Chicken faeces can carry early signs of disease, so keeping a close eye on your chickens’ manure can lead to an earlier diagnosis, quarantining, and preventing the spread of infection before a disease becomes too severe.
In this episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, Gay Boomgaard, Meadow Feeds Divisional Technical Manager: Poultry, provides a wealth of tips for poultry farmers on how to read the health signals in their birds’ faeces.
According to Boomgaard, there are specific clues to be read in the colour and consistency of chicken droppings. Be sure to also read this technical article for detailed information.
“Healthy chicken manure consists of three parts: urates, urine, and faeces, and there is a separate ceacal dropping. If we speak of urine like in other animals, chicken urine is clear and watery. Fresh manure contains approximately 76% water, so more urine and urates are produced than faeces each day. Occasionally, urine and urates can mix and form a cloudy liquid. If this is the only manure that is seen, it could be caused by a bird that has stopped eating due to illness.”
Boomgaard advises that when chicken manure has a sudden change in colour, consistency, or smell from the norm, it can be indicative of an infection in the digestive tract. Examining the droppings provide clues to the farmer, who can then consult a veterinarian or poultry expert to pinpoint the exact causes manure can show.
In this episode, Boomgaard also discusses:
- The role of the ceacum and what caecal droppings reveal about chicken health;
- The specific information to be gleaned from changes in feacal colour and consistency; and
- Other factors to take into account when diagnosing birds.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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