One Hen with Dirty Butt Feathers (Updated with Pics)


11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
I have three 1.5 year old backyard hens. They are all acting healthy and eating normally, but one of the hens has had dirty (poopy) feathers around her butt for the past few weeks.

Her poops are sometimes normal (round, brown, firm with a white top), and are sometimes brown and runny.

She's laying eggs normally, and all the hens act healthy overall - should I be concerned that the feathers around this one hen's rear end are poopy?
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You can wash her butt of--just soak in warm water and loosen off the poop. Dry her of good and let her go. If it happens alot, I heard you can give a bit of molasses to them to help with it, but never tried it. if she's laying consistently, don't worry about it.
Mine did that too, I think its because I just let them out and she is eating grass and different things they didnt get to all winter. You can wash if you want to or even pull them out but ouch...I left mine alone. Now if it covers her "exit" then you need to get it off, so it doesnt kill her.
I think I would feed her this for a E.coli infection in the gut

you can feed this wet mash with vit's to all the chickens it will not hurt them just help the gut flora

for each chicken fed this wet mash with vit's
3 tbsp of dry crumble feed
4 bsp of milk
1 tbsp of yoguart and 1 tbsp of apple sauce left till after you put in the vit's for her gut problem

and for each chicken in flock(your feeding this to) put in one 1000 mg of vit E cut end off and add to mix

1 vit B complex for each chick fed crushed and put in the wet mix
also a tablet crushed of selinium mix good and

last add 1 tbsp of apple sauceon top
to get them eating the wet mash probiotic

feed this for several days twice a day
then once a week for life of chicken to restore gut flora in the medicated birds gut

also put 2 tbsp of ACV in gallon of water and do this for several weeks when not putting medication in the waterers
email me with any questions
Thank you for the advice! I will try to wash off the dirty area to see if it comes back - I have been wondering if it was a one-time soiling & not an ongoing issue.

I do sometimes give them dinner scraps along with their regular chicken feed pellets and so maybe something from that gave her diarrhea one day?
We fed our hen some active culture yogurt yesterday and cleaned her butt today. We got most of the poop off, but at the base of her feathers right near her butt there was a weird substance. It is granular - almost like a mineral or something. Is that some sort of by product of egg laying? Warm water didn't seem to break it up at all. I tried to get some pictures of it.





Here's a link to info about mites & lice.

I too have a hen that has had poopy vent feathers her entire adult life (3 years). Just this morning I grabbed her and trimmed the feathers around her vent. I do this 1-2 times a year. I think if it isn't parasites, some chickens are just that way.

Imp-The trimming was followed by a sink sanitizing ritual
Wow, they ARE eggs! Now that she's all clean & dried off we inspected her vent again and they are definitely white egg clusters - they look like the lice egg pictures. Our other two hens have them too, but not as badly (and they also don't have any poopy feathers)

We're going to treat them all with lice powder & will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the advice.

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