Are my chickens sick or just gross?

cicene mete

Songster
11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
409
8
131
I have six 12 week old chicks, which means I have exactly 12 weeks of experience with chickens. Lately, I've noticed a lot of runny droppings. I don't see any blood or worms, and all of the chickens are still running around acting crazy and energetic. The droppings are dark and have the consistency of tar. They smell pretty bad, but then again they never smelled great. I noticed that when one landed on a piece of wood below the perch and dried, it looked kind of like the way chewing gum looks on a subway platform after it's been walked on for a year or so. Could it be something they're eating or symptomatic of something more serious?

Sorry for this disgusting and probably unnecessarily detailed post, but i just want to make sure there isn't anything i should be doing or looking for. Thanks!
 
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cicene mete

Songster
11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
409
8
131
They eat grower crumbles, and they have access to a pen (grass, bugs). We also give them leftover vegetables (broccoli, carrots, etc.).

We add apple cider vinegar to the water, and we give them yogurt on occasion.
 

sammi

Songster
12 Years
Dec 21, 2007
1,797
6
161
Southeast USA
is there a way you can confine them for a few days, from the veggies, and just let them have feed and fresh water?
see if the droppings firm up..
 
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whatsup chickenbutt

Songster
11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
317
6
131
My chickens from time to time have exactly that same poop, in fact, what you described was just what I was looking at this evening that I almost stepped in, and I attribute that to a recent overload on grapes. It has varied at times due to too much fruit, because of the time of year, they are getting a lot of pears and grapes right now while roaming around.
 

mypicklebird

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
1,234
15
151
Sonoma Co, CA
If the pen they have access to has ever had chickens in it, or wild birds have access, they may have coccidia. If they are on medicated feed, they will probably not get very sick- and they will develop immunity, and get better. The medicated chick starts have 'stat' drugs added- prevents the coccidia organism from reproducing, but does not kill it. So the birds still can get symptoms, but they are usually not very severe. If you really want to know, have a fecal sample checked by a vet, then you will know for sure, and any time you add new chicks to the area- be sure they get medicated chick start, so they won't blow with the bad bloody cocci diarrhea.

Other common causes of diarrhea in chicks- feces soiled water & soiled/spoiled food. Fruit too. My chicks get really horrible smelling poop if I give them cooked broccoli (they do love it). Come to think of it- broccoli and asparagus are those notorious veggies that cause off flavors in eggs (and people urine). Maybe the broccoli is the culprit!
jess
 

Dodgegal79

Songster
12 Years
Dec 1, 2007
570
8
151
Princeton BC Canada
That type of poop is the nasty stuff. LOL. I think I have seen that somewhere called cecal poop, not sure. Its not totally digested I think, usually, thats why it stinks so bad. I hate cleaning that type off the floor in the house when they get in, it is like tar. Not sure what causes it, but mine get it now and then, seems to be from what they eat, treats and such.
 

sammi

Songster
12 Years
Dec 21, 2007
1,797
6
161
Southeast USA
chickens have cecal droppings a few times a day..they are usually messy and smelly.
too much fruits and veggies will cause loose smelly droppings

a fecal test would be a good idea..so you know to treat for cocci if necessary..
 

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