Black Diarrhea?


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 17, 2012
Hate to ask about this because it's rather gross, but I couldn't find anything when I searched keywords.

My 5 week old runner duckling has some awful black diarrhea, and it reeks, almost burns my nose sort of. He seems ok otherwise, alert and acting normally. The ducklings are eating Dumor starter/grower, they're on grass and grass clippings when outside in the pen, they get small amounts of cracked corn in their food on occasion, and peas and parsley for treats.

Any ideas? He had it yesterday too, not sure if it's been constant or off and on since they were outside in the run for most of the day.
no clue, but my ducks all had black runny poop the morning after they went outside for the first time. They are in pasture all day now, and their poop ranges in color from light brown to dark (black) brown.
I don't know if this is it or not, but do they have any way of getting grit? They use sand, or other gravely material, to break down their food in their stomachs, but the grit breaks down eventually too, so they should always have access to a source of it. Any kind of sand works, but if you get it from the ocean, make sure you rinse it really well, or else they can get salt poisoning. Like I said, I don't know if this is the problem, but I just thought I'd mention it.

Hope your ducky gets better!
There are a few reasons for dark, rank poop.

Some are benign, some are more concern.

At the serious end of the spectrum, just so you can know this can happen, sometimes blood in stool can cause it to look very dark. Is there a metallic (like the smell of iron) in it? If he seems otherwise okay, I doubt this is the kind of problem. But if it is, he likely needs antibiotics, since I would think it would be an infection. But I don't feel that is likely.

Toward the benign, not-to-worry end of the spectrum, he has eaten something quite rich in protein, or he was startled. Either will produce a really rich eye-burning poop.

Nettie used to say there was a, was it the seventh poop? Just, every now and then, someone would let loose an offensive one, then go on happily, back to more normal.

My ducks forage outside and when they do, they ingest a fair amount of soil, and around here, my soil is pretty rich and dark, so we get some dark stuff, too.

One of my runners has always frequently produced a (forgive me) chocolate syrup looking material, and she is over two years old, lays regularly, and appears to be quite healthy.
One of my Anconas did this pretty regularly. it's probably not that much different from humans getting an upset stomach I would think?
This is normal. All of my ducks and chickens have done this! I think its just partly their digestive track getting adjusted to new foods and just growing in general.
This is a normal and stinky situation!
Thanks for the replies everyone! I got hold of some grit, I'd been having trouble finding it, so if that is a factor it's taken care of. :) Otherwise, I guess I won't worry for now!

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