Dingleberry.

ChickenHawk12

Chirping
May 7, 2015
153
6
76
One my my hens has had a piece of poop stuck to the feathers under her vent for 2-3 weeks now. I tried to take it off (with gloves) when I first noticed it, but it wouldn't come off without pulling her feathers out, and I didn't want to hurt her, so I left it, thinking that it would eventually come off with dust baths, etc.

Is this something I need to worry about?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,432
1,462
Wisconsin
It will stay there until it gets so big it rips off the feathers, it's best to get out your scissors and do some trimming, some chickens aren't as clean as others.
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
You can try dousing or soaking with water until it softens enough to loosen up but she won't be any worse for wear if you just yank it...

Have you gotten the whole egg dingleberry yet? It happens in winter. The initial moisture around the egg or a little poop will freeze the egg to the butt feathers.
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cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
I would just trim off the feathers with scissors as suggested rather then yank it off, lot more comfortable for the bird. Some birds with extra fluffy backsides benefit from a routine trim now and then to help prevent the problem altogether.
 

Cacique500

Songster
6 Years
Jun 2, 2013
441
118
181
Atlanta, Georgia
I've got a barred rock that has this problem. About every month or two I'll take her in to the tub and gently run warm water over the area while breaking it loose with my gloved fingers. She actually seems to like it! Only takes 5 or 10 minutes. Prefer this to cutting so I don't leave that area bare.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,809
34,392
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Me too. I have a few hens who have this build-up problem. Trimming the feathers isn't a good solution. The trimmed feathers will be even more prone to accumulate poop in my experience.

I fill a small tub with a couple inches of warm water. I take a shallow cup, scoop water into it, and hold it under the vent where the clot is. This softens it so you can pull it off without hurting the feathers or the chicken. Keep splashing water on the area until all the poop rinses away. Pat dry with a soft, dry cloth.

As to whether it's something to be concerned about or not, I find that my hens appreciate the help, and they certainly smell a lot better for the cleanup. I imagine it could be a problem during summer in an area that has a fly problem, too.
 

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