Chicken droppings query

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Chicken droppings query

Postby Sue » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:10 pm

I have posted a link (hopefully!) with a photo I took yesterday of some droppings I found that one of my hens produced (don't know which one yet). Can anyone tell me why they may have produced droppings like this and whether I need to do anything about it. They are all very healthy, eating well. I have found a smaller dropping similar to this one today.


http://i1215.photobucket.com/albums/cc5 ... 99/012.jpg


Please let me know if the link doesn't work.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Bertie & The Chooks » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:33 pm

looks like they are intestinal lining sheds. bit frightening but normal. but the really watery whiteness would worry me if it persists more than a couple of days. did it rain a lot where you are? do they have access to water under their shelters? as really white watery poo can be kidney stress from lack of water.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Sue » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:45 pm

They have water in their inside covered run, so there's no problem with lack of water.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby chrismahon » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:54 am

We get these from most of the flocks. They subside considerably after Flubenvet worming but are still present, so I originally thought it was an effect of worms. I now think they a sign are underlying coccidiosis in our flocks, which is quite common and they can cope with as adult birds. In chicks it is fatal and they poo as if their entire inards have come out. I think the wormer also acts on the coccidiosis and that is why it subsides. This has been mentioned in Practical Poultry recently and you can treat for it, but the treatment quantities are designed for commercial flocks so work out very expensive. Also it is now in the soil, so the treatment would have to be repeated regularly. Otherwise our birds are happy and healthy so I intend to do nothing much unless it gets far worse.

ACV in the drinking water helps but the concentration needed is much higher than normal. We used to run at 1% for a week every month. 3% is needed to control coccidiosis apparently, which is very high (and expensive) and I'm not happy with, so as a compromise we are going to try 2% every month for a while.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Bertie & The Chooks » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:30 pm

chrismahon wrote:We get these from most of the flocks. They subside considerably after Flubenvet worming but are still present, so I originally thought it was an effect of worms. I now think they a sign are underlying coccidiosis in our flocks, which is quite common and they can cope with as adult birds. In chicks it is fatal and they poo as if their entire inards have come out. I think the wormer also acts on the coccidiosis and that is why it subsides. This has been mentioned in Practical Poultry recently and you can treat for it, but the treatment quantities are designed for commercial flocks so work out very expensive. Also it is now in the soil, so the treatment would have to be repeated regularly. Otherwise our birds are happy and healthy so I intend to do nothing much unless it gets far worse.

ACV in the drinking water helps but the concentration needed is much higher than normal. We used to run at 1% for a week every month. 3% is needed to control coccidiosis apparently, which is very high (and expensive) and I'm not happy with, so as a compromise we are going to try 2% every month for a while.



whoah mate!! it's not worms!! it's just intestinal shedding, totally normal. stop freaking her out. :(
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby chrismahon » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:12 pm

I didn't say it was worms Steph. I thought it was coccidiosis, as we get poos like that every day and the wormer doesn't cure it. I agree it might be a shedding process here, but not shedding every day as with us. Our poos look like smaller quantities of the same as in the photo. We only started getting poos like this a year ago and had never previously seen anything like it.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Bertie & The Chooks » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:18 pm

Yes, I think I would agree coccidiosis if there was any mucous in the stool and it was more regular. but they are watery (urine) not overly mucous full and she can't be sure it's from one bird. We get those sorts of poos every so often here, but none of my birds are unwell(knock on wood).
some info...
-
Birds that have coccidiosis often display a characteristic posture. They hunch up, fluff up and can drop their wings. They may have:

diarrhea
soft mucoid faeces
bloody droppings
pink intestinal tissue in droppings
hunched posture with ruffled feathers
droopiness
loss of appetite or even interest in water
slow growth
weakness
aenemia - may see pale comb and skin


The disease is spread by droppings of infected birds. It can be spread on used equipment, feed containers, feet of humans and wild birds etc.

There are two main types of Coccidiosis – Intestinal Coccidiosis and Cecal Coccidiosis. In the intestinal version the intestinal tract is affected by the Eimeria, and in the Cecal version, the cecum is affected.

Coccidia have two main phases in their life cycle; one phase occurs outside the host and involves the development of the infective stages (oocysts), and the major phase which occurs within the host and involves massive multiplication and sexual reproduction.

Birds ingest a number of oocysts and become infected. The severity of the infection depends on the numbers that they are host to. At a low dose the immune systems responds to the challenge and deals with the infection. When birds ingest too many they can develop visible symptoms and if the disease is unchecked it can kill them.

Incubation period
Cecal Coccidiosis: 5 – 6 days
Intestinal Coccidiosis: 5 days

Diagnosis
flock history, postmortem findings, fecal test (presence of oocysts in fecal specimen).

Treatment
Treat urgently with a medication for Coccidiosis according to directions. Raise chicks on clean dry litter and avoid crowded or damp conditions. Make sure drinkers are not spilling water into the litter. Make sure water and feed is uncontaminated by droppings. Use medicated chick starter or grower. Ensure that chicks are warmly housed out of draughts. In severe cases raising chicks on a wire grill can reduce ingestion of the oocysts and help recovery. In severe cases, reducing the protein level in the feed can also be of assistance. Monitor droppings during and after treatment. Often morning droppings can show blood, even if the day is normal. Putting newspaper under perches or on brooder floors can make the droppings easier to see.

Follow treatment with a vitamin supplement (especially A and K).

Survivors of one strain may become infected with a different strain and require further treatment. Survivors of severe infections may never be productive.

