Dirty Margo

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sandra Verbreyt, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Sandra Verbreyt

    Sandra Verbreyt Songster

    Jul 12, 2017
    Temse Belgium
    My Silkie Margo seems to always have a dirty bottom. I check her regularly for parasites etc and she is clear. I have 2 girls as you can see and neither of them have laid for a long time. Ruby shed a lot of feathers during her moult and now appears very thin. Neither of them will touch kitchen scraps so what can I fed them to build them up for the winter? I already give them porridge each morning . How do I solve Margos dirty bottom? Advice on both matters anybody please ;)
    Mybackyardpeepers likes this.
  2. Ribh

    Ribh Crossing the Road

    Have you wormed them recently?

    Some extra protein may not go astray: tuna, salmon, mealworms. I'd cut back on the porridge. OK as an occasional treat but lots isn't good for them.

    Their main feed should be a really good quality laying feed: pellets or crumble with grit or oyster shell available separately. I'm not sure what is available in Belgium. A molt can really take it out of a bird & they may need a little extra protein to help get them back up to par. If their nutritional needs are met the dirty bottom should clear up. Silkies are often not particularly good layers.

    @rjohns39 @BY Bob anything extra you can contribute?
  3. BY Bob

    BY Bob Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres

    Jan 1, 2016
    Hershey, PA
    Definately raise the protein level in their feed. @Ribh is correct. I would add salmon, tuna, mealworms, eggs, etc. I would also try and find some feed that is higher protein if possible. If they don't have parasites it should most likely be feed related. Try and switch protein for the carbs for a while.

    How old are they? My older hens have always stopped laying during molt and during the winter. It may be nothing more than that.
    Sequel, Ribh and Mybackyardpeepers like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Was thinking the same thing.
    doublecrossranch, Ribh and BY Bob like this.
  5. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

    Mar 22, 2019
    If you wish to give them something special in the morning still try taking their feed (I feed a crumble) and add warm water to make a mash, you can add oatmeal, applesauce, etc just for flavor! I have a cross beak silkie and I do this every morning and evening for him to get extra feed, everyone loves it!
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    What are you feeding them? How big is the Coop?
    Sequel, doublecrossranch and BY Bob like this.
  7. doublecrossranch

    doublecrossranch Songster

    May 27, 2019
    Smithville, MO
    What is the ratio of warm water and feed?
    BY Bob and Mybackyardpeepers like this.
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Chicken feed should be fed dry as to not cause impacted crop or sour crop...
    BY Bob likes this.
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

    Mar 11, 2017
    South Park, Colorado, USA
    Depending what grain your porridge is made of (I know it's different in different part of the world), I suspect by feeding it daily you are cutting the overall amount of protein the birds are getting. Protein is needed for egg production, feather growth, and building meat/muscle. I agree that adding higher protein feed and/or treats into their diet could certainly be beneficial.

    Changing feed can change the consistency of their droppings. This may or may not help with the dirty feathers. I feel like some birds tend to be better at keeping clean than others. Making sure they have access to a good dry dust bath on a regular basis will help some too.
    BY Bob and Sequel like this.
  10. oldhen2345

    oldhen2345 Songster

    Jun 22, 2015
    East Texas
    This year has been hot here in Texas. My chickens have had a problem with egg production being way down. I thought since it was cooling off, things would improve, but no, I haven't had an egg in 8 days now. Have wormed them recently. My Spangled Orpington who is 3 years old, frequently has a dirty bottom. I have heard that the bigger girls don't bend their legs to poop like the lighter ones and that causes poop balls to form. I have put it as a chore in my maintainance routine to clip the down around the vent and straight down the "poop path" to prevent an issue on her.
    As for feed, they get layer feed with oyster shell and grit for choice. Most evenings, they get a snack before bedtime. Usually protein - mealworms, crickets, BOSS. Since weather has started cooling, I switch out the snack with corn, greens, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin. During the cold of winter, I keep rice in the ice box which I warm up and mix with their snack before bedtime. This year, I will try oatmeal instead- more nutrition?

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