Help! Itchy chicks and Banty butt problems

Idaho chica

11 Years
Mar 15, 2008

I just got a new batch of chicks, mixing day-old leghorns, rocks, and others (and 2 turkeys) with week-old Banties. The chicks are now itching like crazy, and a couple of the Banties look downright haggard, missing feathers and really mottled-looking. I haven't noticed any of the others picking on them. They all are itching and preening themselves and picking something off each other, although I can't see what it is. I think they may have mites. They guy at the hatchery told me my straw may have harbored them, so I'm going to try removing them and cleaning their coop really well, then putting them back in on paper towels, which I read may help both with seeing the mites and removing them, if you change the towels often.

Also, two of the Banties have what I thought was just the normal poop clingons on their butts, but when I went to remove it, it wouldn't come off, even with warm water, like it's a part of her skin protruding or her insides coming out her butt or something that's now covered in poop. I fed them yogurt this morning (free choice) in hopes of correcting any digestive issues they may have. I tried to attach a photo, but don't know if it worked. I would appreciate comments/advice about either of these issues.

Thank you!
Throw out the hay/straw bedding. Get a bag of pine shavings or wood shavings (make sure it is not cedar shavings or you will have more problems.) Take an old pantyhose and cut about 6 inches of the foot off and use this as a 'bag'. Get sevin dust and put a couple tbsp in the toe of the pantyhose you cut. Tie it off (not too tight so you can open it and add more if needed) so you have a little bag. Now carefully powder each little chick. Careful not to get the air too dusty. They do not need to breath in the sevin. Also mix a little of the powder in with the shavings. Make sure they are getting plenty of feed and clean water. You might also want to make sure they get some cooked egg (no shell, they don't need the calcium at this age) and also some yogurt for good probiotics. The protein in the egg will help them regrow feathers.

Now the next problem sounds like pasty butt. It is not easy to wash off. I suggested you take each one to the kitchen sink. Let the water run warm in a slow stream and wash each butt until all of the yuck washes off. It might take a bit for the poop to soften and release from their skin and feathers. Once the butt is clean use vaseline and rub it carefully around the vent to prevent the clogging. Pastybutt can make them very sick and be fatal. I also suggest you aim their bottoms downward as the pasty poop loosens that chick may explode with poop - alot of poop. Don't worry it will rinse away. When you finish with all the chicks scrub out your sink well and rinse with a sanitizer. Bleach works real well.

If you are giving the chicks sugar water the pasty butt will continue. They need only clean fresh water. If the stool is loose (and it may be for a another couple days if the pasty butt is bad) feed them a little cooked white rice or some oats and see if it starts to tighten up.

Check the little butts often and rinse and vaseline as needed until this passes.

Good luck.
Here's what I've noticed: Miss Prissy is consistently one of the best (if not the best) contributors of information and knowledge here on backyardchickens. Excellent advice Miss Prissy! Keep the good stuff coming, and thank you.
DE does help...I had day olds that hatched once under a broody hen that was on straw...never buys straw anymore to use as nests...I put the DE straight on the day olds without any problems...cleared up the bugs quickly...make sure to keep it away from their eyes and beaks tho...
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I think MP is right on- check for pesky parasites really really carefully- and d ust ( either with DE or sevin- your preference) before mixing chickens jsut in case.ALso if there is space- give them a "dust bath" in the pen with play sand plus a little DE or sevin for them to roll in as they want to- a small shallow container works great for this- I am going to add htese to my pens when I clean them, I learned this at my small flock workshop yesterday- though I had heard it here before, though I htink the suggestion was for just using DE alone.

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