Chick with crusty butt

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by denverdiva, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. denverdiva

    denverdiva In the Brooder

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    One of my new 2 week old chicks (6 of them) was not able to poop. I removed a big blob of dried poop by rinsing the chick off with water. The chick has not grown but the other 5 have taken off and are almost twice the size. There are 2 of each breed and this is one of the Barred Rocks. The chick is cheeping, eating, drinking but is still collecting poop for the last 3 days. What is causing this? Tonight I applied vegetable oil to help the poop fall off.

    Is there anything I can do for this little one or will I lose it?

    ~Anne
     
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Quote:First, at what temperature is your brooder currently? It should be 95 the first week, 90 the second week at the coolest. Are the babies clustered around their brooder light, or is it hotter there?

    Sometimes during shipment babies get pasty bottom. All chicks are born without any appreciable bacteria in their digestive tract. However the avian system (and most other animals) have good bacteria that line their digestive tract, producing B vitamins, excreting enzymes that make food more absorbable, keeping bad bacteria and yeast under control through competition with them. Baby chicks' guts are essentially open territory and ready to be colonized. It's first come first serve! Good bacteria are generally a little more sensitive to stress, etc. In a hen raised baby, the chicks would get the good bacteria by pecking at their mom's vent and droppings as they learn to eat. But in hatched chicks, they don't have that. So it's a touch-and-go situation for the first two weeks.

    To that, add stress of shipping, hatching, new diets, etc.

    I like to give all babies in the 'starter' period (1-8 weeks) plain yogurt daily as it's packed with live lactobacilli, the same bacteria that colonize the gut of a chicken beneficially. It only takes a little...1 teaspoon per 6 3 day old babies. (I give it on the second day that they eat.) Give that daily to your pasty bottomed baby for 3 or so days. Well give it to all of them. If they don't eat it directly, you can mix the yogurt and an equal amount of water together, then mix that with their crumbles. let soak for 10 minutes til damp, not wet. If it's wet, add a little more crumbles. Make a small batch - only enough for them to eat in about 10 minutes. Take their food away while you're preparing this, about a total of 20 minutes. Then give them the damp mash. In healthy babies or with just pasty vent, you can mix a little yolk from a boiled egg, mashed with some water, to that mix - it's great stuff. If some babies eat more than others, remove them temporarily to a little cardboard box so the others can get some, too. Then put them back when everyone has had some.

    Continue to put a little olive oil at his vent. Make sure the other babies don't pick it. YOu can also give a tiny bit of babyfood oatmeal (less than 1/2 teaspoon) in the damp mash. That will help stop constipation, doesn't require grit, and the tiny apple pectin in it will help encourage GOOD bacteria to thrive in your babies as well as clean out the digestive tract. Only do that on the first day.

    The babies can get the mixture of water, yogurt, egg, and crumbles as a daily mash once a day for a week. Then just try the yogurt weekly for weeks 1-8, monthly from weeks 9 through month 5, then weekly again during the first weeks of laying. (Only as grown up girls, they'll get 1 tablespoon per bird - adjust up as they grow - it doesn't have to be exact.)

    In the mean time, watch all babies to make sure that they all eat. At about four weeks, you might have to divide into two brooders - one with the bigger chicks, a second with the smaller more delicate chicks to let them catch up. If babies fall behind (and you should pick them up daily to check weights for the first few weeks and to get them used to handling) then put them in the 'lightweight' brooder.

    Watch for any diarrhea, lethargy, loud chirping, etc. Keep the brooder good and very very dry, all feeders and waterers free of poop. This helps reduce the chances of secondary coccidiosis. Also all babies should be eating free-choice amprolium medicated "chick starter" or "chick starter/grower".

    OK, so a summary - assuming the baby has the right diet and temps...

    Feed all babies a damp mash of yogurt, water, (egg), crumbles, and applesauce on day 1.
    Feed all babies a damp mash of yogurt, water, (egg), and crumbles on day 2-7.
    Feed all babies a damp mash of yogurt, water and crumbles weekly from weeks 1-8.
    Continue the olive oil only on the vent for 2-3 days.
    Notify us in case of improvements or worsening, here on this thread as at least one person (myself) will be subscribed and hoping for updates.

    Barred rocks are usually exceptional eaters and growers. You might want to put this baby and the smallest of the rest into a separate brooder, or somehow make sure this little guy is getting more than the others. I suspect he just didn't get the full load of good bacteria during those crucial first days. [​IMG]
     
  3. denverdiva

    denverdiva In the Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2009
    The little one is still alive and weak. It will peck for food and drink. Yes, they are on chick starter feed. I introduced yogurt and it was fun to watch them try it out. The oil seemed to help keep the rear clean. The other five are the liveliest chicks I've seen in a long time.
    ~Anne
     
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Quote:I'm glad that the healthy ones are the ones that like it. But yeah - first time is pretty amusing. [​IMG] I'm glad they seem lively. This one might just have an issue since he's been smaller. Sometimes that happens.

    On the little one, you'll have to dribble some water at the side of his beak. "Spike" it with crumbles and yogurt, boiled mashed egg yolk til it's just thicker than water - like thin soup. Put a little honey or karo in it - make just a tiny amount. That will give him some fuel, but you'll have to help him out for a day.
     
  5. denverdiva

    denverdiva In the Brooder

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    My little chick is not doing well this morning. It's much weaker so I have a pessimistic outlook. Last night it was moving around and even went back for seconds on the yogurt. I tried a little Karo and water which seemed to give him a little spark but the chick fades in and out. It's cold to touch so I put him a small box closer to the warming light and have a small lid with a piece of yolk/yogurt mix and karo/water beside in case it perks up.
    ~Anne
     
  6. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    He just sounds like he's failing to thrive possible. What are his droppings like? I'd concentrate on just yolk now for him, possibly a polyvisol vitamin drop in his beak if he gets food in there. And yes, the warming is good.
     
  7. denverdiva

    denverdiva In the Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    Thanks everyone for your kind concern and helpful hints. The chick didn't make it - it ate, drank and pooped. Wish I knew what happened. <shrug>
    ~Anne
     
  8. obe10

    obe10 Songster

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    I'm sorry about your baby [​IMG]
     
  9. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Aww I'm sorry to hear he didn't make it. You tried!
     

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