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Hen pooping stones

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thkosan, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. thkosan

    thkosan In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Hempstead, TX
    Hyacinth, one of my Cuckoo Marans has always been very thin... she eats like a horse. She literally consumes as much as three chickens -- she is ALWAYS hungry. Today she has started to poo stones of all shape and colors -- these are stones from outside, not organic internally created stones. Should I take her to the vet or is this normal? She's laying beautiful eggs and seems otherwise very healthy (except for her runway thin figure -- she just doesn't put on weight regardless of the volume of food she eats.)

    Thanks for your input.

  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    You might want to have her poo checked for worms, or just go ahead and worm her, starting with Wazine, as it is milder than other wormers you will find suggested. While you're at it, check for mites or lice, to make sure that they aren't an issue.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Can you figure out where in the yard she is getting the stones? Often there is "something" on the stones that attract the chickens to pick and eat them (grease from a BBQ, blood from processing, spilt food), if you can find the area, I would block it off from the chickens for a bit, until the something is gone.

    I would also crate/kennel the stone pooper, so that she could only eat what I was offering for a bit. That way you can be sure to keep good food in front of her 24/7.

    Also - do you offer your birds grit? If not, you should get a bag at the feed store, pour some in a bowl and offer free choice. She might not be finding stones/grit small enough for her crop (larger are passing thru) and so her food is not being ground like it need for digestion - causing her weight loss.
  4. biddybird

    biddybird Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Salado Texas
    Excellant advice from all above. Definately use the wazine on her in my experience anything that eats like that is not getting all their food. You can also try diatomaceous earth for your flock, let all of them bathe in it. It helps with the worms naturally and is safe to use.

    Good luck!
  5. thkosan

    thkosan In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Hempstead, TX
    Appreciate your feedback.

    Hyacinth has been wormed with a boad-spectrum wormer (fenbendazole -- Wazine is piperazine and used for large roundworms only) -- my entire flock is wormed regularly. So no worms. We also give them food grade DE. We use Eprinex for external parasites, so lice and mites are not a problem.

    Hyacinth gets oyster shell when she is inside at night and free ranges during the day outside with the other chickens. Although she prefers to be inside 24/7.

    So all bases suggested have been well covered.

    Any other ideas?
  6. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    What about grit?

    Oyster shells are not grit and do not replace grit. Oyster shells contribute calcium for good shell strength but are much, much too soft to actually grind food.

    Grit is small gravel/sand - granite is preferred. Grit is used in the gizzard to grind the food (since chickens have no teeth and do not have a curved beak like a parrot to break up food). Once the grit in the gizzard is "used up", it must be replaced - sometimes daily.

    While most birds can fulfill their grit requirement while free ranging, sometimes there is just not enough bird approved small gravel/stones/sand and the birds need to be supplemented.
  7. ajaldridge

    ajaldridge In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2010
    Just so I can clear up something for me I have a question to add to this thread. We already offer the grit and I keep some in the dish at all times, but in addition to this do we also need to offer the oyster shells? And if so how often?

  8. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Songster

    wanted to add. i used to free range every day but this summer there were lots of extra hawks and i was so worried about my girls, especially after i found the one sitting on top of the yard, so i rarely let them out. we have grit, that every so often i sprinkle in the yard for them, and i offer a tray of oystershell.

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