3 questions: Hard thing on belly, a sheet for bedding, table scraps

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenBiscuit, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. ChickenBiscuit

    ChickenBiscuit Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I am very new! I have five 1 week old chicks. I have 3 questions! Thanks for your help!

    1. I was checking their butts and noticed they all have a hard thing on their belly. Like a tiny rock caught in their down. What is this?

    2. The guy at the store sold us shavings for bedding but I hear this is not safe because they will eat it and paste up. Also, it makes a mess of their water. I have an old sheet that I was thinking I could use but it is quite frayed. Will they eat the thread on the sheet? If so, will it hurt them? What is worse, the shavings or the sheet?

    3. Is it too early to introduce some table scraps? Like a piece of lettuce here and there?

    Lealyn (This site rocks!)
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    No idea what the hard thing could be without pics. I have used old towels/puppy pads for bedding but they get dirty really quickly. The pine shavings will be just fine, they are just usually curious pecking at them and don't really eat them. Keep your feed and waterers up on bricks that helps alot to keep the shavings out of the water. Pasty butt is from stress/not enough intake of water and some say too cold a water. They don't need table scraps at such a young age. The iceberg lettuce has no real value as far as nutrients. It can be something from them to peck at tho. Your starter/grower is all they really require til they are out and about free ranging. My two cents and how I do things! lol I've only had pasty butt in two chicks out of all these years.
     
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Lealyn,

    1) If by "belly", you mean a hard little dry poop by their vents, this is "pasting up" which is common with young chicks being raised in a brooder. (I haven't seen this on chicks being raised by a hen - my theory is that their environment under the hen initially is more humid than under a heat lamp, and that they are less stressed, generally, in that natural environment.) But it needs to be removed, and people do this different ways, but what has worked well for me is to gently hold the chick in a small bowl of warm water just full enough to cover this area, and very gently remove the poo, which will easily crumble and detach from their downy bottoms in the warm water. It's important to do this - if it accumulates, it can block the vent entirely and kill the chick. You can't pull it off easily without tearing skin. Some people use a cloth with warm water, but I've found the little bowl-bath is much easier, as long as you have them in a warm place and with a good heat source so they can dry. They actually relax in the water, and don't seem to mind.
    2) At a week old, shavings are fine. Put the water (do you have an appropriate chick-waterer - not a bowl that they can drown in?) up on a wide board or something, so they can get up there to drink, but that will keep some of the shavings out of the water. Some people use paper towel over the shavings for a few days initially, so that the chicks can figure out what to eat, but at this point, that isn't necessary. I would NOT put anything with threads or frayed edges in there - they will try to eat almost anything, and this could cause big problems.
    3) It is too early to give them table scraps or other treats at a week old, but in another few weeks you can and they will love it. However, if they are eating anything but chick crumbles, they will need some chick grit to digest it. You can use Parakeet grit that you buy at a pet store, or coarse sand would also work, if you're sure it's clean and free of chemicals.

    Have fun! You can usually find lots of answers to almost any question by searching this site.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Could the hard thing be an umbilical stump that hasn't fallen off yet? Pic would help with identifying it......
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Week olds shouldn't have cords from the yolk sac this late. It would be dried up by now. It may be pasty butt what your seeing, if so wash with warm water and take paper towels to get it off. Use alittle mineral oil/veggie oil/olive oil around the vent opening to help. Just make sure they get lots of water and are not stressed out. If they are from a feedstore that cold be your problem, stress. It will plug up chicks and they will die.
     
  6. NewOldMotherHen

    NewOldMotherHen Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new at this too but took someone's suggestion from this forum and held the little pasty butt under warm running water from the bathroom sink spiggot. I got the water running warm before I removed the chick from the brooder. Made sure the water was not too hot and tried to get only the butt wet. Had some paper towels ready to gently dab the little butt. I stopped putting sugar in the drinking water the second day and added a small plate of sand to the brooder like another suggestion. I did not have to wash any butts yesterday or today. So far so good.
     
  7. ChickenBiscuit

    ChickenBiscuit Out Of The Brooder

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    It's not pasty butt because it's not on the butt it's on the belly. [​IMG] I was guessing umbilical cord but I don't know enough. Thanks for all the tips people! This is great!
     
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    There is only one opening on a chick, vent area.
     
  9. CowgirlMama

    CowgirlMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I had one chick that had the same thing (I'm guessing- without a picture its hard to say) but i posted pics on here and someone said it was an umbilical stump that hadn't fallen off yet. If its more on the belly- DON'T pull on it!! It'll fall off soon enough! [​IMG]
     
  10. ChickenBiscuit

    ChickenBiscuit Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Keep your feed and waterers up on bricks that helps alot to keep the shavings out of the water.

    Great tip! Did that and the water is staying clean for longer than a few minutes! Thanks!
     

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