Is Pasty Butt a one-time thing?


13 Years
Mar 29, 2009
Coastal Southern California
My 10-day-old chicks are doing so well! We had an episode of Pasty Butt on days 6 and 7 but I was able to clear their vents, fed them some yogurt with their food and they've been fine ever since. Does this mean they're "cured" or is it likely to happen again?
Pasty butt is just soft or wet droppings that sticks on the feathers/down near the vent. When it hardens and blocks the vent then there is the problem. Diet, stress, health and others can cause loose or runny droppings. It can happen at any time....
I had a problem with pasty butt with one of the bantam Buff Orpington chicks I got from Ideal on June 5th. We had about 4 days where the butt got so full of poop between the time I left for work and the time I got home that I would have to run it's little butt under warm water to get rid of it, and then pat it dry with a towel. I think he/she liked it though, cause they sure didn't complain! But they are ten days old now and they all have clean butts now.
A few of mine seemed to get it more than once. But most that got it, just got it once. I do a butt check every time I change their bedding.
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Every time i've had to deal with pastybutt is when i'm giving vitamins and electrolytes in their water. I only add this when i think they need a boost(like right after shipping). It has always cleared up in a day or two after discontinuing the additives. Good Luck
I had a problem with pasty butt with one of the bantam Buff Orpington chicks I got from Ideal on June 5th.

I have the same problem. One of my Bantam Buff Orps from Ideal has chronic pasty butt. I clean it off several times a day, and even gave it a fluff trim, but every time I check, it's little butt is crusted over again. It doesn't seem to mind 'sitting' on the warm wet washcloth, but when I start whiping, oh boy, it starts crying and I feel so bad. Maybe I will try your running water idea. All the rest of my chicks are fine though.

I think it was caused by my chick starter, they don't like it and prefer to eat the wood shavings. I have paper towels over the shavings, and I was hoping to stop using them after a few days, but every time I try they all start eating the shavings again. I am trying to find a 'tastier' chick starter.​
I think the electrolyte powder was the culprit with my chicks, too. I discontinued it and have had no problems since.

As far as how to deal with it - I used the warm water technique to soften it up, but I did end up having to manually clear the vent to resolve the issue. Not fun, and made me nervous as I was worried I would hurt the chicks, but they all did fine. Just hope we don't have to deal with it again...
Iceblink, I thought the same thing about them eating shavings at first. Someone reminded me that chickens are natural foragers. They will scratch and peck the shavings but after i watched them closer they weren't eating it as much as pecking at it. This may be the case with yours.

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