Runny Poo


7 Years
Jan 16, 2013
My silkie hens which I am beginning to finally integrate with my older hens have a bit of runny caramel color stool. Is that normal? I've had them separated for some time to make sure they don't pass on any sicknesses to the other hens and I don't see any problems with them. I just want to make sure the stool is normal. Thanks!
Every ten droppings or so, chicken have one cecal dropping. Most droppings come from the large intestine, but cecal droppings come from small pouches called ceca near the end of the large intestine. Cecal droppings are especially smelly and are often strange colors. If you aren't seeing runny brown droppings all the time, you might just be seeing cecal droppings.

Is it warm where you live? Hot weather will cause runny, rather watery droppings. The diet of your chickens might also be affecting the color of the droppings. Certain foods will cause different colors.

Are there any other symptoms like droopiness, paleness, and lack of appetite? If your birds show any of these symptoms, you might be looking at Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a disease of the intestinal tract caused by small microrganisms called protozoa. Coccidiosis can cause diarhrea, sometimes with blood in it. If your chickens are young, Coccidiosis is a possibility.

Hope I've helped!
One more thing to add, I went through the cocci with mine and they got better with treatment. What I didn't know, was that earthworms can be a vector for gapeworm.

I noticed one of my pullets gaping...and she has runny poo's and maybe one other now. I watched for a while and did a ton of research and found that some respiratory illnesses can make them gape also, but saw no sign of any kind of respiratory disease. Was pretty baffled, as everything is new, no known toxins, everything cleaned and poop boards scraped daily and washed with vinegar weekly, roosts also. Bedding topped as needed, run cleaned and top of soil taken off, as needed. Plus they have only been on the dirt about a month or a bit more? Coop floor is plywood. Coop is painted with interior latex paint, for easier cleaning and to brighten it during winter months. They don't peck at the white painted walls either. The past few days, I have had to keep them in the coop, so the poop boards are getting a scraping 2-3 times a day extra now.

I did a thorough clean of the coop, with ammonia, and burned all the bedding, so as not to spread the cocci around the property. Well, after reading the last article I came across, an article by a French researcher, from back in the 1800's, apparently, earthworms are the prime vector for the gapes, as it was called then. In other words, gapeworm, and here I was, digging earthworms for them during a prime parasite time in our area! Oof Daa!!!

I don't know for sure if what my pullet/pullets have IS gapeworm, but am treating to see, since it was not getting better and seemed to be possibly spreading. Just started today. They are pretty horrible little worms, that attach to the throat and travel other places in the chickens body and can also cause diarrhea from being in the digestive tract. I fed them a mush of feed, made with the meds, and they seem a bit perkier...but we have more runny poo's now. Not sure if this is normal with worming? as I have never had to worm before. I did find out that I can treat my run with plain old salt, tons of salt, to eradicate the earthworms and the gapes, right down to the eggs, so the chickens, over 3 months now, are still in the coop, so I can once again, do a thorough clean on it, after all possible worms are expelled and now treat the run also. It's a fixed run, so I can't move it.

I did expect to see some worms, but just started the treatment, a few hours before dark, so might see some tomorrow? Not sure on seeing the gapeworm though. They seem pretty small, and can travel to so many places in a chickens body, I have no idea is they die in the body, or are expelled as well, when they die? So far, no signs of worms coming out...yuckkk, but would feel better if I saw them. Would atleast know I am on the right tract here. I recently found out that the birds, a hatchery lot, that I was led to believe came from a small farm production, are really from a drop ship place that uses Mt Healthy chicks/eggs...not sure now which, as I was led to believe something other than what was really their business plan. I am not sure if there is a connection to the health of these chickens to the real business, Mt Healthy, or if it is just a bad parasite year, or both? We HAVE had constant rain all summer with only about 3 weeks of actual it IS possible that we are just experiencing a larger than normal parasite problem, but I would think, by now, the chickens would have built some immunities????? Still wondering if the health of my birds is partly due to Mt Healthy????

I truly hope this is the solution, as I am out of ideas and tired of fighting parasites and deep cleaning a coop that should've been fine for the winter with the deep bedding method already!!!! Hope my experience gives you some ideas or helps in some of luck with your chickens!!!

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