1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Holy chicken poop!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AinaWGSD, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    49
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    One of my girls (at least I think it's only one, though I have no idea which one) has been laying huge stools! I have two german shepherds, and these droppings are about as big as one of their smallish stools (yes, my dogs do have fairly compact stools, but they're still 80lb dogs!). They seem normal in every other aspect except for size. This can't be normal though, right? Anything I should be on the look out for specifically? Possibly egg laying issues? I do have one hen who just can't lay a normal egg to save her life...they are usually soft shelled, almost always large, and frequently have a membrane over the shell, and twice in the past few weeks she's laid two eggs in the same day.
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

    685
    2
    131
    Mar 22, 2010
    NH
    how old are your hens? some hens when broody will only poop a couple of times a day, so they kinda hold it in and release a big one or it is just your hen, keep an eye on her, one of mine and she is a little hen lays very large poops. sounds like you might need it add some calcium to their diet, try oyster shells from the feed store, may help with those soft eggs
     
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,761
    29
    210
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Here is some info on what is called cecal droppings.

    WikiAnswers says:
    The ceca contains bacteria that break down anything in the feed that the chicken itself could not break down in its stomach.

    Cecum. A blind pouch at the juncture of the small and large intestine (resembles the human appendix); plural: ceca.

    Here is another explanation of what the cecum do/es. Copied from the below pdf file. I really and totally now understand why this stuff stinks SO BAD!!!!

    CECAL FUNCTIONS
    Cecal functioning is still only partly understood (McNab 1973, Braun and Duke 1989). Although early investigations searched for a single function of the organ, it is now clear that the cecum has the potential to act in many different ways. And depending on the species involved, the cecal morphology, and the ecological conditions under which a bird lives, those functions can be vitally important to its physiology-perhaps especially so during periods of stress. It is also apparent that the avian cecum can function in a highly efficient manner, even more efficiently than the cecum of most mammalian herbivores in terms of size and fermentation rates
    (Gasaway 1976b).
    The intestinal type of cecum in birds is a blind-ended sac with a meshwork of long interdigitating villi at its entrance. The majority of cecal villi apparently act as a sieve, allowing fluid and fine particles to enter the cecal lumen as colonic contents are pushed against and selectively past the cecal sphincter by retrograde waves of colonic muscle contraction (Fenna and Boag 1974a). At the same time, this material is prevented from moving up into the ileum by the contracted ileal sphincter. The colonic motility probably also rinses water-soluble substances and fine particles from the colonic contents and pushes them into the ceca (Bjornhag 1989). Because a cecum is blind-ended, its contents can be retained for longer periods than would be possible in the main (small or large) intestine through which digesta move relatively rapidly (e.g., Shibata and Sogou 1982, Clench and Mathias 1992). Held in the ceca, fluid has time to be absorbed and molecules in solution as well as solid particles can be acted on by bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms (Duke 1986b). It is also now appreciated that the mixing action produced by cecal wall contractions keeps the contents in general motion; cecal motility also contributes to filling and evacuating the organ (Duke 1986a, Clench and Mathias, unpubl. data). Thus, at different times and under different conditions, the cecum has been found to be a site for fermentation and further digestion of food (especially for breakdown of cellulose), for utilization and absorption of water and nitrogenous components, for microbial action of both beneficial and disease-causing organisms, and as a site for production of immunoglobulins and antibodies.
    Study subjects.-Much of what is known about cecal physiology is based on studies of gallinaceous birds and waterfowl: the intestinal type of cecum. These birds (and their ceca) are large enough to study easily. Domestic and semidomestic species (chickens, quail, pheasants; domestic ducks and geese) also are readily available, they are behaviorally more amenable to manipulation, and their economic importance leads to research funding. Unfortunately, however, most domestic birds (notably chickens) have proved to be exceptionally poor models for the study of cecal function. This is probably because, through the genetic changes resulting from domestication, and the almost universal use of commercial, nutritionally complete, poultry feed (even “enhanced” with antibiotics), the average chicken cecum has lost much or all of its natural microflora and -fauna and its potential physiological capabilities (Thomas 1987). A chicken fed on whole natural grains that require more “digestion” produces results more like those from wild birds (unpubl. data). A cecectomized chicken seldom differs significantly from the intact bird in growth or other physiologic indicators (Thornburn and Willcox, 1965). Consequently, older literature abounds with contradictory and confusing reports based on studies of domestic fowl (McNab 1973). A clearer picture of natural cecal function is only now beginning to emerge.
     
  4. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    49
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    My girls are about 9 months old now (hatch date 7/18/10) and no one is broody, they spend two hours tops in the nest boxes and then everyone's back out in the yard foraging again. It's also a fairly recent thing, I just noticed them this past week (and I actually pick up chicken poop daily (or every few days at least) when I pick up the dog poop).

    They have had free access to layer crumbles, oyster shell, and grit since the first one started laying. Her eggs have always been bizarre like this, right from the very first. When they do have a fully calcified shell it's paper thin. And she rarely lays in the nest box, which is a blessing in disguise because about half the times that she has laid in the box the egg has cracked and I've ended up with yolk all over the other eggs.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by