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Yep, a chicken poop question! (update for Zu!)

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  • Yep, a chicken poop question! (update for Zu!)

    Never did I think I'd be asking

    I have no idea how much of the following is pertinent but just in case

    Chickens are in the 6-7 week range. They've been eating appropriate growth feed, and for a week now have been living outside in a bottomless coop (so access to grass, dirt, mulch, whatever is there where I move it, always a mix). Prior to that they'd been getting handsful of chickweed and assorted greens to eat, or not.

    The last several days they have "free ranged" for as long as it took me to move the coop, clean/refill water and feed containers, so 15 minutes about.

    Today they have free ranged for most of the day, eating all the same things.

    Their poop has been, for weeks now, a combination of more solid poop, more runny poop, and everything in between. They have also has nearly free choice access to grit. The solid poop has been pretty white, the runnier stuff getting more and more brown the runnier it gets.

    Today is the first day I noticed (doesn't mean it hasn't happened, just haven't seen) that one of them was pecking at and eating the white poop.

    Is this common/natural? Does it mean they are missing something?
    Last edited by JB; May. 4, 2012, 01:57 PM.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

  • #2
    Are they on medicated chick feed? It could be coccidia since they are just now being exposed to dirt and that organism for the first time. Do any seem "hunched up" and just looking unwell? The darker feces could be blood. Hard to say without seeing for sure. The pecking at poop is pretty normal, they usually figure out pretty quick that it is nasty. I have noticed that my young birds will go through some loose stools when they first get outside until their systems can adjust to new things. Good luck!


    • Original Poster

      Nope, the darker poop is caramel-colored, not at all looking like it might be bloody, not even "black" blood. Nobody is hunched or otherwise acting anything but chicken-like.

      I wonder if I just didn't give them enough grit when they started living outside?

      Good to know pecking at the poop is normal
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        They forget that it's their poop and they think it's something new and possibly edible. The white in the poo is their urea/pee and the rest is poo. The more greens/bugs they eat the darker and looser it gets. They're like all other creatures and it changes according to what they're eating so I'd say worry if it's a big splat of runny green and white and they're fluffed up and miserably not eating; otherwise they're being totally normal for baby chicks.

        Carry on!
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


        • Original Poster

          I really need to get on reading some of the info on chickens I've been meaning to get to LOLOL

          JUST last night I was thinking "ok, surely chickens have PEE!" lmao! I'm so out of my element here

          They are VERY happy chicklets so far Entertaining me to no end!
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            They are fun little things-I have seven right now that are about the same age and I can watch them for hours. Sweet baby biddies.

            Backyardchickens.com is, as someone else mentioned, the COTH of the chicken world! They've talked me through surgery on a duck!
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


            • Original Poster

              yep, I've got that site bookmarked and have been there a few times, but haven't really dug in - I do hear it rocks!

              Surgery on a duck? LOLOL
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                JB, a) totally normal. b) if you want a handy reference book, I usually recommend this one.

                Now if only I'd had time to socialize my own chicks. They're 7 weeks old and while not as scared of me as some past batches, certainly not interested in being friendly. Guess I'll have to resort to scratch bribery...


                • #9

                  And here I thought only horsepeople were poop-centric...

                  Sounds like dietary changes in your chicks' droppings.
                  Coccidia will show as bloody - if you want, BYC can link you to an entire page of poop pics

                  If you're worried you can get Corid (amprolium) at TSC.
                  Wish I could give you the pint bottle I got when my 9-weekers had some "bloody show".
                  A teaspoon in their water for 10 days and everyone was fine, but I have what amounts to a Lifetime supply of the stuff...now 3yo.

                  Your chicks will get plenty grit on their own from dirt, pebbles, etc outside.
                  But chickgrit is cheap enough to keep a dish in their coop for them to free feed.
                  Once my hens went fulltime freerange they pretty much ignored the dish of grit I left for them in the coop.
                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                  • #10
                    A Secret

                    Chicken poop is prized fertilizer to some people...........
                    I get my coop cleaned out by someone for the poop once a month.


                    • Original Poster

                      Urban, yep, that's the book on my list to get Though I saw one at Southern States that I think was also a recommendation when I asked for some. I have to hit Tractor Supply today, and they might well have that Storey's Guide book.

                      IF I see someone starting to look puny, I'll look into that Corid.

                      I know folks love cp for fertilizer. I don't intend to have to have a lot to clean up LOL
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • #12
                        Unless they look unwell (not eating, fluffed up, eyes closed, lethargic, & just generally miserable-looking), don't worry about it. Chicken poop will naturally change colors depending on what they're eating. Lots of greens & fresh fruit/veggie scraps? Shades of green. Grain, insects, & plain old dirt? All shades of brown & gray.

                        Oh, & the "white" part of the poop is essentially the "urine".


                        • #13


                          BUT SINCERELY HOPE 'THIS' IS NOT A PROBLEM AND

                          WISHING ALL THE CHICKS GOOD HEALTH !

                          JINGLES FOR 'NORMAL' CHICKEN POOP AND PEE ~
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                          • #14
                            Just wait, the dog will love it too, for snacks and a good roll. Blecch.

                            I've never actually lost a chicken to disease but they do have a wide range of poop both in color and texture in healthy birds.
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • Original Poster

                              Oh, trust me, the dawgs have already discovered chicken poop

                              Just since posting this, nearly every deposit I've seen has firmed up. Still the greenish brown color, nothing is black or "black" indicating blood, so it does indeed seem this is an acclimation deal

                              Got the Storey's Guide today

                              Zu- you're a riot
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • #16
                                CHICKEN $HIT ~ HOW IS 'THIS' COMING ALONG ?! UPDATE ??

                                CHICKEN $HIT ~~ UPDATE PLEASE ?

                                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                • Original Poster


                                  The chicken $hit looks just like it oughta look, I think LOLOL

                                  Everything has firmed up by at least a factor of 2-3, which seems to put it right about where it should be
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                  • #18
                                    COULDN'T LET IT GO ``` PICTURES OR VIDEO ~ PLEASE ?!!


                                    Originally posted by JB View Post

                                    The chicken $hit looks just like it oughta look, I think LOLOL

                                    Everything has firmed up by at least a factor of 2-3, which seems to put it right about where it should be
                                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                    • #19
                                      If you want to do a fun chicken poop experiment feed them purple cabbage... The result is a little scary


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Zu, just for you, I will take a poop picture tomorrow!

                                        Redmond - ok, now I'm going to have to try that

                                        Maybe the poop will be red tomorrow? Tonight they FEASTED on a big mound full of those big, fat, JUICY *red* ants. And little ant babies. Chickens:1, ants:0
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET