Hen with pasty butt???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lauraclaire, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. lauraclaire

    lauraclaire Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2009
    Bloomfield Hills
    My girls have been laying now for about a month. I noticed today that one of them has what looks like a "pasty butt". I checked it as much as she would allow and it does not cover her vent area. It's like some of the feathers have become matted with poop. Being new to the whole chicken thing, I'm in need of some advice. Should I try to clean off her rear end or leave it alone? She's laying eggs and there is no blood and she looks very healthy. Any suggestions?
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    depending on where you are you can try and clean her up a bit .. but i know where i am i would worry about it now... one of my hens was like this in the summer and i trimmed the affected feathers and then when she molted they were shed and the new ones frew in but if you are in a cold climate i would not trim or bath a chicken until its a bit warmer
  3. OrpingtonHopeful

    OrpingtonHopeful Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2009
    Sorry to hijack, but perhaps we can both find out more on the same problem- I just came here to research the same issue.

    My hen started laying in late Nov and today (she is about 30 weeks old) I noticed that she has a few poo drippings on her feathers below her butt- She is pooping no problem, her vent is not blocked, and she is laying well- but her poop is loose and somewhat watery-today it looked mostly white, not stringy from what I could see when she pooped near me...I looked at the poo chart, but couldn't really find anything that fit the bill-

    I have never wormed the girls, they recently discovered the compost pile and do find loads of grubs and earthworms. They are on layer crumbles mixed with about 10-20% scratch, get fresh water daily- every few changes I add ACV- They have oyster shell free choice, and occassionally I feed them yogurt with added baby vits (no iron, I know), or mealworms from our local feed shop. I use food grade DE in their coop to prevent mites, etc.

    Should I add a bunch of cayenne to their feed? Worm them and discard eggs for a while? Wait and watch?

    If you do suggest worming what is the best way to go about an initial worming?

    This just started today...
  4. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    sometimes they will have a cecal poo it looks like mostly water with a little white in it or even diarrhea but as long as this is not an everyday thing they are ok

    I would not worm unless you have reason to believe they do have worms like you see it in the poo or they are eating like piggies and not gaining weight

    I use ACV and I also sprinkle DE in the food... my hens also eat a lot of table scraps and we love garlic and garlic is a natural wormer (or so i have been told)
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I'm with Dar--would not worm unless you have a reason to, like seeing worms. If you are concerned, take a sample to a vet and have a fecal float done.

    I have a hen that often has a pooey butt. I just carefully trim the feathers off, that are matted with poo, and she is fine. I have heard here that it is from not squatting properly when they poo. (Too much of a Lady?). She looks good now after her molt, but I'm sure I will have to trim again.
  6. 4mainechicks

    4mainechicks New Egg

    Oct 19, 2009
    I'm curious as to what kind of chicken she is? We had the same problem with a BR last winter. I made the mistake of trimming the feathers and trying to get the poo off myself. I learned the hard way that I should have left them alone because then she was irratated by what her feathers were doing after and then pulled more out leaving a large bald spot. The new feathers won't grow back until her next molt, so I'd just let her handle it. It will probably just come and go, but don't trim or pull at it or she'll have a bare butt all winter. Depending on where you live, this will make her prone to frost bite.
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I have to disagree about leaving the poo on the feathers. I did that for a while, because it wasn't bad, and she didn't seem bothered by it. But then I started reading about chickens that had been let go like that, and they had become infested with maggots in that area!! In some cases they were so bad that the chickens died or had to be put down. And it can happen quite quickly. I do agree it is less likely to happen in winter, but I wouldn't want to take the chance. So do what you have to do, trim as little feathers as possible, bring her inside to wash up and then blow dry. Many chickens molt in this area in early winter and have a bare butt anyways, but if you are very careful, it won't be bare.

    BTW--I believe my hen is a BSL--she is a really good laying hen!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  8. country

    country Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2008
    Lincoln, CA
    When I see a Silkie with a dirty butt, the first thing I suspect & check for is mites/lice, & that's what I usually find as the cause of the problem. Even though I use a variety of "debugging" methods - Sevin, DE, Eprinex - sometimes the little critters break through my defenses & pick a "favorite" hen to raise their families on. Careful checking usually shows that the rest of the flock is "bug-free" or nearly so, & only the one bird will have bugs & it's usually a fairly heavy infestation. I don't know why the bugs cause them to have dirty feathers around their rear end but I've seen it enough to believe that it is related & not just a coincidence. This may not be your problem, but it might be worth checking.

    My "cure" was a light Sevin dusting & a cotton swab with Frontline on it that I dabbed a couple of times around the vent (at least 1 inch away). I also clipped the worst of the dirty feathers just to make sure the vent was clear. That seemed to take care of the problems.

  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If it is just dried poop building up (and it can grow into a real problem as has been mentioned) it can be crushed with a pair of wide faced pliers without having to pull at feathers or soak the chook. We only had a problem with this when the girls were still pullets. Hold them under an arm with butt side out and `crush' don't try to pull the mass of dried stuff off. It goes without saying, face downwind and don't inhale the resulting powder.

    I'm sure there is a kitchen implement that could be substituted for pliers, but my improvisational bent has landed me in the skillet one too many times already.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  10. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    Quote:Same here...One of our Red Star hens, Penny, and our Bantam Cochin hen, Pumpkin, both sometimes get poop stuck to their butt. [​IMG] Although Pumpkin, being a fluffy-footed Cochin, just sometimes steps in poop and it gets hard and sticks to her feathers.
    Penny, on the other hand, the poop that is stuck in her feathers is wet and STINKS HORRIBLY!!!! [​IMG] Literally, it's sometimes unbearable to hold her because it stinks so bad! It's covering just about ALL the downy feathers on around her vent. [​IMG] We've tried cleaning her and trimming the feathers, but it doesn't help much and right now we're having a blizzard and it's cold, so we aren't going to give her a bath any time soon.

    Maybe you could try trimming her feathers back a little? I just trimmed Pumpkin's today and now she looks so much cleaner! [​IMG]
    Good luck!

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