Pasty Bum and lethargic :(


6 Years
Jun 11, 2013
Powassan, Ontario
One of our hens, the one in my avatar, her name is Black Sheep, is sick :( She had a greenish poopy bum and didn't come out of her coop for 2 days. We noticed she was also breathing heavily. We took her aside and washed her with warm water and soap, got her all cleaned up. Then we smeared her with vegetable oil, as thats what my man said should be done. He read it somewhere. We also went to the feed store and got a Stressed-out, formula with vitamins and electro lights and added it to there water.

Today she was out and about most of the day but just in the run and wouldn't free range. She is still lethargic and will only walk about 10-15 feet and then sits down. The other chickens are not picking on her at all but more like babysitting. Most of them are older, about 5-6 years old. Some are hanging out with her and keeping her company.

She is eating well and drinking plenty and does seem a wee bit better. not breathing heavy anymore. I am worried because now i noticed 2 other hens have a poopy bum as well. :(


And thoughts?
I would give them all some plain yogurt to eat and put apple cider vinegar in their water. Probiotics would be good too, added to food or water. They may be suffering from a fungal infection that causes messy bums and sour crops. Check the sick girl's crop to make sure it is empty in the morning--if full and squishy, or she vomits fowl smelling liquid, I would think sour crop. Treatment for that is nystatin. Check her closely for any lice or mites, and consider worming them. Could she have coccidiosis? Sometimes they will be lethargic and have diarrhea with or without blood in the stools. Corid or Amprol would be the treatment for 5 days.
Thankyou eggcessive. i appreciate the advice. We have done a few things. My man bought some probiotic yogurt today and is feeding it to all of them. They are almost finished the water with the stressed vitamins and electrolites in it. In the morning both waterers will be refilled with plain water again unless i can get to a shop and get some apple cider vinager then that will be added asap.

I will call Joe and ask him to check her crop and see what it's like. we washed all there bums today...the ones we could catch lol we got our hands on 2 plus the sick little one. there is one more that needs attention. Other than Black Sheep, they are all active and happy chickens doing chicken things :)

We had rescued all of them from a very bad old man in May and they were a scraggly thin abused lot when we got them. We have dusted them regularly with DE, put it in there dust bath holes and always put it in the pine chips and new nest materials when we clean the coop. I also put on a mask and try to dust the cracks and crevises around the roof and ceiling everytime i clean the coop, which is at least once a week, it gets a full muck out. We had already planned on deworming them in the next few weeks before she got sick so is definitely on the agenda......especially since i just read that earth worms are bad for chickens and just last weekend we feed them the left over fishing worms!! we are new to chickens and just learning. Thanks for the info!! We will be doing all those things and hoping for the best.

One question? how much apple cider vinager should we put in a 8L water container? I think thats 2 gallons.
i just youtubed swollen crop and i think this may the problem. I have noticed that some of them look like the righ side of there chest is swollen out. I noticed that a while back. When sent our meat birds to freezer camp he said its because thats there gizzard and where there food goes so i didn't think anything of it. But now that i think about it, it seems that its sticking alot, and makes them look lopsided.

I will treat them all for that and let you know.!!!!!

The vinegar should be 1 tablespoonful or 1/2 ounce per gallon, so 2 oz per 2 gallons. Chickens can have full crops in the daytime that are pretty full, but should empty by morning--that would be normal.
In addition to the other excellent advice you received I would make sure that they have crushed oyster shell and granite grit available to them all the time. If that rotten old man (bad words bad words ....I hate people like that!) didn't care for them well he may not have provided the grit they need to grind up their food. Another suggestion would be a new bag of food. Maybe the one you have is old or has gotten damp and is growing fungus or mold.

Give the yogurt and vinegar and new food and grit time to work. Chickens are very resilient and can surprise you with their healing abilities. Don't start any medication unless you are certain that they are suffering from a disease and you know exactly what it is. I see too many members giving medications for the wrong thing or trying another one when the first one didn't even have time to work.

Best of luck and it's so commendable that you took on these poor girls to give them a better life.

Keep us informed
thankyou eggcessive and purpletree. We only buy the food one bag at a time. Its organic and sometimes may have been laying around for awhile due to its expensive. I just picked up a new bag of Homestead Organics this week so hopefully its ok. They have a bowl of oyster shell attached to the wall of the coop that they eat freely from. They also free range around our house that has a gravel, granite, small stone drive that we scatter scratch on when they join us in the garage lol which is often as they follow us around and know the food is in the garage so i am sure they get grit from the driveway as well.

I do have my own probiotics that i sometimes take. I might open a capsule into the water but for now i will keep watch, keep cleaning poopy bums and feed them yogurt and cidar vinager and keep giving them the vitamins and electrolites. Hopefully we will see an improvement over the next few weeks. I see no other symptoms to report. No blood in there stool, coughing sneezing or anything like that. I did have a funny moment when i was feeding them scratch. One of the poopy bum girls, Digger, lat out a fart and some running poop. The fart got me laughing lol i have never heard a chicken fart before! lol poor girl!

Black Sheep is still kicking and hanging about. Eating and drinking but still not herself :( One day at a time. I will keep you updated on how it goes.
Because they free range so much could they have gotten into lawn chemicals or something they shouldn't? Are they getting too many fresh veggies? My girls have had their fill of tomatoes from my garden and also cucumbers and those zucchini that are the size of baseball bats. They were getting some runny poops and I stopped the produce for a few days.

I've never heard a chicken fart before either and I think it's hysterical.
Poor girl.
We don't have lawn chemicals here. In alot of townships in Ontario they are banned. Our property in the bush is pretty much natural and organic.

They have been eating our tomatoes and maybe once a week i give them some food scraps. I will through a left over corn cob on the ground for them or chop up some celery or whatever there is but its not a daily thing at all. They are in the run until 3pm then they free range til bedtime. They get organic layer mash and a hand full of scratch to peck at in the morning and when we let them out for the day they get another hand full of scratch and they are on there own. :)

Sadly though, we lost Black Sheep today :( She was suffering badly and when we woke up this morning she was on her side with her legs out breathing hard so we put her out of her misery. sniff sniff. Our first one to go :( So we made a nice area back in the bush, a deep plot and we are getting a nice rock we find in the bush and it will be the rest place for our chicken family members. & out of 12 are 5 years old or older so we know more will be following soon.

We have started the plain organic probiotic yogurt. A small ammount in the morning with the scratch. We have put olive oil in the water. (seen a youtube vid with a vet talk about this) next water batch will be apple cider vinager and i will be adding a probiotic tablet to the water as well. The iothers are doing good. Normal behaviour just poopy bums.....with a fart here and there lol

We will give this a few weeks and see how it goes.

Its a sad day for this chicken mama :( I will be keeping her avatar up in memory of Black Sheep. RIP girlie

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