Alarming Change in Hen Droppings - Disease?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickeepoo, May 11, 2008.

  1. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    HELP- I know I had 2 of my six 10-week old RI Reds that had very loose droppings, almost like diarrhea, but now one of the other ones has almost CLEAR elimination, like a Sploosh of water. I had been giving them terramycin in their water, 1 tsp per gallon, for 2 1/2 weeks, missing a couple times the past few water changes daily, so I thought I had things covered.

    It's been hot as Hades the past 2 days here, and they're spending a lot of the day hiding in the bushes when I let them out for the day. They tend to eat their feed in the morning and the evening when it's not so hot, and mow the weeds in between. Could this hen be guzzling water during the day and not eating as much, or is it a sign of serious illness?

    This is the chickee you guys helped me save the first week I had her in March and she had an impacted cropÂ… she's my little favorite. I'll check in online in a little while when we get back in.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Why are you giving terramycin? Giving antibiotics without a high risk of bacterial infection, especially for 2.5 weeks, probably is allowing resistant strains to become highly proliferative. Chances are in the future terramycin won't work on them anymore because the "bad" bacteria are resistant. So if someone gets hurt or a cut, you'll have to find a different antibiotic.

    Furthermore, the anitbiotics probably killed all the good bacteria in their intestines so they cannot properly digest their food anymore and get nutrients from them. We as humans even have strains of e coli and other bacteria in our intestines that allow us to digest our food. Without bacteria in cows stomachs, they would not be able to digest grass. Same with the birds. 99.9% of bacteria are good, and unfortuantly when you read "kills 99.9% of bacteria", you are killing the good ones.

    I'd stop giving antibiotics and let the bacteria in their bodies become restablished so they can digest their food better again. Hot weather is probably making them drink more water too which leads to wattery poo. Giving live culture yogurt (live with bacteria-probiotics) may help them get their systems back in order.
     
  3. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Thank you for the reply- I gave them terramycin at the suggestion of Tractor Supply folksÂ… guess that wasn't a grand idea now. I'll cut out the meds and get them all on yogurt with their food- do I just give them a dish on the side or mix some with their chick starter?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Often lots of old timers give meds at any indication of anything. It's now known that it's not a cure all. For example, when penicillin came out, it was given for anything and worked wonders for a short while... but now it is rarely given because bacteria are resistant. I was told in a biochem engineering class that over half of deaths in hospitals are due to infections by resistant bacteria so it's pretty big.

    You can give some in a dish on the side or mix it with starter to get them to try it. It may take a while for them to eat it though as some are a bit weary of new foods.

    Best of luck.
     

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