Digestive management help needed!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LaurelRidgeDreams, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 8 month old BA pullet who started laying within the last month. About six weeks ago, I noticed her poops were watery, sometimes seem to be just water, and are projectile. She does not have soiled feathers around her vent and nothing smells bad.

    I'm feeding layer feed (in the process of switching from 16% to 21% protein due to a picking problem),grit and oyster shells, ACV in water (1 oz./gallon), a little BOSS as treats, and she has free access to coop/run/and slowly disappearing grassy area. I orderd three different kinds of Probios, Bird-Powder, Probios, and Multidophilus Powder which has L. bulgaricus L acidophlus, and B. bifidum.

    I have watched her carefully over the last few days. When the other chickens run for BOSS treats, she stands around as if she doesn't know what to do. She might eat two seeds. She also does not eat as much layer feed as the others. Sometimes she will go up to the feeder as if she's going to eat but then just turns around to go somewhere else. She drinks LOTS of water. She seems sensative to the actions of some of the chickens, as in thinking they might do something to her but I've never seen her pecked, picked, or been made to move.

    She doesn't run into anything. (At one time I thought maybe she didn't see well.) She likes to be out in the grass scratching around and she pecks around in the run. Yesterday, I noticed she would stand on one foot for a while and then switch and stand on the other. She's having no difficulty walking/running.

    I've given vitamins/electrolytes in the water for the last two days. I don't have a clue what to do now. She's not energetic this monring. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    It sounds like you may be worrying too much. You are doing everything you can to ensure they are meeting their nutritional requirements. Here's a link to the poop page so you can see the wide variation of what is considered normal for chicken poop.

    http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    I would continue to monitor her, but nothing stands out as being problematic. She sounds well taken care of.

    Good luck.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm. Could be stress from pecking order issues. She might be lowest on the totem pole. Sometimes this happens to a particular chicken because they're also developing an illness. Last fall our little half d'Uccle hen was the first to come down with fowl pox and the others spotted her weakness and piled on. I noticed watery droppings just as you describe and took her to the vet, who explained he sees a lot of that kind of dropping from birds who come in for examinations, just from the stress of the examination.

    Your hen may be getting intimidated by the other birds from eating. Sometimes it helps if you set up more than one feeding station. You could also take the hen away from the others to feed her treats. Weigh her every day or so to keep an eye on her weight. If she's losing weight, then you know you have something to worry about.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, you are certainly doing your part, there may be nothing serious wrong at all. Just keep an eye on her.

    I'd suggest somehow making sure she is laying, but this time of year it means nothing if she's not.
     
  5. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We have three feeding stations for 7 pullets. Not sure how I will weigh her everyday. She does not like to be picked up. Intimidation still might be an issue but it's as if she doesn't like the crumbles. I'm going to check on her now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  6. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I watched her for a very long time yesterday. She is eating but she's drinking much more than she eats. She also rests one foot up in the air and then the other. She does this much more than the other chickens. Her feet look fine. She runs without problem. She's not as energetic, doesn't dust bathe as much as before, just is different. The watery poop started about two weeks before she started to lay. I noticed looser poops with other pullets right as they started to lay and they were fine about a week later. It's hard to know about the lack of egg laying. The only pullets I have who continue to lay consistently are the the EEs and a Delaware.

    Thinking there is something wrong and not knowing what to do is stressful [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  7. smfildes

    smfildes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could scramble or hard boil an egg, chop it and give it to her away from the other chickens. Maybe she needs a little boost. Just a suggestion. It's worth a try.[​IMG]
     
  8. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She, Miss Carma, seems better today, more energetic and eating better. This afternoon she stood tall like a rooster and charged my BR. I couldn't believe it. Don't think pecking order is the issue. I've been wondering about the cat food I've given them pretty regularly since about the time the watery poop began. I was trying to raise the protein level and stop the picking of one of the others. Maybe the cat food, 1/4 cup/day for all seven, has too much salt. I haven't given cat food to them for 3 or 4 days. Do you think this could cause excessive water drinking which could result in watery poop?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  9. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I notice my chickens look a little lathargic when trying to pass the soft shell egg. After the egg is passed they perk right up.

    Do they have access to grit and oyster shells?
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, I would certainly go back to basics: plain water and plain chicken feed. If you want to raise the protein level, offer something like hard boiled egg. It's natural, perfectly balanced food for chickens and doesn't have anything in it that could harm them. It's somewhat controversial to offer cat food. Scroll down to the very bottom of the Treats page for a discussion of the issue:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart

    Feather picking can also be caused by overcrowding, rather than protein deficiency.
     

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