Caring for weak chick, post-pasting up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lsomers, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. lsomers

    lsomers New Egg

    Mar 23, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to keeping chickens, so please bear with me!
    One of the six chicks I got from the feed store on Sunday had a very pasted-up vent. The droppings were rock hard, and there was a rather large pile -- which makes me think the chick had had this problem for 2 days or more before I got her. So, she was probably already weak.

    It was difficult to clean the poop off her because it was so hard. I ended up having to repeatedly dunk her bottom into warm water then wipe/pull/etc. the poopy bits off. It took probably 10 minutes, and seemed very traumatic for her. After drying her off to the best of my ability, I put her back in the brooder.

    She has not been drinking or eating much at all since. It probably doesn't help that she keeps pasting up, so I keep having to molest her (though I limit the cleaning to 2x a day). Yesterday we noticed the other chicks pecking at her vent, drawing blood. So, I stuck her in a smaller box within the brooder with her own food/water/grit.

    Since she seemed very weak, I gave her water with sugar in it (bad idea ?), and tried offering her scrambled egg (not interested). I will occasionally dip her beak into the water because I don't think she's drinking anymore on her own (bad idea ?). And I neosporin-ed her butt wounds.

    She spends the day doing a loud distressed cheep. But, at least she is strong enough to stand most of the time...with her eyes closed...

    So! My question is: How doomed is this girl ? Have any of you had a chick like this make it?
    I think I'm doing pretty much everything I can to help her pull through -- in fact, I feel like I may be doing _too_ much, such that the interference is stressing her out more (so I try not to handle her more than a couple times a day). Is there anything else I should try to help her?

    Chick Specs:
    Breed: either red star or golden sex-link, hard to tell
    Age: probably about 7 days
    Food: Purina chick starter
    Brooder temp: 95 deg

    Thanks for any advice !
  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Is she drinking the water when you dip her beak in it?
  3. lsomers

    lsomers New Egg

    Mar 23, 2010
    Sometimes she will drink a bit after I dip her beak. But for the last day, she's just shakes her beak after I dip it, cheeping loudly all the while...I think she's getting a little down, though.
  4. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I've seen others suggest plain yogurt for the pasty poop. I just lost a chick at about the same age and I was feeding it every two hours and giving her water as well. Some just don't make it. Now I wonder if I just prolonged her discomfort a couple of more days. . . [​IMG] If you want an honest answer, it doesn't sound good for this chick. Just keep her comfortable and dip her beak in her water to get her to drink. I'm sorry....I wish I had a foolproof answer for you [​IMG]
  5. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Is she getting any vitamins? I would add a few drops of poly-vi-sol WITHOUT iron to help boost her nutritionally. Mix a bit of her feed with plain yogurt to make a sort of pasty gruel -- this would be a good way to sneak in some egg too. Is she warm enough? Getting chilled can be fatal. And one more thing -- add a stuffed animal or a feather duster in with her so she isn't so lonely.

    I'm waving my magical wand for her -- let us know how she does.

  6. lsomers

    lsomers New Egg

    Mar 23, 2010
    I'm gave her a little tray with the yogurt paste now...hopefully she will take a few bites. I'll pick up some of the vitamins tomorrow.

    Thank you for the stuffed animal suggestion -- I put in a chick-sized stuffed bumblebee. She ignored it until I jiggled it up and down, then she walked over and tucked herself under its wing. Now she's cheeping quietly, instead of making the loud distressed's unbelievably cute. I really hope that much of her distress was from loneliness, and maybe once she settles down she'll drink/eat a bit more..

    I'll let you know how she's doing tomorrow...*fingers crossed*
  7. lsomers

    lsomers New Egg

    Mar 23, 2010
    We are having a big snowstorm in Colorado at the moment. Last night, our power went out. I rushed to the brooder, switched the chicks to a much smaller box, and sat with it on my lap in front of the fireplace, huddled under a blanket. I got to be Mother Hen brooding her chicks! For two hours, anyway.

    With my mammal power, I was able to heat the inside of the box into the 90's (woo!), so everybody pulled through the power outage just fine.

    But my weak chick died later in the night, poor girl. She just wouldn't drink or eat, even if you touched her beak into the bowl. Maybe if I'd tried wooing her with the yogurt paste earlier (when she was still eating and drinking a little) she might have made it -- in the future, if I have a chick that looks weak like her, I'll offer her tempting yogurt paste food immediately.

    Thanks everyone for trying to help! At least with her stuffed animal companion, she was much more comfortable on her last day.
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Had this problem with one of mine this time around.

    Separate her from the others. Put her in a warm place. 95-100 degrees. I put mine in a roasting pan with a paper towel in it and a heating pad underneath.

    Rub some Vaseline, antibiotic goo, whatever on her butt to keep new droppings from sticking.

    Try to see that she drinks something. I gave mine a sugar/electrolyte solution. Just some on the end of a dropper. No food until she perks up and appears more active.

    Mine took all day but she eventually got over her chill and became more active again. She'd lost a lot of down off her behind which led the other chicks to peck her there so I ended up coating the bare area with Bag Balm (Vaseline will work as well) to discourage that. Needed to recover the area every day for about three days until the others had lost interest.

    Three weeks later I can't tell her from any of the others.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  9. terrapin

    terrapin Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2013
    Eastern shore Maryland
    A long time ago 2010 you provided some advice on "pasting up". It seems I have a chick with the same problem. Do you have any further recommendations on how I might make this little creature well again? She was one of 12 Light Sussex eggs that hatched and even that was iffy. Somehow she's been hanging on for almost a week. I noticed the paste up this morning and after cleaning her off there was a lot of built up stuff. THanks for any advice

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