Question about chickies


11 Years
Feb 28, 2011
Hello all.
My chickies are just under a week old. They have poopie on their behinds. Can I put them in the laundry tub and clean them a little? Not sure if this is good for them at young age.
This is called "pasty butt" (technical veterinary term) and is very common in young chicks. What I found works the best is to have a little dish of comfortably warm water, place them in the water and hold them with one hand just so that is covers the poopy area, and gently clean it away with your fingers - it can be very dry and hard and will actually block the vent so that they can't poop, which can kill them. So it's importatnt to do this. They may resist a little at first, but mine quickly calmed and almost seemed to like it. Don't try to pull it off, you can tear that fragile skin very easily. Some people say to wipe it away with a damp cloth or paper towel but this seems to take forever. Just be sure they have their heat lamp and are plenty warm after being in the water. They'll get over this in a few days - it may be due to stress or dehydration from shipping - I've never seen it in hen-raised chicks, interestingly.
I've heard that it is good to mix a little plain yogurt in with their crumbles once. It provides beneficial bacteria that will jump-start the chick's intestinal tract. Chicks are born without these bacteria. Those raised by their mother get it from pecking at her poop.
Thanks for the replies. I have two chickies with this. It is not pasty/white. It is just poop. I had one in the laundry tub with a little dish of warm water that I held her behind in it. She was pooping so it wasn't plugged. Anyway, I was able to soften it and it dissolved a bit and I was able to wipe it off. Now the second one. Nostalchick..I had the same experience. She seemed to love it after a few moments. The water was nice and warm and I was holding her.
Thanks everyone.
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The pasty in pasty butt does not mean pasty white. It is usually black. Consider it pasty as in dried paste/glue.

We have different remedies or cures. I think giving them coarse sand as grit helps. But what I really think solves the problem more than any of our remedies is they get a little older. It can be a fatal condition if it plugs their vent, so it does need to be addressed.

As old as yours are, they are probably out of major danger from this, but cleaning them off won't hurt anything. Just use warm, not hot, water and get them back in the brooder where they can dry off without getting a chill.

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