Noob here - advice for my messy chicken!

alexpb22

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2018
8
30
41
Hey everyone,

This is my first post on here and I am completely new to chicken keeping although I've had my hens for a few months now.

I have 5 Buff Orpingtons, three reds and two black and there's one that has had a problem with her stools since the beginning. I have been trying to get her better but so far this has proved difficult. I have spoken to the breeder and other "chicken" peeps but I'm hoping that some of you on here may have some ideas as I am out of them myself.

Since the beginning she has had problems with runny yellowy poo. I think she does produce some firm stools but mostly a yellow liquidy poo. Aside from the fact that it's not very pleasant for her she always has a very messy bum which can't be nice. Cleaning it is pointless because she just messes it up again straight away.

For the first couple of months she would keep herself to herself around the chickens but since my most recent worming attempt to sort this problem out she is now fully integrated amongst the flock and seems otherwise very happy. Eating lots, full of energy and has even recently started laying.

It was suggested to me that she could have worms. I had already wormed the hens once but did it again on recommendation and it hasn't hepled. I can't say I've seen any suggestion of worms in anyones stools either so I really don't think it's to do with that.

I had read to try using Biostop to try and firm up her stools which she has just finished 10 days of with no improvement. I also have some Beryls friendly bacteria that I was going to give her to rebalance her fauna but she just will not stop producing this yellow runny poo and it doesn't even slightly improve.

Has anyone had any experience of this before and are there any other causes other than worms.

I do have some pics but I'll save these for now unless anyone thinks they would be useful.

For what it's worth, she also has a foot which is fully turned in at 90 degrees. Someone suggested to me that this meant that she isn't a healthy hen to start with but I want to persevere regardless.

Thanks for any help anyone can give.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
34,923
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Since the beginning she has had problems with runny yellowy poo. I think she does produce some firm stools but mostly a yellow liquidy poo. Aside from the fact that it's not very pleasant for her she always has a very messy bum which can't be nice. Cleaning it is pointless because she just messes it up again straight away.

since my most recent worming attempt to sort this problem out she is now fully integrated amongst the flock and seems otherwise very happy. Eating lots, full of energy and has even recently started laying.

I had already wormed the hens once but did it again on recommendation and it hasn't hepled.

For what it's worth, she also has a foot which is fully turned in at 90 degrees. Someone suggested to me that this meant that she isn't a healthy hen to start with but I want to persevere regardless.
Hi @alexpb22 Welcome To BYC

If you can post photos of your hen, her foot and her poop that would be helpful:)
Also tell us what type of food/treats you feed and what you used to deworm your flock.
How old is your hen?

When we get photos and more information, hopefully we can help you better.
 

alexpb22

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2018
8
30
41
Hi @alexpb22 Welcome To BYC

If you can post photos of your hen, her foot and her poop that would be helpful:)
Also tell us what type of food/treats you feed and what you used to deworm your flock.
How old is your hen?

When we get photos and more information, hopefully we can help you better.
.

Hey thanks for your reply,

I'll try to give you as much info as possible.

They're all on Small Holder Range Natural Free Range Layers Pellets and they also get a seedy/corn mix which isn't a particular brand as it's mixed up by my local chicken feed stockist.

I used I think Heygates Layers Pellets with Flubenvet for the worming. She is about 8 months now I think. I'll take a photo of her foot when I'm back later.
80add1a6-b053-4374-95f6-a6295f0fa1ba.JPG c7b09bcd-f7d7-41e2-81da-f0934e1bf77d.JPG db1d521f-3ec8-4280-85a4-f9722651115a.JPG e6250166-8636-47c2-8064-2a316b50657c.JPG
 

alexpb22

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2018
8
30
41
You fed the treated feed for 7 days in a row as the only source of feed?

Is there anyway that you can get a fecal float to confirm/deny worms?

Check to see if her crop is emptying overnight.

Yes I fed the feed as the sole source of food for actually 10 days to make sure. I have to say that it was after this feed that she perked up a lot and stopped hanging out on her own which is good but the loose stools continues.

I have checked her crop as far as I can tell it looks like it is emptying overnight (I am very new to all this though). A fecal float, I don't know what that is but having googled it I don't have the equipment to do this (seems I need a microscope). Maybe I should take her to the vets and they can check that out.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
34,923
49,448
1,262
Southern N.C. Mountains
Yes I fed the feed as the sole source of food for actually 10 days to make sure. I have to say that it was after this feed that she perked up a lot and stopped hanging out on her own which is good but the loose stools continues.

