Old wives tale or truth? Cream of tartar for diarrhea in chickens water:


13 Years
Mar 13, 2010
Jacksonville, Oregon
All my hens (16) seem to have started to have diarrhea. I was told to add one tablespoon of Cream of Tartar to a gallon of water. Is this an old wives tale or could it help? They are a little over 4 months old and not yet laying. Five RIR, eight Barred Rocks, and three Ameraucana (and one RIR/Ameraucana mix rooster). Any help would be appreciated.
What do you feed your flock? Do you give them treats and/or scraps? Are they beginning to molt now? As for the cream of tartar I've never heard of that...could be an old wives tale...keep us updated!
Cream of tartar is potassium bitartrate, and is used to buffer pH in cooking, among other uses. Diarrhea in chickens can occur during very hot weather from drinking a lot of water. Are all of their stools diarrhea? What color is it? How are they acting, and are they eating well? If they seem normal, and don't have symptoms of cocciosis--lethargy, puffing up, dizrrhea, and poor appetite--then I would give them some probiotics in their diet, and feed only grower feed until they start layerfeed. And don't use ACV in the water, especially during hot weather since it can interfere with calcium absorption. Perhaps the person that recommended COT was thinking of ACV?
They eat a Grange Co-op product called All-In-One and hen scratch that I mix together. They have separate dishes of grit and oyster shell, which I can't tell if they are eating or just spilling. They DO get table scraps of fruit and veggies (no meats) and they love spaghetti. I will try cutting out the table scraps and find out what probiotics are. I also don't know what ACV is but I will try to find out. Also, it sound like the Cream of Tartar is just an Old Wives Tale.

Thanks for the info.

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