Help - Chick Straining to Poop


11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
I have a 4 day old silkie who is having a REALLY hard time going to the bathroom - she squats and holds her wings up and shakes and tries to shimmy around and as it finally comes out she peeps loudly. Her poops have looked relatively normal but larger than the other two silkies poos, and today they are chocolate brown and a little runny. She has had a pasty butt since she arrived on Wednesday and I've been cleaning it off several times a day. Today, it seems her vent is a little swollen or is maybe protruding a little bit. She is also eating a lot less today and her crop looks huge and feels soft and squishy. I tried giving her some olive oil just now - she didn't want anything to do with it so I put it around her bottom so she would get some when she cleans it off. She seems otherwise OK, running around and drinking fine. Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!
Where did you get the chick? Do you know if she was vent sexed?

Did you check the vent? i have had a chick that had the same problem, and she wasn't drinking enough water, and had drier stools than the rest, watch her/him and make sure it is drinking enough.
Thanks Jody and ChickensRFun for your input.

I'm assuming she was vent sexed, which must have been pretty tough since she is soooooo tiny. I got her from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio through (I'm in NC). When I got my 3 silkies home I introduced them to the water and this particular baby stood there for at least 10 min drinking, and pigged out once I put the chick starter in (for now I'm feeding medicated Narture Wise by Purina (?) until my Countryside Natural organic feed is delivered). Her first couple of poops were watery and it sounded like she blew a couple of bubbles with each one. With her first real poops she still blew bubbles and immediately pasted up. Even with a 'clean' bottom she has to strain a lot more than the other two, and she squawks when she passes the poo. The poops look normal but bigger than the other silkie poops. Sometimes after pooping she stays in the position and her vent keeps going (for lack of a better word) for awhile, like she feels like somethings still there. I also think her vent is swollen, but its hard to tell since the other two I can compare it with are black and its hard to tell whats going on down there with the black skin and black fluff.

I know things can go south very quickly with a chick this young and I'm not sure what to do. Other than the pooping problem, she seems OK (active, alert, contented peeps). If its a vent sexing injury, how do I treat it? Could she just have eaten too much that first day and be over stuffed? The Olive Oil seems to have gotten her appetite back, but her crop still seems too big for her. At the moment her poops are looking normal again, and no pasting since I put the Olive Oil on her butt. Also, my chicks had NO IDEA what to do with the yogurt and the only bit they ate was what they cleaned off of their feet! Please let me kow if you have any ideas
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if you have a syringe..remove the needle and squirt a very tiny bit of yogurt only at the very front of the mouth.
or just mix with a little feed to puff it up..not soupy.

I think I would give the problem chick a teeny bit of unsweetened food kind is good.

she might need some terramycin, tho I'd try and see if the applesauce works..
putting red marbles in the water sometimes attracts them to drink..
are you giving chick vitamins?

wash the vent area, and apply a warm compress on the swollen butt..then try some ointment for diaper rash if it looks irritated.

keep an eye on the droppings for blood or if it gets runny all the time..then treat for cocci.
are you using medicated feed?
I would not introduce any other food or medication to a new chick. This could only cause more digestive problems.

I feel they should only eat the medicated chick starter. If the chick pasted up in the first place, it is probably still pasting up. Keep the area clean using warm water. When giving the chicks fresh water, dont use cold water as this will cause pasteing. Use warm water. Keep the brooder clean and keep the chick in a consistant temp. Are you using a heat lamp? What temp are you keeping it at?

Pasteing will cause a small amount of swelling but if you keep it clean it will be just fine. Also, it is normal for the vent to 'keep going' after they poop. Chicken vents do pulsate alot like that at any given time.

She does not sound sick. I would leave well enough alone. Keep the vent clean.
Thank you everyone for your responses - the chick seems to be doing MUCH better today. No more pasting, growing, active, good appetite. In fact, I've concluded that she just might have gotten herself into trouble by overeating. Today I threw some pinhead crickets in with them and she went absolutely nuts. She would catch two in her beak and swallow them while she was running after her 'sisters' to get theirs. They are so much fun to watch! Thanks again
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