Dried poo on chicks

kim0201May 4, 2010

I purchased 8 chicks last week and I've noticed that a couple of them regularly have a clump of dried poo at their rectums. I was concerned that it might be enough to clog their ability for bowel movements so I cleaned them w/ a damp cloth to remove it.

I've raised numerous chicks over the years & never remember this being a problem. They are eating chick starter and they have access to clean fresh water. They run around in their box & appear to be acting normal.

Is this a problem or am I over-reacting? Should I continue cleaning them or will this take care of itself?

Thank you for your suggestions.

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There's always one or two with this problem. It usually goes away after 2-3 weeks.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 5:19PM
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Thanks rockguy - I'll just leave them alone then & let them be chicks.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:36PM
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They will usually clean it off themselves, cause they can feel it and it bugs them. can't say I blame them, I know it would bug me. haha

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:30AM
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seamommy -I feel the same way which is why I thought I should clean them up. Think I'll just leave them their privacy. :)

Thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:06PM
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Most call this "pasty butts". It can be prevented by giving some yogurt, buttermilk or even sour milk mixed into some of their chick starter when they newly hatched. The probiotics helps to get their digestive tracts in good balance faster. This also prevents many fatal chick diseases from being able to increase to levels that will cause illness.

Take a warm water soaked soft cloth to loosen the poo, then blow dry with hair dryer on low or place under the heat lamp so they don't get chilled. Feed them some of the above mentioned mixture. Be sure to add enough chick starter so it will form a moist ball when rolled in you hands. If too sloppy it will get your chicks dirty and could train them to peck each other.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:28PM
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I'm a newbie of only a few years but that first year I was REALLY book-smart, LOL! I captured any little chick that had a fleck of poo on its butt and gently washed it off as you did. There was one chick in particular that had the problem and I kept washing. He was one of my roos. I hovered and fretted. Whether it was the poopy butt or my nursing, I think it damaged the feather follicles back there and he never had the nice big rooster feathers on his backside. I do know that chicks can die from being pasty but I think I jumped the gun on all that and didn't use my common sense. Last year I was less worried and this year my chicks came in while I was on an emergency trip to Alaska (son in car accident, fine now). My DH has/had no idea what to do except feed and water them and for once, I had no losses, even in the shipment. These are the best looking chicks I've had so far. I ordered them from Ideal, BTW.

I feed chick starter and lots of fresh water as you do. I have 40 chicks that all survived without me nursing them to pieces. They say that once a bird looks sick, it is REALLY sick so I wouldn't want to warn you off of tending to a baby that was pasted over. I just think I over-did the whole thing and didn't let a bit of nature do its own thing. Lori

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:08AM
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It's called pasting up and it can kill them if it dries so they can't poop around it. I don't know how prevalent the deaths are but they can get real pasted. Weird deal. I wonder if in the normal course of things their moms would have cleaned that off?
It clears up when they get their regular feathers. In the meantime you might want to clean off the worst offenders so their poo can get out.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:20PM
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Thank you everyone for advice & encouraging words. I'll check them to ensure they aren't getting TOO pasty & I'll add some buttermilk or yogurt to their diets.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:24PM
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