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Silkie Chick Straining to Go Poo-Need Advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SarahDoodleDo, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. SarahDoodleDo

    SarahDoodleDo Hatching

    Sep 28, 2011

    I recently (4 days ago) got 5 babies, 3 silkies and 2 sizzles. They are approximately 4 1/2-5 1/2 weeks old. One of the silkies is having a problem defecating.

    After I got her, it appeared she had pasty butt. I did warm compresses to keep the vent area clean and dry. Yesterday, when she went poo, she appeared to be straining and squeaked a bit when she went. The feces was slightly large, brown, but otherwise normal looking. In the evening, I checked her vent and it looked as though she had loose stool around it. I have been keeping with the warm compresses since then.
    Today, when I came home from work, I noticed that she was laying in the corner with her wings slightly outstretched and was straining. She would close her eyes as she strained with makes me think she is slightly in pain or discomfort. [​IMG] Her vent area is a bit swollen and distended.

    They are eating medicated Purina Start & Grow feed. We also add AgriLabs "Vitamins & Electrolytes Plus" to their water. Both yesterday and today, I gave them some finely chopped hard boiled egg yolk with some plain yogurt and sprinkled some of the AgriLabs powder on for good measure.
    Since eating this second round of yolk/probiotics, she doesn't appear to be straining as bad or in as much pain. This is also after receiving several warm compresses and having 2 more large stools.
    They are on puppy pads, with aspen bedding substrate. They do not eat the substrate. Their temp is at about 85 under the lamp, but they have a cool area to go to if they get too hot.
    Other than this issue, her and all of the other chicks are active, have a good appetite, clear eyes, otherwise healthy.


    I read through the forums and saw many posts started on this subject, but not a lot of resolutions on what worked and didn't. I know that this can turn into a serious issue, but I want to try what I can at home before stressing her out and taking her to the vet.

    Any knowledge or advice you can impart would be great. I have had chickens before, but they were RIR and Aracauna. For some reason, those chicks seemed a bit heartier than these. If I am on the right track, I'd love to know that too.

    Thanks in advance for your help. It is much appreciated.

  2. try a warm bath instead of compress...

    I haven't had that problem, but it sure helped when my hen was egg bound and couldn't pass the egg or poo... So not sure it will work.. but worth a shot..
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  3. SarahDoodleDo

    SarahDoodleDo Hatching

    Sep 28, 2011
    Thanks! I will try that. I am willing to try anything at this point. I have never lost a chick before and certainly don't want to start!
  4. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. If you are sure there is no obstruction after the bath you could try a bit of molasses in her drinking water. I have read that it loosens up the stool.
  5. EMaker

    EMaker Chirping

    Aug 19, 2011
    The chick needs a laxative, right away. Molasses water is the most effective chicken laxative. Put one large drop of food-grade molasses into a tablespoon of warm water. The mixture should be a medium caramel color. Make the chick drink about 10 sips, about a dozen times throughout the day. This usually corrects the constipation and straing within four or five days. Only use warm water, even for regular drinking water, because cool water can worsen constipation in chicks. Obviously, keep the vent clear from pasted feces, so the chick isn't blocked. Do this by using a warm washcloth to clean her bottom. If her skin is irritated from washing, apply a drop of cooking oil to soothe the skin. (FYI molasses water works br drawing water to the bowels, thus eventually breaking up the blockage. Don't feed oil, it won;t have the same, quick effect as molasses water. ALSO, chickens can't digest dairy products, so yogurt won't help and may worsen the constipation.)
  6. SarahDoodleDo

    SarahDoodleDo Hatching

    Sep 28, 2011
    Thank you all for the quick recommendations. You wouldn't know it, but I am actually a vet tech. I am just more familiar with dog and cat issues than birds.
    I will definitely go get some molasses and try that.
    I will let you all know how she is doing tomorrow.
    Your advice is greatly appreciated!

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