Frozen Poopy Butt

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PamUdom, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. PamUdom

    PamUdom New Egg

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    May 20, 2012
    Vermont
    Hi everyone,

    I have 7 hens who are about 7 months old, and it has been really cold in Vermont, mostly below zero Farenheit in the past week. Yesterday I noticed that one of my Easter Eggers, Chipmunk, had a big frozen mass of poo hanging off her butt. She has been less active than the other girls and seems to be skinnier than the rest of them, but has been eating and drinking and was going after the strawberry tops I scattered around the coop yesterday, as usual. I have to admit, I don't check their butts on a regular basis so I am not sure how long she had the frozen poop mass. So I brought her into the house, put her in a shower stall, and used a hair dryer to thaw the poop mass. I used paper towels and dish washing liquid to clean her up, then dried her feathers with the hair dryer. I fed her some sunflower seeds, and she seemed fine so I took her back out to the coop. Today, she had a frozen clump of poo stuck to her butt again, and in the evening she was the only girl not on the roost, instead just standing one-legged on the poop board. She was the only one to not come down to greet my husband when he went to close the coop door this evening.

    We are chicken newbies and are clueless but we are worried she might be sick. Have any of you dealt with this sort of thing before? What is wrong with her? What should we do?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Hi Pam

    Funny, I just went through this frozen poop ball hanging from one of my pullets bums. I noticed she had some runny but for a few days, and with this horrible cold snap, it just kept getting bigger and bigger until she was lugging around this huge ball. It must of felt awful with that heavy thing pulling at all those sensitive feathers. I have never had a runny but yet, so I was also worried she might not be feeling well. My small flock is 6 months old, and have all started laying. Other than the ice poop ball, she was moving fine, and eating and drinking well. I wasn't as good as you! I brought her in the warm tack room of my barn, and simply cut it off. The entire area around her vent was red and bare since I think the frozen goo pulled on all her feathers. Her vent was fine though, no discharge of any kind. After cutting away, and also gently removing any other hard pieces of poo, I got some warm water and dried the red area off and took NuStock and covered the entire area with the cream. You could also use Carmex cream to put on the area as well.

    There are many reasons for runny poo. Look to see what you are feeding your girls. You may try to cut back on fruits and any human food for a few days and see if that stops the runny consistency. As good as some of those foods are for the chickens, we can give too much of a good thing and also some are sensitive to them. In the beginning, I couldn't wait to feed them new things. Its like I wanted to shower them with all sorts of stuff. I have come to realize that a good, balanced chicken food, oyster shell, and clean water should be the basis of all they get. That and free ranging of course if you have area to do so. The only treats I give now are on rare occasion yogurt for the healthy culture in their gut, and BOSS. Meal worms too for some protein. I do spread scratch to keep them busy on days they are stuck inside their run. I think in my case, I discovered that my husband was giving them some of our horse sweet feed before he left for work, and I am hoping that caused her to have this reaction. I am watching closely

    Now as far as your girl being sick, watch her closely. Sometimes when we worry,, we imagine more is wrong. If she is eating, drinking and of course pooping, these are all good signs. Are her feathers puffed up, and appear out? This is a sign of illness. Don't worry about her not being on the roost one night, sometimes this happens, but in this cold, try to put her up there to be with her coop mates.

    Do you add Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar to their drinking water? This is quite useful for correcting minor ailments in their digestive tracts. If you don't do it, I would highly recommend it, there are a lot of benefits. Braggs is the brand with the "mother" in it. That is the healthy ingredient you want to pass on to your birds. Fermenting your feed is something that experienced chicken owners swear by for healthy poos. I plan on doing it once the weather is warmer.

    Of course, search runny butt in the forum section, you will no doubt find a lot of information.

    Let us know how she is doing,
    Good Luck!

    MB
     
  3. PamUdom

    PamUdom New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    May 20, 2012
    Vermont
    Thanks very much for the advice!

    She did look a little bit puffed up and withdrawn today, but still ate the sunflower seeds I scattered in the coop this morning. I think she even laid an egg, because I got 6 eggs this morning and one late in the day yesterday, accounting for all 7 girls. They take longer than a day to form a new egg, right? This evening when I went to close the coop door, she was the only girl not up on the roost again and was in a nest box. She came out to greet me, but when I tried to put her on the roost, she squawked and I noticed that her left toes would not curl around the roosting pole. So I picked her up and again, her toes would not curl around my hand the way they normally do. The bottom of her foot looked a little red, so I brought her inside. She walked around exploring and pecking at bits of spilled food on the floor (I have kids) and seemed fine. I brought in some of her pellets to eat and filled the chick waterer for her, and she drank eagerly. She started to bend the toes on her left foot again, so I guess she was just frozen out in the coop?? She walked around normally after that. I didn't see any frostbite. And then thawing poop started to fall off her butt (we confined her to the bathroom at that point). My husband gave her some raisins and oat cereal, and then noticed that as she bent down to peck at the food, she regurgitated water several times. That made me wonder if she has a crop problem. So I came on the forums to read about that and found that we shouldn't be feeding her solid food, so we took away her food and let her have some more water and put her in a box with some bedding in the bathroom to let her rest. Normally she eats layer pellets with a snack once a day of either sunflower seeds, strawberry tops, or whatever other fruits or veggies we have around. Recently I put an entire pumpkin in the run for the girls to play with, and they ate most of the insides but that was not the first time for them. I did recently add straw to their usual pine shavings for bedding because I thought it might be cozier for them in this cold snap. I hope she is not eating it, because I came across the crop surgery pictures in these forums and would rather not have to do that to her! Her crop felt big and mushy, but I figured it might just be all the water and food she just ate after coming in the house. I will see how it is in the morning after not eating anything overnight. I didn't have a chance to get ACV because of work today, but will try to find some tomorrow.

    Thanks!
     

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