New to raising chicks in Michigan

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by amynbrent, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    Hi, I'm a new mom to 13 baby chicks. Some bantams, the other's I hate to say I dont know....I bought them at Tractor Supply and all I cared about were they were not agressive and good egg layers. We have had them for a week now and boy how they have grown. They dont have much fuzz anymore but are getting feathers. They were so small you could hold them in one hand now it takes two. They are black and the typical yellow ones you see at Easter. We had 14 but lost one, he got out out the cage and I guess couldnt get back in so he got too cold. As soon as the weather breaks we will get out coop together. We have a big barn shed that is basically just keeping stuff we dont want to deal with so that will be our coop. We live on 3 acres, I would love other animals but for that we need 5.

    My problem is with the yellow ones they constantly have poop stuck to them. I pull it off but now that they are getting bigger it's hard to do, they start squaking and flapping their wings. Are they at risk of infection or pooping probs if I cant get it off? It's only my yellow ones!!!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Wash it off with a super wet rag, or better yet, hold their butts under a stream of luke warm water and flush it off. Just pulling off the dried poop takes feathers with it.
     
  3. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    It was easy when they were smaller, it just came right off but now it's stuck good and I was afraid of hurting them. I thought about holding them under water but didnt know if it would be like giving a cat a bath...lol. Plus I didnt know if they would get sick because they were so small. Thanks!
     
  4. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    I would definitely continue to try to get it off, a sealed vent will mean sure death. They won't like it, but just continue to do it. I use a bucket of warm water and a rag. Wet the rag and gentle try to work it off...Try not to tear skin. You can apply vaseline or neosporin to protest the chafed skin and prevent more from sticking.

    Storney's Guide to Raising Chickens here says that is is caused by chilling, overheating, or improper feeding. You could try switching starters if it persists. Preventative measures include making sure they drink well before eating (as in when they first arrive) and feeding chick scratch along with starter for the first few days.

    It should clear up soon, so you won't have to do it for too much longer!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  5. foREVer

    foREVer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Hey Amy! (Just to let ya know, this your chicken-obsessed neighbor [​IMG] ) [​IMG]

    We just got 16 chicks last week ourselves, 6 being bantams. We were a little scared to keep ours in the garage because of all of the fluctuating early-spring temps, so right now we have the babies in a garbage-bag lined cardboard box under a light in our living room.
    We haven't lost any yet, thank goodness, and that we are thankful for, lol. I am a little mixed up with breeds, too, but I am starting to get it pretty narrowed down based on the wing feathers coming in, and so far about 75% of them seem to be broody breeds. (Ones that will try to hatch eggs.)

    Anyway, if you have any questions about coops and such, feel free to send me a PM or just send us an email. I think we are going to start coop re-construstion this weekend or next.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  6. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Rural Michigan
    Quote:Welcome to Michigan chickendom! First thing first, DO NOT TRUST what the people at Tractor Supply tell you your chick is. I would strongly encourage you to set aside some time and go to the McMurray Hatchery site (http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com) and click through all the listed breeds in order to identify your chicks. Why is this important? Because some of your bantams might very well be the kind that fly high and fly early and some of the chicks you believe are good egg layers may very well turn out to be meat chickens. The "typical yellow ones you see at Easter" tend to be Cornish Xs. I've seen three Tractor Supply stores with a brooder brimming with these guys. They grow very fat very fast, because that is what they're designed to do. And then they only just sit there because they're too heavy. At that point (about 10 to 12 weeks) you need to slaughter them for meat or they might die from heart attacks. Identify your chicks! I hope you got Buff Orpingtons (a deeper gold color versus pale yellow chick). These are excellent brown-egg layers. But if you got Cornish Xs, it wouldn't be the first time someone bought yellow chicks from TSC only to find out what the chicks really are.

    The fact that they get pasty butt so easily tells me they're either Cornish Xs or those new Tetra Tint hybrids. I've never had a pasty butt with any of my Orpingtons. And like a previous poster noted, pasty butt seals the vent, and this can lead to death very quickly. To handle pasty butt, I use a paper bowl filled with warm water, and soft absorbent towels. I carefully cradle the chick, then lower its tush in the water. When the chick is comfy (mine have always been very calm when bathing), swish its tush around in the water. The soaking will soften up the poop. Use a soft cloth to wipe the poop away. Do this gently until you can see the vent. Don't be rough... you can lose down/feathers and possibly cause prolapse. Once the tush is poop free, use a different cloth to gently dry the chick's bottom, then give it a little treat and put it back in the brooder.

    Good luck!
     

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