Diarrhea and dirty bum -long


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 3, 2009
I am not sure if I am even talking about the same bird, but tonight when I went to close the hen house I could see where a bird had dropped almost clear water. I do have a bird with a white backend most of the time.
A little history on my flock will help. About a month ago my husband, without knowing(?) bought ten hens who had symptoms of mites. They had red skin and feather missing down their backs and in the vent area. After I figured out what was wrong with them we treated their house, their nests and them. Hubby bought something at the feed store to mix and put in the sprayer. Most of the bird are making great strides at putting on new feathers. Miss Dirty Butt is not. I do not know the age of these birds but we were getting up to 9 eggs a day. Our eggs are fabulous and everybody wanted some. Hubby decided to get more birds. These were healthy, beautiful rose-comb RIR + 2 barred rock. Our original birds were 1/2 RIR and 1/2 Barred Rock. He insisted in putting them in straight away. We had a few squabbles. One of the new rocks seemed very unhappy from day one and died after about three. One of our original rock also died. Their deaths are a mystery. Today I got 11 eggs from 15 hens. I have been busy teaching school so I don't know who is laying and who is not. Need to shut up and start researching. Thanks for any advice. Carol
We need more info if you could, please:


In the mean time, be sure that the sick hen is eating. Check her again for mites - they usually need retreating once or twice thereafter as the eggs hatch.

She likely did'nt get over the anemia of the mites as well, her entire system being stressed. Boost her nutrition with a recipe that Glenda recommends here. It's on many posts. It contains yogurt, crumbles, water at the least - some vitamins added (and not from a chicken package). PM me or GLenda Heywood if you need the recipe.

Make sure she gets extra nutrition. it's a good time to feed her egg yolks to get her blood built back up. The probiotics (live bacteria in yogurt, acidophilis tablets or capsules for example) replace the good bacteria of the gut. They'll help with her pasty butt and whatever's causing it.

Also consider worming them since you don't know their previous history - but do it after they're healthier.

Since they're laying, I'd also use Glenda's advice on apple cider vinegar. Use organic (it has good bacteria in it as well) at a rate of 1 ounce ACV to 1 gallon of water. Use that daily to help them absorb more calcium from their laying pellets (you are feeding laying pellets and not much grain, yes) and to correct their gut pH, act as an electrolyte, and provide good bacteria for better food use.

We'll start with this til you could please answer the questions from the source post so that we can most accurately help your gals.
The hen with the dirty butt is a young (?) RIR and I surely haven't weighted her, but she is small. She is eating as far as I can tell. All the birds have access to laying pellets at all times, but I don't know who does and doesn't eat the pellets. I feed yogurt about twice a week, but old dirty butt didn't come out of the flower bed to enjoy the treat. We do feed scratch grain once a day and occasional sunflower seeds for treats. Today hubby got whole corn because a friend said it offers better nutrition.

All my birds spend the day outside and have been turned out into an old flower bed to "bulldoze" the area so I can grow vegetables there some day. We have had rain everyday for a week, but I doubt that is related. I do not know if this is the same bird as tonight's apparentally clear dropping in the hen house.

Hens lay their eggs in straw bedding and we use pine shaving for litter. We clean the house once a week and have now sprayed twice for mites. Is there something I can use on an individual bird, unlike "spraying over the flock," to help with mites?
I finished in the classroom Friday and can keep a better eye on my birds now. I will try to see if white butt is also now diarrhea girl.
Thanks for all your help. Carol
Last edited:
Whole corn is actually less nutrition. It's high in phosphorus, thus in large amounts depletes calcium and all other nutritients. It's one of the cheapest and lowest nutrient grains available - except millet. Nice for treats, but you're giving scratch as it is. Maybe replace the scratch with the corn if you want to do one. Although the wheat in the scratch has more protein and nutrition than corn. Corn has fat - that's where it makes a good treat. The rest of the diet sounds great. Get the sicky one to eat yogurt - even if it means putting some in the side of he rmouth so she has to tongue it and thus swallow it.

The turn out sounds good. The rain CAN be related - it stuck in your mind.
Puddles? Is she drinking from them?

Eve4rything else sounds good - just check the flock for mites, all of them since you can't tell who's got the clear droppings. Someone might have just had a large bit to drink if it's not often.

Just keep a good eye on them - it can be fun, a break for you from the classroom!

On the mites - you could try ivermectin, but honestly I'd check first since you've treated twice.

Some of these hens could have bound eggs, etc. Any wobbles on the eggshells? Anyone irregularly laying? That would be cause enough for ACV (apple cider vinegar).

I suspect mixing flocks might have stressed them out, causing underlying (or new) issues to take the ones you lost. Good thing you didn't lose more - I'd just watch these, and get this hen back on track. We'll help with that. Give this a couple of days since she's eating and drinking well. Any change, let us know immediately and we'll troubleshoot from there.
Please describe "wobbles" on the eggs. How does one figure out who is laying without staying in the hen house all the time. I got all my birds as adults and can hardly distinguish between them. Having someone to discuss my birds with is absolutely wonderful. Carol
Wobbles (my goofy term for it) are inconsistencies on the surface of the eggs - waviness. I've often seen these before actual soft shell conditions begin.

As far as "who" you can't really tell without laying cages - so you just tweak the whole flock's calcium absorbtion.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom