3-day-old chicks, stuff on butts (pics+new pix) -- UPDATE: 2 deaths :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by concernedaboutchick, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. concernedaboutchick

    concernedaboutchick In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    [EDIT (7/22/2010, 9:15PM): Most recent updates & pics at the top of Page 2]

    I'll try and include as many details as I can think of...if any more info is needed or requested just let me know. I just received 16 chicks in the mail today; they were born and shipped on Monday the 19th and arrived this morning, Wednesday the 21st. There are 4 breeds in the shipment and 14 of the 16 chicks appear healthy and alright...but then there are two (both Quail Antwerp Belgian Bantams) that do not.

    I first noticed something was wrong about an hour after putting them into the brooder when I left the room for a few minutes and came back to find one of the chicks sprawled out on its back, belly up and not moving, seemingly dead. I touched it and it flipped over and walked away but it was very wobbly and fell over a few times. I then noticed that there was a bunch of gunk on its rear end...white and green, very unhealthy looking and smelling bad. I checked the rest of the chicks and found the same thing on another one which was also wobbly and acting strangely. Both of them have been cheeping constantly every second and often will stretch their necks up and make sort of biting/gulping motions at the air with their beaks with their eyes closed...they've also been shaking/shivering a lot. I've seen them eating some scattered food, or at least pecking on it, as well as pecking at the water dish and I'm unsure of what to do with them...

    I took them to a local wildlife rehabilitation center and the woman there said their bird expert was out for the day but the best she could recommend was to isolate them from the rest of the chicks and make sure they didn't get overheated. She said she didn't know exactly what was wrong but she suspected it had something to do with being in a crowded box for 3 days in hot weather...she also suggested I turn the heat lamp off during the day, but I'm not sure if I should do this. I have a thermometer in the brooder and with the heat lamp it is at 90 degrees. Without it, it's around 80.

    I separated them from the other 14 chicks and put them in a laundry basket just outside of the other brooder and gave them their own separate food and water dish...so far they've just kept cheeping and occasionally pushing into each other and wobbling around. They're out of the direct light of the heat lamp as per the advice of the wildlife rehab lady but I'm unsure whether they should remain this way. I've also seen them picking at each other, as you can see in the last picture here...not sure what to do about that either...

    Lastly, I am concerned that if this is an infection it might not only kill the rest of the chicks in the brooder next to them but also all my Bobwhite quail chicks which are downstairs in the garage in a separate brooder. The chicken chicks and the quail chicks are fairly far separated but I know these things can be transferred through the air or through hands or skin or hair so I'm very concerned about that as well. Here are 7 pictures I just took of the two chicks with the problem...click the thumbnails for the full size images


    If anyone recognizes this or has any ideas about what should be done about it, I would be majorly grateful to hear that info. Like I said, I'm very concerned both for the two chicks, the rest of the new chicks and my quail chicks out in the garage so I could really use some peace of mind or at least know what I'm dealing with and what to do about it.
    Thanks so much in advance!!
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  2. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Songster

    Feb 2, 2009
    North Carolina
    It may be pasty butt and if so, you need to clean the poo off and keep them clean. This will only last about 2 weeks. If not cleaned off they will block up and die.

    Good luck.
  3. kabeyun17

    kabeyun17 Hatching

    Jun 9, 2010
    You have to clean that stuff off their butts ASAP! It's called pasting up, use warm water to soften anything that has hardened. Even use a toothpick to gently dislodge anything in the vent that you can't dissolve with water.
  4. briana1975

    briana1975 Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    That is just pasty butt. Many reasons it seems to happen and even more advice on how to treat it. But keeping it cleaned off is the most and best advice. You can hold their rear ends under a very warm stream of water from the sink. Maybe even use a bit of shampoo or dish soap. Do not just pull it off. Wash it till it rinses out. Then dry them the best you can and get them back under the light to warm. Keep their waterer clean with fresh water. The first year I got chicks I had to clean a couple chicky butt 5-6 times a day. But they all made it.
  5. mediazeal

    mediazeal Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    The poop sticking to their butts prevent anything else from getting out. It will kill them and it will be very painful.
    So you must clean their bottoms off and keep watching them. I use warm water and a q-tip.
    After I'm done I sometimes put a little olive oil on their butts to try to keep it from sticking.

    After you save their lives by cleaning their behinds.... you need to evaluate why they are getting it.
    it is a sign of stress from it not being warm enough or from drafts or from being transported, etc.

    You can also add a little sugar to their water to try to revive them a little.

    good luck
  6. concernedaboutchick

    concernedaboutchick In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    Thanks for the quick responses! I hadn't heard of pasty butt before so I was pretty sure this was something serious. I did try and wipe their rears with q-tips dipped in warm water but I didn't want to be too forceful because I wasn't sure if what I was trying to remove were their insides or not. I still feel apprehensive about applying much force since they're probably the smallest chicks I've ever seen or handled before and I feel like the tiniest movement might kill them. I'll keep trying, though.

    Do I still need to keep them separate from the rest of the chicks? Or can they go back in the regular brooder again?
    I'm a little concerned with putting them back in the brooder because I saw the other bigger chicks biting at their rears a few times

    Also, a quick google search led me to a bunch of suggestions for treatment, most commonly:
    -apple cider vinegar in the water
    -molasses in the water
    -oatmeal sprinkled over their food
    -probiotics/yogurt (not sure what the difference is here)
    -boiled egg yolks

    Which of these would work best? Unfortunately I don't have any of these things on hand at home currently so I need to make a run to the grocery store to get one or more of them
  7. ponygal12

    ponygal12 Songster

    Nov 29, 2009
    New Hampshire
    My little chickies had pasty butt and they got over it in about a week. If you're really gentle, you shouldn't hurt them. Just wipe away the poo with warm water and a Q-tip. I also trimmed some of the fluff around that area. It helped a lot! Only two of my chicks had really bad pasty butts. Now, those two are the friendliest of the flock! Not sure of the treatment suggestions so maybe someone else could help you out.

  8. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Songster

    Warm running water does most of the work so you don't have to. [​IMG] Dry them before you put them back with the others. [​IMG] This should be a minor problem and shouldn't last very long [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  9. Turner

    Turner Songster

    Jan 2, 2010
    Northeast OH
    Put them back with their buddies after you get the dry poop off their butts. Once that is on there they cannot poop and will die if you do not take care of it. Once the poop is off they should be fine.Make sure you have electrolyte and vitamin powder in their water. Give them yogurt on a flat plate for all of them to eat and that will help stabalize their digestive system. Stress from shipping and the Bantam's have a tougher time as they are so small - they get dehydrated. Good luck
  10. bonder

    bonder In the Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    Do the warm water and Q-tip. You won't hurt them! In fact, some of mine seem so relieved to be able to "go" that they really "GO" once it can finally get out. From what I've read, the most common treatment, besides the water is probably the boiled egg (because they lived off the nutrients in an egg before they hatched). If you have quik-chick or another electrolyte solution, it won't hurt them. If you give them other foods, like the oatmeal then they'd need grit and that's a whole other thread! I don't think they need grit if you do the yogurt, but don't quote me on that. Good luck with them! If it's only pasty butt, it's a fairly easy problem to remedy!

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