New to raising baby chicks and have some questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sanderslm, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. sanderslm

    sanderslm Out Of The Brooder

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    I started out trying to incubate some chicken eggs and did not get any baby chicks. I have been learning a lot and will try again but for now I just purchased 6 baby chicks locally and loving them. My kids are enjoying them too. We have 2 RIR, 2 Buff Orphingtons and 2 Black Copper Marans.

    I have some questions and any and all advice is appreciated! In our brooder I have a Styrofoam cooler I had to remove because they kept pecking at it. I had it in there so they could use it to escape the wind or as a safe place to go. What would anyone suggest to replace it with? Seems like anything I put in there they peck at. I have a small wood block for them to stand on and they peck at it too.

    Last nigh I noticed one of my RIR was doing this funny sitting thing and she wasn't acting like she had before as I watched her for a while she pooped and it did not look like it came off. I googled it and I came across pasty butt. I picked her up and she def had some blockage. I cleaned her off and made sure nothing was stuck to her anymore (poor thing). But then this morning the same thing, so I cleaned her off again. What would help this problem? My other RIR was the same way just not as bad, none of the other chickens were like this just my two RIR.
     
  2. br0nc0

    br0nc0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    Since I don't know how old your chicks are I can't give you exact advice, but in general, this is what I usually do. The temperature for baby chicks should be around 35°C (95F) and then slightly lower each week, when they are over a month old they don't need over 21°C (70F). I usually put them in a smaller box and put a infrared light bulb above them to keep them warm (I make sure they have room to move away from the light in case it's too warm for them, and then I adjust the height - that can be tricky and risky for over-heating). The problem you are describing can be cause by numerous reasons, most likely by some sort of stress (like transport, or enviromental, such as improper temperature) or by improper diet, in less common cases due to some intestinal infections. Just make sure they're warm and on some sort of chick starter feed and try not to bother them too much, mine usualy make full recovery. Clean the poop as best you can, be careful not to tear the skin.
     
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Since they don't have a mama to teach them, they will peck at everything so they can learn what is edible and what isn't. So, don't be concerned about the pecking, but make sure you don't give them anything that could harm them, such as Styrofoam (as you've learned).

    There are a lot of theories about pasty butt, one being that it is more common when heat lamps are used. It does sound like you have an outdoor brooder, and my guess is that you are heating them with a heat lamp. Search for the thread on the "mama heating pad" and consider doing that instead.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    What does your set-up look like? I don’t understand out of the wind and safe place to go. Some photos would be great.

    There are many theories on pasty butt, if that is what it is. Some popular ones are dehydration, too much heat or too cold, and just stress from shipping or just taking them home if they came from a feed store. I had not heard of Styrofoam causing it but did that poop have any white flecks in it?

    There are probably more theories on what to do about it than there are possible causes. Some people put various things in their water, some think grit helps them, or some might feed something special. Whatever causes it and however you treat it, they normally outgrow pasty butt pretty quickly. It can be serious though, keep it cleaned off so they don’t get a blockage. Some people put petroleum jelly on their vent to help it come clean.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  5. sanderslm

    sanderslm Out Of The Brooder

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    They are a week old and I do have them outside in a brooder. I have the heat lamp in one corner and plenty of space for them to move away from it when they need to. I read somewhere about the grit and that's what I was thinking I needed to do. Its been pretty cold here and its suppose to get colder tonight. I have only seen them huddled up together once under the heat lamp so I put a blanket around the side (it got really windy that night). After that they spread back out. They have been moving around fine and chasing bugs when they get into the brooder. lol its cute watching them chase it. We have one we call Hawk, she will come out of no where and that bug will be in her mouth before you blink.
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    You are right to be offering them grit at this point. I give mine grit as soon as the possibility arises they may be able to ingest anything other than crumble, so usually by day 3. I do also add a probiotic/vitamin mix to the water for the first week; its not essential, but it does give me peace of mind, especially with shipped chicks. The one I use is Rooster Booster brand.

    Did you buy them sexed? Hawk sounds like a boy lol
     
  7. sanderslm

    sanderslm Out Of The Brooder

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    Great! I wasn't sure if and when I could give it to them but I will be going by the feed store and getting it today. Yea we did buy them sexed, shes stuck with the name now lol. I have 4 kids and they all wanted to name one. I actually named Hawk because shes just like one. She will be on the other side and make it across pushing all the other chicks out of the way and getting it before they do and then running back across and eating it before anyone else can get to her. We have Hawk, Orange (my 2 year old gave that one), Minnie, DR, Fireball and one still with no name.
     
  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    What does DR stand for?
     
  9. sanderslm

    sanderslm Out Of The Brooder

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    Death Rader....im not sure exactly where my son came up with that name. Im trying hard to find another name for him (DR our rooster)lol
     
  10. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as the pasty-butt chick is eating and drinking like everyone else, keep a close eye- multiple checks a day - the more frequently you clean pasty butt the easier it is on everyone- and usually it resolves after a couple days.
     

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