Help Please--Pasty Butts, 8 day old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by maestra, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. maestra

    maestra Hatching

    Jul 21, 2010
    This is our first time having baby chicks, and as such have a lot to learn... I have been reading this board throughout the night, and have already found it to be so informative for our problem we are having, but do need some more advice...
    Our situation is the following:
    We bought and brought home four 3 day baby chicks--2 Barred Rock and 2 Red Sexlings--they are now 8 days old.
    Apparently we did not have their box warm enough with the one lightbulb that was in the first 3 nights, as any time I checked on them, they were huddled together in the middle, underneath it, never once laying down to sleep (at the time I was thinking they slept standing, dumb me)[​IMG]. We feel so bad about this, and have already beat ourselves up enough, so please don't come down hard asking why or how, as quite honestly, we just didn't know. Yesterday I switched out the white basic lightbulb for a much warmer infrared one, placed our refrigerator thermometer in there, which only goes up to 80 degrees-- I would guess it to be around 90 at the bottom where they are. For the first time since we brought them home, they layed down, spread out, and slept... poor little babies have been in a high state of survival stress and I am upset and heartbroken over this---whoever knew I could fall in love with 4 little chickies. I didn't think one of the barred rocks would make it through the night, but constant monitoring and 'encouraging' of sugar water, along with the warmth and sleep, and she is up and walking around this morning!

    The problem that we now face is the following... their little butts are so impacted looking with layer of layer of crusted over poop--looks like more poop won't be able to get out until I clear this outside blockage... I already tried q-tips and a warm wash cloth, but not with much luck...
    What can I do to clean their bottoms and free them of this hard crusted stuck on poop? Nothing? Something?
    Please help...
    Thank you so much,
    Katie & Family

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Aww, don't be so hard on happens. To get the poop off, you can actually soak their little bottoms in some warm water (nothing too warm now) and sort of "pinch or crush" the poop off. Then dry your chick thoroughly.

    That poop can be like a ROCK! Every now and then I will have a chick like that, and I've even had to carefully cut the little fuzz feathers that are poopy, to get the mess off.

    You are right, pasty butt can kill a baby chick, because they can relieve themselves, and they get backed up.

    Good luck to you!

  3. TsaLaGi Acres

    TsaLaGi Acres Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    I agree, don't beat yourself up as we all have to learn.
    Do just as Chickmom said and soak their lil bottoms in tepid warm water... Another thing is adding tiny grit for them, from what I've seen it somehow keeps the pasties off their backend..
    Everyone makes mistakes just be proud that you've kept them alive and they are thriving [​IMG]
  4. lowillobe

    lowillobe In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2008
    Don't be so hard on yourself. My first time was a lot worse.

    Make sure the water is warm. And keep her drinking bc she is probably get dehydrated.

    And like chicmom said cut the feathers short so it won't have things to clump onto.

    I read somewhere that a drop of soap might help softening it. But I have never tried.

    Also, I found this on another fourmere is a very helpful tip. [​IMG]

    "Take some vaseline and sparingly apply it by massaging around the vent area. This will keep the poo from drying to their feathers and allow you to remove it if it sticks to their butts for a while yet and I don't think you are out of the woods yet with the pasty butt problem. A lot of vitamins does cause the pasty butt but they were also most-likely just vaccinated before you got them. It takes a few days for a baby to bounce back from a vaccination."

    This seems really helpful![​IMG]

    I tried about everything for some recent chicks with pasty but, Vaseline, olive oil, sand, washed the butts twice a day. I have always had trouble with 1 weeks only wanting the finer particles of starter feed and wasting food. I started putting my starter feed in a coffee grinder and grinding it to a powder. The chicks eat more of it, are more active, and in less than 24 hours no more pasty butt.

    hmm [​IMG]

    Good luck. It will all be worth it.

    here where i got the info =
  5. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    In addition to what chicmom said, a tiny bit of dish soap can help loosen up the clump. I've also found that putting a bit of apple cider vinegar in their water and a tiny dab of olive oil around their vent will help to keep them from getting it again.

    Enjoy them while they're little, they grow up so fast!!
  6. maestra

    maestra Hatching

    Jul 21, 2010
    Now what....?
    So I was successfully able to remove the poop by dipping their little butts in some warm water---much to their displeasure, poor little babies---but now they are wet, frightened, and cold, in spite of the fact that I lowered the red light bulb a bit to warm them up and tried my best to towel dry them off.

    What is the best way to dry them or will they take care of that themselves with the heat lamp?
    Might this be a continual issue with their poop/butts? Just trying to prepare myself for what's ahead, as that was pretty traumatizing for the chickies and me and my 6 year old twins as they watched on...[​IMG]

    Also, I checked on the feed that the store sold us and it is the following:

    Ace Hi by Star Milling Co.
    A Complete Food
    Formula for all Breeds
    Chick Starter Mash

    They have been receiving it dry. Should I moisten it a bit for them? Is there a different/more preferred food I should be giving them?

    Lordy, lordy.... little did I know what I was getting into, and I wouldn't change it... Just want my little babies to be okay...
    Thank you all for any offered suggestions..... Greatly and humbly appreciated...

    Katie & Family
  7. lowillobe

    lowillobe In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2008
    One time our chicks kept diving into the water bowl. We blowed dried them on low. It worked for most of them. I wouldn't lower the light too low to overheat them.

    Walmart sells thermometers for outside for $1. It might help to get one.

    I read on a bunch of sites to grinding the chick feed up helps it to go through system easier. So, just take a spoon probably and munch it up. Also, supposedly sugar sometimes makes them poopey.

    It might keep going on just to warn you for the next 24 hours. But you are doing everything right and excellent for the first time. Hopefully, though it will slow down.

    How many are pasty ?

    You are doing good!

  8. buckeyejerseygiants

    buckeyejerseygiants In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    After soaking and a rinse I use a hair dryer on low/warm to blow dry their butts. They usually really like it if they're cold from the water, but just take caution and make sure it's not too warm.
  9. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    Don't worry you're doing fine....and they will be ok too! Keeping a close eye on your birds and knowing when something is not quite right is 3/4 of the battle. Someone on here will help you through the other 1/4. I just dealt with pasty butt with my hatchery chicks. You usually only have to clean them once when it's real bad after that you'll notice the problem right away and handle it before it becomes a major issue! To help with the pasty you can add some plain yogurt to their feed. It doesn't take much maybe a heaped tablespoon to a cup of food, mix it together and give it to them. You don't need to mix alot for the few chicks you have a 1/2 of food would be ok. The yogurt will give them the good bacteria their systems will need and the pasty butt will stop...Good luck.
  10. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    If you do moisten the feed, do be careful about removing leftovers after an hour or so because moistened feed can grow bacteria/mold. Dry feed can be left out all day, though.

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