Poop stuck to 1 week old chicks- What do I do???


7 Years
Nov 11, 2012
Fayetteville, NC
I'm sorry I know this is gross, but I'm worried about 2 of my 6 chicks. I believe they are a week old today (they arrived on Thursday). They have been doing fine, but I noticed earlier 2 of my chicks somehow managed to get their ecrement caked onto their tail ends. I tried to wipe it off with warm water and a baby wipe and seemed to have gotten most off. I checked back on them a few hours later and it is WAY worse! I've tried to get it off and it won't come off. Should I just leave it (it seems like the longer it goes the more is there)? They're so little I didn't know if I should try to bathe them or soak them? Can I use any kind of soap? Should I attempt to just cut it out. I've even tried to like pull and break it apart, but it's not budging and the chick just yelps. This is our first time raising chicks so I am pretty clueless.
Thank you!!!


7 Years
Sep 7, 2012
I had the same problem with one of my chicks this spring. She somehow always managed to smear poop into her fluffy bottom feathers. Once a little got stuck, it just piled on. I tried leaving it but other chicks would pick at it and she would also try to pull at it. A few feathers got pulled out and the poop ball just held on to what feathers were left and kept increasing in size. I finally decide to clean her up. I filled a shallow container with warm water and placed her bottom end in the warm water for 30 sec - 1 minute. The warm water loosen the poop so I was able to gently wipe it away. If you have a large accumulation you may need several dips in the water to get it all off.

My chick did not like the water and squirmed a bit when her bottom touched the water. I just kept a firm but gentle grip and she settled down. I did my best to dry her feathers after the poop was removed but she still spun circles trying to see the moist feathers. I am sure it felt weird to her. It dried fairly quickly and she looked much better. Both she and the other chicks no longer pecked at her bottom. I had to repeat the process a few more times but then it cleared up on its own within a week. I don't know what caused it or if mine was the proper method but it seemed to work. I hope this helps.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 23, 2012
Bend, OR
Welcome to byc!
So now, it is very important to get it off and keep it off, because they can get backed up from the vent being covered and die from that. Don't worry though, because after another week or so they will learn how to poop right and it won't happen anymore. I actually trimmed the butt fur off a couple of my chicks that got pasty butt and it really helped. Be carful with scissors tho around the little chickies


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 30, 2012
East Texas
Pasty butt usually appears in the first couple of weeks. You have to get it off and keep checking for it. Otherwise the vent will get clogged and the chick will die.
I grind up oatmeal, the regular old fashion oats, and add it to their feed. This helps keep pasty butt from happening. I keep a tub of it ground up. I raise chicks year round and see this problem all the time.
If you have one that is already full of it, get a small bowl of warm water and paper towel. Keep dabbing at it untill it comes off. Sometimes you have to stick the chicks butt in the water. It won't like it but you have to get it off.


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
I gave my chicks some ACV in their drink water and I haven't had pasty butt since. And I've never had such happy, healthy chicks! You can apply some vaseline or olive oil to their bums to help prevent a come back if they already got it. And try the ACV, it really works! I mixed 4-5 table spoons with a gallon water and gave some to all my chickens.
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