Identifying and Treating Bloody Stools in Chickens

Discovering blood in your chickens’ poop can be alarming, but it’s crucial to act swiftly to protect your flock. The most common cause of bloody stools in chickens is coccidiosis, a severe parasitic disease affecting the intestinal lining. Here’s how you can identify, treat, and prevent this condition to ensure your chickens remain healthy and thriving.

Step 1: Recognize the Symptoms

Coccidiosis often presents with several distinct symptoms:

  • Bloody stools: This is the most noticeable sign. The blood can appear as red streaks or as a uniform reddish color in the droppings.
  • Diarrhea: Frequent and watery stools.
  • Lethargy: Chickens may appear weak or less active.
  • Loss of appetite: A noticeable decrease in food consumption.
  • Ruffled feathers and pale combs: Indicative of overall poor health.

If you observe these symptoms, particularly blood in the stools, it’s time to take action.

Step 2: Immediate Isolation

To prevent the spread of coccidiosis, immediately isolate the affected chicken from the rest of the flock. This will help contain the parasite and reduce the risk of infecting healthy birds.

Step 3: Treatment with Amprolium

Amprolium is the most commonly recommended treatment for coccidiosis. It works by inhibiting the parasite’s ability to absorb thiamine (vitamin B1), which is essential for its survival.


  • Liquid form: Add 9.5cc of liquid amprolium per gallon of water and provide this as the only source of drinking water for 5-7 days.
  • Powder form: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of amprolium powder per gallon of water and follow the same regimen.

Important: During treatment, do not supplement with vitamin B1 as it will counteract the medication. After treatment, provide a vitamin supplement to help restore your chickens’ health​​.

Step 4: Maintain Hygiene and Prevent Recurrence

Coccidiosis thrives in warm, wet, and dirty conditions. Implement these measures to prevent future outbreaks:

  • Clean and dry coops: Regularly clean the coop and ensure it stays dry. Remove wet litter and replace it with fresh bedding.
  • Provide ample space: Overcrowding can accelerate the spread of diseases. Ensure each chicken has enough space to reduce stress and the risk of infection.
  • Medicated feed: For chicks, use medicated starter feed to build immunity against coccidiosis.
  • Vaccinate: If possible, vaccinate your chicks against coccidiosis, especially if you live in an area prone to this disease​

Step 5: Monitor and Support Recovery

After treatment, closely monitor your flock for any signs of relapse. Continue to provide clean water, high-quality feed, and a stress-free environment. If symptoms persist or worsen, consult a veterinarian for further advice.


By acting promptly and following these steps, you can effectively manage and prevent coccidiosis in your flock. Regular health checks and maintaining a clean living environment are key to keeping your backyard chickens healthy and productive. Remember, vigilant observation and timely intervention can make all the difference in protecting your feathered friends.

FAQs on Bloody Stools in Chickens

What should I do if I notice blood in my chicken’s poop? If you spot blood in your chicken’s poop, isolate the affected bird immediately to prevent potential spread of infection. This symptom is commonly associated with coccidiosis, a serious parasitic disease. Treat the chicken with amprolium, adding the medication to their drinking water as directed. Monitor the flock closely and maintain good hygiene in the coop to prevent further outbreaks​​.

How can I prevent coccidiosis in my flock? Prevention is key to managing coccidiosis. Keep the coop clean and dry, and avoid overcrowding your chickens. Using medicated starter feed for chicks and vaccinating them, if available, can also help build immunity against the disease. Quarantine new birds for at least two weeks before introducing them to your existing flock​.

Is it safe to eat eggs from chickens being treated for coccidiosis? Yes, it is generally safe to eat eggs from chickens being treated with amprolium, as there is no egg withdrawal period required. However, if you have concerns or if the chickens are visibly ill, it is best to consult with a veterinarian for specific advice regarding egg consumption during treatment​.

What are the signs of coccidiosis in chickens, besides bloody stools? In addition to bloody stools, chickens with coccidiosis may exhibit diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, ruffled feathers, and pale combs. These symptoms indicate poor health and require prompt treatment. Regularly check your chickens for these signs to catch the disease early​.

How should I treat the coop and environment if my chickens have coccidiosis? Cleanliness is crucial. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the coop, paying special attention to feeding and watering areas. Ensure the coop remains dry and remove any wet bedding. Provide ample space for each chicken to reduce stress and the risk of disease spread. Maintain these hygiene practices to prevent future outbreaks​

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