2 yr old hen - poo-covered butt feathers, behaviour change

Randu

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2018
8
16
27
Problem: I have a 2yr old layer hen that has recently developed a very poo (and dirt from dirt bathing) covered area below her vent. Today I noticed when she was trying to poo, they looked normal, but very small amounts coming out and sometimes runny - compounding her dirtiness. She also was not foraging with the rest of the girls and would separate herself and sit down with her eyes closing like she was tired. She did eat a drink when I put these things in front of her, but not with the same vigor. I have tried 2 times to loosen the poo on her butt feathers with warm water and paper towel, but I am trying not to stress her out too much; and it doesn't seem to be helping enough.

Background: I have 6 hens that that I have raised since about 6months old. We have a raised 4×4×8 wooden coop with outdoor run for them. When supervised at home, they are running about the backyard and gardens foraging on grasses and whatever I missed picking from the vegetable garden (about half the day). I usually feed them either layer mash (mix of grains and corn) or crumble layer feed. In addition to available oyster shell, vegetables like squash or other table scraps and scrambled eggs. Between the 6 of them, they have 2 waterers and 2 feeders. Sometimes I put apple cider vinegar in the water, but I haven't been consistent on this. I think that's everything!

Solution?: Her behaviour worries me. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
2,868
4,434
532
California
Problem: I have a 2yr old layer hen that has recently developed a very poo (and dirt from dirt bathing) covered area below her vent. Today I noticed when she was trying to poo, they looked normal, but very small amounts coming out and sometimes runny - compounding her dirtiness. She also was not foraging with the rest of the girls and would separate herself and sit down with her eyes closing like she was tired. She did eat a drink when I put these things in front of her, but not with the same vigor. I have tried 2 times to loosen the poo on her butt feathers with warm water and paper towel, but I am trying not to stress her out too much; and it doesn't seem to be helping enough.

Background: I have 6 hens that that I have raised since about 6months old. We have a raised 4×4×8 wooden coop with outdoor run for them. When supervised at home, they are running about the backyard and gardens foraging on grasses and whatever I missed picking from the vegetable garden (about half the day). I usually feed them either layer mash (mix of grains and corn) or crumble layer feed. In addition to available oyster shell, vegetables like squash or other table scraps and scrambled eggs. Between the 6 of them, they have 2 waterers and 2 feeders. Sometimes I put apple cider vinegar in the water, but I haven't been consistent on this. I think that's everything!

Solution?: Her behaviour worries me. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
Sounds like she has some type of internal laying issue. If I was you I would break up a Tums tonight and give it to her. Tomorrow, trying to give her a bath in Epsom salt’s. Let her soak in the warm water for about 20 to 30 minutes and after you take her out make sure she is dry if it is chilly outside where you live.
 

Randu

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2018
8
16
27
Sounds like she has some type of internal laying issue. If I was you I would break up a Tums tonight and give it to her. Tomorrow, trying to give her a bath in Epsom salt’s. Let her soak in the warm water for about 20 to 30 minutes and after you take her out make sure she is dry if it is chilly outside where you live.
Thank you. I will try that.
 

Randu

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2018
8
16
27
I hope it helps!
Hello, she was acting much more normal today (I think you were right about the egg laying as I was missing one yesterday) I gave her a butt bath today and she's looking much better too! I didnt do the Tums because I didn't have any and she didn't seem to need it today.

Thanks again for your suggestions!
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,318
53,650
1,322
southern Ohio
Has she molted yet this year? If she is starting to molt, she may feel less energetic. Sometimes when there is dried poop on the bottoms, you may need to pull off as much of the dried parts as you can, and trim any excess feathers. Look for any lice or mites or eggs at this time. Then you can also soak her bottom in a warm bucket or pan of soapy water. When it softens then you may be able to clean her up. While you are at it, feel of her crop to check if it is empty, full, hard, soft, or puffy.
 

MANNA-PRO

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