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Poopy butts >:/

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by plc, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. plc

    plc Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    So my hens started out sleeping on the roosts, but at some point, they decided to sleep on the floor. This wouldn't bother me at all, except, now their butts get poopy, every.single.night., which means poop on the eggs..grrr...

    My husband says to leave them be, clean off the eggs. I think we should put them all (four) back up on the roosts until they get the routine again.

    Thoughts? Suggestions??? [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. BackyardCountry

    BackyardCountry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2011
    My Own Little World....
    i agree with the roosting thing but if that doesnt work, you always can give the eggs a good scrubbing
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I agree with just washing the eggs. I tried to wash my girls butt and it was not a pleasant experience.[​IMG]
     
  4. lolita117

    lolita117 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Hestand, KY
    I've had two young hens get really poopy butt but they were sleeping on a roost. The eggs were really dirty too. So for both chickens, at night I took them off their roost (They did not like this) and took scissors to cut the poopy feathers off their butts. It was caked in their feather so bad. But now, no poopy butts and cleaner eggs. I would try to put them on the roost though. When I first introduced my first group of chickens to their coop it took them awhile before they learn, but at that time they weren't laying yet. With my second group (since my coop was built and has a separate room) I built a mini mobile roost and they learn to roost before they were 10 weeks old. Then when I let them out with the big chickens, they wanted to get as high up as possible on the big roost.
     
  5. amberflea

    amberflea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2010
    Central WI
    Check for mites, the only time mine get poopy butts is if they have mites...
     
  6. plc

    plc Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    mites? Yikes! I will have to look around on here & see what mites look like.
    They used to go up on the roost..every night. Maybe since it is colder they like to snuggle together on the floor in the straw?[​IMG]
     
  7. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Roosting is instinctive behavior so if they are not roosting something made them stop. It could have just been they got spooked or something.

    Their roost needs to be elevated above the level of their nesting boxes or anything else they might roost in or on.

    Their roost also needs to be either a tree branch that is 1 1/2-2" thick or you could use a 2x3 or 2x4 with the egdes rounded over, they should be roosting on the narrow end to simulate a tree branch. Chicken's feet are designed to 'grasp' as they roost. Their is a flexor tendon that runs up the back of their leg that causes their foot 'close' as their leg bends. When they roost this causes their feet to grasp the roost so they don't topple off when they are at rest. Also, if they roost on the floor or on a flat surface it can cause problems with their feet.

    Following are a couple pics from last spring when I had first put my pullets out in their coop.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. plc

    plc Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 6, 2011
    Pennsylvania

    I think we have everything right, except the 2x4 roosts are flat, not with the skinny part for them to sit on. They are higher than the nest boxes. I don't like their bottom fluff being caked in poop. Do you think I should set them on the roost after they go in for the night??

    Thanks for the input :)
     
  9. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Definitely, I would put them to roost in the evening after dark. When dusk arrives my girls, no matter where they are, march into their coop and hop up onto the roost. I think if you place them on the roost a few times they will get the idea and their instinct will take over. I would place them up there during the day too. Just so they "get the idea". They may not stay up there but they will still get the idea. This will work out for you.

    I would also suggest turning the 2x4s so they can roost on the narrow edge. It will be much better for the,

    Also, on the poopy butts, you might need to give their fluff a bit of a trim. Every now and then we have to do it for our girls. My son holds them and I play fanny barber.
     
  10. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Hmmm, when we were building my coop, I read on here somewhere that it is better to put the flat side of the 2 by 4 face up, so they will have a broader base to roost on, to maintain balance and keep feet warm. Guess it works both ways.
    But I was going to say that when my chickens were young, they huddled in the corner to sleep, and poopy butts did not result from it. The poopy butt thing may be some slight imbalance in their digestive process. You might try organic apple cider vinegar in their water for a while, about a tablespoon per gallon of water. That has cleared up many a poopy butt. Of course, you may have to clean up their behinds once, to get it out of the way. Clipping is very effective.
     

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