new chicks - diarrhea

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pepperbasket, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. pepperbasket

    pepperbasket In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    hi - first time exposure to chickens - hatched eggs last week - incubator project with my daughter. we have 5 fluffy chicks - amazing to watch them get feathers each day - they are a week old this tuesday.

    We noticed today that 2 have diarrhea. I didn't think much of it, but did some web reading and now I'm concerned. It's 1am and here I am cleaning chicken butts in the sink *LOL* I did not sign up for this. I'm going to show my ignorance - I could read for days and still not be a chicken expert - and my daughter's asleep so she can't tell me [​IMG]
    I don't know what the vent is - guessing the female part? Anyway - I used warm water and paper towels - the feces on their butts is like concrete - couldn't break it apart with my fingernails either. On one, I couldn't break it up and it's still there - I think I saw the vent on that one but not the butt opening. On the other - I was able to free up the butt opening and could see the vent - but there's still feces caked on him. I only tried a short time - they were kinda stressed I thought. I don't know what I'm looking at or looking for - didn't want to pull and it be a body part under there. The squawking didn't help either [​IMG]

    My daughter has been changing the newspaper/paper towels at least three times a day. They are pooping all over their feed, she cleans that up too. I've got to go to bed - but what can I do in the morning/tomorrow? I don't want to see any creature suffer and what I'm reading says this could be fatal. I only plan to keep them through this week and then back to the farmer. We are giving fresh water and Manna Pro starter. One of the chicks in question just pooped through his messy butt and it wasn't runny - is that a good sign? Will the caked on come off by itself?

    They're so funny to watch them pass out and drop their heads -- all together now -- nap! They're stretching their legs and preening their wings. I couldn't see how they sleep in the light 24/7 so I put a 6pk soda can box in there - cut the side out the long way and thought they could get in there for some darkness - they seem afraid of it - keep pecking at the Canada Dry logo [​IMG] Their favorite place to be is ontop of the big thermometer laying in the bottom of the crate - like a perch and they sleep on it too - have to move them to check the temp.

    Also your thoughts - our VBS is this week and the director has asked me to bring in the chicks for the "marketplace". Just one day for 3 hrs - I'd stay there to ensure their care and would take the whole set up, heat lamp too - not that they had heat lamps in ancient Egypt [​IMG] But would be so neat for the little kids to see them - no one would be touching them, just looking, and listening. Does that field trip sound okay for 10day olds??

    Thanks for your help!
  2. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

    May 25, 2008
    A tip: You can use fingernail scissors to carefully trim the fluff off right around chicks' vents so you don't have to worry so much about poop sticking and causing pasty butt.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
  4. Tiramisu

    Tiramisu Got Mutts

    May 3, 2008
    Milan PA
    Are you sure its diarrhea? It sounds more like ceacal poo. Is it dark in color and smelly? Ceceal poo is normal and they do it several times a day, along with the normal solid poo.
    As long as the temperature on the day of the fieldtrip is reasonable for them it should be fine. And the vent is their 'butt' [​IMG]
  5. pepperbasket

    pepperbasket In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    okay - from your description and some reading - this is likely ceacal poo. Thank you. It's still caked on though for 2 of them. I'm confused about the anatomy and have looked at several links - could not find a bottom view [​IMG] I see 2 openings - the one on top has the poo and then there is one below that a bit. It was 1am, maybe I had tired eyes - will check again later.

    They seem to be eating a LOT. How often do you feed them and how much or do you keep feed in at all times?

    Should they be "doing" anything other than walking around, eating or napping? seems boring for them? They are scratching the paper towels so I got some shredded wood for them to try.

  6. jdopler

    jdopler Songster

    Jun 14, 2010
    Roggen, Colorado
    they will be just like newborn human babies for a while only peeping pooping and sleeping. [​IMG] Yes they will eat a LOT and they grow fast, enjoy the fluff while it lasts soon they get feathers and look like awkward teens ( half fluff and half pinfeathers) but you will have hours of entertainment, especially if you find a bug to throw in with them! Good luck
  7. joypeters

    joypeters In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    northridge, california
    i've got this going on too, and now have one chick who has no butt. (or so it seems) i had to trim her fuzz with cuticle scissors. for really dried, hard poo, i find cutting it in half with the scissors allows the remainder to loosen up. the more active they have become the less they are having this problem. i'm taking mine out in the garden this afternoon, even tho they are only a week old today. IRL hens do this with their chicks right away, and i think the moving around and excersize will help them!
  8. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    Can you feed them some yogurt?
  9. chickp

    chickp In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    my chicks have not had the pasty butt, but I wanted to say that the field trip sounds fine. We went away for 24 hours when our chicks were 11 days old (bad chick mama!) and took them to some friends' house with 3 kids. They had the lamp and everything, it all went fine, they had grown when we got back!

    And yes they DO eat tons of food. Mine are 2 weeks old and are eating a ton of feed (and also bathing in it lately!) [​IMG] have fun.
  10. MattalynsBarn

    MattalynsBarn Songster

    Jun 11, 2010
    Make sure the shavings AREN'T ceder. Pine is fine, but no ceder

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by