Lesson 522 – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about chicken poop

Those of you who read my blog – did you notice I went a whole day without mentioning bird poop? Well enough of a holiday, it’s back to business (pun stays.)

Today’s post is going to be a bit of an anatomy lesson.

Let’s talk about humans first. We have something called the urogenital system. It is a separate system in our body designed to clear out impurities from our blood with the end product being urine. It’s a separate system that uses its own exit from our body.

Then we have our intestines which is a pretty nifty way of extracting nutrients from our food and passing on the inedible parts, called feces, out of our body. Again, it’s a separate system. The only time human urine and feces mix (ideally) is in the good old toilet bowl.

Not so with birds, however, they only have one opening from which the kidneys and intestines empty their goods. What comes out is a combined, highly efficient package (bomb.)

Here is an artist’s (mine) rendering of bird poop based loosely on what I’m been seeing from Charlie.

The dark section is fecal material and this reflects the birds diet. Sometimes you’ll see seeds in here, sometimes it’s not as firm, and sometimes, if the bird is not getting enough water, it’s very dry. You can gauge the health of your birds by the quality and consistency of their feces.

The white stuff is urate crystals. This is something that is normaly found in urine but birds have figured out how to efficiently extract this as a way to conserve water.

Lastly, where’s the pee? Oh it’s there, it’s just imbedded in the poop. If the bird were to poop on a pad (which Charlie has done on occasion, thank you very much) you’d see the urine soak out of the poop.

So there you go. Consider yourself armed with an excellent conversation starter for your next party.

Tomorrow’s post will not be about poop (unless the smaller sized diaper arrives.) Instead I’ll be talking about the first question I’ve ever been asked in a chicken workshop for which I didn’t have an answer.

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4 Comments

Filed under Backyard Chickens, Charlie, chicken care, Chicks

4 responses to “Lesson 522 – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about chicken poop

  1. lscheuer

    Wendy, you’ve completely lost it. I’m so happy to be your friend.

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