Our first chicks! Questions...


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
We picked up 6 cute little ladies yesterday at the local TSC. They are sex-links (which is not the breeds we originally planned on, but that was what they had) pullets. We also picked up two straight-run brahmas. Since I know TSC just got them that day (my son's been calling daily looking for them), I can only guess they are 4 or 5 days old today. I live in central NC.

I currently have them in my rottweiler's kennel with corrugated cardboard making walls and lots of paper towels on the ground. They all eat, drink and peep happily and sleep in a 'puppy pile' of chicks pretty much most of the time.

However, at least two of them have a runny poop. One of the pullets (can't tell them apart well enough yet to name them) got some stuff stuck on her butt and I cleaned it off with a warm, moist paper towel. I read about making sure the vents stay clean...but now I'm positively beside myself...I feel like I need to check on her constantly. Is there anything else I should be doing?

I was thinking about taking them outside next week for an hour or so to let them run around inside a small enclosure that I have yet to build, but will be working on soon. Should I keep my 'sick' girl inside?

I think my rott is wondering why something else is in her cage...and my black lab won't let the rottie get near...she seems to be very protective of them.

I'm willing to take any advise or suggestions you have! Thanks!!
This is my first time with chicks as well. I got 26 of the little cutie pies. Two of them had the pasty butt thing for the first couple of days. I searched pasty butt in this forum and found some good advice. To remove the poo faster, someone suggested using a q-tip dipped in peroxide. This has worked great for me. After the peroxide gets the poo losened, I used warm water and then some olive oil to make sure future poo does not stick. I cleaned the pasty butts twice a day to make sure the vents were clear. I live in western NC and right now it is not warm enough for my 7 day old chicks to go outside. They need to have an area in their brooder that is around 90 degrees F. Hope this helps. Enjoy your peeps!
I think your chicks may be too cold. "puppy piling" is not necessarily a good thing. If the temp is right, they will explore the whole enclosure and sleep spread out more. Also, I've heard that pasty-butt can come from when temps are too cold. You're doing right by checking her vent and keeping it clean. Do you have a thermometer in with the chicks. It should read about 95 degrees for the first week and then 5 degrees less each week after that until they've feathered out. I hope this helps. Congrats on the new chicks. Aren't they awesome!
Thanks, guys. Our 'poopy butt' (as my son calls it) chick is better.

The chicks were sleeping on the other side of the kennel...but I moved the light down a bit more and now they will sleep where ever, but more individually, so I guess that was the right call.

I took them outside the other day when it was warm and let them 'find' some mealworms. I got an education on how fast chicks can run when being chased by other chicks who want their mealworm! I think between the lizard and the chicks I may have to start growing mealworms too.

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