hens with white poop residue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nature nut, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. nature nut

    nature nut Songster

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    A neighbor is moving and wants to give me his two 2 year old hens. I went by his house to see the birds today and saw that they both have white poop residue sticking to the feathers around their vents. I did not get a chance to pick them up and check them out. They stayed out of his reach. From talking to him I realize he is letting them free range and only supplementing with cracked corn, no chicken feed at all. They sleep in a dog kennel on top of a 6 inch brick hard slab of of chicken poop, dirt and hay. He also has geese and ducks that the chickens are in contact with as well as a rabbit, dogs, and cats. Could the pasty butt problem be as simple as nutritional problems, worms, or parasites. They appear healthy and active. What should I check and how can I go about integrating them into my flock of 7 week old chicks.
  2. obe10

    obe10 Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Irmo, South Carolina
    i free range my fowl and they eat cracked corn all are fine so that can't be it. other then that i don't know what to tell you, sorry
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    No matter what precautions you take, there is a chance you will be bringing a disease to your new chicks. The hens could be carriers of one of the respiratory diseases, but not have symptoms.

    I would guess that what you see is the result of a mites or lice infestation, and that can be managed with the recommended month's quarantine plus addressing the mites/lice. Since it is white, it is also possible they both are having egg production issues, such as a broken egg stuck inside. There are probably other reasons for white dried discharge that I'm not familiar with. I agree, I'd certainly worm them.

    If you take them, you might also choose a "sacrifice" chick from your current batch. You then put the chosen one with the new birds, after their month's quarantine, for a few more weeks, and see if he/she develops any symptoms. Actually, there might be some serious pecking problems if you try to integrate the two groups before the young ones are full size, anyway.

    If you do not have facilities set up to house them far away from each other for several weeks, to prevent airborne transmission of disease, you might not want to do this. Frankly, I would not, but many on here do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2009
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    For mites and lice, they can be seen at night if you look closely around the vent or under the wings, or sometimes behind the neck. They are tiny crawling critters, and you would also see tiny clusters of eggs, at the base of the feathers or on the feather shafts. For worms, an inexpensive test can be done by the vet, although they can be present even if the test is negative.

    I must admit, considering the conditions they live in, I wouldn't bother; I would just treat for both. I'd dust with permethrin, then worm with piperazine, then worm with ivermectin about 10 days later.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I have one hen who always seems to have a poopy butt. She seems perfectly healthy otherwise, a very good layer, and top of the pecking order. Once in a while I try and catch her and cut or pull the poopy stuff off, she doesn't much care for that. Being as how your chicks are so much younger, I would keep the hens completely separated until the chicks are at least 4 months old anyway. Then you can evaluate them, see if there are any disease issues.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: