Poopy butt

K0k0shka

Crowing
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I have several English Orpington pullets that have huge, beautiful, gloriously fluffy behinds. Too fluffy for their own good, it seems. They are 8 months old and were fine up until it started getting really cold. Now a couple of them have developed a permanently poopy butt and can't seem to be able to take care of it on their own... They are otherwise healthy and act fine, and still get in the proper position for pooping (squatting and parting their feathers to get them out of the way), except that somehow they have a bunch of poop stuck to the feathers under the vent. My theory is that they probably always get some poop on their down, but on warm days it dries up and flakes off when they dust bathe or groom themselves, but when the temperature outside started dropping below freezing, the poop froze to their butts and never fell off... then more of it got stuck and froze, and more, and so on. Is this what's happening here? Is there anything I should do about it? For now it only looks like a cosmetic issue, but can it start affecting their health? It's cold for a butt bath, but I guess I could bring them in and blow dry them after the bath... Is a bath necessary?

Here's what the poopiest one looks like. Somehow she still lays perfectly clean eggs!
1609557818838.png


This one used to have a poopy butt just like that, but she somehow took care of it herself and now looks (mostly) fine...
1609557890718.png


So I'm torn between 1) if that other one took care of it herself, then maybe I shouldn't worry about it, the others will do it eventually too, and 2) maybe the fact that the others haven't all this time, when she did, actually means that they just can't do it and will need help...

What should I do?
 

TreeChick

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Looks like she needs some help getting clean, as you point out it’s likely happening a little at a time and building up layers. How uncomfortable!
I had an adult hen have this issue once and I gently trimmed some of the worst poopy down then gave her a chicken bath. A few tubs of warm water you can gently hold her booty in the water and help work those dirty down feathers clean as the poop gets soft and saturated. It’s not a pleasant task... but it’s important to get her clean you don’t want that to sit too long and risk terrible things like flystrike (look it up YIKES!!)

If you opt to bathe her make sure to thoroughly blow dry or allow her to dry well in a warm space if you are in a freezing temp situation - don’t want any icy feathers!

If more than one bird is getting poopy it may be a diet issue? With baby chicks I’ve had great results with mixing dry rolled oats in their feed adding some healthy fiber to the diet can help with constipation and birds love oats so it’s a treat.
 
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cavemanrich

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My suggestions..
If you want nice fluffy butts, and being somewhat cold, so dust-bathing is slightly on hold,(possibly) Just give your hens warm water baths, and dry with hair drier.
You may try to adjust their feed intake. If protein is too high, it leads to runnier stools, and somewhat smellier. You may be feeding the feed you have always been feeding, and with the same protein percentage. Consider that now possibly egg production lowered, so the given protein percentage is in excess of need. That would lead to runnier stools.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

azygous

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I remember the first time I ever told someone I washed my chickens. A friend called and asked what I was doing, and when I replied, "washing my chickens", she said, :eek:

The older chickens get, the more apt they are to have dirty butts. This is usually because they, like their matronly human counterparts, put on weigh in the posterior and this prevents the neat shooting of poop out beyond the butt fluff. Chickens, that is, not necessarily my women friends.

We clean our other pets, why not our chickens? After all, poopy chickens are somewhat less enjoyable to handle than clean ones.
 

K0k0shka

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Jul 24, 2019
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Looks like she needs some help getting clean, as you point out it’s likely happening a little at a time and building up layers. How uncomfortable!
I had an adult hen have this issue once and I gently trimmed some of the worst poopy down then gave her a chicken bath. A few tubs of warm water you can gently hold her booty in the water and help work those dirty down feathers clean as the poop gets soft and saturated. It’s not a pleasant task... but it’s important to get her clean you don’t want that to sit too long and risk terrible things like flystrike (look it up YIKES!!)

If you opt to bathe her make sure to thoroughly blow dry or allow her to dry well in a warm space if you are in a freezing temp situation - don’t want any icy feathers!

If more than one bird is getting poopy it may be a diet issue? With baby chicks I’ve had great results with mixing dry rolled oats in their feed adding some healthy fiber to the diet can help with constipation and birds love oats so it’s a treat.
Most of them don't have poopy butts, it's really only 2 that do. So I don't know how it can be diet... They only eat their crumble and some sunflower seeds, I rarely give them anything else. I'll do some butt baths... the kids will enjoy that :lol: We did some butt baths when the chickens were babies, for pasty butt, and that provided hilarity for the whole family :lol:
 

K0k0shka

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My suggestions..
If you want nice fluffy butts, and being somewhat cold, so dust-bathing is slightly on hold,(possibly) Just give your hens warm water baths, and dry with hair drier.
You may try to adjust their feed intake. If protein is too high, it leads to runnier stools, and somewhat smellier. You may be feeding the feed you have always been feeding, and with the same protein percentage. Consider that now possibly egg production lowered, so the given protein percentage is in excess of need. That would lead to runnier stools.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
I feed them flock raiser, 20% protein, same as always... A couple of them just started laying a few weeks ago and are quite regular, so the opposite of slowing down. Poopy butt in the picture here lays quite well.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
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Jul 24, 2019
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Boston Area, MA
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I remember the first time I ever told someone I washed my chickens. A friend called and asked what I was doing, and when I replied, "washing my chickens", she said, :eek:

The older chickens get, the more apt they are to have dirty butts. This is usually because they, like their matronly human counterparts, put on weigh in the posterior and this prevents the neat shooting of poop out beyond the butt fluff. Chickens, that is, not necessarily my women friends.

We clean our other pets, why not our chickens? After all, poopy chickens are somewhat less enjoyable to handle than clean ones.
I'll need to wash my chickens too then! :lol: I only have an indoor cat and fish in terms of other pets, and have never washed any of them, so I wasn't exactly expecting this :D
 

aart

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then more of it got stuck and froze, and more, and so on. Is this what's happening here? Is there anything I should do about it? For now it only looks like a cosmetic issue, but can it start affecting their health? It's cold for a butt bath, but I guess I could bring them in and blow dry them after the bath... Is a bath necessary?
Most likely.
I'd not bathe them, won't solve the problem and is super gross, but trim off the feathers with poop on them. Repeat as necessary until there's no more 'catcher feathers' on the path.
 

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