Chicken Poop 101: What’s Normal and What’s Abnormal

Chicken poop tells the actual health of chickens. Knowing your chicken’s poop condition will help you take care of your flocks.

The poultry raisers don’t pay attention to their chicken’s poop. Yes, it’s dirty but if you want to get into a successful chicken farming you need to look into it.

Like humans, chickens must have a good digestive system to digest their food. Different types of health issues and feed can change the chicken poo color.

So, by looking at their poop color and condition, you can tell how they are digesting their food and other health issues.

Regularly monitoring your chicken’s poop will keep you aware of their health. You may observe different colors of feces, such as green, yellow, brown, black, milky, and more. 

You must understand which chicken feces are normal, abnormal, and unhealthy. 

No worries in this definitive guide we will explain:

  • Appearance of normal chicken poop
  • Abnormal and unhealthy chicken conditions with a chart.
  • Tips to keep your chicken poop normal and healthy.
  • Various uses of chicken poop in backyard farming.
  • And FAQs.

What Does Normal Chicken Poop Look Like?

normal healthy chicken poop
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The normal chicken poops are seen in different colors and conditions. It is most important to understand what is normal and what is not.

You will notice normal chicken droppings of different colors, such as green, white, brown, and black. But most of the healthy chicken poop is brownish with white spots and greenish.

Watery chicken poop is not always a sign of diarrhea or another health issue. In areas with very hot climate, you may see runny chicken poop.

Below well talk about what normal chicken droppings look like and how to treat them?

Regular Chicken Poop

The regular chicken poop is easy to recognize. It is mostly solid and brown in color. You may see some white spots (urates) above the brown poo.

If your chickens are receiving balanced feed supplements according to their age, they should release regular poop. 

You can also read : Complete guide on feeding chickens

Now well talk about why and how the chicken poop color changes and what the normal colors are?

Green Poop

green chicken poop
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Green poop is not something to worry about. Chicken’s green poop is the result of an excessively green diet, such as grass, leaves, and green vegetables.

It is natural and does not pose a health risk to the chicken. Most free-ranging chickens have this type of green poop.

In some cases, it may be due to Marek’s disease.

Yellow Poop

yellow healthy chicken droppings
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Most of the time, yellow poop is the result of eating a lot of strawberries, corn, forsythia blooms, and squashes.

If your chicken is looking healthy with yellowish poop, then there’s nothing to worry about. 

In a few cases, chicken looks unhealthy and lethargic with yellow poop. In those cases, don’t be confused, contact your vet.

Because sometimes yellowish poop can mean that a chicken has coccidiosis, lead poisoning, internal parasites, kidney issues, typhoid, or other serious problems.

Black Poop

black chicken poop
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If your chicken is consuming things like blackberries, charcoal, and dark purple treats, then their poop will be black.

Don’t worry if they are looking healthy. But if the chicken is consistently producing black feces without the above treats, you may need to investigate further.

Black stool may be a sign of internal bleeding in some cases. This type of issue, if left untreated, can be fatal. If the concern doesn’t go away, call your vet. 

Blue/Teal Poop

We’ve already said that the color of chicken poop changes depending on what the flock eats. 

Likewise, blue poo can also be caused by food like red cabbage or other dark purple vegetables. There is nothing to be concerned about if the stool is blue or teal color.

Runny Brown Poop

runny brown chicken poop
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Mostly the runny brown chicken poop is normal. This may be a cause of eating high wet food which increases the water content in the chicken’s intestine.

It may be brown poo that is sticky and liquid. Your chicken may release this type of poop up to nine times a day.

But more than that is possibly a cause of E.coli or diarrhea. You need to check this out with your vet.

Abnormal and Unhealthy Chicken Poop

There are few colors of chicken poop which you need to worry about. Let’s understand what are the possible cause.

Orange or Red Poop (Blood in Chicken’s Poop)

Sometimes you can see a red and orange lining with chicken droppings. 

