Chronic diarrhea


Apr 21, 2011
Allenton, MI
I am at a loss as to what my next step needs to be:

I’ve been struggling with my chickens all summer. About 1/2 of them have been chronically thin, pale, and just crappy looking. My flock ranges from 6 months - 20 months of age. 18 hens, 2 roos. Free range and always have free choice of 17% Kalmbach layer crumbles. They get occasional leftovers as snacks, and I have been giving a couple handfuls of soldier fly larvae every morning since molting started.

So far this year I’ve found lice - treated with Permethrin powder, then deep cleaned and sprayed coop and birds with Elector PSP. Have done several fecals - treated for Heterakis with Safeguard in 2 doses, and coccidia twice - first with Corid, then with Endocox. Last fecal came back negative. I still have several birds looking unkempt and pale. One in particular is a 6 month old Marans that has literal watery diarrhea chronically. She seems to be hit the hardest.

I am debating if I should be looking into treating for some sort of enteritis at this point that is secondary to everything else. Researching online, I’ve seen that Bacitracin is a good option for that. I’ve also had Metronidazole and Denagard mentioned to me. I’m not sure which direction to go at this point. Any suggestions or anyone who has been through this please let me know!!
You and your flock have been through the grinder. I sympathize.

If any of the fecals confirmed coccidiosis, then absolutely treat for necrotic enteritis. Sulfa antibiotics are best for this. If the fecals confirmed worms, it's possible these chickens could have semi blockages of dead worms left in their intestines. The diarrhea may be their natural response to try to flush out these blockages. You could do a molasses or a Epsom salt flush to help this along.

Since they've been under siege by parasites for such a long period, they may be suffering from vitamin deficiencies and protein deficiency. It might be a good idea to switch to a higher protein all-flock feed and feed poultry vitamins to build them back up.

Occasional animal protein such as canned mackerel and beef liver, even hamburger, once a week, can help with anemia and protein deficiency.

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