We haven’t had chickens for very long, but the first time we walked outside and found one of our precious baby chicks had died, we cried like a bunch of babies. I’m not even kidding. It was the smallest baby in the brooder box, and it was our only Cochin chicken that we owned. We were a little heartbroken to find that she had pasty butt. Our little sassy chickens needed us to do better, so I immediately turned to Google for answers on what to do when a baby chick gets pasty butt.
What Is Pasty Butt
Basically pasty butt is when a clump of poop sticks to a baby chick’s skin. If you see a clump of poop on your baby’s bottom, this is not good, and it needs to be cleaned off immediately. This clump of poop that is stuck to her rear end causes a blockage that will prevent her from being able to expel waste. The damage this can do to a baby chick even within an hour could be catastrophic, as we learned the hard way.
What Causes Pasty Butt
There are a number of things that can cause pasty butt on your baby chicks. It can happen if they get stressed. It can happen if they are too cold. It can happen if they are too hot. It can happen if they are dehydrated. If you add electrolytes to their water, it can also happen because they drink too much of that! It is best to make sure that you are keeping your temperatures correctly monitored in your brooder box in order to prevent this from happening. Their water should also be kept at the correct temperatures. Temperatures for baby chicks vary depending on their age and many feathers they have.
How to Prevent Pasty Butt on Your Baby Chicks
The best way to prevent this is to keep your brooder box and their water at the correct temperature. When you add a new baby chick to the brooder box, show them where the water is located by gently dipping the tip of their beak into the water. This will ensure that your baby chick not only knows where the water is, but she will be encouraged to drink. If everything is the right temperature, then you shouldn’t have many problems. You can also add a tiny amount of Apple Cider Vinegar to their water. Apple Cider Vinegar is very beneficial to a chicken’s health as it helps not only boost their immune systems, but it also aids in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. One last thing to make sure of is that you are feeding your baby chicks the correct food. A healthy chick starter is always best for chickens until they are about 18 weeks of age.
What to Do When a Baby Chick Gets Pasty Butt
The best way to get rid of pasty butt on your baby chick is to get a bowl of warm water and some cotton balls or paper towels. Dip the cotton balls or paper towels into the warm water and then get the poop very wet by placing it on your baby’s bottom. Continue getting the poop wet by dipping your cotton balls or paper towels into the warm water, and then holding it on your chicken’s booty for about a minute at a time. Once you have the poop thoroughly wet, you should be able to wipe the poop off pretty easily. Your baby chick may not like this very much, but trust me… IT HAS TO GET REMOVED. Try to avoid getting your baby chick any more wet than necessary as this could lead to her getting too cold.
Once you have removed the poop from your baby chick’s bottom, keep an eye on them closely. They will probably act lethargic because they are having problems from not being able to poop for a certain amount of time. Give them some Sav-A-Chick Probiotic Supplements. This will provide beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract to help the bird maintain a healthy digestive system. It will not hurt your other baby chicks to have this even if they are not suffering with pasty butt.
If it is the middle of summer and you feel like your chicks may be stressed out or overheated, I suggest you also give them the Sav-A-Chick Electrolytes which will support hydration and bird health during hot weather and other stress. Amazon also carries both of these products in an affordable bundle, and it is always great to keep these on hand at all times.
I felt like I was such a failure at being a chicken mama when I found our baby chick dead in the brooder box. There is nothing more traumatizing than finding one of your precious babies lying there lifeless. And I felt awful about the fact that I didn’t pay closer attention. But things happen and we just have to know better and do better next time, right? I hope this helps you know better and do better as well. Being a chicken mama or papa is not for the faint of heart.