I have checked her crop as far as I can tell it looks like it is emptying overnight (I am very new to all this though). A fecal float, I don't know what that is but having googled it I don't have the equipment to do this (seems I need a microscope). Maybe I should take her to the vets and they can check that out.
You can collect a stool sample and have your vet test it for you:)
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,746
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
Hi

I am guessing you are in the UK like me?? It helps if you include that info on your profile page, so that we can see at a glance each time you post. It can be very relevant to a lot of issues..... the current one being that there are a couple of Mail order Worm Egg Count (came a s a faecal float) facilities available in the UK which provide a really good service and much cheaper than taking a poop sample to the vet's I use Westgate Labs and can highly recommend them for a prompt, friendly knowledgeable and efficient service and it is about £10 for a sample including the sampling kit, and return postage of the sample. You can buy online from them. I sometimes get next day results if I get the samples in the post before lunchtime. I can't rate them highly enough.

I would be concerned about the seed/grain mix you are using, especially with heavy birds like Orpingtons. They can all too easily get fat on that mixed corn and it needs to be severely rationed, especially if your layer pellets are just 16% protein which most are here in the UK. Heavier breeds do better on a higher protein (18%) diet and yours are currently getting less that 16% because you are diluting their intake with mixed corn which is only about 8-10% protein. Unfortunately they love the mixed corn treat better than the pellets so they will eat them in preference. Short term it doesn't cause too much of a problem but over weeks and months birds can become obese. They develop thick layers of fat on their abdomen and this can cause a number of health issues including soiling their bum feathers, egg binding, prolapse and most worrying of all, Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome which can lead to ascites or even sudden death if the liver ruptures.
I would trim her feathers below her vent with scissors to enable you to keep it clean without needing to wash her regularly and smear the clean skin with Petroleum Jelly or any other thick greasy salve... I use "Protection Plus" pink salve that I have for use on horse wounds. It keeps the flies off and the skin supple but Sudacreme would be another good option. I would also cut out the mixed corn/seeds altogether and look at giving them a healthier higher protein treat like a bit of meat a couple of times a week or scrambled egg or finding a higher protein feed if you intend to continue.... not easy here in the UK in my experience. Certainly, do not give more than a tablespoon per bird of mixed corn if you must use it.
 

alexpb22

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2018
8
30
41
Hi

I am guessing you are in the UK like me?? It helps if you include that info on your profile page, so that we can see at a glance each time you post. It can be very relevant to a lot of issues..... the current one being that there are a couple of Mail order Worm Egg Count (came a s a faecal float) facilities available in the UK which provide a really good service and much cheaper than taking a poop sample to the vet's I use Westgate Labs and can highly recommend them for a prompt, friendly knowledgeable and efficient service and it is about £10 for a sample including the sampling kit, and return postage of the sample. You can buy online from them. I sometimes get next day results if I get the samples in the post before lunchtime. I can't rate them highly enough.

I would be concerned about the seed/grain mix you are using, especially with heavy birds like Orpingtons. They can all too easily get fat on that mixed corn and it needs to be severely rationed, especially if your layer pellets are just 16% protein which most are here in the UK. Heavier breeds do better on a higher protein (18%) diet and yours are currently getting less that 16% because you are diluting their intake with mixed corn which is only about 8-10% protein. Unfortunately they love the mixed corn treat better than the pellets so they will eat them in preference. Short term it doesn't cause too much of a problem but over weeks and months birds can become obese. They develop thick layers of fat on their abdomen and this can cause a number of health issues including soiling their bum feathers, egg binding, prolapse and most worrying of all, Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome which can lead to ascites or even sudden death if the liver ruptures.
I would trim her feathers below her vent with scissors to enable you to keep it clean without needing to wash her regularly and smear the clean skin with Petroleum Jelly or any other thick greasy salve... I use "Protection Plus" pink salve that I have for use on horse wounds. It keeps the flies off and the skin supple but Sudacreme would be another good option. I would also cut out the mixed corn/seeds altogether and look at giving them a healthier higher protein treat like a bit of meat a couple of times a week or scrambled egg or finding a higher protein feed if you intend to continue.... not easy here in the UK in my experience. Certainly, do not give more than a tablespoon per bird of mixed corn if you must use it.

Thank you so much for posting such a detailed post and yes I am in the UK. That's great to hear about the mobile testing service, I will look it up and get a sample set off asap. That's a very reasonable cost for doing it too.

That's very insteresting about the seed/mix, they don't get a lot tbh. Probably half a cup a day between the five of them and that tends to be at the end of the day but having read what you have posted I will definitely ease off the mix and look at sourcing a higher protein layer pellet instead. I can also supplement them with meats.

Before I saw your post I actually took some picture of the hen in question whilst I was just out cleaning the coop. Wyorp Rock had mentioned whether the crop emptied overnight. I was looking at her again just now and her crop (I think it's that and not lower down) does seem a lot more prominent compared to the other hens that I have. I have posted some pictures below and wondered what you all thought. It is more swollen/pronounced than the other hens but what would this ultimately indicate?
 

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