Is it ok for chickens to eat their own poop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by neohsks, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. neohsks

    neohsks Hatching

    Mar 29, 2012
    I posted a thread this morning saying that one of the chicken had been very down and finally died. Now another one is showing the same symptoms. I have noticed that they eat their poop. Could that be contagious to the other chickens if they end up eating the sick chick poop?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    That's not quite the question I expected from your title. The answer is yes, it is very possible for them to spread diseases by eating each other's poop. It depends on what the disease is.

    I purposely take dirt from the run that has the adult chicken's poop in it and put it in the brooder around Day 3. This gives the chicks any probiotics the adults may have and a exposes them to any disease organisms the adults may have. It's easier for chicks to develop immunity to certain things when they are very young. There is a risk to this too. It depends on what those diseases might be as to whether they get an immunity or they die, but I figure they are going to be exposed to those disease organisms when they join the flock anyway. So far, I have not lost any chicks from doing this.

    This is a common way to spread probiotics and immunities in the animal kingdom. One example. When a baby elephant starts to eat things other than just live off its mother's milk, it eats some of the mother's poop to get the right probiotics in its system so it can digest that stuff.

    I'm really sorry to hear you are having problems. That's a very helpless, frustrating feeling. Hopefully you are getting help on your other thread. There are some good talented people on this forum.

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