Analysing chicken poo

Common poultry diseases and conditions, advice on what they are and how to treat them.
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Analysing chicken poo

Postby cheryl » Sun May 03, 2015 11:40 am

A few weeks ago I gave my 5 chickens some chicory that we had been growing in a shallow container and become quite root bound. They loved it and ate the whole thing including scratching out all the roots. A few days later I found worm like substances in the poo but when I thought about it I wondered whether it could have been the roots they had eaten coming through. Just in case I wormed them with Eprinex (9 days ago) and they've been dusted.
Of the 5 chooks, 3 are about 8 months old, 1 about 17 months and the oldest is unknown, she was handed into the SPCA a little over two years ago but guessing she was a young chicken at that point as she laid throught that first winter but took a good break last winter so probably coming up 3 years. She is the one that was sick over Christmas but came right. She stopped laying about 5 weeks ago and has been going through a moult. The other 4 lay daily.
One of the chooks, I think the older one, sleeps where she poos on the ladder and I am still finding this worm like substance in the poo when I go down in the morning. For the first time today there was also some blood. Elsie, the older one, is definitely less active then she was and less hungry for food but I seem to remember something similar when she was molting last year.
Attaching photos:
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Elsie is the one on the right

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Poo photo - sorry not the prettiest

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Another poo picture

Is there anything to worry about? Is there anything I should be doing? I've also got some Aviverm if it's worth giving them that too?
As usual, any advice great fully received
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby wolga » Sun May 03, 2015 12:35 pm

That is definitely a worm and I think it's a Cecal worm. I don't like the blood in the poo. That could be caused by the worms and I
would give them Aviverm straight away..
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby cheryl » Sun May 03, 2015 1:45 pm

Thanks for that Wolga. I hadn't realised that Eprinex wasn't effective against all types of worms. They've all had their own individual dose soaked onto bread. Hopefully I haven't left it too late, I don't like the blood either. Poor Elsie, she's been through a bit. As Elsie at least obviously has a bad case of worms if she gets through it will she need a follow up treatment?
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby nhb » Sun May 03, 2015 5:14 pm

Yes it always pays to follow up 10-14 days after the original dose
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby cheryl » Sun May 03, 2015 5:18 pm

Will do. Thank you.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby Marina » Mon May 04, 2015 9:25 am

As far as I know Eprinex is a pour-on and is to be put onto the skin of the animal - not given orally. Chooks absorb it very well if given directly onto the skin.

I hope you are aware of the 2 week withholding period for eggs and meat - it is given off-label so no research has been done with chooks.

To me the worm looks like a roundworm. Caecal worms are much smaller - about 1.5cm long.

If you see worms in your chooks' droppings the infestation is quite severe so yes, a follow-up treatment is in order - for all your chooks.

I would then continue with a preventative treatment of giving them chopped pumpkin seeds (the green ones from the bulk food department of the supermarket). Pumpkin seeds have tiny microscopic hooks which paralyze the worms so they can be excreted. If you keep this up for a year all the worm eggs in your soil should be gone. Any worms that develop in your chooks should be excreted before they lay eggs.

1 table spoon of pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped, per 3 hens, mixed in with their feed. In your case I'd give it fortnightly to make sure no worm makes it to sexual maturity thus breaking the cycle.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby cheryl » Mon May 04, 2015 2:49 pm

The Eprinex was put on their skin - on the fleshy bit under the wings. I was given some by a farmer friend and just had it in a small sealed container so maybe it was past the expiry date and had lost its potency over time?

Two chooks had their bums over the ladder last night and both sets of droppings contained worms so they must all have it and will follow up for them all. Given that the infestation is severe am I likely to lose any of them? It's about 10 days since I first saw the droppings and they were treated that evening with Eprinex. Also, now that they have been treated how long should I still see worms appearing in the droppings?

I am guessing the most likely cause of the worms is the sparrows - the bane of my life. They have a grandpa feeder but still manage to scrape some food out which the sparrows eat, the sparrows also eat beside them when the chooks are eating at the feeder and the lid is open..... I need a better water management system, the sparrows are soiling the water containers they do have. Bringing the water in wont help as the sparrows go indoors to where the feeder is. I've had a look on trade me but the only thing I can see that may help is the nipples though not that easy for me to set up in the current set up but could make something work. What do other people do for water for their chooks, any advice gratefully received.

Thanks Marina, I will do the pumpkin seeds. I've also found some Flubenol. Is there any harm in mixing that in with their food at this stage or am I going to overburden them and make things worse?

Finally we're about to inherit three more chickens from my partners mother. I was planning to treat and quarantine them anyway thinking that they were more likely to be the ones carrying mites/worms as they don't have a very clean house set up. They arrive in a weeks time. How long after that should I keep them separate? The wood shavings got completely changed a week ago. Is it worth changing them again considering the worm burden that would also be in the soil?

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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby llvonn » Mon May 04, 2015 9:20 pm

Also, lime your soil. I was told by Neil that the worms will not like the change in soil ph. You can get garden lime at the garden store or at Farmlands (farmlands is probably way cheaper). That can also help break the cycle.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby Marina » Mon May 04, 2015 11:11 pm

If you have given the Eprinex onto the skin that's good. It takes 2 to 3 days to be fully absorbed and in the bloodstream. So what you are currently seeing may be the worms dead as a result of the Eprinex. Actually - thinking of the number of worms in the most recent picture it must be the dead worms from the Eprinex. It takes a while for them to die off as the Eprinex is accumulative.

I find that the potency of those pour-ons starts to wear off after about 2 weeks. So I'd give them another dose in a few days time to catch both the survivors and those recently hatched (or whatever it's called). I'd give a slightly higher dose than the first time as it obviously took a while for the worms to die.

The only medication I worry about if it's expired are antibiotics. Everything else is ok. Ointments can sometimes separate and then I don't use them anymore.

Can you imagine one of those worms in a sparrow? It will hardly fit - it's far too big.

If you have recently changed the bedding you should be ok with one follow-up treatment with Eprinex and then pumpkin seeds. It depends on how you prefer to manage it. Dolomite and calcium can never do any harm and wood shavings are acidic.

I have dozens of sparrows drinking from my chooks' water containers and I've never seen a worm.

You could have a look at Mark Sutton Engineering's poultry water containers - he has treadle operated water containers, same system as the feeders but the body is made from plastic to be water tight. My chooks drink from 10 litre buckets.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby cheryl » Sun May 24, 2015 2:31 pm

Unfortunately Elsie went downhill two days after this message. She was still on the roost when I went down in the morning. I set her up in a rabbit hutch with food and sugared water. She ate/drank in the morning but by the afternoon was very hunched over and fluffed up, not happy at all. When I checked on her an hour later she had collapsed and died soon after. Poor girl. Makes you realise what a problem worms can be. Fortunately the others have had their follow up treatment and are happy and healthy. We plan to lime the soil (weather too wet this weekend) and put more bark chips down in their pen.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby Marina » Sun May 24, 2015 8:58 pm

That's very sad. I do think that Elsie must have had other issues as well as worms on their own are unlikely to kill a healthy chook. Glad your others are doing well.
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Re: Analysing chicken poo

Postby Foehn » Sun May 29, 2016 11:17 am

While this thread is now a year old, it is still worth thinking about the earlier photo showing blood in the stools. Even though an adult bird, if a problem like a worm infestation weakens the hen, it could still leave them open to coccidiosis as their immune system can be compromised. Blood can be a symptom of that, or, just some lining sloughing off the intestine.
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