It’s usually normal, but it could be a sign of internal bleeding. This may be the cause of acute to chronic intestinal lining bleeding.

If the intestinal lining is bleeding occasionally, it’s not a big deal, but if it’s always bleeding, you have to give them a probiotic.

Giving probiotics will solve this problem within a few days. If not, you need to discuss it with your vet.

White Poop

In normal poop you see a white layer on the top. The reason behind that layer is urates. 

But liquid white color poop without any hard matter is caused because of excess water intake. If your chicken is pooping white poop repeatedly, it may be a risk of Gumbro disease.

So keep an eye on the poop color and contact your veterinarian if the problem is not solved.

Foamy Milky Chicken Poop

The yellowish, foamy poop seen in chickens with diarrhea is due to the chicken’s poor digestive system. It mainly caused because of eating high amount of protein.

Some chicken owners see this difficulty when giving too much protein treats like mealworms. This is a symptom of an upset digestive system.

Internal parasites may cause yellowish poop that looks like foam. So, you need to look into this. 

If the issue isn’t resolved, please contact your nearest veterinarian.

Chicken Poop With Worms

pinworms in chicken poop
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Helminthiasis or worm infestation is the major cause of worms in chicken poop. If you see worms in the poop it’s time to use a chicken wormer medicine.

You can read our complete guide on chicken deworming.

Chickens mainly eat stuff from the soil and grass. This is the major cause they are infested with worms. 

These internal worms suck all the vitamins and minerals from the chicken’s intestine which leads to unhealthy poop and lack of nutrition.

Watery Poop

Clear watery chicken poop
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Watery chicken poop is not always a concern. Mostly chicken poop is caused by having too much heat.

In warm and hot climate areas, chickens are prone to mild diarrhea. The fast bowel movement causes lack of absorption which ends up with watery poop.

Sometimes, watery poop is a big sign that a chicken is stressed. It usually happens when chickens are moved to a new place.

If the issue is not resolved within 1-2 days, you should consult your veterinarian. In some cases watery poop is a sign of infectious bronchitis.

Tips to Keep Your Chicken’s Poop Normal and Healthy

For the healthy growth of chickens, proper digestion is most important. You can see a chicken poop and tell whether the gut health of the chicken is good or not.

Below we have added few tips to keep your chicken’s poop normal and healthy. 

1. Keep Monitoring Your Chicken’s Poop

Raising chickens not only means looking after their feed, water, and coop, but also their health. You need to check your chicken’s poop regularly.

Occasionally, chicken poop can indicate their health condition. So, keep an eye on their droppings and if you see any color variation and abnormal poop condition talk with your vet.

2. Add Probiotics to Your Chicken’s Feed

The common cause of unhealthy chicken poops is lack of good bacteria in intestine. After using antibiotics the intestinal good bacteria decreases.

This cause chicken droppings to be unhealthy and abnormal. Not only this it causes lack of nutrition and growth retardation.

In this type of case treating them with good probiotics help them to recover their intestinal good bacteria. It keeps their gut healthy.

3. Give Clean and Adequate Drinking Water

Another reason for abnormal droppings is a lack of drinking water. Chicken eats lots of dry feed, so they need continuous supply of water.

Inadequate drinking water causes indigestion and diarrhea in chickens. In some cases, you may see diarrhea. 

So, providing adequate water is most important. If you want hassle free watering add a few best automatic chicken waterers inside the poultry coop.

Chicken waterers are available in different types and quantities so buy a good one which will suit your flocks. Flocks age and size is most significant when buying a poultry drinker.

Always provide them with clean water because dirty water could contain various types of infectious virus and bacteria.

4. Provide Them Open Space for Free-Range

Always try to provide an open space to free-range your chickens. Free Ranging chickens are always healthy as compared to chickens raised inside portable coops.

A free-range chicken gets different types of nutrients from grass, herbs, and soil. They eat grits from soil which help them to grind their food inside the gizzard.

While the birds growing inside chicken tractors only get the balanced company made feed. The feed does not contain any green herb.

