Hen-raised chicks and pasted vents


6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
I just had my first chicks hatch today!

Three yellow chicks by a Barred Plymouth Rock.

They must have been someone else's eggs.

We (hubby and I) originally got our chicks (now the mama hen) from mail-order, so of course, we had to deal with the pasted vents for the first week. What I'm wondering is, now with chicks raised by a hen, do we need to be cleaning their vents or will mama somehow take care of that?

Thank you for your help!
I'd keep an eye on it. We had one chick one year who had the most awful pasty bum and I'd go out and clean him off from time to time. I think I had to do it two or three times. In our case, Mama didn't worry with it. I'd just take a wet washcloth that I'd gotten wet in warm water and clean off his little chick bum. No big deal.

Also…congrats! Yeah for baby chicks.
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I put probiotics in the water for my chicks and mama when I have a clutch hatched. Regardless of where they start, I have found supplementing good gut bacteria gives me the healthiest chicks.

I just want to correct your apparent misconception that all ordered chicks have pasty butt. It's not just "standard" with birds, I don't know why mine never get it and others have so much problems!

That said, I 've never had a broody raised chick have it, either. make sure everyone has lots of space, that's the most important thing for a healthy flock. Just keep an eye on them I guess.

Enjoy your broody! After watching momma raise babies, you'll never look at incubating chicks the same again. You'll see they're much hardier than everyone thinks, and can do quite well in cooler temps.
I just had my first chicks hatch today!

We ... originally got our chicks (now the mama hen) from mail-order, so of course, we had to deal with the pasted vents for the first week. What I'm wondering is, now with chicks raised by a hen, do we need to be cleaning their vents or will mama somehow take care of that?
In now way is "pasted vents" or "Pasty Butt" a normal baby chick condition. Besides no mama hen is equipped with a tongue like a dogs' to clean her chicks' butt.

I am unsure but I think that you are seeing Salmonella Pullorum Disease in your chicks. Did the source of your mail order chicks or eggs have a National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP) certificate? If not, then you have been had BIG TIME! Pullorum is passed through the egg and it is incurable. Pullorum usually results in anywhere from 10 - 100% mortality in young chciks. Any bird that survives to adulthood will be a carrier of the disease for life without exception. Adult birds with Pullorum are un-thrifty and are susceptible to other poultry diseases. There is a small chance that the USDA may seize and destroy your back yard flock if it tests positive during an outbreak. Overall Salmonella type Pullorum disease is the most serious poultry disease in the world, bar none. All the ACV, yogurt, toilet paper or soap and water in the world won't change that. Pullorum was once called "White Diarrhea" because of the fecal matter stuck to the chicks' behind. You are not doing your chickens or any other chicken a favor by treating "Pasty Butt" on the contrary you are just slowly killing more chicks. Go back and read what donrae posted.

http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.org/Edu_Material/Poultry Diseases/What_Is_Pullorum_Disease.pdf

his disease could completely destroy our commercial industry as well as your beautiful flock of poultry in your own backyard. Once just one bird becomes infected we are all in trouble. Protect us all by becoming a member of your state National Poultry Improvement Plan. Get your membership card and be very proud to show it.

Pullorum disease is an acute or chronic infectious, bacterial disease affecting primarily chickens and turkeys, but most domestic and wild fowl can be infected. The cause is a bacterium named Salmonella pullorum. This organism is primarily egg transmitted, but transmission may occur by other means such as: ? Infected hen to egg, egg to chick, or chick to chick in incubator, chick box, brooder, or house. Survivors become infected breeders (cycle begins again)

Ways Pullorum spreads:
? Mechanical transmission (carried around on clothes, shoes or equipment),
? Carrier birds (apparently healthy birds shed the disease organisms),
? Contaminated premises (from previous outbreaks).
? Disease organisms may enter the bird through the respiratory (as in the
incubator) or digestive systems.
? Most outbreaks of acute pullorum disease in chickens or turkeys result
from infection while in the hatchery.
? Pullorum disease is highly fatal to young chicks or poults, but mature
birds are more resistant. Young birds may die soon after hatching without
exhibiting any observable signs. Most acute outbreaks occur in birds that
are under three weeks of age. Mortality in such outbreaks may approach
ninety percent if untreated. Survivors are usually stunted and unthrifty.

Because death usually occurs soon after hatching you have no way to gauge the health of your mail order chicks unless the hatchery will willingly provide you with a NPIP Certificate. Don't let any chicken cross the road without one.
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I guess I just figured since a momma hen isn't designed to lick a baby's butt, it's not normal for a baby chick to have pasty butt. I've raised chicks, both hen raised and heat lamp brooded, for 20 years and have never once cleaned a chick's butt. never. I don't lose chicks, either. I'm not sure what I do different from folks that have staggering losses or spend days cleaning butts, guess I'm just lucky?
Thank you everyone for your responses. There's a lot of great wisdom and information here!

@chickengeorgeto, I thank you for the information. Yes, we got our original flock from an NPIP certified seller. Our original flock is now eight months old and having chicks of their own, and they've never once had pasty butt since they were chicks. Even then, it was never pasted "over," a few of them (we have 17) just had a little poo on their feathers which we cleaned off with a warm washcloth.

@LovinChicknFarmn, probiotics is a great idea, I'll have to try that!

I'm happy to report we now have a total of 11 chicks to three mama hens! Everyone is very healthy and vivacious so far. They are so stinkin' cute!

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