JaredandLauren

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
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32
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I have a hen who is raising four chicks. They are a little over a week old and from what I could tell, at least a couple have some dried poop on their bums. I got ahold of one of the chicks to take a closer look and it seemed like the vent was clear but the area around had poop. When I hand raised chicks in the past this was easy to take care of, but since one of my hens is raising this group of chicks it’s harder to get to the chicks. She goes crazy if I come near her chicks let alone pick them up. I’ve been told that a mother hen will take care of the dried poo issue herself, but I’m not sure about this. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions here ?
 

MarkJr

Change in America begins at the dinner table
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
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Elkton, OR
Wait until full dark and use a red light to work with while pulling them out of the nest.
Wipe them up, put them back.

Only way I’ve been able to work with small chicks.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,021
2,437
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Portland OR
I don't think the hen will take care of the pasty butt, so I would opt for cleaning them up.

Wait until it's dark out then fish out the chicks in question. Now- if she's going to stomp around and put the chicks at risk like an idiot- stop immediately- it's not worth injuring babies.

If I'm very concerned about the chick(s) in question, and the hen acts like a loon even on the nest at night, I still wait until it's dark. I slide my hand under the hen along the breastbone - don't squeeze or lift at the wings - there are likely babies under those wings. I lift straight up about 6-8" - you may have to prepare to take control of her legs.

Make sure you can see all the babies before you lift her the rest of the way- don't want anyone going PLOOOPPPP down to the ground. Then hen goes in a smaller crate for a few minutes out of hearing range of the kids.

If I have had to remove the hen entirely, I pick EVERY chick up and give them a close look- may as well at that point - leaving the 'problems' for last.

Returning her to the nest is also something of an art, depending on the hen. Before I release the hen from the crate, I move all the babies out of the way on one side of their nesting area (so she doesn't run to them and step on someone in her anxious frame of mind).
 

JaredandLauren

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
65
32
44
It’s snowing all day today and 3 degrees tonight , should i wait until next week when it’s in the 60s to do this so I’m not freezing the chicks with wiping their behinds and getting them wet in freezing temps?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,021
2,437
357
Portland OR
It’s snowing all day today and 3 degrees tonight , should i wait until next week when it’s in the 60s to do this so I’m not freezing the chicks with wiping their behinds and getting them wet in freezing temps?
You may also try using small curved scissors if you have enough room (ie if attached by just the fluff and you can snip it off carefully). I wouldn't wait another week and risk these becoming blockages, especially with freezing temperatures helping more poop stick onto the existing pieces.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-4-Orange-Curved-Scissors-1-Each/34932916

If that won't work...


Bring the chick inside for this... Have the following things ready: 1. get the water flowing so it will run warm for you to rinse the chick butt so it's ready to go right away, 2. dry high-quality toilet paper, 3. dry washcloth, 4. hair blow dryer

Once the piece is removed, use the high quality toilet paper to get as much moisture off the chick as possible. Toilet paper works really well for this, much better than towels or washcloths, and is gentler on their skin.

Once the chick is as dry as possible using toilet paper, wrap the chick loosely in the dry washcloth and use the blow dryer on its lowest setting (use you wrist to check for how hot that is and adjust accordingly before using it on the chick) and blow-dry the chick until it's back to fluffy.

Note:

Chicks take this treatment a lot better if they have somewhere to hide their heads- especially ones who are broody raised and not used to being handled.

I use a long sleeve shirt for the entire process.

When I go to wash the chick's butt, I pick them up like you would pick up your computer mouse. The head faces your wrist/sleeve opening, the butt is by your fingers. Pick it up with your non-dominant hand, leaving your other hand free to do the work.

Let the chick tuck its head into the sleeve of your long sleeved shirt. They are MUCH calmer that way and generally speaking, only their butt gets wet, cutting drying time considerably.

The drying process (especially blow drying) can be done the same way - or on the counter loosely covered with a dry washcloth to mimic being under the hen.

Keep the chick (now dry) chick protected with the dry washcloth when you take it back outside to tuck under momma hen.
 

JaredandLauren

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
65
32
44
You may also try using small curved scissors if you have enough room (ie if attached by just the fluff and you can snip it off carefully). I wouldn't wait another week and risk these becoming blockages, especially with freezing temperatures helping more poop stick onto the existing pieces.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-4-Orange-Curved-Scissors-1-Each/34932916

If that won't work...


Bring the chick inside for this... Have the following things ready: 1. get the water flowing so it will run warm for you to rinse the chick butt so it's ready to go right away, 2. dry high-quality toilet paper, 3. dry washcloth, 4. hair blow dryer

Once the piece is removed, use the high quality toilet paper to get as much moisture off the chick as possible. Toilet paper works really well for this, much better than towels or washcloths, and is gentler on their skin.

Once the chick is as dry as possible using toilet paper, wrap the chick loosely in the dry washcloth and use the blow dryer on its lowest setting (use you wrist to check for how hot that is and adjust accordingly before using it on the chick) and blow-dry the chick until it's back to fluffy.

Note:

Chicks take this treatment a lot better if they have somewhere to hide their heads- especially ones who are broody raised and not used to being handled.

I use a long sleeve shirt for the entire process.

When I go to wash the chick's butt, I pick them up like you would pick up your computer mouse. The head faces your wrist/sleeve opening, the butt is by your fingers. Pick it up with your non-dominant hand, leaving your other hand free to do the work.

Let the chick tuck its head into the sleeve of your long sleeved shirt. They are MUCH calmer that way and generally speaking, only their butt gets wet, cutting drying time considerably.

The drying process (especially blow drying) can be done the same way - or on the counter loosely covered with a dry washcloth to mimic being under the hen.

Keep the chick (now dry) chick protected with the dry washcloth when you take it back outside to tuck under momma hen.
Thank you !
 

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