Pasting up in newborn chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickens in the Grove, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2010
    I'm new to chickens and now 4 of my 6 chicks are getting pasty butts. They were born on Monday, got here on Tuesday, and all of them started pasting up Wednesday morning. I figured that they just weren't squating right and would figure it out and two of them did! Since then they haven't had a problem. But the other four I got a warm moist paper towel and washed their butts off. That didn't work very well, so a couple hours later I tried again with a q-tip. Now, ever couple hours I have to go wash their butts and put a little olive oil on them. I've been doing that for the last day now and it doesn't seem to be helping [​IMG] I don't think any of their vents have been completely blocked off. I'm a little worried about them eating and drinking enough, but they're still pooping fine. It hasn't been watering or anything. But they're starting to lose their feathers from all of the washing and one of their vents is protruding quite a bit. I know that I haven't been getting all of the poop off, but I'm struggling to do that with a q-tip. I'm wondering if I should just put them under warm running water until it's all off...? I haven't wanted to do that because they're only 3 days old! I don't want them to get too wet. But guess I can just blow dry them off afterwards and put them back in the brooder. I'm just worried about the trauma of submerging their butts in water. They're so tiny, I'm worried they'll get soaked! And then I'll have very wet, very unhappy little chicks who are still pooping on themselves.

    What do you think?

  2. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2010
    With the eating and drinking eating and drinking enough: I have 3 standards and 3 bantams. The standards have drinking down, but the bantams are having some trouble with it. Two of the Belgian d'Anver bantams don't have pasty butts, only the third. But none of them have really grasped that water comes out of the tub, not the bottle. They just keep pecking at the side of the bottle instead of dipping their beaks in it. At first, I thought that they just didn't understand how to use something they'd never seen before, but every time I check in on them I dip their beaks in it or scoot them closer to the water so that they can't peck the sides. They do pick it up at first! They're fine for a few sips and then one of them will peck at the side again and then they're all doing it! I've tried raising up the bedding around the waterer with no luck. I thought that it was just too high for them to reach in, but that hasn't helped either. Then, for eating, they just haven't quite got that food is food instead of newspaper. They'll peck at their bedding and at the walls of the brooder, but not so much in their actual feeder... Every now and then one will figure it out and then they'll all do it, but not as often as I'd expect. They're all pooping, so they're getting something to eat and drink! And I've checked the poop chart and they're poop looks perfectly normal. It has a green-ish yellow tint to it and is usually a little string of poo surrounded by some liquid. Every now and then it's foamy, but that seems to fall under a normal range, too!
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have cleaned a pastey butt under a little stream of warmish tap water. Just hold the chick, laying on its back in your palm and hold it gently, letting the water trickle over the butt. It will soften up and be easy to remove the gunk with your other hand. Then blot dry with a paper towel and put her back under the heat lamp.

    You are you using wood shavings for bedding, right? That stays dryer and cleaner than newspaper.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Also check your temperature and make sure you have no drafts. Pasty butt can be affected by these things. Make sure they don't fall asleep and drown if you give them a bath. (They like baths.)

  5. Chickens in the Grove

    Chickens in the Grove In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2010
    Quote:They're in our pantry (which is really our pre-pantry because there's nothing but a mini-fridge in it) and it has this closet door kind of thing on it where it isn't a solid door, it has slats. So, we were worried that they were getting too much of a draft since our house is really drafty. So, we put a space heater on top of the mini fridge and spent a day lightly adjusting the temperature until they seemed happy with it. When they sleep, they curl up next to each other under the heat lamp and, when they're up and about, they're all over the place. I'm a little worried that it's sucking the humidity out of the room, though. I know too humid is a bad thing, but can too dry be a problem, too? Any amount of moisture dries almost instantly. At first I thought that that was a good thing, but now I'm a little worried that it's part of the problem.
  6. chick4chix

    chick4chix Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal
    I had one chick paste up the day after they arrived (3 days old as well) and I used warm running water from the tap (I tested the temp on my wrist first just like when you're testing for a baby) held her in one hand and let the water run over her butt. I then used a little dove bath soap with my other hand into a lather and made sure there was no poop left- which was very stiff and hard to remove but with gentle coaxing and lots of water - it came clean.
    I then dabbed her rear end with a clean paper towel and dried her with the hair dryer (held as far away as I could hold it so as not to burn)- and since I was holding her in my opposite hand as the hair dryer, I could feel the temp of the air. I put her back in the brooder and kept an eye on her and she never got it again. She made a lot of peeping noises during all of this- but was no worse for the wear afterwards- it took only a few minutes total.

    Good luck with your chicks
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    So, let me see if I have this right. You have a heat lamp and a space heater? Do you have a thermometer so you can monitor the temperature? The humidity could be too low and that might be contributing to the problem. If you're worried about drafts, you can just fashion a sort of windblock at floor level out of cardboard. I taped brown paper bags around the outside of the birdcage I used as a makeshift brooder last spring when I raised chicks artificially.

    Young chicks do take a while to get the hang of what's food and what's not. The mother hen would teach the chicks what to eat by pecking herself (they copy her). So you can do the same for your chicks by putting some chick food on a paper plate and "peck" at it with your finger. It may take a few times of leading by example before the chicks catch on, but you're right...if one does something, the others will quickly copy.

    What kind of waterer do you use? If it's a clear bottle, you might try switching to an opaque one. Usually chick waterers come with a red base because chicks are attracted to that color.

  8. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    When mine were tiny, a few pasted up the first week or so. Fortunately, I'd read all about it in a book (long before I discovered this site!). But that didn't help me panicking and thinking I was going to kill them with wet warm paper towels and q-tips and whatnot. Plus, these things didn't really work for me.

    Eventually, I just closed my eyes and plunged a tiny butt into a big bowl of warm water. Ignored the indignant peeping. Soaked. Wiped. All clean! Repeated every day as necessary. My very first "I can't believe I'm doing this" moment in this weird journey of mine.

    The only one traumatized was my young daughter. "Mooooommmm! That's MY cereal bowl!"

    You don't want to know what other uses I've had for kitchen items over the years...[​IMG]
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You know, we all do the best we can for our chicks. If that is what you have, the only place you have, to brood your chicks, then try putting the windblock as someone suggested. And wipe wipe wipe. Bathe bathe bathe. I had a persistent pasty butt for 3 weeks on two of my chicks (out of 50 at that time).

    Do you know the temperature chart for chicks (just a guideline- some say they find the chicks running from the light)?

    1st week of life: they need 90-95 degrees (and the ability to get away from the heat)
    6th:70 until fully feathered.

    A lot of chicks want to be cooler than this and will go to the other side of the brooder away from the light. They can die if overheated.

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