Pasty butt when under a hen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by catchthewind, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    One of our hens surprised us with 14 chicks a couple of weeks ago. They are now over 2 weeks old and most of them are doing great. We are keeping them with their mama inside the coop in a large dog kennel, with water and chick starter. The kennel bottom has sand in it. This is how we've always done chicks and it usually works well. Anyway, now that they're a bit older we let them out of the kennel to run around with the other hens. They can access the big chicken's feed but it's 16% grower so no extra calcium. Today when I was checking on them, I noticed one of the chicks is quite a bit smaller than the others and was just sitting in one spot not really moving. When I picked her up to check on her, realized she had a lot of poop around her vent. I cleaned her up and put her back with the mama, and will continue to check on her, but is there anything else I can do for her? When I put her back she was walking around a little bit, but definitely something is off about her compared to the others. Is it just a matter of her needing to poop now and then she'll likely be okay? What would cause pasty butt under a mama hen, I thought the hens were supposed to clean them up? (We've never had it happen before.) Mama hen is a very new mama, and also still very young herself (6-7 months), so maybe inexperience combined with so many chicks?

    Thanks!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Jan 10, 2013
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    I thought pasty butt to be a sign of stress, and is more common than I had expected in hatchery chickens. I have no experience with natural hen mothering:

    But would make sure the chick is drinking. And offer it "private" hand feeding. Consider electrolytes in water.

    Hope its nothing serious and just the runt of the hatch. But I do think pasty butt at 2 weeks is unusual?
     
  3. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    Thanks sunflour, I had thought it was unusual too! I hope you're right and she's just a runt. Her feathers don't seem to be growing in as quickly as the others either. I could be completely wrong about it being pasty butt, as I've never experienced it before since we let our hens raise all our chicks, but it definitely fit everything I read about how it looked. I've checked her this morning and she is still not as active as the rest, but she's definitely pooped since I leaned her up (her vent is clear now though), so hopefully that's a good sign. I'll get some electrolytes for their water and maybe try hand feeding her some scrambled eggs as well as their crumble and hopefully she pulls through.
     

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