Tuesday 2 July 2013

Green Poop in Chickens

What does Green Poop in Chickens Mean?

It's not good news unfortunately.  Green poop in chickens has consistently proven to mean liver function issues in my experience.  It is also accompanied by a musty - damp and dusty type odor.  The poop stains a vibrant, emerald green on pale surfaces such as the white and cream towels my girls sleep on in their inside hutch.  

At the moment our buff Pekin hen Holly is producing green poop.  She is molting heavily too (it's right in the middle of Winter here) and she is consequently freezing and dropping a lot of weight trying to stay warm.  I have taken her out of the pen and brought her inside to stay in the lounge in a hutch.  In order to keep her warm she has a heating pad under the towel that's covering the hutch floor and we have the gas heater on every night and in the early morning to keep her as toasty as possible.  She's also having plenty of high protein mash and her water has electrolytes to keep her well hydrated.  She's also loving her silverbeet stalks - but that has nothing to do with why her poop is green.  She's also craving grit which is really typical of hens with unhealthy livers.  She eats mouthfuls of dirt on the sunny days when we put her outside.  I have a little bowl of grit in the hutch (finely ground up shells) and she tucks into this on and off through the day.  She's dropped quite a bit of weight and is very weak on her feet.  

All of the stress of the heavy molt in the cold weather has obviously assaulted her immune system and resulted in her liver struggling to keep up.  As with previous hens, I have started Holly on a very small dose of a liver medication that is actually designed for humans.  It is diluted in water in a syringe and she gets an 8th of a tablet twice a day.  Basically if Holly shows improvement in 4 or 5 days, she should keep going from strength to strength.  If there is not sign of improvement then it is likely that Holly will eventually need to be put to sleep.  

Holly is also very pale in the face, which again is another sign that her liver is not up to scratch. This is Holly several months ago - really red and healthy and below that is Holly this morning.  Very beige and pale (and gorgeous).

Holly - baking by the heater, July 2 2013

We will see how Holly is going this weekend.  Certainly I won't let Holly suffer but I am so hoping she will be one of the lucky girls to come through this. 

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