Chickens drinking their own urine?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hancockchickens, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. hancockchickens

    hancockchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2013
    Hancock, Maine
    So after mucking out the coop and chatting with the girls, one of them squats as if to go potty, but only clear liquid came out. Three other girls ran frantically to drink it up and carried on as if nothing happened.

    :/ what the heck is going on?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Chicken urine doesn't usually come out in a liquid form.
    If she's discharging clear mucus, I'd suspect worms

    The other chicken ate it because chickens are just nasty, and it looked different
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  3. bernaboo111

    bernaboo111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Let me be the first to say, Ewww!
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I would separate the chicken with the diarrhea (clear liquid). Chickens don't pee liquid. The white color on their poop is the expelled urates.

    A chicken that has wet liquid coming from it is likely ill and needs to be separated until you can figure out what's going on...although the birds right next to her already have a substantial exposure. It could be worms or the beginnings of something more concerning.

    And yes...chickens will eat dead things, each others poop, anything that moves. It is disgusting.

    Lady of McCamley
     
  5. hancockchickens

    hancockchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Just wanted to update. Thanks for the replies!

    I haven't noticed any signs of worms or disease in the flock. I think maybe I caused the digestive upset....I gave them a whole pumpkin and they ignored their feed for like two days while noshing the squash.

    Speaking of which, does pumpkin worm them of all worries, or just specific ones?

    They get at least one pumpkin of various sizes a week as they are rather spoiled birds, but generally not as big as last weeks's was. Usually only about 3lbs. :drool they are very spoiled.
     
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Uh yeah..that much pumpkin could definitely cause dietary distress and the resulting diarrhea. It's important to not give too much of any one food as that could create quite the gut problem. I would keep them on regular layer feed with treats that equal no more than 10% to 20% of their diet...spaced out evenly so they don't gorge on any given day.

    Pumpkin won't get rid of worms. Nothing but worming medicine will kill and eliminate worms.

    However, pumpkin SEEDS, garlic, and cayenne pepper along with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) build the immune system of the bird and have been shown in studies to discourage worm growth. Note though that this is not killing the worm, just making the gut inhospitable and the bird's own immune system strong enough to flush them out. The worms are still live and well and reproducing and spreading eggs in the gut which gets flushed out with the worms. You have to keep very strict litter management (clean out coops and runs, getting rid of the bedding away from your birds) to keep the worm build up minimal.

    If you want to go more herbal than chemical...I can recommend Molly's Herbal which has several herbs that have also been proven to be effective at helping keep worm loads down (in particular worm wood). She recommends using it every 6 to 8 weeks as wormwood can be toxic if given too frequently. Just google Molly's herbals. They have a study linked that showed Molly's was effective against regular chemicals on a goat study. Molly gives instructions for use in chickens. No egg withdrawal is necessary.

    Another herbal that is popular is Verm-X. However, while very popular with lots of anecdotal recommendations, I can find no study that actually shows it's effective. It is also quite expensive (if you have the amount of birds I do). But you can give it to them in their feed 3 days each month. No egg withdrawal. It uses basically garlic, cayenne, and while not listed, I bet pumpkin seed...as well as some of the Molly's secondary wormer herbs (but no wormwood).

    I use herbals in-between wormings with meds. I choose Rooster Booster's Multi Wormer (Hygromycin B) as it requires no egg withdrawal, is FDA approved for egg layers (important if you plan to ever sell any eggs to friends or public...which I do), is easy to administer (pellets mixed in with regular feed) and targets 3 of the most common worms (capillary, cecal, and round). I use Rooster Booster Multi Wormer every 6 months for 2 weeks and Molly's (with ground pumpkin seeds, cayenne and garlic) ever 2 months for 3 days. I do see improvement in my flock's appearance and egg production.

    And I attempt to keep their litter as clean as possible.

    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED TO ADD: The trick to keeping worm load down is strong immune systems, clean bedding, good field rotation, and periodic use of worming medicine as all chickens have worms. If it gets to the point they have symptoms (lethargy, diarrhea, worms in poo) you have a heavy load built up which is harder to get rid of. If you only eat your own eggs then there are a number of wormers from Valbazen, Wazine (round only) and Ivermectin (internal and external parasites)...all of those require at least 14 days of egg tossing after the last dose...and usually require 2 doses 10 days apart...so a month of egg tossing. it is good to rotate wormer meds to prevent worm resistance to a particular med. Many choose to use meds once a year and herbals the balance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
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  7. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Quite possibly albumin from an unformed egg that was dropped. I wouldn't worry unless it becomes more common.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    That's the most logical answer so far
     
  9. hancockchickens

    hancockchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, thanks for all the info, folks!

    I have not noticed any signs of worms thus far. Our birds have been very healthy since we got them as itty bits. I'm sure they do have them realistically, but it doesn't seem to be a problem at this point. They do all consume raw pumpkin seed, btw. I will look into the herbals and cut back on the pumpkins!

    Again, thanks!
     

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