environment (moist, warm, fecal invested....your typical brooder), then the chick can be overwhelmed by the coccidia creating substantial overgrowth that has to be corrected with a larger dose of either the Amprolium (Corid) or another drug such as the sulphur type in Sulmet.
Pull the medicated feed while you are treating as they don't need both. Return the medicated feed after treatment.
That is assuming coccidiosis....I only suggest that as it is the most common condition in growing chicks that presents with runny, smelly, diarrhea.
The other is simple bacterial overgrowth from eColi or pasturella.
Yeast overgrowth can also cause really smelly, runny poo. So can worms.
There are other possibilities, and without a fecal culture, it will be trial and error. The only way to know for certain is to take a sample to a vet for culture and then subsequent diagnosis and treatment....otherwise, you begin with the most common cause of those kinds of symptoms in light of the history and begin trying treatments.
That's why I like the Sulmet, it is broader based than Corid and can treat bacterial as well as the protozoa in coccidiosis.
The ACV would have nothing to do with the change in bowl habit. It might have caused a slight case of the runs, but not profuse diarrhea that smells bad. That is something amiss.
Edited by Lady of McCamley - 4/29/16 at 2:44pm