That’s why organic free-range chicken eggs and meat are tastier than caged chickens. Foraging chicken always has a good gut because of complete nutrition.

5. Keep the Coop Clean

Keeping the chicken coop clean is the most important part of poultry farming. Cleaning the chicken coop keeps your chickens clean, beautiful and healthy.

Chickens that live in a clean environment are less likely to be infected with infectious diseases or parasites. You should replace the coop litter every alternate month.

To avoid infectious disease, you need to clean the coop every 1-2 months. A worm infestation is a common health problem in birds caused by unhygienic conditions in coops and run areas.

6. Do Deworming if Needed

If you see worms in your chicken’s poop, then your chicken is likely infested with worms. Chicken can be infested internally or externally by worms.

Worm infestation causes catarrh, diarrhea, intestinal obstruction, loss of appetite, anemia, weakness, paralysis, and poor feathering in chickens.

If you see worms in chicken droppings, you should treat them with deworming medicines. If it does not work, you should ask your nearest vet for a complete deworming solution.

7. Contact Your Vet for Emergency Situations

In emergency situations such as diarrhea and other digestive issues in chickens, you must contact a veterinarian. Veterinarians are professional and will resolve your issue quickly.

Not only that, you can also consult them about proper feeding techniques. Always remember that in an emergency, you should not rely on an online guide. Don’t worry, consult a veterinarian if your chickens are in an emergency.

FAQs

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Here are some common FAQs that most of the chicken raisers ask about chicken poop:

How Often Do Chickens Poop?

Chickens eat a lot and continuously. They spend a lot of time foraging and very little time resting below trees or taking dust baths. Normally, a chicken expels poop every 30-40 minutes. 

A free-range chicken spends about 7-8 hours daily foraging that means a healthy chicken poops about 15-16 times per day.

Is Chicken Poop Toxic to Humans?

Chicken poop is not toxic to humans, but it carries infections which leads to disease. Poops of poultry birds like chickens, ducks, carry pathogens like E.Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Therefore, it is better to take precautions if you are going to enter a chicken coop or your backyard where your chickens live. Make sure that you are using a high-quality mask, gloves, and shoes when working.

Does Chicken Poop Attract Rats?

Most of the rats live in the area where they get their food. A chicken coop with lots of droppings and poultry feed will attract rodents, such as rats. Sometimes rats kill baby chicks and eat them.

Ensure you have a robust fencing around your chicken coop with small mesh wire to avoid rodents. This will prevent rodent attacks and external infection from affecting baby chicks.

Can Chicken Poop Make Dogs Sick?

Yes, chicken poop can make dogs sick. Chicken feces may carry Salmonella, which can potentially infect your dog’s body. 

Most dogs eat chicken poop if they’re living nearby coop or run. It is the owner’s responsibility to clean those areas regularly or to prevent their pet from entering the area.

Why Do Chicken Poop So Much?

A chicken poops every 30 minutes on average. That’s a lot. The reason behind this is they eat a lot. They don’t digest everything that they feed, so they have a faster bowel movement.

Is Chicken Poop Good for Compost or Fertilizer?

Chicken poop can be used for compost or fertilization on land with low nitrogen levels. Chicken droppings have the highest amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

It is best to leave the chicken coop litter open for a few months before using it. The main problem with chicken poop is that it has a very strong and unpleasant smell.

Summary

In this guide, we have explained everything you need to know about chicken poop. Now you will know what is normal, and what is abnormal or unhealthy.

It is most important to understand the color and condition of the chicken poop, as it can tell you about the chicken’s health. You will have to monitor their poos in every few days.

If you know why the chicken’s poop is looking odd then you can treat them in time. Not only this if you take proper precaution you can keep their gut healthy.

The condition of chicken poop fluctuates constantly, which is why antibiotics and probiotics are not always allowed. You can use probiotic initially to solve the problem. 

I hope this guide helped you to understand your chicken poop. 

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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