excessive drinking, mushy crop, projectile water feces

hollyberry1

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 28, 2011
1
0
7
About 3 weeks ago one of my 7 four month old hens behavior changed, she layed down a lot, lost interest in food, and had a squishy crop. After researching the web and talking to other folks, we 'determined' that it may be sour crop. In the interest of the flock, I took her to the vet and Maude was put on Baytril (antibiotic) and we fed her yogurt with probiotics. She has regained her energy but now for the last 2 or so weeks I have noticed that all of the chickens (2 roosters and 7 hens all about 4 months old) have been drinking excessively, have mushy water filled crops (not surprising considering all the water they drink), watery projectile feces, and they sometimes vomit when they bend over. With the exception of those behaviors, they all seem normal (eating, running, jumping, playing) and happy. It was suggested that all the treats (slugs, bugs, squash, plums, corn) I give them should be stopped and they should only eat the crumbles. For the most part, I have stopped the treats, but the problems persist. The local feedstore said it may just be normal because of the hot weather (90s to 100s), but local friends of mine dont seem to have the same problem with their chickys. the 9 chickens have a 6X8 foot henhouse with cedar bedding connected to an approximately 12x20 coop lined with straw. I have a feeder and waterer in both the coop and the hen house. We recently begun letting the chickys out to graze for about an hour before sunset. The henhouse and coop are mostly in the shade of an oak tree, but they dappled sun at certain parts of the day. Does anyone have suggestions or does this seem remotely normal for hot weather?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
645
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I would do two things if it were me (I don't know if this is the cause of your troubles though):

I would change the cedar bedding to pine shavings or hay (I like shavings best). Cedar shavings are too aromatic for chickens but some folks put a handful down in the bottom of the nest box and cover it with pine to keep bugs away.

I would make sure they have the correct size grit. I like Cherrystone size #3 for large fowl and #2 for bantams (from the feed store).

They need grit to grind up treats and whole grains. If you are only on ground grains, they don't need grit.
 

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