Hen drinking excessive amounts of water

m1marin

Songster
5 Years
Nov 2, 2016
63
52
127
San Leandro
Hi everyone,

We have a hen (Gertie) that is drinking excessively and spilling from her crop. She won't stop drinking water. I'm stumped. If anyone has experience, thoughts, or ideas on what path I should investigate I'd really appreciate it. Details and photos below. Thank you so much in advance.

1) Cream Legbar Hen, 3 years old, approx 3-4 lbs

2) She is drinking excessive amounts of water causing watery, loose droppings. She does this in all weather conditions (even cold weather). She is continuously drinking from the waterer until it's spilling out of her crop. He crop is always full of water and is spilling when she is foraging. She is not laying and started having trouble with thin shells and mislaid eggs early this spring.

3) 5-6 months

4) No other birds are drinking excessively. One other bird has loose droppings but not as severe.

5) No signs of trauma

6) She stopped laying this season and had a few oopsies early in the spring. Several times she got down from the roost in the middle of the night, walked down the ramp and laid an egg on the ground, then went back upstairs to the coop. She also had a couple of afternoon oopsies where she layed thin-shelled eggs on the sidewalk - almost as if she didn't know to seek the nesting box. However she still sits in the nesting box every day as if she's expecting an egg.

7) We feed Scratch and Peck Layer 16% or 18% depending on what's in stock. I tried fermenting for 2 or 3 months and it doesn't change her water intake or droppings. Fresh, clean water changed daily. Oystershells are always available and there's access to grit in the backyard.

8) Passing lots of water - droppings are very watery and loose.

9) Last de-worming was two years ago. Fecal float test for entire flock on Wednesday 8/4 came back negative for parasites/eggs. Belly feels normal - no ascites.

10) She is active, foraging, socializing, eating well and maintaining her body weight. I'd like to try and determine if her symptoms could be indicative of an underlying illness that requires treatment.

11) Pictures of the hen and fresh droppings attached (taken today).

12) Housing is a wooden coop with roosting bars and poop board - droppings removed daily. We use Koop Clean for the bedding material inside koop.

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Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
63,240
56,756
1,322
southern Ohio
Her crop looks large and distended. Can you feel of it in the early morning to see if it is emptying overnight? Crop disorders—impacted, sour, or pendulous crop can be problems that may cause increased drinking. Here is some reading about those:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
I once tried Scratch and Peck layer feed, and chickens can peck out the favorite parts, leaving the other parts. My flock would not even eat it, but have always preferred a homogeneous layer or all flock feed where each crumble or pellet was the same all over.
 

m1marin

Songster
5 Years
Nov 2, 2016
63
52
127
San Leandro
Thanks @Eggcessive. Yes, it's a little distended but it's full of water in that photo. Her crop is emptying overnight and she passing food. I checked this morning and her crop felt empty.

Regarding the Scratch and Peck - they definitely eat their favorite parts first. I serve it to them wetted so it clumps together like an oatmeal consistency. That ensures they are getting most of the nutritional value out of it. And they usually finish most if not all of it before I give them their next batch in the morning.
 

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