Newbie needing some advice on pasty butt.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Newbe owner, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Newbe owner

    Newbe owner New Egg

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    I have one chick that had pasty butt right when we brought her home from our local stock shop. I rinsed her bum off in warm water and dried with a blow drier. Now a couple days later she and another one of my chicks have pasty butt. The chicks are about a week old. Im not sure what to do. I check the temperature of the brooder many times throughout the day and they dont seem to be too hot. I have read about apple cider vinegar but am unsure of how much to use. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How big is your brooder, and what are you using for a heat source? What is the temp under the heat and away from the heat? How many chicks? What are you feeding them? Any supplements in their water? How are they acting? Do they lay on their bellies with wings spread? Ever any panting? Where are they when they are resting? Under the heat or away from the heat?
     
  3. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep them under observation and soak their little bums in warm water if they need it.

    Soak their food, also. At least overnight, and 24 hours is better. If soaking their food doesn't put an end to it, several days of growth will. I ordered 25 bantam chicks last year and at least a third arrived with pasty butt. I had to soak baby butts a few times each, but it did end. Now that I have worked with fermented feed, and seen what a difference it makes in the waste, I can't imagine not at least soaking my chicks' feed in the future. With dry crumbles, the food goes in dry and comes out wet and sticky and stinky. With fermented feed, the food goes in wet and slightly fermented smelling, but it comes out drier, more crumbly, far less odor, and much less sticky.

    Pasty butt isn't a terrible thing in and of itself, but if it is unattended it can be fatal for chicks. Be vigilant and all will be well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  4. Newbe owner

    Newbe owner New Egg

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    We are using a decent size terrarium. When i measure the temp it ranges from 96 to 95 right under the heat lamp. I am not able to get a reading at another spot. I just bought a better thermometer today. The chicks are not panting or show signs of being too hot. What do you mean soak their food in water? What probiotics or suppliments do you recommend and how do I give it to them? We have 4 chicks. 2 delaware's and 2 speckled sussex. We are feeding them medicated starter feed.

    How much room in the terrarium do they need so I can make sure ours is big enough?

    How much apple cider vinegar do I put in the water?

    Thank you so much for your help!! I am so glad I found this awsome group of chicken lovers!
     
  5. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Regarding room required: The chicks need different temperatures at different ages. During the first week of life they need an area go to that is 95F - i.e., from hatching to day 7 of life. The second week of life they need the brooder to be 90F in some portion of the brooder, the third week it should be 85F, and so on week for week until they are sufficiently feathered not to need supplemental heat.

    How large is your terrarium? Most terrariums are pretty small, and are designed for repties and cold-blooded creatures, not warm-blooded. I cannot imagine a terrarium other than the most ginormous being large enough for four LF chicks for very long, but I could be wrong.

    You will need to make certain the chicks can keep themselves comfortable. They will keep themselves comfortable by moving closer or farther away from the heat source, and your brooder must be large enough to make this movement possible. Most people position the heat source on one side of the brooder, NOT in the middle, so the chicks can move away to cooler temperatures if they need to. If you are using a heat lamp, the warmest area below the lamp should be your warm area where you achieve your optimum temperature for your chicks' age.

    Don't try to heat the whole brooder to one temperature, just make sure they have a place within the brooder they can go to that is warm enough to sleep or rest. Put their food nearby but not right under the heat, because when they are up and active they don't need quite as much heat as they do when they are asleep, just like us.

    If your chicks are huddled together under your heat source, not wanting to leave it - your brooder is too cool. If they are away from your heat source, and each other, especially at the farthest edges of the brooder, you have it too warm. They will do this before they show obvious panting or heat-stress behaviors you might recognize. Use the thermometer and keep track of the temperature right under and near your heat source, but watch your chicks' behavior.

    How to soak their food. I assume you are feeding chick starter. Put some in a jar, or a bowl, or anything glass or porcelain, etc., put some water in it allowing plenty to soak into the food with a layer of liquid above the mash, cover it with a cloth if you want to, set it aside on the counter anywhere from overnight to 24 hours. Next day, drain out the extra liquid using a strainer but you can leave some in, and give it to your chicks. If you are giving probiotics, you can mix them in.

    I do NOT recommend that you feed medicated starter feed when your chicks appear healthy. But I'm a newbie at this and others may have different advice.

    Others will have to advise re ACV, as I don't use it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    The recommendation is 90 - 95 the first week, IMO, that is too warm. You might want to keep it at 95 for the first couple of hours when you are first getting them settled into the brooder. But, by the second day, it should be down to 90, and down to 85 by the end of the first week. Of course you will increase the temp a bit if they act cold. (pig piling under the heat, yelling a lot). As long as they are acting fine, continue to decrease the temp a bit. By end of second week, 80 unless they are complaining or acting cold. From that point, you can turn the heat off altogether (if they are in the house) for increasing lengths of time, initially starting with 10 minutes to 1/2 hour, and increasing a bit each day, several times/day. consider this: a broody hen would have those babies running around in the yard every day, starting at 2 days old. The babies would duck under her now and then to warm up, but would not stay under her for very long. The biggest concern is that many people brood chicks in an area that is too small and that traps too much heat. I'm concerned when I hear you talking about brooding in a terrarium. I assume it's like a glass aquarium? That's a heat trap for sure. What are you using for heat. If you can answer the ?'s asked in post #2, it will help to give appropriate information. The last 2 links in my signature provide lots of helpful information.
     
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  7. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for mentioning the use of a terrarium, lazy gardener. It is designed to do something different than what brooders do and I'm concerned that it might be too small and too hot for chicks.

    Not to be argumentative, and I only say this because I'm a newbie, too, and I have frequently been overwhelmed by some of the advice given in connection with chickens, but I'd like to point out that the guidelines I offered for temperatures are what I have found ubiquitously while learning only recently, and are not my personal opinion, something which I have yet to form. [​IMG]

    This short version is from a pretty good article in Mother Earth News: Start the brooder temperature at approximately 95°F (35°C) and reduce it approximately 5°F (3°C) each week until the brooder temperature is the same as ambient temperature. Within the chicks’ comfort zone, the more quickly you reduce the heat level, the more quickly the chicks will feather out. https://www.motherearthnews.com/hom...ising-chicks-brooder-temperature-zebz1305zstp

    It's a good rule of thumb to follow if you want to know how most people have done it successfully for a long time. That doesn't mean there aren't better ways, but, I'm a newbie at chickens, only been keeping chickens for a couple of years, and I'm not qualified beyond this. But, I'm a pretty dedicated reader of information, and I've asked for help here a few times, and sometimes I found myself more confused than assisted. Personally, I wouldn't overwhelm myself with too many variations on the basics at this point.

    And, I will say this: if you follow the rule of thumb provided by most literature, and you provide sufficient room for the chicks to make themselves comfortable, that's the real lazy way to do it. The chicks never get cold, which keeps them comfortable, rested and sufficiently nourished. When they get cold, they get dumb, and they stop eating, which compounds everything else.

    When you've brooded a few batches of chicks, you may want to get more creative and experimental beyond the old-fashioned basics, but between the terrarium and the pasty butt, if it were me, I'd just set up a good, workable, reliably warm environment for them and get the pasty butt under control.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Lose the terrarium. I brooded chicks in a fish tank. Mistake. The heat reflect s off the insides and makes it hotter watch your humidity so it doesn't get too low. Exchange the terrarium for a larger plastic tote. Works much better. It's the glass sides causing the problem. Plastic is better. Best, Karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017

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