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Guess What? Chicken Butt! Guess Who? Chicken Poo!

  1. Mountain Peeps
    This may seem like a strange article but I think it's important. This article is about chicken poop! Yup, chicken manure. Chicken poop sure doesn't come up in most converstaions. But as chicken owners, it's our duty to observe our chicken's droppings and know what is and isn't normal. First, lets take a look at where chicken poop comes from. Since chickens don’t have teeth, they collect and devour food in their beaks and mouths. After that, the food moves into the crop. You will notice a round, small thing in your bird’s chest. Don’t worry, it’s not a tumor! It’s the chicken’s crop. The crop is a pouch like part of the esophagus, acting as a storage area that holds the food and packs it down. Shortly after the food leaves the crop it journeys to the first of a chicken’s two stomachs: The proventriculus. This is where all the important acids are introduced. The still un-digested food then moves to the the gizzard which is the second stomach. The gizzard’s job is to grind and break up the food with the help of grit. The wet mash then proceeds to the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. Then it moves to the large intestine where vitamins and proteins are gathered and water is extracted. Whatever still exists of the original feed then advances to the cloaca to be descended out the vent as waste. This happens within only a two or five hour process!

    Now that you know how it all works, let's look at normal droppings.
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    (Photo courtesy of the chicken chick; the scoop on poop. www.the-chicken-chick.com)
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    Excessive grass intake causes greenish droppings.
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    (Photo courtesy of Poo - The Chicken Keeper's Guide http://chat.allotment-garden.org/?topic=17568.0)

    Other normal poops include foamy type poops and cecal poops. The darker the poop the stronger the scent. Note: Broody hens often produce huge and awful smelling poops. This is normal.
    This kind of poop is often seen on hot days when chickens drink much more. It's also normal.
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    Now lets talk about abnormal poop. (I only have two pics that aren't even mine so please excuse that.)
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    (Photo courtesy of Poo - The Chicken Keeper's Guide http://chat.allotment-garden.org/?topic=17568.0)
    This can be a sign of a starved chicken or a chicken with worms.

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    (Photo courtesy of the chicken chick; the scoop on poop. www.the-chicken-chick.com)
    Sign of coccidiosis.

    Other abnormal chicken poops include poops with worms and poops that appear to have either raisins or blueberries in them. (Sign of infections.)

    The best kind of chicken poop is the white capped. This is a sign that the chicken is eating and drinking well. So, if you have a chicken pop one of these out, congratulate yourself!
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    Now you can feel more knowledgeable about even the littlest yet one of the most important things about chicken health; poop!

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Comments

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  1. TwoCrows
    Excellent article Mountain Peeps!!
  2. Sylviaanne
    Thank you. I will look for some next month. Oh, oh, wait, raw, right? Sylvia
  3. Mountain Peeps
    Yes, I buy mine at my local JAX. (Ranch and home store.) Yes, they are shelled.
  4. Sylviaanne
    Are pumpkin seeds available at the feed stores? Do they need to be shelled or in the shell? Thanks, Sylvia
  5. Mountain Peeps
    Thanks everyone!

    One of my hens has a dirty behind also. It can be a sign of worms or mites. I've been giving her pumpkin seeds and it has cleared it up.
  6. Sylviaanne
    Yes, thank you. I feel reassured that my chickens are having normal poops now. I was worried. My Cornish Cross hens have stuff stuck to their "back there" feathers and I gave all of my chickens DE because I saw on You Tube that feathers nasty like that could mean they have worms. The nasty is wearing off but they have red behinds. I am hoping that they moult soon. Sylvia
  7. crazyfeathers
    Thanks, great reference.

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