Elwood and her dirty butt

I did a late night chicken snatching from the coop. Elwood has a very poopy butt that I wanted to take a closer look at. She won’t let me near her in daylight hence the late night snatching. I kept hoping that the poop would just fall off. Unfortunately, it never did and seemed to be getting a little worse. Sometimes the other chickens will get a little bit of a poopy butt but then it seems to go away. I always attributed that to food related items. Like when they got lots of pumpkins and squash to eat all at once.

I washed off most of Elwood’s clumpy poop problems with warm water and then trimmed the feathers in that area with scissors. I did some looking around online and found that poopy butt problems can be either caused by lice, mites, or your chicken can just be prone to a poop butt.

I found a link that shows a chicken with lice (scroll down the link for the disturbing chicken butt pictures) but I didn’t think that Elwoods problem looked quite like that. Another picture of lice and mites that I found didn’t remind me of Elwood’s problem either. The chicken in first link has the lice clumps right tight to her butt feathers. After working on getting the poop clumps out with water the smaller ones that were left on Elwood were not tight to the base of her feathers.

So, do I have a lice problem or not I’m pondering. I guess that I will keep an eye on Elwood and all the other chickens. I’m hopeful that Elwood is maybe just predisposed to getting a clumpy butt and doesn’t have lice. Make that really, REALLY hopeful.

I took a picture of her in the egg laying box earlier today. She even let me pet her. Probably because she was so freaked out wondering why the nesting box got so bright.

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6 Responses to Elwood and her dirty butt

  1. Janean says:

    we’ve thought about raising chickens in the future….then i read about poopy butts…. not so much. i’m the queasy-kind. any “self-cleaning” chickies? LOL. plus, do chicken peck you as in hurt?

  2. lee says:

    Hi Janean, I’m afraid most forms of livestock put you in pretty close contact with poop at times. Then again, our chickens have certainly been less problematic than our pets. We had a couple chicks with “pasty bottoms”, but we upped the crack corn mix in their feed a bit and the problem cleared up. Among our 11 chickens, Elwood is the only one that’s had any trouble. If you stick with one of the mainstream breeds (Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, etc), I think they are pretty low maintenance.

  3. Lynn says:

    Poor Elwood! I hope she does not have lice, I think you would know if it was lice, but I’m no pro. We sprinkle a small bit of DE in the coop under the straw when we clean it to keep lice & such bugs away. I looked at those pics in the links you posted of naked chicken butts and lice eggs – pretty gross, I wouldn’t want that on my chickens! So far you haven’t had many chickens issues, I think you should consider yourselves lucky! I, on the other hand, seem to have an issue with a chicken on a weekly basis! But I haven’t seen lice yet, and I’m still learning.

  4. robin says:

    Lynn- You did get a lot of chicken problems unfortunately. This seems like it was the first major scare for us. I have heard about using DE around the chicken coop but I have never done that. It seems like a good idea. Lee and I are still learning too. Even though I grew up with chickens it doesn’t mean that I took anything in as a kid šŸ˜€

  5. Kristin says:

    Hi. I followed you over here from the Omelay’s blogs. I had a hen that had a messy butt years ago. In fact, her vent became infected and she had stopped laying. I started to feed my hens a concoction of whole grains and buttermilk (for the probiotics) along with some kelp. Within a few weeks, her vent was clean and she was laying again. You likely already have good food with probiotics (after all, you are in Oregon and there’s a lot more info on the internet these days!) in it but I just thought I’d mention this.

    Enjoy your homestead!

  6. robin says:

    Thanks for the tip Kristin! I had never heard of using buttermilk or kelp before. Always something new to learn. šŸ™‚

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