Hen has eaten water saving crystal gel stuff.... what can I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nonny, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I noticed one of my girls has lost a little bit of weight lately although still looks and acts healthy. But today, she left a very watery looking poop on my doorstep, and another on the roof of the nesting boxes, and both contained what looked like clear jelly.

    After a bit of detective work, I found out that an old planter box that we had just stopped using was emptied onto the compost heap (since it had old potting mix in it), and I remembered that planter also had a lot of those water saving crystals in it thatabsorb heaps of water and look a bit gel/jelly like when they get wet.

    So I'm guessing that maybe Penny has found this stash of potting mix in the compost and eaten some (unless there's another reason for jelly in the poop?).

    Does anyone know what I should do? It's been in the compost heap for about a week and it's only today I noticed the poo looking funny (although it's been raining hard all week so not sure if I would have noticed if she'd been pooping runny all week and the entire ground is wet). If it works on innards like it does in potting mix this stuff has been sucking moisture out of all her food and then turning to jelly in her gut. I've removed the offending compost now, so should I just wait for it all to pass out of her or will I need to feed her something special to help her tummy or.... ??? They probably filled up her gut quite a bit and made her lose her appetite.

    She does *look* ok. I really have no idea! :(

    The stuff she's eaten looks like this in case anyone isn't sure what I'm talking about. The top of the pic shows it dry, the bottom of the pic shows it wet:

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Chickens eat all sorts of non-food items and survive without incident. Styrofoam is a big one. What I don't know is whether those are considered toxic or poisonous. Since it's been a week and she looks basically OK, I'd guess she will come through this fine. I'd probably give a little scrambled egg and vitamins in the water, or dropped on her beak, just to increase her nutrition, since as you said she may well have been filling up on non-food. You might check a bag of the product to see what it says about toxicity, maybe Google the product or even contact the manufacturer for further information.

    Good luck!

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