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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and I am happy to be here! I live in baltimore MD (in the city) and have had 4 leghorns for about four years and they have been doing quite nicely. I recently added another 7 rhode island reds to the flock and so far so good.

BUT, as of lately my leghorns hind feathers have been looking all mucky with poo and dirt. At first it was just one, but now they all have it at varying degrees. I am not sure why this is happening and don't know if it's something normal or something to worry about. Are they sick?? What should i do??!! They are pretty old and have been laying like crazy since we brought them home. They have just started slowing down. I just wanted the opinion/advice of all of you on this site. Anything would help!! Thanks in advance.
 

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Has any of your girls stopped laying lately or laying shellless eggs ?

Ok so I've been readin some blog posts and from what I read this type of thing happens alot and is normal. It can be caused by heat and the chickens drinking an excessive amount of water therefor causing runny poop, it can come from the chickens sleeping on the floor so the poop doesnt drop like it does when they are on the roost and I read it could be possibly shell less eggs. Nothing I read mentions it was dangerous, its just gross.
 

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I don't know.
But....perhaps....it would be good to give them some yogurt (live culture).... and/or maybe some RAW ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar - unprocessed- with the "mother" in it ) in their water.
Have you changed their NORMAL feed lately ?
-----like I said....I don't know. BUTT (pun intended), no doubt, something is amiss.
Some say....don't feed garlic and/or onions to chickens....but I do it all-the-time....and I think it helps maintain their health.
Onions and Garlic are natural ANTIBIOTICS !
( I always feed live-culture yogurt AFTER
feeding garlic or onion....in order to replenish the GOOD ORGANISMS which should exist in the gut.)
----just a "stab-in-the-dark".
IF it fixes the problem.....I don't really NEED to know WHAT the problem was. ( although it would be worthwhile to know )

just an opinion....:)
-ReTIRED-
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was just going to mention that!! Yes! We found a couple of shell less eggs in the past few weeks and were baffled...what is that?! I thought maybe because they needed more oyster shells in their diet ( I'd been kind of slacking in that lately) Also our hens used to lay an egg every day, now we get about 2-3 on average, but they are old so I didn't think anything of it. I thought they were just slowing down in production. But when I went to my friends farm and saw her hens and how nice and clean their bums were ( and they are pretty old old also), I knew something must be wrong :(.
 

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I was just going to mention that!! Yes! We found a couple of shell less eggs in the past few weeks and were baffled...what is that?! I thought maybe because they needed more oyster shells in their diet ( I'd been kind of slacking in that lately) Also our hens used to lay an egg every day, now we get about 2-3 on average, but they are old so I didn't think anything of it. I thought they were just slowing down in production. But when I went to my friends farm and saw her hens and how nice and clean their bums were ( and they are pretty old old also), I knew something must be wrong :(.
I save my egg-shells and crush them....then provide them as one would "Oyster Shell" ( available as they choose ) to allow the chickens to feed on those crushed egg-shells if they please.... WHICH WILL PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CALCIUM....for their production of eggs (shells).

WHY BUY "Oyster Shell" when the hens provide calcium themselves with their egg-shells ?

??? :confused:
-ReTIRED-:)
 

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I do the same as Retired. I crush up the egg shells my girls lay and throw them back out in the yard so the girls can eat them as they need them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much guys, I will try those suggestions. I have a couple of milking does so I will try and make yoghurt right away, it's worth a try! And the apple coder vinegar is good for so many things, can't hurt. Should I bathe them??

Keep the suggestions coming. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A friend of mine gave me tons of oyster shells which I still have, so that's why I am still using them. And I am a complete novice to owning chickens. As far as the egg shells go, Is there anything in particular I need to do with that. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that if I don't let the shells dry ALL the way before feeding them back to the chickens, something bad will happen (can't remember what). is that the cause of the shell less eggs though?
 

