Occasional Diarrhea, Otherwise Seems Normal. Possible Problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HoopyFrood, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    Mar 21, 2016
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    My Coop
    Five young hens, all going on 11 months old. They all seem to be perfectly fine including regular laying.

    I've noticed as the winter thaw has moved into high gear we started to see occasional diarrhea. One of them does it more (say 1-3 times a day) than the others (say 0-1 times a day). Excepting these incidents their poops seem perfectly normal (including the cecal ones). When a loose one happens is usually looks like if you took a normal poo and soaked it in water until it began to "melt". Sometimes they can be a very thin green or simply clear.

    This has been going on for about a week and is otherwise asymptomatic. It hasn't changed in frequency. There is nothing in the poop to indicate parasites (that I know of) and 95% of the pooping is exactly what it's always been. Again they are all acting perfectly normal - and VERY excited about spring!

    As the thaw really started to kick in, puddles formed in their run. We've tried to sop it up with judicious use of straw. But it's impossible to prevent standing water 100% of the time in every square inch. We've also started taking them on they thawed patches of land so they can actually forage. Now they're getting greens and grass and bugs that they haven't been getting for months...

    I have added Rooster Booster (with lactobacillus), Nutri-Drench, and Grapefruit Seed Extract to their waterer just in case they gut flora is re-adjusting to the change of seasons. Of course IF they can find a poo-marinated puddle they MUCH prefer to drink out of that than the nice, clean waterer. :he I continue to try to eliminate puddles...

    Since I see no signs of parasites, and no signs of abnormal behavior, I'm not overly concerned. But I also can't figure out what's going on. Any thoughts?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Hoopy, you are in good company. The ground is thawing. We've had an incredible amount of rain, in addition to snow melting off. So, the ground is WET! The birds are having a great time digging up all the worms and other goodies, and are also eating a fair amount of the fiber from the compost. My girls have loose poop! But, they are all acting fine, so we're on a watch and wait program. I honestly don't think there's an issue even thought I've seen more than my share of green squirts today. Today is the first day that they have been out of the winter run since last fall. They are having a blast. Goliath is digging major craters in the wood chips in front of the green house.
     
  3. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    My Coop
    :celebrate

    I love all their feisty chicken-y spring celebration! Every day they get more of their 2 acre romp... It's so funny to let them out and watch them full-on trot/forage nonstop all the way to the far end of the property - as if they may be stuck back in the run in a snowstorm any second.

    And too funny, why didn't I think of fiber? Obviously they've been eating the oat straw (no matter how much we tell them not to) for a while now. I just resigned myself to that and made sure there always was plenty of fresh water and free choice grit. We keep a close eye on them (not just for crop issues) and they've been fine. High fiber chicken diet = a little messy!
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    All of a sudden, my flock is barely touching their feed. They are finding better eats in the DL. Their crops are bulging.
     
    HoopyFrood likes this.
  5. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    FINAL UPDATE - Mystery Effectively Solved!

    This is one of two threads that must be closed with a conclusion I am reasonably confident in, although exact scientific evidence is not available :)

    The diarrhea subsided in all but one of the hens (Holly, a production Red) in the course of a couple weeks. Holly's diarrhea became chronic and continued for almost four months. She showed no signs of ill health, and was behaving and laying perfectly normally, so we didn't know what else we could do.

    As the heat really took hold this summer we replaced their outdoor waterer with one that made use of chicken cups to help keep the girls cooler. Once the waterer was changed, her diarrhea vanished inside of two days. Additionally we had been battling a chronic egg laying issue in our alpha, Charley. That matter (detailed in this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...nyone-seen-this-before.1250379/#post-20098369) cleared up magically in a few short days!

    We have now been running with a couple different, new outdoor waterers for over four months and there has been ZERO sign of either condition in that time. So while I don't have chemical analyses to go off of, I'm pretty confident we can point to that old waterer (a plastic #1 PET bottle that was degrading) as the acute cause of the illnesses.

    Details of the waterer information and possible health concerns can be found in my summary thread here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ater-bottles-dont-repeat-our-mistake.1281594/
     

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