Whats Happening to my Chicks??????? HELP

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KalikoFarms, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. KalikoFarms

    KalikoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    We recently purchased 6 Gold Laced Orpingtons from Rare Bird Auctions and they have decided to get a case of crusty butt. I have for the past three days cleaning and checking on these little guys and each day I have lost a chick. They will be eating, playing finally pooping normal and then one will just stand there and I will find it dead in a hour or so. Any idea whats going on? PLEASE ANYONE.
  2. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I wish I could help but I have no idea what could be happening. If you're cleaning them up and removing the crusting it would appear there's something else going on. Can you provide more info as to their living conditions, what you're feeding, anything else that's going on?
  3. brendapa

    brendapa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2010
    Chester County, PA
    I have had pasty butt, it's a PIA and best avoided. In extreme cases it binds the birds butt's and they can no longer eliminate.
    The butts need to be kept clean so they can poop.
    To stop pasty butt, lower the temp of the brooder. Keep the chicks cooler. Raise the heat bulb or change to a 125 red light bulb, 45 watt or 25 watt.
    They do better when they snuggle together to keep warm with a lower wattage light/heat source.
    Feed them 25% oatmeal mixed in with the chick starter with yogurt. The yogurt should be just enough to moisten and should still have a crumbely texture.
    Pasty butt should disapear within the day and not come back.
    Good luck.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds like what is called pasty butt here. It is usually felt to be due to constipation. I see you are cleaning it -- I don't mean to be ugly at all, but I wonder if you are cleaning often enough -- you must keep them unblocked or the blockage can kill them. (If you work, for example, that's a lot of hours untended if they have pasty butt.) Apply anything greasy after cleaning to discourage the next poop from sticking -- cooking oil, Vaseline, Neosporin, etc. Add just a little molasses to the water, to make it look like a weak tea, to deal with the constipation. It may have to do with eating too many pine shavings, or being a little too warm which will cause dehydration.

    A search on here for pasty butt should produce a lot of threads.
  5. KalikoFarms

    KalikoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks to all of the replies. Yes, I do clean their butts at least every 30 mins or so. I am going to get some yogurt (MISP)and oatmill to try this. They have been on medicated chick starter. I think I might have the light to low so I am going to raise it up and I have put neosporine on them so we will see.
    As for their living conditions, they are in what used to be a indoor rabbit/guinea pig cage. Its really big with a solid bottom and plenty of air can get through. I keep the shavings (pine) clean and have their water up off of the bottom so that they dont get it so dirty.
    I guess all I can do now is just hope and pray. I thought at first it could be from the breeding. They are from the Powell line of Golden Laced Brahmas, I know I said orpingtons, but I was wrong. They are Brahmas. Not meaning that there is anything wrong with the breeding. Its just that sometimes when the breeding is so new......well anyway. Thats probably not it. I dont think that happens in chickens like it does in poodles anyway. Just venting everybody. I wanted these little cutties for so long and now that I have them I cant seem to keep them.
    Thanks again everyone
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    Well, I would tend to disagree with the others... if you are indeed cleaning their butts every 30 minutes or so, and you are actually cleaning everything off, I don't see how it could be the pasting that is killing them... [​IMG] I have never in my life cleaned chick butts that often, and never had a pasting related death. I have, however, had a couple of chicks die in the first few days from viruses, the strain of hatch or transportation, or who knows what. But another thing that could help save you time and tears with the pasty butts is to use something like tiny craft or toiletry scissors to snip away some of the fuzz around the vent--I find it helps keep the rear clear. I hope you find out the cause, or at least that the mortalities stop soon... Good luck. [​IMG]
  7. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I've had chicks with pasty butt and only cleaned them once a day and that was only for about the first week.
  8. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    I assuming they are under 6 weeks? You have only 3 chicks left?

    Stress? Are they in a quiet room? Could it be too drafty with the caged top?
    Heat? Is it bang on or slightly cooler (as suggested)?
    Water/food? Bleach out their water and food dishes and rinse very well. Is their feed fresh?
    Brooder? Is it possible they are eating the shavings?

    They may have been sick when you bought them.
  9. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    pasty butt,,,, brooders to hot...........
  10. fezlet

    fezlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2011
    I'm new to chickens and found out VERY fast how much can happen to them.

    When I started, I had mine in a dog kennel crate with open sides. This was a no-no. Too many drafts were hitting them because I didn't cover the sides and this led my silkie to become ill. Her immune system dropped and I believe she developed cocci and soon she passed away. Then my BO started to become ill and came VERY close to death. I received some sound advice from a BYCer to block the drafts entering their enclosure. It helped tremendously with my BO but he was still having an issue with pasty butt. I cleaned off the area maybe twice and snipped the feathers there and gave him regular dosings of plain, organic yogurt. After that he was on his way to recovery [​IMG]

    Best of luck with your babies. I would suggest putting some cardboard around the bottom to block drafts and getting them some yogurt and see how they do. Also check for losing weight and the content in their poo. I'm sure you would've said before if it was bloody or not, but I made the mistake of being less than completely observant when I started out.

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