Baby chicks and emergencies.

Is it common for belly button to open like that?

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Olga K

Sep 6, 2019
Hello everyone,

My name is Olga K. I recently start growing chickens and I thought i was getting so knowledgable but looks like not. I wish i would start my forum with better news, but I believe I was a cause of my baby chicken terrible death by not knowing enough. I feel terrible especially now (after finally finding images what is what) realizing that i was the cause of her death than a pasty butt or her sudden weakness. However, if this had happened to you or if this is common i will be glad to hear your comments. I bought chickens from hatchery and they were delivered yesterday. All seemed well and I saw her chirping and eating but today i saw she became lethargic. Didn't eat or drink, just slept. I gave her vitamin water, left for few hours and when back saw poop sticking to her but and she is still being mostly sleepy. So i took her to wash next to the sink. The butt looked clean but she still had side of her belly being a little more to the side and protruding but not much. I guess, in the haste I saw another part and decided (made a guess) that maybe the vent was not the vent but piece of tail and this lower bluish thing is the but. So i start washing it thinking the little piece that sticks out might prevents her from pooping ( little did i know it was her belly button, I never even thought chicks have belly buttons because they hatch from the egg not like mammals). I rubbed on it with warm water a little but notice it is just getting worst and growing so after 30 seconds i stoped but it was bulging and still growing and looking to explode, what it eventually did. I am still in shock, I could not understand why, what cause it. I started reading but all could find pasty butt or sack protruding nothing about belly buttons until i found pictures and realize that what i washed originally was her vent and later i started to irritate her belly button which already didnt feel good and my rubbing on it, even slight (and little chicks dont need much really, what probably felt gentle to me may have not been for her) made it to explode... I read how to try fix a chick with her guts out but 90% were saying it better to put her down. Also other recommendations were all about try to stick it back but I saw that intestine came out not from her but but from the side. I am sorry for this horrible story but I hope it will help everyone who start backyard chickens avoid my terrible mistake. I was just so pre occupied with the pasty butt and saw it everywhere, then stop for few minutes and think and realize that it doesnt look like butt at all. I never thought this will happen to me, this chick situation. I thought worst my chicken will fall asleep on me. Now I think if the chick is dormant or weak is better just to give her water and live her alone. If it survives great if not at least you will not be the person to make it worse. I dont know why she fell lethargic and maybe she would die eventually but i just feel awful that I also was a cause of her horrid death.

I think I also realized the question I shall also ask. If I shall contact hatchery and tell them what hapened? Or I shall not because it looks it was also a lot of my miscarring.
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Was she like that on arrival to your home. Her side sticking out? She could have had an injury prior to the rubbing. As for pasty butt yes you have to wash it off I run some warm water and use my hand to gently work it poo out of the fluff. Then get the chick back to the heat fast.
Thank you. Honestly everything happened so fast I barely can recall. I took her to wash her butt, it was clean already, but i believe I saw little bulging belly and being it darker on the site. Than I saw another part and now I understand it was her belly button so I started to wash and rub that too thinking that this is actual butt. But the bulging part started to become bigger and pulsating so I realized I am not helping. I brought her back and she was on my knees when it broke... and so on. I was just in such a shock and confused what has happened and still now. She may have been hurt and thats why was lethargic but i def. dint make it any better.

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