Lethargic hen with goopy, poopy butt

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RachelJoy, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2009
    I have a 3 year old silver laced wyandotte who is not doing well. She hates to be handled, so I was surprised that she let me come right up and stroke her today. She's lying in the sun, I thought enjoying this beautiful day. Then I noticed her butt is incredibly poopy, and kind of oozing and dripping some gelatinous looking poop (a lovely description, I know). I picked her up and put her down on her feet and she kind of flopped down on her belly again.

    She ate the oatmeal I had brought out as a treat, and she's drinking water (she's hanging out right next to a water bowl).

    I don't even know what to look up to try to figure out what is wrong and what I should do. Any thoughts?
     
  2. DawnCols

    DawnCols Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Sorry to hear it.

    I'm no expert in chickens, but I am a nurse and I did deal with a chicken with a poopy butt this winter. At first I noticed she seemed to be accumulating poop on her butt. When she started getting lethargic, I got worried so I gave her a bath. I used a big rubbermaid tub, filled it 2/3 full of warm water and I set her in there. After she soaked awhile, I used rubber gloves to check that the stuff had come off, took her out wrapped in a towel and dried her off, left her in a warm spot overnight. She obviously felt much better after and went back to her perky self.

    It was middle of winter so I did all this indoors--but I'm guessing you could do it outdoors in the nice weather, so I'm not including all the details of how I dealt with doing this indoors.

    The gelatinous-looking stuff doesn't sound good though. Makes me wonder if she's got a broken egg inside her or some kind of infection.

    Anyway, I imagine a bath would be a good first step. Obviously be careful not to drown her if you do, since she's not very responsive--but I should think getting her cleaned up would at least help.

    Good luck. I hope someone more knowledgeable chimes in soon.
     
  3. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for the response. I'll try with the bath. I'm particularly concerned as I'm going out of town tomorrow for 5 days and my husband is on his own with the kids, dog, and hens. Hopefully just getting her cleaned up might help some.
     
  4. RachelJoy

    RachelJoy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2009
    I gave her a warm bath. She was so incredibly passive, which is not like her. Cleaned her butt, tried to investigate if there might be a stuck egg, but it seemed mostly like dried up poop inside. Dried her off as best as we could, tried the blow dryer, but I was afraid that would stress her out too much. She sat on my daughter's lap wrapped in towels for a long time and had a big poop on the floor. I took that as a good sign. Put her back outside and she just stayed flopped on the ground as before. I think she went to sleep out there with her beak tucked into her feathers. I just put her in the nesting box on some clean wood shavings for the night, but I'm not feeling very optimistic. I'll be gone before first light tomorrow, so I think I won't even check on her before I go (don't want to start out a business trip mourning a chicken). Hope that the family won't have to deal with a loss while I'm gone, but I have a feeling that might be what happens.
     

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