This one is about my hens, not my chicks. I have noticed that their "behinds" are getting a bit dirty looking, so I thought I'd inspect closer. Surprisingly, they let me walk right up and mess with their bums... sort of odd for them. Anyway... it looks like there is a couple wads of poo on each hens behind, and it is adhered rather tightly to her... well... butt feathers. I was able to grab one of the clumps off my barred gal, but I think it may have pulled a few small feathers along with it. The second clump was not as close to her vent and seemed more tightly adhered. I wasn't able to pull that one off. My buff gal didn't let me get close enough the second time around (I didn't have napkins with me when they let me inspect them... and they were a bit more reluctant when I made attempt #2, with napkins in hand, lol). They were not blocked up by the caked on pooh... but I can't imagine it's okay to just leave it. I'm wondering if this is sort of a normal maintenance thing (they're Plymouth Rock hens) or if it could be a sign of a problem? They're also not laying currently (see yesterdays post), so I'm not sure if it's related or not. They seem to be "going" normally, and they act fine. I have notice more white substance in their pooh... sometimes almost looking like there is eggshell over a good portion of it. Is this normal? They are eating organic layer pellets, they have free access to oyster shell, they free-range in my organic yard for bugs & whatever else they find, and they have fresh water in their house. I replace their straw (bedding) every weekend or sometimes every other, if they've kept it clean and dry. They seem to use one nestbox for a toilet, so I dump that one every few days. They're really clean gals... which is why the caked pooh confuses me. Advice on how to soften the caked on pooh would be appreciated... and is this something to worry about??