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Poopy-Butt Syndrome in Chicks

This is a question and answer from our Poultry Help Line Message Board - 05 September 2003

QUESTION:
Help!!!! Please tell me how to fix what may be wrong with my chicks, their parents wouldn't set a nest, so I incubated 4 eggs and got 2 chicks.   Now they are 3 days old and their bottoms stay covered in poo and I have to wash their hinies, two or three times a day.   What have I done wrong or how do I help them. They are in a plastic storage bin with shaving and paper towels lots of food and water. 
 

ANSWER:
This is often called "pasted vent".  We used to have the problem a lot with newborn chicks.  They will die if you don't keep it cleaned off.   Just grab the dried poop and pull it off without wetting it.   Surrounding feathers will come with it lessening the likelihood of it building up again.  You have to be kinda careful that you don't pull part of their butt with it, though.  You may have to do this a few times, but it will clear up by itself as their systems get accustomed to eating, drinking and venting on a regular basis.

You can usually prevent this by giving newborn hatched chicks water 24 hours before offering feed. I seems to clean out their systems and prevent the problem.
 

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