explosive black diarrehea, tired, thin, no appetite, fecal negative


12 Years
Jul 6, 2007
2 days ago I noticed that Midnight, our 9 month old black sex-link pullet was not coming over for treats. I picked her and realized she was quite thin (unlike my other 4 fat chickens). She also seemed to be quite lethargic, staring into space, not pecking and scratching. Yesterday I brought her into the house and tried to get her to eat a warm mash made of yogurt, soft boiled egg and layer pellets. She ate a little,drank water if I held it up for her and then let out a series of explosive black stools that really shot out of the pen she was in. I brought some to the vet for a fecal (worms?). She was in the coop over night and that same explosive black poop covered quite a bit of the coop this morning.
Fecal came back negative. She looks a little better today, but is still not her perky self. What is wrong with Midnight? How can I help her?
WoW, kayri-- She's the Only one having this?? Could she have eaten something-- like something rusty maybe?? Iron can make for black stools, or maybe blood in the stool. Vet didn't say anything ???
Yes, she is the only one. I hope the others don't get anything like it.

The avian vet (named Dr. Bird) won't be in until Mon. I have an appointment then. The other vet admitted she didn't know anything about chickens but was worried that the black stool could be an indication of internal bleeding. .

I'm worried:(
*I would be, too! The folks here are gonna want a detailed list of everything she eats, or could eat & the history of the birds & other onset info, too-- Does she have a name??
Of course, Midnight is her name.

My 5 chickens free range and have free access to layer pellets. They get the usual treats of oatmeal, leftover pasta an occasional tablespoon of cat food when the cats are tired of that flavor. They tend to eat more meat then most chickens because my daughter is the only one who eats red meat and she usually does things like eat half of a burger and leaves the rest. I suppose they could eat anything they found like nails or glass.

I first noticed symptoms 2 days ago. My daughter who picks them up more often than I do has said that Midnight is the lightest, and also has been "last" for a while now.
scary thought-- rat poison. Yes I suppose she could have gotten into some outside, they do wander across our 3 neighbors yards and I suppose they could have put out rat poison or had old rat poison under a deck or so.

Will she recover by herself from rat poison? She appears a bit better tonight. I let her run with the flock in the morning and brought her in to rest in the afternoon. She ate a scrambled egg and some layer pellet mash with yogurt. She had one normal consistency but still blackish poop and still had some very loose black poops, but not as bad and explosive as before.

She is more alert than yesterday, but still not as perky as she used to be.

If it was rat poison would it come on suddenly? Would she have lost a lot of weight over the last week or so?

thanks for you input.
*Honestly, kayri-- not trying to be mean, but if she got into rat poison I'm surprised she's around to tell the tale. . . . You said something about old cat food. Could there be anything that was on the recall list, maybe???
Have you ever wormed your birds??? faecals often come back falsely negative... cappillaria can cause bleeding in the intestines. It might also be some kind of enteral dysbacteriosis.
I would keep this bird separated and off the field (free range) till you find out what is wrong...keep draft free and in a temp stable environment and keep offering free choice live culture yogurt. I would also cook the oatmeal and not give any more than enough to mix through the feed till it clumps. Cut out nay other type of treat or additional items.
If it were my bird and i had never wormed them I would do so with an ivermectin spot-on (ivomec Eprinex) regardless of the faecal results.
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