Does stress affect dropping consistency?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Uzuri, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Twice in a little over a week I had to leave my chickens in their coop rather than letting them loose during the day. This, naturally, didn't make them happy and it's hard to explain to them that they wouldn't be happy in the belly of a coon either, but that's neither here nor there. They have 4 sq. ft. indoor space per bird and they don't pick or hurt each other, but they definitely get grumpy if you leave them in.

    Anyway, the day after the first time I noticed really runny droppings, which naturally worried me. I hopped maybe they just needed grit since they'd been in the same spot for a while and we actually don't have a lot of stone in our soil, so I gave them some, and it cleared right up.

    But then I had them locked up on Thanksgiving as well and the next day, runny droppings all over. So I'm thinking maybe it wasn't a grit issue, but rather a stress issue. I'm having a hard time thinking it's an illness, since everything cleared up in between the two lock-up days, though of course that is possible.

    So is stress a possibility? This is going to throw a big monkey wrench in my holiday plans if it is, but geeze, I'd sure rather have that than a disease!
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know, maybe. Another possibility - could they have been bored and drinking more than usual? (was there more water consumption?)

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Interesting Idea, will be looking for more responses.

  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Yes, definitely. I brought our favorite chicken to the vet a few weeks ago because I noticed her poop had gone watery (and she was acting off) and the vet confirmed this was a stress poop. They see it a lot from birds brought into the vet, too (birds seem to hate going to the vet just as much as dogs do).

    Of course, runny droppings can come from other causes, too, so you just have to watch your chickens to see if you can spot any other clues.

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