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Barred Rock chick having a hard time pooping

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi. I am very new to the chicken world. I recently got my first flock of chicks. One of them is this little Barred Rock chick that stole my heart. I got her from a local Grain store at a few days old. A few days later, I noticed her starting to struggle when she pooped. She would cry out every time. At first, we thought she was just announcing it. As she got older, it got worse and worse and it would sometimes take her 5 to 10 minutes to even get it all out while she cried and cried. It would keep me up at night and my heart would break. We searched and searched for advice. Most of the advice that we found was simply to put her out of her misery. But, she was growing, eating and acting the same as the other healthy chicks we had and I didn't feel it would be right to kill a chick that seemed to want to live just because she had a hard time pooping! We added electrolytes and probiotics to her water and decided to bring her to a Vet to have her looked at and possibly get a cure or at least some advice. The Vet said she seemed very healthy and prescribed a stool softener. We gave her that for a week or two along with another stool softener when that didn't seem to be working (we were trying everything). Nothing seemed to help at all! I felt like we were putting her under unnecessary stress forcing her to take these medicines twice every day. Soon after, we stopped and just let her be. Now, she was getting older (about 4 weeks, maybe). She slowly started improving. By 6 or 7 weeks, she seemed perfectly normal. I think she just needed to grow. She is now about 10 weeks and she is doing GREAT!!!

So, I just wanted to share her story in case there are others out there with a chick with a similar problem and all the advice they can find is to kill it. I hope this could give somebody some hope and maybe save a little life from being taken unnecessarily. I understand all cases can be very different and I would never want to make a chick suffer needlessly. This is just our chick's story...  : )

post #2 of 5

You did very well for your chick taking her to the vet to get help. It's not uncommon at all for a baby chick to have a constipation problem, and many end up dying.


Anything to lubricate and soften the stools will help. Coconut oil and mineral oil are two oils most people already have on hand and work quite well. I just hold some warmed oil under the chick's beak and it usually will take a healthy sip all on its own.


You can also insert a little oil in the vent to lubricate that end, also. To do nothing is to have to watch a chick in a great deal of pain, and untreated, they usually die.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for that great advice! I hope we never have to deal with a problem like that again, but it's all good to know! I have so much to learn...  : )

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Also, for anybody reading this...her whole vent area was all swollen out. When she would be trying to poop, I would worry so much because it would pop out so far! I read alot about prolapsing and was very concerned. The Vet said that she was not prolapsed, just swollen from forcing so much! I am really hoping she doesn't have any problems when it comes time to lay an egg! She seems totally fine, now. She just seemed like she grew out of it and just needed time.

post #5 of 5

Yes, a swollen, inflamed vent goes right along with being constipated, and it just adds to the misery and pain for the chick to endure. Coconut oil is the very best thing to use on a vent under siege like this. It counters the inflammation and any bacteria while soothing the pain.


I live in a state where cannabis is legal, and I use a coconut oil/cannabis salve. That gets the swollen vent back to almost normal within 24 hours, and the pain relief is instant. I have it in my chicken first aid kit. It also works wonders on scaly leg mites.

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