HELP! My Brooding Hen has Diarrhea

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Barry Natchitoches, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a buff orpington, about eight and a half months old, who decided to go broody back Dec. 1'st. She's sitting on 10 eggs right now, on a nest, inside a large dog cage (about 2 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet high, I think), inside the spare bedroom in our house since there is no other place for a broody to go in our small suburban place. The henhouse is full.


    We were hoping it was just a first time broody bomb when she dumped a load a few days ago that had a whole lot of diarrhea as well as solids in it.


    But after three days of not pooping at all, tonight she finally let it out -- three days worth of waste products, most of it liquid. The only solid residue in her poo was some undigested pieces of scrambled egg.


    After she didn't seem to be eating or drinking or pooing at all (three days of no noticible activity), four days ago we pulled her out of her cage and brought her to a special area where she could eat, drink and poo. The theory was that she might not want to poo in her dog cage.


    And that night, it worked. She ate a scrambled egg, drank a little water, and dumped ALOT of brownish colored liquid along with waste solids. Gag a maggot!


    The next night, and the next, we brought her out, and she did eat the scrambled egg we gave her, and drank some water (spiked with some apple cider vinegar with "mother"), since I had read in several places about that being good for chickens with diarrhea. She ate and drank, then complained LOUDLY until we returned her to her eggs.


    Tonight, we took her to the same place, at the same time, using the same routine.


    But she didn't go to eating the egg right away. She just stood there, looked all around, and when she figured it was safe, she let out a ton of diarrhea with a few bits of undigested egg in it.


    I'm already giving her apple cider vinegar with "mother." I spike her water with it. One tablespoon per gallon of water. What else can I do?


    Oh, BTW, I found an old chicken book on the web somewhere, from back in the 1940s or thereabouts, which claims that broodies who feel confined sometimes become diarrheaic. I have not found any other source that says that, but I guess I'm wondering if this is psychosomatic, or if this is a real illness. She is pretty much confined to that dog cage, because we have no place else for her to go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    If she is expelling undigested egg each time, it could be this that is causing her problem. Generally if a food is undigested when it comes out there is a reason....either it goes through too quickly to digest~which doesn't seem like the case for your girl, or it is a bowel/GI irritant in some way and causes hypermotility of the bowels and increased water to remain in the fecal material because of the hypermotility.

    I would lay off giving the eggs and just feed regular feed for now. Broody poop is kind of dark and thinner anyway, so I wouldn't be too concerned with the consistency or color.
     
  3. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We only started giving her the scrambled egg because it seemed like she wasn't eating the food we put in her pen (chicken crumbles for baby chicks, we figured that way, she could share her food with the chicks when they are born. Besides, she doesn't need the extra calcium right now, and so that is what a friend who raises chicks suggested we do.)


    So I can hold back on the egg, no problem.


    But she had the diarrhea before we gave her the first egg.


    She was just eating chicken crumbles back then, if she was eating at all.


    I did notice that the last two days, there was a place in her feeder where she had been nibbling away at the crumbles, even with us giving her an egg during her "time out."


    Anyway, I can hold back on the egg, but since she was diarrheac before she got the first egg, I don't figure that will solve the problem.
     
  4. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if a drop of children's imodium would help her?


    I know that when my Maine Coon cat was just a kitten, she had diarrhea BAD! (She was a homeless stray which came to us and ask us to take her in). The vet told me to use children's imodium on her, and it cleared her right up.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    All broodies have dark liquid splats that smell to high heaven....I wouldn't worry much about it. Also, they tend to lay off normal eating patterns while brooding, so supplementing their feed isn't necessary unless it just makes you feel better to do so. Changing her feed to chick crumbles instead of what she is used to eating may cause some GI differences but, again, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  6. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, this is not the normal liquid surrounding solids that broodies emit once a day.


    She was broody a few months ago, and she had normal kinds of broody poo at that time. Big, stunk to high heavens, and yes, there was a bit of liquid, but not like this.


    99% of her emission was brown liquid. It splattered over an area that was about 14 inches by 14 inches or so (no, I didn't get down there with a yard stick and measure the splatter -- that's just the best estimate I can give you of how much spread there was). We have her going on huge cardboard panels from the box a neighbor got his new freezer in, so at least it is not too difficult to clean up.


    At any rate, this is true, full blown diarrhea.


    She does not seem to be suffering, fortunately. She's acting just like a normal broody -- introspective, and only tempremental when she is separated from her eggs.


    She is pretty much exactly as she was last time she went broody, except for this diarrhea problem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Sounds like you have it well in hand and are quite knowledgable about the problem. [​IMG] Good luck with your broody! [​IMG]
     
  8. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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