HELP!!! Grey wattles/combs/faces and black coffee grind poop (pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MyFrancesca, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    I have been searching the internet for 3 days. I have found NOTHING so far that can tell me what in the world is going on with my chickens. First, their faces look dirty. Like they dipped them in a dust pan and it stuck to their wattles, combs and faces. Today I found their poop looks different. It almost has a coffee grind look to it. They are acting fine, laying fine, and eating well. I put them on pellet feed about a month and a half ago. They free range and get our compost scraps every day. They are almost 6 months old. The poo is under the roost and there is a lot of it so I assume it's more than one of them. They all have the grey markings on their faces.

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  2. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2013
    Kentucky
    My Coop
    Wow, that's strange, never seen this before. It looks like charcoal to me. It appears in the pics to be on the feathers on their heads as well and maybe some on their necks? Or is that just the way the pic makes it look? Is it on their feet and/or legs too? Just makes me think they got into something, like charcoal that was added to the compost pile or to the garden soil. We always throw our charcoal in the compost pile, which is why I thought of this. Also, I know a lot of people add charcoal to their dust baths as it is supposed to help expel external parasites.

    Guppy
     
  3. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2013
    CT
    have they been eating wood ash or charcoal? That would explain the dirty face and black poop.
     
  4. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    We have a fire pit in the same area they free range but I've never seen them in it or near it. They scour the compost though. We do have coffee grinds in there...basically everything that you woul throw away. We give them all our left over meat and dairy too. They have been trying to take bites out of ghost and scoprion peppers...It's too late now but I will go look at the fire pit tomorrow.
    The pics look exactly how they look...that is 2 different birds. One worse than the other.
     
  5. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    Well no sign of fire pit bathing. I showed a "chicken expert" at the feed store pictures of the ladies and he said he thinks they just got into some sort of dirt somewhere and since they can't clean their face, it's been staying that way...esp since we've had rain sprinkles on and off lately. As far as the poop...he said it looks like flies have gone at it/through it/etc and that's the cause of the funky looking poo in the coop.
    Since the chickens are generally healthy otherwise, I'm going to agree with him and continue to watch them just in case.
     
  6. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    Have to tried washing their faces to see if it is actually dirt?
     
  7. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    LOL No....you'd think that'd be the first thing, right? I tried to smear it off and some didn't budge much which then sent me into chicken panic mode to find out what was wrong.
     
  8. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2013
    Kentucky
    My Coop
    Try to get some on a paper towel and smell it? I don't know if you want to try this but coffee, charcoal and dirt all smell pretty strongly and very different.
     

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