I have 5 chickens that I got back in Oct. 3 of them are supposed to be around a year old (2/3 are laying) the other 2 are supposed to be around 5 months and are not laying yet. They free range but get locked in the coop at night. The coop has pine shavings in it and smell hasn't really been an issue until now.
I usually try to scoop poop from the nesting boxes and roosting area daily but even if I slack a little the smell has not been so bad. This past week though there has been a nasty zoo odor that hits me in the face when I open the nesting boxes up. I've just cleaned it and it smells better but I noticed that the smell is also on the chickens. It's very strong. I can smell it just sitting near them. I don't see anything abnormal about them other than that. No face swelling or discharge or anything. the do have poopy butts but they had those before and did not smell so bad.
One of the 5 month old BAs did do something odd though. She squatted weird while she was pooping and made a weird noise I have never heard her make, then she was messing with her vent. My b/f said that he saw her do something like that a few months ago and she pulled some poo out of her vent with her beak (ew). My housemate said he heard her make that strange noise earlier today but didn't know if she was pooping when she made it. I looked at her vent and it's very poopy. There's poo caked around the outside and in her feathers it doesn't look like the other poopy butts where there is just some drips on the feathers. Her vent also seemed to be more open than the last time I looked. It was moist and pulsating and I could see a little pink nodule inside. I looked at the poo and there was a lot of grass in it. It was piecey and dryer than usual and there was a touch of white.
Any thoughts? Can I give them all baths? Should I? It seems like I should at least try to clean the younger one's vent region...
Edited by PsychoChicken - 2/11/12 at 11:37am