Strange 'dag' thing in bottoms of my chicks??!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jade75, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. jade75

    jade75 New Egg

    Sep 11, 2013
    Hi, I have 4 french wheaton maran chicks hatched from my incubator, and they are so cute and fluffy, yellow bodies with slight brown wing-tips. But,, they all have this brown poopy-looking lumps hanging off their butts! I tried to wipe it, thinking it was poop, but all 4 have it, and it isn't wipe-able or able to pull off; it almost looks like hardened balls of poop, but they are firmer and won't really come off and i don't want to hurt the chicks if they are part of their development. I didn't have this with my polish hatched chicks last year either. Other than that they are sweet and healthy. Any ideas? Thx, Jade
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds like they have what is called "pasty butt," which is indeed dried poop, actually quite common. It is basically constipation.

    The main thing is to keep the vent itself open. The danger is when the plug prevents their pooping, which can actually be lethal. And the main thing for that is to keep them hydrated and not too hot. Very young chicks often foul their water quickly, so it may need some attention. Put it up on a brick or similar if you can. For not too hot, it's a good thing for them to be able to move away from their heat source to wherever they are comfortable. If you have some, a little organic ACV (apple cider vinegar) in the water does seem to help.

    Also, for those you have cleaned, put a little lubricant around their vent to discourage future poops from sticking. You can use Vaseline, veggie oil, Crisco, even Neosporin -- whatever you have. I found it easiest to clean them by holding their back end under a slow stream of running warm water. It takes a few minutes. If I didn't get every fleck off every feather tip, frankly, I didn't worry about it. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the skin doesn't have any open cuts or abrasions.

    Once you get them cooled off and well hydrated, it should take care of itself after a few days.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Make sure it's not their umbilical spot before you wipe too hard.
  4. jade75

    jade75 New Egg

    Sep 11, 2013
    thanks for your advice! I worked it off them gently and they came off with a little pulling at the end, like a band-aid, poor things. There are no abrasions or anything, but I put some vaseline on anyway; they had been pooping without issues prior to this, but it may have become worse had I not known to do this, so thankyou!
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Check them all at least 1 to 2 x/day for a while. I've also heard that the addition of grit and a bit of greens to their diet will help to regulate their bowels.

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