Some help with a sore backside please.


9 Years
Dec 19, 2010
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all,

I am usually one to take the time to research this site for my answers before I ask a question. However I am leaving the house and am hoping that an expert can give me their thoughts so that I can pass any information onto my wife.

I got new chicks on the 17the of this month. This is their fifth day at our location and I believe they are seven days old. My issue is with the bottom most chick in the picture below. She is a Cochin bantam. when I received her I believed that she was failure to thrive and I actually think that she died for a while. She wouldn't take water, was panting and very lethargic and couldn't walk for a lot of the day. Finally I gave her a drop of water on the side of her beak with a medicine dropper. She gagged which I guess means she couldn't hand the drop of water. Anyway she went limp and unconscious and I truly believe she died. I kept tapping her hoping it would dislodge something and she would recover. Anyway after about five minutes of tapping a limp bird she gagged and woke up barely. Over the next few hours she got to where she could sit up without falling over, then she could stand a little, then walk etc. Now the chick I thought would surely die is walking around and seems fairly happy (running and curious) though it seems she still doesn't eat or drink like the others.

You can see her in this picture. She is way smaller than the others even the Brahma bantam right next to her. She is less than half the size of the others.

Hopefully the picture below shows my concern. Two days ago her vent was blocked. I softly dabbed tepid water on her till I got the obstruction off. It came off easily after the blockage was saturated. It mainly fell off on its own, I didn't have to try to pull it off. I don't know if you can see in the picture, right under the vent was a thing that sticks out of her back end though I don't know if it is coming out of her vent and it is stuck or if it is just baby fuzz that has been sort of cemented in that position. My concern is that maybe it is a small piece of pine shavings though I have never had that happen before with a chick.

This morning I thought she was blocked again but when I looked closer her vent was open. I did clean her up a bit though and notice that her backside is 'i think' bare and red because of the other chicks pecking at her back there. I have noticed they seem to be bugging her there.

She is generally doing well and acting like a normal healthy chick especially when compared to the first day. She is alert and active. Still, I know she isn't as strong as she should be and I worry about that. She shivers a lot when tired even though the temp is over 90 degrees.

So here are my questions....

1. Can you tell if it looks like something is stuck in her butt or is that just matted fuzz?
2. Should I separate her from the other chicks if they are nipping at her backside?
3. Is there anything I can do to make her butt feel better such as medicine etc?
4. Should I keep trying to keep her butt clean or am I causing problems by trying to help?
5. Am I worrying about nothing?

I am sure there were more questions I had but I have lost track of them. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I think I would try soaking her bum in a warm water & Epsom salt mix for 5 min. soaks a couple times a day, in addition to occasional rinsing in between soaks if you see buildup. If there's something embedded in her skin, I would think you'd be able to tell after a 5 min. soak followed by a rinse - that should loosen and remove surface sticky stuff, I hope. To keep her from chilling after the butt soak, I'd have a drying box ready - just a small cardboard box with an absorbent cloth in the bottom, wrapped around a heat pack, and put soft paper towels over the absorbent cloth, so you can remove them as they take on the majority of the dampness.

I'd keep her with maybe one other chick only, for company; maybe have the two inside a smaller container next to or within the larger brooder, so they have the same heat, etc.?

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