Chick with vent problems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aank4, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. aank4

    aank4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Hi all -
    This is my first post to the board, although I've lurked for some time, to pick up tips as I start my first backyard flock. I have had three pretty little chicks since Saturday - a white Leghorn, a Red Star, and an Ameraucana, hopefully all pullets. I built our brooder, and have a heat lamp which helps to keep it at a consistent 95 degrees. They were probably hatched last Wednesday - so about 5 days old now.
    The chicks came from a farm nearby (they had ordered a whole bunch of chicks from a hatchery, and were selling some extras), and I noticed upon coming home that the little Ameraucana chick had some major pasty butt issues. So, on Saturday night I pulled all the poop I could off of her little vent, and noticed that it was a bit swollen (almost looked extruded a little bit), and there was a little bit of blood on her vent. It looked almost as bad on Sunday, I pulled poop off a couple of times that day, too, and I put some neosporin on it, to moisten the area a little, and to try to kill any bacteria while she heals up. She's been eating and drinking, and her little crop has felt full, but she's not as active about it as the other two chicks, and she's the smallest of the three. I gave some scrambled egg to them last night, which they all seemed to enjoy, including the little pasty-butt Ameraucana chick.
    This morning, she had some poop stuck on her butt again, which was easier to pull off, and her vent looked a little bit better. I put some alcohol and dark food coloring on it, hoping it would keep the other chicks from seeing anything red and picking at it. They don't seem to be picking at her much at all anyway, but I thought anything that might help would be good to do.
    I'm still worried about her... she weighs a full 50% less than the other chicks (we have been putting them on the postal scale each night). She also spends rather a lot of time just standing with her feathers fluffed and her bum in the air. I even found her lying on her back once yesterday (which I can't imagine is normal chick behavior) - she livened up when I shushed her towards the water fountain.
    There has been some diarrhea from that chick and the Red Star, but the Red Star seems much more robust generally. They are all on medicated feed, which I ground into powder today, hoping to avoid having as much food wastage (they kept spilling it out, looking for the smallest pieces - now they seem to be eating more of the feed without wasting it). I've been keeping their water very clean, and have added a little apple cider vinegar, too.
    As I write this, the pasty-butt Ameraucana chick is fluffed and napping while her friends eat and drink like maniacs (I never knew chicks could eat ALL day)! Do the Red Stars and Leghorns just eat more like maniacs as chicks anyway, or is it that my Ameraucana is ill and therefore eating less? Like I said, her crop has felt full when I've pulled her out to check her vent. And I've seen her drink.
    Anyway, maybe I'm just a paranoid first-time mother hen, but I'm worried about coccidiosis since I've seen blood on the Ameraucana's vent and diarrhea from two chicks (does the medicated feed treat, or only prevent?) And I am worried about that swollen vent and pasty butt on the Ameraucana, and her general quiet behavior in comparison to the other chicks. (There are times she surprises me, though, and actually chases after the other chicks to get morsels of feed, too - even though there's plenty in the feeder. She's got spunk.)
    Is there anything else I can do to help little Ameraucana chick thrive?
    Thanks all - this is a great board.
    Amy
     
  2. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    [​IMG] Glad you stopped lurking! [​IMG]
    When you pull the poop off her lil bum, you are also pulling feathers off, which is why its swollen and bleeding.
    Try washing it off with warm water, and a soft toothbrush, or paper towel. Soak the area to soften it up, then after it's clean, apply the neosporin.
    Good luck.
     
  3. aank4

    aank4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Thanks for your answer - I know that at least one feather has pulled out when I've picked off the poop. Would pulling feathers actually create blood on the vent itself, though? I thought the vent didn't really have feathers on it anyway. Maybe it's close enough proximity that it would make the vent swollen, too.
    Poor thing. Still keeping an eye on her, she's not real plucky right now.
    Amy
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, The straight skinny on "Pasty Butt". Believe it or not, Pasty Butt is a symptom of constipation. The cure is molasses in their drinking water. Molasses is a natural laxative for fowl. Mix it like weak tea and give it to them for 2 days. Naturally you should clean their little butts with a warm damp cloth before you start the treatment. Failure to cure this condition could result in a painful death for your chicken. This treatment is for adult birds as well as chicks.
     
  5. aank4

    aank4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    [​IMG] Okay - I just checked on her, and she was on her back again, feet in the air, looking like she was on her way out of this life. Picked her up, she had some mucusy diarrhea coming out of her vent and sticking on her feathers. Looked like it had blood on it... couldn't tell if it was actually *in* the poop, since the opening of her vent has a little blood on it, too. Not sure how it could be constipation - when I *see* diarrhea.
    I soaked her bum with a warm washcloth, even took a little soft toothbrush to try to get the icky stuff off, put some more neosporin on it. She is now standing on a towel in the brooder, making little teeny peepy peep noises. Fluffed up and looking stressed out - eyes closed, kind of "drifting" in and out of consciousness.
    I'm worried that messing with her too much is going to stress her out more, and kill her outright.
    Very upset and worried over here!
     

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