Dirty/scraggly bum - what's the diagnosis?


In the Brooder
12 Years
Feb 22, 2007
I've looked elsewhere, but could find nothing noting this individual symptom.
We had an older Buff -O hen (pretty sure she'd quit laying) who had a dirty, scraggly posterior, a condition that lasted for about a year. I'd wash her off occasionally (when I could catch her) but the condition would only return. No other members of our flock exhibited this. There were occasionally runny stools in the barnyard from some bird, but I could not determine which. No changes in appetite or behavior from that particular hen. She was about 4 - 5 years and just HUGE!. I thought Cocci and was going to treat her individually, but was unable to confirm. She passed on a day or so ago. Not sure why she passed, but likely related to her ailment. I feel badly that I didnt' treat her as I didn't want her to suffer, but she was pretty much a convelescence case, so I was going to retire her this fall anyway. We're pretty poor.

I now have one year old hen who is showing the same thing. What can it be please?

If Cocci, the instructions on the bottle of medicine (sulpha?) says I can not collect or eat, (or certainly sell) eggs after treatment to the flocks drinking water, but it does not say for how long (- a reason I resisted treating the entire flock).
I wish I knew what to tell you! I've had the occasional "dirty butt" on my hens before, but never anything chronic. I think I would try to feed her some cooked oatmeal, and put some apple cider vinegar in the water. See if that helped.

As far as the Sulmet goes, they don't tell you how long to wait before you eat the eggs because nobody knows. The research just hasn't been done. Personally, I'm not allergic to Sulfa drugs, so I haven't been too concerned about it. I wait a couple of weeks. No big deal. If a bird is sick enough to be treated with Sulmet, it's in quarantine anyway, so the flock's egg production isn't really affected.

Is there any way that you can separate this bird from the flock?

I'm not saying that I think it's cocci, mind you. I just don't know.

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