Baby chick can't poop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Trish1974, May 25, 2019.

  1. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    I have a 4 day old chick that is straining to poop. There isn't any dried poop or anything blocking the vent. I put petroleum jelly on everyone's rear yesterday as a few had pasty butt. This particular chick has some dried poop on the umbilical cord, but it is way below the vent. I can see him squat and strain, and his vent throbs but nothing comes out.
    They are on medicated chick starter, have clean fresh water with some probiotics and electrolytes in it, and have a Premier heating plate in their brooder. They also have access to chick grit. Since his vent is not obstructed, why could he have trouble pooping?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would remove the chick grit at this time, and replace it when they are eating things like grass or grains that require it. With only eating chick feed they don’t need grit until a little older. I would not feed anything else until 2-3 weeks old.

    How does the crop feel? It is full and hard or just full of chick feed? Hopefully the chick wasn’t eating much grit. Do you have any molasses or coconut oil? You can refrigerate coconut oil, then finely chop some for the chick to eat. That might lubricate the GI tract to allow it to poop if constipation is the problem. What is the temperature in the room?

    Was the chick shipped or bought at a feed store after being shipped? Shipping stress—getting cold or too hot, and not getting anything to drink, can cause pasty butt or constipation. I would lubricate the inside of the vent with oil or vaseline.

    Dip it’s beak into the electrolyte water often today to get it drinking. Mix a tiny bowl of very wet chick feed and offer it. Hopefully it will start pooping.
     
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  3. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    Thanks, I did not know that about the chick grit...:oops:
    This is a chick I hatched along with 8 others this past Tuesday/Wednesday. I was watching him try to poop and it would try to come out...then go back up again. I would wipe as much off as I could as he/she was straining. I just ran its little bum under a stream of warm water, hoping that would loosen up whatever is blocking. So far it hasn't helped... I just continue to wipe off as much as I can as he strains.
    I can't seem to find his crop...or its just empty.
    I do have coconut oil. I will try that now.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    The grit normally would not be a problem unless they ate it, but at least you had some ready for when they do need it. Try lubricating just inside his vent with a QTip and oil. He could just have some sort of problem with pooping, but I would try the coconut oil (1 ml) or the molasses (1 ml given slowly.)
     
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  5. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    Now I have 2 other chicks in the brooder with the same problem, and one outside with a brooding hen. Their vents are swollen, throbbing and they strain to poop. Nothing is obstructing the opening. One of the chicks with the hen looks like it has a tear in its vent (a small flap of skin with a little blood.)
    Yesterday I gave coconut oil orally and up the rectum, removed the chick grit, and alternated clean/pure water with electrolyte containing probiotics water.
    Is there a condition other than pasty butt that would cause this problem? Am I doing something wrong or failing to do something right? This is my first time hatching and brooding chicks.
     
  6. BirdsBeesTrees

    BirdsBeesTrees Crowing

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    Here's a strange question: what bedding do you have for your chicks and could they be eating it?
     
  7. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    Right now they are on newspaper, but the 3 outside with the hen are on pine shavings (only one of those is having trouble).
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would try the oil or the molasses again today. Increase the oil to 2 ml or almost 1/2 tsp if they will take it. How do their crops feel? Are they drinking water? Try to get them to drink water after the coconut oil. Put a little antibiotic ointment or betadine on the one with the tear on the vent. I am pretty worried about them if they cannot poop. I don’t know what the problem may be unless they are too warm and getting dehydrated. Eating bedding or grit could impact the crop or gizzard, unfortunately.
     
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  9. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    The first chick that had problems just died. I really thought it was doing better today. I saw the chick drink a lot of water all day long, and did not seem as distressed, but I just found it next to the food dish on its back dead.

    Last night as I was giving oil to the third chick that became constipated, it squatted and tried to poop. A normal looking poop (white cap followed by brown solid poo) started to come out but stopped, and as he strained I gently squeezed around his rectum (kind of like popping a zit) and got some to come out. I dissected it and could not find anything that would be stopping them up. Since their rears were distended and somewhat open I gave the 3 having trouble an olive oil enema. I repeated it this morning and all but the second chick seemed better. I suppose he will be next.

    I wish I knew what happened. Seems so bizarre. I showed them all how to drink when I put them in the brooder, and everyone was fine until the third day after they hatched.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I am really sorry for your loss. There could have been some sort of infection from the hatch. I thought the necropsy might have shown an impaction in the crop or gizzard or intestines. If you lose another, and can refrigerate the body and deliver it to your state vet for a necropsy, they might have an answer. Did their bottoms look at all like mushy chick disease? Here is some reading about it:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/mushy-chick-disease-yolk-sack-infection-omphalitis.64686/
     
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