4 New Chicks - 1 swollen anus...HELP!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by michaelstigers, May 27, 2010.

  1. michaelstigers

    michaelstigers Hatching

    May 27, 2010
    ...what a topic!


    We have a slight problem...

    We obtained 4 Rhode Island Red Chicks last week - and have had them, for one week.

    We were told that for the first 10 days - they needed a heating lamp on them - so we've had them inside; in a cage. (We raise Dove, so it's an empty cage we used for our dove)

    We have a total of 4 - and 3 of them seem wonderful...

    ...unfortunately 1 doesn't.

    The "1" in question that I've named - "Gobbles" - seemed to be the outcast of the group from day 1...always a little "off" - my favorite, naturally.

    She had always had a "pasty butt" so last night after getting tired of her looking; not her best - I got a few Q-Tips and some water. I sat with the q-tips wet; and "dissolved" the dried feces off her - and cleaned her up.

    After cleaning her up - we noticed that her anus - is very swollen.

    All the other chicks have feathers covering their "picky" and backside area - and you can't really even notice a hole. Very clean.

    "Gobbles" seems to be missing feathers almost - and has a visibly swollen anus.

    I've observed her seeming constipated - but able to go.

    It has also been observed - her "picking" at the area - and "scratching" getting poo in her mouth/beak.

    WHAT CAN I DO!? I'm not sure if this is a prolapsed vent...

    We don't have the money to take it to a specialist. A local vet informed us that it sounded like parasites (over the phone) and she needs to be moved and watched on her own. Well - with the economy the way it is - I don't even know that I could come up with the money for another heating lamp.

    The vet also informed us - that she knew people that could use it as "food" - AHHHH

    My room mate wanted to take it out last night away from the other chickens; but there isn't another heat lamp. I'm also being told that if the other chicks die - it's on my hands...

    ...I seem to like this dysfunctional chick - and don't want to "snuff" her out - but I also don't want her to suffer.

    I beg of someone to help me. I've spent hours trying to do research and can find nothing that settles my mind.

    I want to do what's best for this chick - and I have no clue; I've read SOOO many postings here - and this seems like a good group of knowledgable people...

    His feces are hard - no diahrea.

    They have newspaper in the cage - medicated food - and a small straw mat to lay on that came in their shipping box.

    Thanks so much - we plan on being members and actively involved in this site - but as newbies; we need the help....starting from the bottom up!!!!

    ** Concerned in Texas (Michael)

  2. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    My guess, without seeing a picture, is that the area is swollen b/c it is irritated from the pasty butt. Try some vaseline to soothe the area and keep things from sticking and give it a few days. Can you separate her within the cage by putting in a small partition, so that chicks on both sides have access to the heat lamp? That would solve the problem of needing another lamp but still give her time away from the other chicks in case they are picking on - or at - her.
  3. michaelstigers

    michaelstigers Hatching

    May 27, 2010
    Pictures will be coming momentarily! TY for the reply!
  4. michaelstigers

    michaelstigers Hatching

    May 27, 2010
    I'm a firm believer in overkill - so there are LOTS of photos so you can truly see - I couldn't decide which ones so I'm doing them all!!!

    [​IMG] (she was peeping and trying to get away in this photo and puckering...)

    now...this is one of the other chicks - "normal"

    as you can see - BIG difference!

    thanks for your help in advance!!!

  5. JPinVT

    JPinVT Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    I'm no expert, but a few of my chicks had the same looking vent when they were less than a week old due to pasting up. I wouldn't worry too much about it, just keep trying to keep it clean/unblocked. You might try to pluck off some of the feathers around the vent and apply mineral oil to help with the pasting, but usually that stops within a few days of bringing them home.
  6. michaelstigers

    michaelstigers Hatching

    May 27, 2010
    Why thank you JP!

    It's nice to hear something positive and thanks for the advice....the vet wanted me to give her Gobbles for snake food; and I like that little chick! :-D
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    By the way, you mentioned newspaper in the cage? That's too slippery a surface for young chicks. You don't want to have to deal with spraddle legs next...

    Put some paper towels down on top of the newspaper, or shavings, etc.

    And by the way, I wouldn't go asking that particular vet for advice about chickens again. She doesn't sound like she knows anything about them.

    p.s. Just another thought. You wrote that this chick's feces are "hard." She may be ingesting something other than her chicken feed, or not getting enough water. Take a look around the brooder to see if there could be something else she's eating.

    Oh! Another thing. What temperature do you have them at? Sometimes when a chick isn't warm enough she can't digest and poop properly.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010

  8. kipper

    kipper Songster

    I agree with the last post.

    You might also try (when needed) washing the poop off by holding the chick's bottom under a gentle stream of warm water. I've had better luck with doing it that way, not so rough on the vent. The water softens up poop, but isn't abraisive like a Qtip, rag, paper towel, etc.

    Sometimes chicks don't make it. We recently lost one, and it was stressful and sad. I wish you luck.
  9. michaelstigers

    michaelstigers Hatching

    May 27, 2010
    Well thank you for the luck and kind words and advice.

    I've taken a fancy to this one chick - out of all of them; I'm a sucker for the rejects...

    I've put a bit of vaseline to lube her up - so perhaps the poop won't stick. It was a small amount - so the backend is slippery.

    I've been watching her - and she certainly strains as she tries to go. She sits there - closes her eyes; and pushes. You can tell she's far from comfortable.

    All of the other chicks are good - digestion seems fine - no constipation; and when they "go" - and man do they go...they're just fine.

    I'll keep the thread updated at what happens; so now it's a waiting game basically - to see what's going to happen.

    This weekend as funds allow - we'll be changing them over to pine shavings; so the newspaper will be a thing of the past - and is only a temporary thing until payday.

    Any advice on how to soften their stool?

  10. jenn-E

    jenn-E Chirping

    May 6, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Our chicks are just over a week old, and I noticed one of their bottoms looked like this last night. I didn't see any evidence of pasty butt, but she had obviously been pecking at it and seemed to be straining. This evening she was no better, so I brought her in & ran her under running water like one of the other posters recommended. After a few minutes, I was able to free up a large chunk of poop that seemed to be stuck in her anus. She may have eaten some pine shavings (I didn't look at it that closely). After I got her dried off, I put her back in the brooder. The other chicks are not picking on her. She is chirping softly & trying to snuggle under them. She did drink a bit of water which was encouraging to me. I am hopeful that she recovers, since she was my favorite, but I'm not sure. I'll keep you posted. Good luck with yours.

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