Common Medications (many available at local produce stores):
Sulphaquin (Sulphaquinoxaline)
Sulpha D (sulfadiazine)
Sulpha 3 (Sulphaquinoxaline+Sulphadimidine+Sulphathiazole)
Sulphadim (Sulphadimione)
Baycox (Toltrazuril)
Coccivet (Amprolium, Ethopabate)

Anticoccidial drugs fall into two categories – coccidiostats, and coccidiocides.
Medications are either coccidicidal (cidal), which means they kill the parasite, or coccidiostatic (static), which do not kill the parasites, but arrest their development.

Coccidiostats are given in the feed to prevent severe outbreaks of the disease. The coccidiostat doesn't actively kill the coccidia, it simply interrupts the breeding cycle and they can't multiply into large numbers. The coccidiostat can be included in starter and grower crumbles and can be seen on the label. Old or poorly mixed feed may not be reliable as a preventive.

Medications that are given to treat coccidiosis (therapeutic therapy) are coccidiocides. They actively kill the protozoa. Sulphaquin and Baycox would fall into this category. These drugs are usually given in the drinking water. The chickens must ingest enough of the coccidiocide to be effective. Early treatment is very important because the coccidiocide must kill the coccidia within the bird before irrepairable damage is done to the intestines. Thee are also some medications that can act as both a coccidiostat and a coccidiocide.

The dosage rates of coccidiocides are carefully balanced to kill enough of the coccidia to save the bird, yet still enable immunity to develop. Overdosing can be toxic to the birds, so in treating for coccidiosis more is not better. Treatment needs to take place urgently once symptoms are seen as a bird can die within a couple of days in severe cases.

Vaccine
Commercial vaccines consist of low doses of live, sporulated oocysts of the various coccidial species administered at low doses to day-old chicks. These are not widely used among backyarders due to difficulty in obtaining the vaccine, and the fact that good management makes it unnecessary.

Immunology
Birds of any age can be susceptible to coccidiosis, although in practice, most acquire infection in the first few weeks of life and this infection induces a good immunity. In most situations this persists for life because of frequent low-grade re-exposure to infection, but in the absence of infection, immunity may wane. Immunity is species specific. So, for example, immunity to Emeria Maxima does not confer resistance to E. tenella and so on. Immunity is best engendered by repeated exposure to low numbers of oocysts, so-called 'trickle' infection, and this is what usually takes place naturally.

Epidemiology
The severity of the disease is dependent on both the species of Eimeria and the size of the infecting dose of oocysts. It is impossible to produce a coccidia-free environment under normal conditions and chicks will quickly become infected. Usually immunity will be acquired without clinical disease occurring, oocyst output will be reduced and litter occyst populations fall rapidly. However if the balance is disturbed by factors which favour the parasite, such as an initial high degree of environmental contamination and/or ideal sporulation conditions (e.g. wet litter) pathogenic numbers of infective oocysts will be ingested by non-immune birds and disease will result. It's typical to see this with chicks on litter at about 3-6 weeks of age.

Sources:
The Chicken Health Handbook by Damerow, G
Poultry Diseases (3rd ed) by Jordan, FTW
Poultry Diseases edited by RF Gordon
Veterinary Pathology by Jones (5th ed) by Jones TC & Hunt RD
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby chrismahon » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:00 pm

Hi Steph. So the net result is, if it is coccidiosis and my flocks are happy they are OK, as they probably have partial immunity and it isn't getting out of hand (or they would be dead by now). But chicks need ACS in the feed, which is what they get outside anyway.

We will still raise the ACV to 2% every month and see what happens. But the first lot went thirsty until they got outside the run and then rushed over to drink from an old bucket. So it isn't going to be simple to increase from 1%.

So what do we think Sue's problem is here; 'Intestinal shedding' or 'under natural control Coccidiosis' ? I think we agree it is nothing to be alarmed about.
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Sue » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:04 pm

Thank you for all the info Sheph and Chris. As I said, they are all well and whoever it is, it hasn't spread to all of them, because there are lots of completely normal droppings around and overnight everyone is producing normal droppings. I have them all on the 'Total Moulting Solutions' at the moment (for 1 month). I put it in the drinking water for all the hens, including the two younger ones (approx. 26 weeks). I assume it won't do them any harm, they look pretty healthy to me. I am going to try to spend some time watching them this weekend (weather permitting!) to see if I can spot who is producing these droppings. I haven't found any at all today, just one or two lots of mustard coloured diarrhoea. All the others are normal. I love poultry keeping, there is always something to worry about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Chicken droppings query

Postby Bertie & The Chooks » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:07 pm

Sue wrote:Thank you for all the info Sheph and Chris. As I said, they are all well and whoever it is, it hasn't spread to all of them, because there are lots of completely normal droppings around and overnight everyone is producing normal droppings. I have them all on the 'Total Moulting Solutions' at the moment (for 1 month). I put it in the drinking water for all the hens, including the two younger ones (approx. 26 weeks). I assume it won't do them any harm, they look pretty healthy to me. I am going to try to spend some time watching them this weekend (weather permitting!) to see if I can spot who is producing these droppings. I haven't found any at all today, just one or two lots of mustard coloured diarrhoea. All the others are normal. I love poultry keeping, there is always something to worry about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


mustard coloured poop is just caecal and is normal. they will do these once or twice a day. here is another poop post from another forum hehe http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewto ... ?t=7956590 i love finding these poop patrol posts :D :lol:
another poop patrol link http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
Last edited by Bertie & The Chooks on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steph - Buh buh buh Bertie and The Chooks *does Elton piano solo* :D

NOTE:
*I can be abrupt sometimes due to a medical condition - please don't take offense! and let me know so i can amend my reply. thank you for understanding*
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