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