Hen stopped laying and has diarrhea...


6 Years
Sep 8, 2013
Hey, I have a question about one of my little ladies. "Eggy" was my first hen to start laying a little over a month ago. She produced daily until recently. A first I thought that one of my other hens hadn't started laying, because I was only getting 3 eggs a day. Today I noticed the hen I thought had never started laying was actually in the nest box laying her egg, so the other hen started laying for a month, then stopped. (Sorry, this sounds confusing) this afternoon I noticed she had a poopy butt from diarrhea. We cleaned her fanny and clipped her butt feathers a little. What would cause diarrhea and no egg laying? I'm really not sure exactly when she stopped, since I was confused as to which hen was laying. My girls are free ranging in a fenced backyard, that layer feed, scraps and whatever else they find. The hen in question has no hard lumps indicating a stuck egg and is eating well. My dogs are in the backyard with the chickens, I'm afraid it may be contagious. Thanks in advance!
Couple of things come to mind. Has it been very hot where you are? Sometimes hens will often slow down or stop laying when it's very hot and they may drink a lot of water which in turn can cause loose droppings. Another consideration is parasites. I would pick her up and check her body condition carefully, see if she feels like she's lost weight. You can also at that time check her over carefully for external parasites like lice or mites. If they have never been dewormed you might want to consider doing so. You can also have a fecal sample tested by a vet to see if anything obvious pops up. Just be aware that a single sample can give a false negative if parasites are not shedding eggs when the sample is done. If this were my bird and they hadn't been dewormed that's probably where I'd start and then maybe give probiotic's in the water and see if things get back to normal.

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