Eating pine shavings and pasty butt


8 Years
Sep 15, 2011
Hi all,

I have 3 batches of newly hatched chicks. One batch started the bad habit of eating pine shavings (1 week old today). Four out of ten of them have pasty butt. I have been removing the pastes daily. Tonight I put olive oil on their bums, too. I covered the pine shavings yesterday. I don't think it is anything else causing this... ie, they are in a brooder with a light and are not huddled on top of each other. There is space without heat for them to go if they are too hot. Water is changed twice a day.

The other two batches of chicks are 4 days old and one day old. They are either too young to have this yet or aren't having the same problems as the older batch. I have seen the older chicks eating the pine shavings. I haven't seen the younger batches doing that.

Other things I could try is probiotics, which I have not yet acquired and I have also read that grinding their food might help? Any other ideas? How long should this last?

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I have 10 baby chicks in the brooder and they have never done that. I also have two in a seperate brooder who haven't started to do do that they are 4 1/2 weeks old. this is the first time iv heard of this.
I have had chicks before not eat them and not get pasty butt. I'm not sure why they have pasty butt then.
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What exactly is considered pasty butt? Every batch I have ends up with a few chicks getting a hard little poop nugget hanging around for too long back there and it's usually only during the first week. Most of the time it seems to be just below the vent. I take a wet paper towel and get it off and no harm done. Is this pasty butt, or is that something worse?
That's a good question then. This is just a big hard wad below the vent. I have used sharp scissors and cut it off. Warm water wasn't cutting it.

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