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Probiotics

I would bath them regularly, flies will lay eggs on their rear ends and then you will have maggots in the vent and surrounding tissue. I would use probiotic powder or crushed up tablets (walgreens or CVS) and add it to their treat. I cannot hurt them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Missouri314 said:
I would bath them regularly, flies will lay eggs on their rear ends and then you will have maggots in the vent and surrounding tissue. I would use probiotic powder or crushed up tablets (walgreens or CVS) and add it to their treat. I cannot hurt them.
Ewwwww! I had no idea something like that could happen. I am going to bathe them then and wash their rear really good. I hope I'm not too late! I have acidophilus capsules. Can I open those and put it in the water. I use them for myself, but is what your talking about similar?
 

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Ewwwww! I had no idea something like that could happen. I am going to bathe them then and wash their rear really good. I hope I'm not too late! I have acidophilus capsules. Can I open those and put it in the water. I use them for myself, but is what your talking about similar?
ACTIVE "Live-Culture" Yogurt.....AND....put some RAW ("mother-included") Apple Cider Vinegar in their water (about a tablespoon per gallon).

ReTIRED-:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ReTIRED said:
ACTIVE "Live-Culture" Yogurt.....AND....put some RAW ("mother-included") Apple Cider Vinegar in their water (about a tablespoon per gallon).

ReTIRED-:)
I have ACV but this one is not raw, can I use it anyway ReTIRED, or should I go get some of the real deal? The acidophilus and bifidus capsules won't work? Yogurt is better, huh? Thanks for your help and responses guys, I really appreciate it!!!
 

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I have ACV but this one is not raw, can I use it anyway ReTIRED, or should I go get some of the real deal? The acidophilus and bifidus capsules won't work? Yogurt is better, huh? Thanks for your help and responses guys, I really appreciate it!!!
I suppose the capsules will work just fine.
:)
-ReTIRED-
 

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Hi,

I wouldn't worry too much. I have six hens and during the winter their bums are fine, nice and fluffy and clean. As soon as spring comes along here in rainy Ireland their bums become dirty too. I think the reason here is due to the ground I think. During the winter the ground is hard, temps are colder and the bugs arnt around. Come spring everything is moving, more slugs, more worms and a richer variety of general niceities in the soil to eat. I have washed their bums at times but the next day it could be the same.

I will worm mine soon and I regularly give them supplements. Everything will get better and their poops will dry up just make sure that no maggots make a home in there! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
englishchick said:
Hi,

I wouldn't worry too much. I have six hens and during the winter their bums are fine, nice and fluffy and clean. As soon as spring comes along here in rainy Ireland their bums become dirty too. I think the reason here is due to the ground I think. During the winter the ground is hard, temps are colder and the bugs arnt around. Come spring everything is moving, more slugs, more worms and a richer variety of general niceities in the soil to eat. I have washed their bums at times but the next day it could be the same.

I will worm mine soon and I regularly give them supplements. Everything will get better and their poops will dry up just make sure that no maggots make a home in there! :D
The maggot thing is kind of freaking me out, but your post made me feel a little better :) I just don't want then to be uncomfortable or sick. I could see that happening (their bums being dirty again) especially with wet poo. And yes, they looked so clean and fluffy...it was beautiful. Now, not so pretty lol.
 

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I did not add to the water. I give them a "treat" everyday and crush up a tablet into the treat (I was only treating 2 hens). I usually grate up a zucchini or apple and sprinkle it all over. Sometimes I use old bread, break it into pieces, sprinkle the powdered tablet over the bread and then put some milk all over to make it moist, that way the powder can't fall off.

I still do it even though the wet poo has cleared up.

I also cleaned my coop completely with hot soapy water (took forever), took out every peice of old straw/nesting, sprayed insecticide all over the inside of the coop, spread a good amount of DE in the run, and put down fresh straw.

It was a lot of work, I'm not sure what of all those things cured her, I never saw any sign of mites, I am still doing the probiotics.

Yes, I think acidophious (sp?) will work just fine. I do not know how much to tell you to use. I would say one tablet per 2-4 hens.

Good luck, Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am going to try taking all of those steps this weekend. Even if it doesn't work completely, I'm sure it will improve! Thanks so much for the tips and I will keep y'all updated!
 
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