Poop Problems & Foot Favoring

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by VyInRI, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. VyInRI

    VyInRI Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2014
    Okay, I feel like I've been posting a million questions lately, but I have more, so I'm gonna throw them both in here and see what advice comes from it.

    Will blueberries make my Silkie girls' poop darker than normal? I gave them a handful yesterday and today, there's poop in the coop that looks completely healthy, except it's super, super dark. It's not runny or anything. Just really dark. I did take a picture.

    One of my girls is favoring one foot. I noticed it Monday, and I've looked at her foot a couple of times. I don't see any evidence of bumble foot or other injury. She's not the most graceful bird and she's still getting used to using the ramp - and by getting used to it, I mean she takes three steps down and then "flies" off the rest of the way. I'm thinking she might have just twisted it, but I'm not sure. Someone said it could be her nails - they look fine to me, but I don't know how long is too long. They're straight, not curling in to her foot or anything, but I'm curious. Should I call the vet to have her foot looked at? Should I give it a week and see what happens?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    First on the blueberry subject. I would not worry about it. Wild blueberries (the ones that I know) are blue throughout. Common blueberries that we eat have blue skin and whitish flesh inside. So the wild ones are packed with a lot of color pigment. Too much color in means some color out. In the summer time I see wild bird droppings, colored appropriately to what they ate. We have mulberry trees.
    Now as to the foot. Maybe she just sprained it from jumping Or slightly injured on something she walked over. If it gets worse, then time for concern. I have had my chicks on and off develop slight limps. They all corrected themselves. I know that certain conditions like bumble foot do need intervention. Keep an eye on her. WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Good advice...no doubt the pigment in what they eat will show up in their droppings.

    Have also had limping birds, some take longer than others to 'recover'...just keep an eye out for any wounds.

    Do you have plenty of cleats on your ramp?
    Maybe it's too steep?
    A pic of the ramp would help folks see if there's an improvement that might help.
  4. VyInRI

    VyInRI Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2014
    The ramp could be too steep for her. Right now, we don't have her using it. It doesn't have cleats on it; instead, we put down two strips of black tape with the texture of sandpaper, because the other two girls preferred it. We were planning on adding cleats in the spring, once it's warm enough to take it out of the run and strip and sand it down. Anyway, the girl with the foot issue gets carried from the coop to the run, and lifted back into the coop at the end of the day - because she was also wasn't handled very much before we purchased her, so it's just another opportunity to acclimate her to being handled.

    She's still favoring the one foot. I looked at it again and I just don't see anything wrong. I'm starting to worry because people keep mentioning Mareks. I don't know if she has been vaccinated for it - I emailed the woman I purchased her from this morning and am waiting for a response. I don't actually know if any of my three girls have been vaccinated, in all honesty. I didn't realize it was a question to ask when purchasing birds, when I first started this whole adventure. But the coop and the run are, in my opinion, pretty protected, so I don't see how she wouldn't contracted it - the run is covered on all sides with a secured tarp, although I supposed she could've contracted it before this was the case. So here are my new questions.

    Can you vaccinate birds for Mareks if you don't know if they've been vaccinated? Is it detrimental if a bird receives two vaccinations for it? Can an avian vet tell if a bird has Mareks? I'm wondering if I should take her in and have her looked at. Would the vet be able to perform the vaccination? Also, should I be adding vitamins to the flock's community water?

    I haven't brought her inside because I have cats, and she's been favoring the foot a week now but the others seem just fine. I just don't know what to do. I'm trying not worry but I just can't help it. I do know that she is eating, and she has taken a strong liking to scrambled eggs, which cracks me up.

    EDIT: I'm looking at this to add to the girls' community water. Yay or nay? Is there something better than this that I should be using?

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    I really can't advise on the vitamins as I've never used them but it can't hurt letting them all have access to it as long as you don't overdose them. I am however learning a lot about Marek's both through reading and unfortunately experience.

    Firstly, from what I have read, they need to be vaccinated within a day or 2 of hatching for it to be effective and kept under pretty strict bio security to prevent exposure to the virus for the first 3 weeks. Secondly, the vaccine is not guaranteed to prevent them from getting Marek's but it will reduce the effect and in particular the likelihood of tumours developing.

    Secondly, Marek's is very easily spread. If you have been in contact with poultry somewhere like a show or auction or friend's chickens (possibly Marek's carriers that look perfectly healthy) and then come back and tended your hens without changing your clothes, that could be enough to transfer it. You could even have picked it up from the local feed store where the virus was carried on someone else's clothes/shoes. Or your chicks could have already contracted it prior to you getting them. Sometimes it takes a while for an outbreak to occur and usually it is when they are stressed that it shows up. Don't feel like you did something wrong if your chickens have it. It really seems to be a lottery and whilst you can do things to lessen the risk, it still happens, particularly if you have or raise young chickens.

    Thirdly, Marek's isn't the death sentence I was initially lead to believe. I have 3 showing symptoms at the moment. I've had 5 in total and only had to cull one so far. One has been lame for 4 months and is no worse than the day she went lame. She hops about and looks the picture of health (bright eyes and a lovely red comb and she is very vocal when she thinks I haven't given her a fair share of the treats) Apart from one foot being curled and held up and being small, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with her. She is a spoiled little madam but I love her dearly. One got totally better for a couple of months but has just had another attack and is now lying down most of the time.... these two are in my sick bay, but both are happy and eat well and look well... they just need a little more tlc than the others and will probably never lay. The third is a cockerel and I'm afraid he is destined for freezer camp anyway but he has got no worse than a slight limp for the past few weeks. One of the other cockerels went lame but fully recovered and I can't tell which one he is now.

    I was in denial for the first couple that showed symptoms and assumed they had hurt themselves as I have very high roosts, but when I had to cull one, I did a post mortem and found huge tumours and that was enough to confirm for me that it was Marek's. Now I see the symptoms and recognise them for what they are. I have other chicks that have matured and shown no sign of the disease, so don't worry that all your chicks will become ill or die, if this one has it.

    Personally I can't see the point of getting a chicken with Marek's diagnosed by a vet. It will cost a lot of money and you will probably not be any better off, since there is no recognised treatment for it. Your other chickens have already been exposed to it, so there is no point in isolating the one you suspect unless she starts getting picked on by the others. Mine lost confidence and that's why they live in the sick bay, but it's actually in the hen house, so they can see the others and still be part of the flock.

    I hope your little hen gets better and it is just an injury, but all I wanted to do is try to alleviate some of the worry and panic that the word "Marek's" seems to invoke.

    Best wishes

    1 person likes this.
  6. VyInRI

    VyInRI Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2014
    Finally have an official diagnosis for the foot issue. Moonie was starting to get better, and then started dragging her same foot behind her one day. We kept trying to get her to the vet and the snow kept preventing that. We just got home. My girl has a broken hip! She is bandaged and resting, but…yeah. Glad it's not Mareks, but I feel so bad for the poor thing.
  7. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by