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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I had one of my seven stay out all night Saturday. I could

Customer Question

I had one of my seven stay out all night Saturday. I could not find her. She was back in the morning, but She acts like she doesn't feel right. she has greenish watery poop. This is my first flock of chickens.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: spot,
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about spot?
Customer: Her vent looks pasty
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Please tell me how old Spot is.

Welcome to chickens! You're going to find them giving you constant pleasure as well as perplex you with their behavior and illnesses. Now that chickens are kept as pets at least as often as production animals in backyard flocks, the demand for their proper care is becoming more and more similar to that of dogs and cats. In general, flock owners, however, don't realize what such medical care can entail - both time and costwise. For example, Spot's diarrhea and malaise can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. If that were the case, your best course of action would be to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: for help in arranging a necropsy. An avian vet would still be ideal for Spot because there's nothing that can substitute for a hands-on exam.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

If you don't have an avian vet available to you, presumptive treatment for the most common gastrointestinal parasites plus a broad spectrum antibiotic are reasonable. Piperazine (Wazine, e.g.) will address roundworms and amprolium (Corid) will address coccidia. Tylosin (Tylan-50) dosed at 20-30 mg/lb once daily intramuscularly into her breast muscle or the injectable solution can be given orally (it's quite distasteful, however.) for 5-7 days is usually available in your local feed store as are the other drugs. It's best to bring her inside as shown here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Spot is six months old, I believe she has been laying for around 2 months
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. Diarrhea in chickens can indicate common roundworms and coccidia, bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, liver diseases and even infectious agents primarily associated with the respiratory tract and systemic infections such as Marek's disease (herpesvirus) - always an important differential in a 6 month old. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?