Yellow Watery Diarrhea in Chickens: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Yellow Watery Diarrhea in Chickens: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How can you tell if your chicken has diarrhoea? Chances are you’ll know before you even walk outside and see it running around in the yard. Diarrhoea in chickens is characterized by yellow, watery faeces that may have blood and mucus present, as well as straining to defecate or lethargy. Luckily, there are several safe treatments and preventative measures you can take to help manage this condition, so it doesn’t develop into something more serious.

What is diarrhoea?

Since diarrhoea is such a common condition for chickens, you might be tempted to diagnose it on your own. However, it’s important to accurately identify what type of diarrhoea your chicken has if you want to give them effective treatment. In some cases—like bloody diarrhoea—death can occur within hours or days if left untreated. That’s why we recommend you visit a local avian veterinarian or animal hospital as soon as possible if you suspect your chicken has diarrhoea or any other illness or injury.

Diarrhea in Chickens

Common Causes of Diarrhoea in Chickens

One of the most common causes of diarrhoea in chickens is dirty water or food. It’s important to make sure your chickens have a clean source of water at all times; if they don’t, they will inevitably consume dirt along with their food. Chances are it won’t kill them right away, but over time it could lead to infections and other digestive problems that may prove fatal. Dirt can also lead to bacterial infections (like E. coli) which is often associated with faecal matter from wild animals like raccoons and rodents contaminating the chickens’ environment. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult your veterinarian immediately so they can prescribe appropriate medication and determine whether or not an antibiotic might be necessary.

Also read: Poultry Farming Guide For Beginners And Intended Poultry Farmers

Diagnosing & Treating Diarrhoea

If your chicken has yellow watery diarrhoea it may be caused by a salmonella or E. coli infection. It’s important to diagnose as soon as possible as these infections can be highly contagious and hard to treat. Follow these steps to determine what is causing your chicken’s diarrhoea, how to properly treat it, and prevent it from happening again. 

1) Clean any surfaces that have come into contact with the chicken's faeces so that you don't spread the disease around to other chickens. 

2) Give your chicken plenty of clean drinking water with electrolytes or Gatorade. 

3) You can give them canned pumpkins if they have lost too much fluid. 

4) Start giving them antibiotics if they aren't responding well after 48 hours of treatment. 

5) Keep an eye on their droppings to make sure there is no blood or mucus present which could indicate an intestinal blockage.

 6) Most importantly, do not let anyone handle the chicken who hasn't washed their hands thoroughly! 

7) For humane reasons, your chicken should be euthanized. Chicken diarrhoea and death will cause more stress for your chicken as it will go without food, water, or life-saving medication. 

8) Remember that chickens need food to maintain muscle mass during this time so make sure they eat some scratch feed until their appetite returns. 

9) Some chickens recover from this condition with just rest and hydration, but others will pass away due to the severity of the infection. 

10) The best thing you can do for chickens with this illness is to keep them safe and provide as much supportive care as you can. 

11) It's better to face reality sooner rather than later when dealing with chicken illness because chickens are sensitive creatures and sometimes death comes quicker than we think. 

12) With proper care, many cases of chicken diarrhoea heal quickly.


What If Nothing Works?

If your chicken has been diagnosed with yellow watery diarrhoea, you may feel helpless. But that’s not true! There are many things you can do to help treat your sick bird. The most important thing is to continue administering fluids (preferably via an eyedropper or syringe) every 20 minutes around-the-clock until she stops pooping altogether. You may also want to try a probiotic for chickens if it’s available at your local feed store.

Also read: Poultry Vaccination, Causes Of Vaccination Failure, Prevention And Solutions

Prevention Tips

Preventing watery diarrhoea is much easier than trying to treat it. The best way to avoid it altogether is to give your chicken ample space inside of a clean house with healthy food. When chickens are confined too tightly or live in unsanitary conditions, they are more likely to get sick. Clean up any spilt food or liquids daily to prevent bacteria from spreading. If you notice your chicken has diarrhoea and died, contact a veterinarian immediately.

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