Molting Chicken has diarrhea - Fecal test negative for worms and bacteria

cocoloco

Chirping
May 31, 2016
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I have a 4 year old Production Red - a rescue bird that becomes a house chicken every year due to her bad molts. Honestly, she will come in as soon as she starts to feel poorly, a month or so later, she voluntarily returns to the coop - all feathers gorgeous and thick, and starts throwing her weight around in the small flock! This year, she has light yellow diarrhea. I felt it was from giver her too much canned corn (Our favorite and hers!) Just to be sure, I brought her to the vet for a checkup with a fecal sample. Vet gave her a clean bill of health -her weight was the same as last year, and fecal sample came back negative for worms and infection/bacteria. CONCLUSION: we are giving her too much people food. I have to admit, she begs worse than a dog and is hard to refuse when we are eating. For the past 2 days have limited her to Nutrena grain, (my chickens' main source of nutrition in winter) with mealworms and 7-grain scratch as a treat - but she is still passing light yellow, watery stool most of the time - with a semi-formed stool once or twice a day. I am wondering - is there a quick cure for diarrhea when nothing else seems to be wrong? She is not lethargic and has NEVER stopped eating. She eats more than any chicken I have ever owned. I bought some plain yogurt - but need to mix it in something - she won't touch it as found. I read an old cure was bran flakes and buttermilk. Has anyone tried that?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
17,830
20,825
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Colorado Rockies
Your hen may be showing signs of egg yolk peritonitis. EYP. She could also be suffering from fatty liver disease from the description of her diet. Both of these conditions usually result on a deposit of fat under the vent.

You definitely want to knock off feeding her corn and all the empty carbs. If the runny yellow poop stops after discontinuing the corn, then you know it was the cause. Instead, try a high protein feed and offering cabbage or kale or similar greens as treats.
 

cocoloco

Chirping
May 31, 2016
102
24
89
I lost a rescue hen 2 years ago to EYP so I try to look for signs of that in advance. In this case, my vet ruled EYP out after a physical exam, an ultrasound, and the fecal sample results. I give my flock quite a bit of Kale - usually on a daily basis, they all love it - except for this hen! I just bought 18% feather fixer feed - I plan to give that to her - and only healthy snacks from now on. Thank you so much for responding.
 

cocoloco

Chirping
May 31, 2016
102
24
89
I lost a rescue hen 2 years ago to EYP so I try to look for signs of that in advance. In this case, my vet ruled EYP out after a physical exam, an ultrasound, and the fecal sample results. I give my flock quite a bit of Kale - usually on a daily basis, they all love it - except for this hen! I just bought 18% feather fixer feed - I plan to give that to her - and only healthy snacks from now on. Thank you so much for responding.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
48,469
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southern Ohio
Plain Greek yogurt (no sugar or flavors) works well as a probiotic, a tsp per bird, mixed into feed with a little water. Some others recommend using buttermilk with a little cooked rice to clear up diarrhea. Cottage cheese works well also. But limit the amount of any of those—just a little helps. Too much is not good.

My chickens love chopped kale, but I have read that it can be bad in large amounts too often. I cannot remember what it does, but others may know. Everything should be in moderation. Chicken feed needs to be 90% of their diet.
 
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cocoloco

Chirping
May 31, 2016
102
24
89
All great advice. I remember hearing they cannot process dairy - so I give small doses in moderation. Thank you to all who responded. I love this group!
 
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