Chicken with dirty bottom, not laying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ThelmaOrLouise, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm pretty new to chickens. My leghorn molted in late November and hasn't laid an egg since. I have assumed it was because she molted and the short days. But I noticed a few days ago that she has a dirty butt. I cleaned the coop today and noticed a fresh watery poop. The overnight poop in the egg box had a bit of red jelly looking stuff in it but was otherwise solid. From what I've read that can be normal. She is eating well but seems to be extra skittish. Both of my girls have been acting strange in that when I let them out the run under my porch and won't scratch and graze around like they usually do. This has been going on for about a month. (the scared behavior). My leghorn also seems a little thin. So this week have been feeding them cooked eggs and left over meat scraps. I also mixed wormer into the feed by recommendation of a friend. I'm getting 2 new hens and a rooster Friday. I'm getting the rooster for protection and to help with summer snakes. I'm hoping the rooster will increase their confidence to wander around the yard again. I guess something really spooked them but I don't know what. Is their memory that good? I'm getting the hens because I haven't had an egg in over a month. My Americana got broody in September then molted and hasn't laid an egg in a month either. But she is probably close to 3 years old.

    I'm wondering if there is anything else I should do. I haven't actually caught my leghorn to inspect her butt. She is super flighty so I'd have to go get her off roost. Which I could do but I'm not exactly wanting to wash her butt unless that is recommended.....???

    I have my coop set up so I can keep the new birds separated from the old girls at first.
     
  2. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    Wanted to add that I just went back and looked at pictures I took at christmas of the girls and my leghorn did not have a dirty butt then.... So that definitely has developed over the last 2 weeks or so. But we also had a good bit of rain.... Maybe nothing is wrong and I'm worrying for no reason... Except I don't have eggs....
     
  3. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so because I got paranoid reading about cocci and I went out to check on my girl. She was sleeping in the egg box on top of a huge pile of normal looking poop. When I picked her up it was all stuck to her butt. But I mean that makes sense if she sits in it all night. So maybe this dirty butt problem is because she lays in it all night. Thoughts?
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  5. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    There is a roosting bar. She always used to roost on the bar. Maybe since she isn't laying right now she doesn't care that she is pooping in the nesting box??
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How much roosting space do you have?

    If she normally roosts, but is now sleeping in the nesting box, something has changed. Check her over for lice/mites, evaluate your roosting space to make sure it's not crowded, watch nighttime roosting habits to see if she is being blocked or bullied from roosting area.

    During molt having extra roosting space is a good idea. Mine seem to want more personal space - they are prickly and I'm sure being cuddled doesn't feel too good. I noticed my molting girls would spread out to other or lower roosting bars and prefer to sleep with no one around.

    Taking a fecal sample to your vet for testing is a good idea, they can check for worms, bacteria, cocci, etc.

    It's a personal preference, but if she were mine and she seems healthy/able to roost, I would place her on the roosting bars at night to retrain her to roost. I don't want poopy nesting boxes and she really doesn't need to be sleeping in poop all night, this can cause some problems later on down the road.
     
  7. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have a 4 ft bar and only 2 hens. Maybe I can put something in there in the evening to block it off and then remove it in the morning. I'll post a poop picture next. Do you think her comb looks too pale?
     
  8. ThelmaOrLouise

    ThelmaOrLouise Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Since she is not laying and coming out of molt, her comb would normally be a bit paler than usual.

    Blocking off the nesting boxes is a good idea, this may encourage her to roost. When you can, give her bum a good cleaning up - just wash in some warm soapy water. While you have her, inspect vent for any type of discharge (vent gleet) or anything else out of the ordinary. Make sure she is very dry before going outside. You may need to wait until weather is cooperative - going to have a nice sunny day, etc. Once she is cleaned up and you confirm that she is roosting and not sleeping in a poopy nesting box, if the bum goes back to looking like that fairly quickly, then consider worming her or having a fecal sample tested.
     

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