The Scoop on Backyard Chicken Poop

August 8, 2011

As most of the East Coast has been embraced by a heat wave, yesterday we finally had a break.  It rained.  Rain is actually predicted for most of the week, but we hadn’t had a rain like that in months.  At times there were horrendous downpours.  So intense, that I even dragged out the plastic tarp that covers the run in the winter. 

Today everyone, especially me, was happy to see the sun breakthrough the misty foggy layer that covered the Cape this morning.  As I rolled up and removed the plastic tarp, the girls were ecstatic to see me.  They were bright eyed and bushy tailed and chattering up a storm.  They too must have sensed the visit from Mr. Sun.

As I uncovered the run, it was down right hot.  As soon as the rain had left, the blanket of moist heavy humidity returned.  Did I mention how much I hate humidity?  Instantly I was reminded of what happened two days ago in similar heat.  I was there watching the girls scratch around in the dirt and out it came.  Like a water gun, Oyster Cracker’s behind let out an explosive stream of water.  I thought to myself, oh great, she has diarrhea.  I way paying attention to chicken poop. I imagined myself giving her bath upon bath. This would lead to an uphill battle of beauty vs. diarrhea.  Upon closer examination, my inspection of the ground revealed nothing, just a wet spot.

Worried, I came inside and looked on backyard chickens and found the answer right away as well as this lovely link on how normal and abnormal chicken poop appears.  Apparently, these watery poops can happen when chicken are hot and drink too much water.  It is not harmful in anyway and it does not mean the bird is ill.  It is just something that they do.

So, for now the sun is out.  The diarrhea has stopped and the girls are happy.  They are busily scratching in the run’s moist soil for worms, surely not worrying about diarrhea.  I suppose this is another Chicken Mom job description for me, “Poop Inspector”.  Huh; funny how so many things with keeping chickens parallels raising children.

This post is linked up to Homestead Revival’s Homestead Barn Hop.


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6 thoughts on “The Scoop on Backyard Chicken Poop”

  1. This happens to my girls when it's hot and especially if I feed them something watery like watermelon or cucumber.

    We had a heat spell about 6 weeks ago and had guests over for cold beer on the patio. I gave the girls watermelon to help cool them off and Pumpkin shot one of these disgusting watery poops onto the patio right in front of my guests. I was HORRIFIED! Fortunately, they just laughed.

  2. Flock Mistress, I had been feeding them a bunch of cucumbers. Oyster Cracker is such a piggy. I bet that is what did it! I''m so glad your guests found it funny! Those friends are probably keepers. They passed the chicken test:)

  3. I'm glad I just read this – My one of my girls has been doing this and I was concerned! I thought something was wrong. It doesn't make sense though, it's been in the 40's here all week, so it's not because it's hot.

    • Did you get a chance to check out the "poop link" in the post? That might be able to help. Once a day all chickens will have a looser poop called a ceacal poop. That is normal. If you chicken continues to have diarrhea, you might need to take her to an avian vet and have her and her stool examined. Diarrhea can be a sign of serious illness. I hope it doesn't continue. Please keep us posted.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.