Hen w/ Poopy Butt Feathers

Nov 28, 2017
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I noticed this morning that my hen has very dirty feathers under her vent. All of my other chickens, including growers, have clean butt feathers. She’s 2ish years old, Sussex bantam, hasn’t laid in a couple days. They’ve just finished a bag of layers pellets medicated with Flubenvet. Some do get watery poos after it’s been a hot day or I’ve given watery treats like watermelon. But haven’t given any treats other than 3 corn on the cobs (shared between 11 chickens). None of my flock are showing signs of illness, she is not standing around by herself or looking drowsy. She looks very healthy, in my opinion.

Is it just her fluffy butt feathers collecting the poo or something else? And am I OK to wash her feathers with warm water?

Thanks ahead if anyone can help.

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DobieLover

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I noticed this morning that my hen has very dirty feathers under her vent. All of my other chickens, including growers, have clean butt feathers. She’s 2ish years old, Sussex bantam, hasn’t laid in a couple days. They’ve just finished a bag of layers pellets medicated with Flubenvet. Some do get watery poos after it’s been a hot day or I’ve given watery treats like watermelon. But haven’t given any treats other than 3 corn on the cobs (shared between 11 chickens). None of my flock are showing signs of illness, she is not standing around by herself or looking drowsy. She looks very healthy, in my opinion.

Is it just her fluffy butt feathers collecting the poo or something else? And am I OK to wash her feathers with warm water?

Thanks ahead if anyone can help.

View attachment 1906510
I would soak her bottom in warm soapy water to clean her off. If you've never done this before, the poop can harden like concrete so I just keep sloshing the warm water around the dirty area and squeeze the poop to break it up without tugging on the feathers then swish the dirty feathers in the water until you get everything off. Then remove her from the dirty bath and rinse her, towel her dry and put her back outside to finish drying and preening herself as long as it is not too cold.
I've released birds outside this way with temps around 50F. I try to do the cleaning just prior to the warmest part of the day so they have plenty of time to dry before going to roost.
After you clean her up, continue to monitor her for more poopy butt. If she still has it it, I would collect a sample from her and have a fecal float done to ensure she is parasite free.
 

Ninjasquirrel

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May 11, 2018
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I would soak her bottom in warm soapy water to clean her off. If you've never done this before, the poop can harden like concrete so I just keep sloshing the warm water around the dirty area and squeeze the poop to break it up without tugging on the feathers then swish the dirty feathers in the water until you get everything off. Then remove her from the dirty bath and rinse her, towel her dry and put her back outside to finish drying and preening herself as long as it is not too cold.
I've released birds outside this way with temps around 50F. I try to do the cleaning just prior to the warmest part of the day so they have plenty of time to dry before going to roost.
After you clean her up, continue to monitor her for more poopy butt. If she still has it it, I would collect a sample from her and have a fecal float done to ensure she is parasite free.
Sound advice but I would use a hair dryer to dry her off at least most of the way. I found that my birds like it so if you can blow dry her do so. Some birds are just messy poopers
 

DobieLover

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Sound advice but I would use a hair dryer to dry her off at least most of the way. I found that my birds like it so if you can blow dry her do so. Some birds are just messy poopers
I only do this in cold weather. Otherwise, they do just fine drying outside in the sun and breeze.
 
Nov 28, 2017
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UK
I would soak her bottom in warm soapy water to clean her off. If you've never done this before, the poop can harden like concrete so I just keep sloshing the warm water around the dirty area and squeeze the poop to break it up without tugging on the feathers then swish the dirty feathers in the water until you get everything off. Then remove her from the dirty bath and rinse her, towel her dry and put her back outside to finish drying and preening herself as long as it is not too cold.
I've released birds outside this way with temps around 50F. I try to do the cleaning just prior to the warmest part of the day so they have plenty of time to dry before going to roost.
After you clean her up, continue to monitor her for more poopy butt. If she still has it it, I would collect a sample from her and have a fecal float done to ensure she is parasite free.

Thank you. It’s still very warm outside so I’ll try to catch her and do it soon. Can I get a faecal float done at the vets? They don’t specialise in poultry though.
 

DobieLover

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Thank you. It’s still very warm outside so I’ll try to catch her and do it soon. Can I get a faecal float done at the vets? They don’t specialise in poultry though.
Yes! Poop is poop! You are just looking for the presence of internal parasite eggs and the severity of the load. They should be able to see those under the scope just like any other species.
 

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