Chicken Poop! (need help asap!)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SarahBeth, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. SarahBeth

    SarahBeth In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    North Carolina
    I own two hens, a Leghorn and a Bantam. I am scheduled to check them into the County Fair today at 2pm, so I would like to know as much as possible so that I can help her and whether I need to keep her home or not.

    Last night while I was cleaning their coop, I noticed that both the girls had extreamly runny droppings. It was not urine-related; instead of having defined droppings it was just a bunch of goopy mush. The leghorn had it the worst, and I also noticed that (as I picked her up- go figure) she was excreating urine seperately. Her tail feathers had urine and droppings matted in it.

    I noticed that within both girl's droppings there were some corn shells and grass. I let them both out in the yard a day or two ago and they kept pick at the grass. Since grass isn't a normal part of a chicken's diet, I assumed that's why they both pasted it. Their diet consits of 3/5 part Laying crumbles, 1/5 scratch grains, 1/5 oyster shells/egg shells. I also sprinkel a touch of garlic on their feed, and I normally put 1teaspoon of vinigar in their water to keep the algea down.

    I just got these girls in March and they are my first chickens, so I still feel pretty new to this! If anyone knows what wrong and how I can help please let me know. As I said before, I am taking them to the fair this afternoon. They will be staying there for a week, so I need to know whether or not it's safe to still take them. I have the choice of putting them in the poultry house to be judged or just putting them in the petting zoo (they will have their own pen and they will be the only birds there).
  2. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I would recommend that you keep them both home. Most fairs or get togethers won't let them in anyhow if they are showing signs of sickness (which they are). Something has upset their system and it would be hard to say if is from something they ate or if they are sick.
    I would add some antibiotics/vitamins to their water for the next couple of days and continue to monitor them.
    Hope they get better.
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    You can have a fecal done at a vet's to see if there is a parasite problem.
    I would definitely not take them to the fair, as they are not healthy right now, and it could be contagious. Might not be, but there is no way to know unless you can ID a parasite. Or determine it is dietary.

    Not to be judged, and not in a petting zoo either- chickens with diarrhea are not good PR, as well as the fair or petting zoo is VERY stressful for a chicken not used to the handling and staring- what ever this is will likely be made worse by the stress.

    Grass IS a normal part of a happy hen's diet. They love fresh grass, some kinds of weeds, people's vegetable gardens... Pasture raised birds are very PC around here with the slow food movement and more and more interest in humane raising of chickens for both eggs and meat.

    With my free rangers, I try to keep at least part of the property green so they can free choice eat the grass. The more grass they eat, the more bright yellow orange the yolks are- the customers LOVE the orange yolks.

    I would differ from AK's recommendations--- do not add antibiotics to their water unless you have good reason to believe they have a bacterial infection, and have a good idea what kind of bacteria, and if you do add antibiotics- follow the directions for duration (next couple of days may not be a good recommendation)- this is how we can create resistant organisms. Also pretty much any antibiotic use in hens is off label if you plan to eat their eggs. Or sell them to someone who might.

    Vitamins on the other hand is a do no harm suggestion, and may help.

    Keep them at home, monitor the feces, consider a fecal check if the diarrhea persists.
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    any sudden change to the diet can cause this (and if they are not normally eating grass and then all of a sudden pig out on it this would be sufficient to cause what you are seeing)

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