CHICKEN WON'T POOP

by Randy Wells
(Ridgefield Wa USA)

Question
CHICKEN WON'T POOP: I have a 2 yr old Rhode Island Red Hen. She is one of 15 in the flock. She has been sick for 2 weeks, we feed them regular laying food from the feed store.

They are free range chickens with lots of room to roam. She will eat but won't poop, I’m wanting to do what ever I need to do to help her.

We have checked for a lodged egg and no egg. Please help me help her. Thank you....

Answer
Probably the quickest acting laxative would be a teaspoon mineral oil or vegetable oil by mouth. You could call your vet to find out what he would recommend.

Constipation would probably mean she isn’t getting enough fiber in her diet or she swallowed something that is lodged.

Most chicken feeds contain a percentage of fiber and fresh fruits and greens are another source. Feeding too much dairy product, like cheese, could clog up her digestive system, if she gorged herself.

Acting quickly may save her life. You would probably do best to get her to a vet that knows chickens.

Being sick for 2 weeks is a long time for a chicken, as she’s probably been feeling poorly a few weeks before showing any signs.

I’ve never needed a chicken laxative, but someone here reported using Epsom salts effectively.

No more than a pinch of Epsom salt dissolved in a couple of ounces of warm water by mouth, giving a few drops at a time, or allowing her to drink it on her own, if she will in a few minutes time.

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Chicken poop is mucosy

Question
Chicken poop is mucosy: My chicks are about 5 weeks old and I keep seeing poo in the cage that is mucousy and brown today it was white and a little green.

I am not sure which chicken this is coming from. They are in a hutch right now with a heat lamp I keep their cage clean and offer fresh food and water daily.

I raise them in the back yard but like I said they are still in the hutch they haven't roamed around the yard yet.

Is this poop normal? They seem in good health not sick acting or anything.

Answer
It’s a good idea to monitor droppings from your chickens and chicks. Something is wrong if the droppings are as you described.

It could be too much of a bacteria in their system or in response to their food or water. You might try putting 1 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in each cup of their water for a few days.

This can help balance their digestion. Giving some grated apple and chopped leafy lettuces may help normalize digestion.

Giving a probiotic or some live culture yogurt, about 1 tbsp per chick for a few days may encourage good digestion with more good digestive bacteria.

You may need to put them on a medicated chick feed, if the condition doesn’t clear up through nutritional means.

It’s not a bad idea to get a sample of their droppings to a vet for testing to see if there is some specific problem, possibly coccidiosis (which might be helped nutritionally) or internal parasites, which would require treatment.

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Pasty feet

by Dixie Crawford
(Tiger, GA)

Question
Pasty feet: My week old chick had some poop stuck to his feet. I read this was bad like pasty butt.

I thought I had it soft enough to pick on off and hurt his toenail. It had a small drip of blood, but not bleeding.

But she is holding it like it hurts. Do I need to cover it or anything to keep it from getting infected?

Answer
I would put about an inch of warm water at the bottom of a cup or jar and have chick stand in it for a few minutes.

The dried poop should dissolve and be removable. Once clean you could use an antibiotic spray or ointment on the foot.

Try to keep the brooder cleaner, maybe changing the floor litter daily to prevent build up. Possibly the brooder is over crowded, and the chicks need more room.

A week old chick shouldn’t have too bad a problem, but if poop stays stuck to their feet it generally gets more and more added to it and can burn their feet.

You really can’t cover it with anything that would help. Just keep it clean daily and treat with an antibiotic for a few days.

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My Baby Chick has Dark Brown Poop....

by Jen
(Texas)

Question:
My Baby Chick has Dark Brown Poop....: I've noticed my baby chick has had dark brown poop but it's not all the time it's just certain times through out the day. He also has been itching, he will scratch and pluck some feathers out but I've checked for bugs and fleas and I see nothing. Should I be worried????

Answer:
You don’t need to worry, but you might want to get him on a medicated chick feed for a few weeks.

The dark brown poop can be from bacterial irritation in his digestive system, especially if he has diarrhea.

Offering probiotics or live culture yogurt may help restore his digestive system to better balance.

The itching could be an allergic reaction to something in his diet. It wouldn’t hurt to give him a warm bath and treat with a mite treatment that is safe for a young chick.

Some mites live under the skin and are so small you may not see them. Pulling out feathers makes mites seem likely as some burrow into the feather follicle tissues and cause much irritation.

It’s not unusual for chickens to pull feathers when they are growing new ones. Dry skin can make it difficult for the new feathers to break through the skin.

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Chicken Poop Runny

by Keith
(Lugoff, S.C.)

Question
Chicken Poop Runny: I have a question on chicken health.

I have 22 Marans chicks 3 weeks old. Some of them, maybe 2 or more have rust colored runny poop. Is there anything wrong and if so, what do I need to do? Thank you.

Answer
This could be a sign of intestinal disease. The rust color could be some blood stemming from intestinal irritation.

Before medicating I would suggest offering the group probiotics or a live culture yogurt for a few days and on a weekly basis.

In a brooder they aren’t exposed to much that would naturally aid digestion, like greens, that can provide some enzymes.

A little fresh fruit, like apple (without the seeds) could help, but the good bacteria in yogurt or a probiotic supplement is important to give a healthy digestive start.

Coccidiosis is a possibility and can quickly spread through feces. There are treatments for this that can be added to water.

Keep the brooder clean and dry as possible.

I would also recommend that you not feed them a “medicated” chick start all the time.

Antibiotic laced chick starts can help if certain diseases are present, but they are highly likely to kill off good digestive bacteria which can prevent important nutrients from breaking down and being absorbed.

Killing off good bacteria can cause an imbalance in digestion and result in diarrhea and failure to thrive.

Antibiotics fed unnecessarily can cause an over abundance of resistant bacteria that can become dangerous to their health.

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