Poopy butts >:/

plc

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
53
1
41
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???
idunno.gif


Thanks!
 

lolita117

Songster
8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
393
26
136
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.
 

plc

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
53
1
41
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?
hugs.gif
 

epeloquin

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
626
22
141
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.


 

plc

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
53
1
41
Pennsylvania
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.




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 :)
 

epeloquin

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
626
22
141
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.
 

so lucky

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
1,249
2,854
372
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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