Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pasty Bums (and it's not mine!)

I'm not feeling particularily well today so I'm taking it easy with the farm chores. I did notice this morning that our new chicks had some pasty bums, and of course that needed to be taken care of right away.

If you are not familiar with Pasting ,or sometimes called Sticky Bottom, it is something that happens to new chicks that are under stress, have improper temperature, food or water. Their poop can harden when stuck to their butts closing off the vent and then they can not longer eliminate. If they can't poop they will die, hence the need to clean them right away. The pasty butt also entices the other chicks to peck at them and you really don't want that to happen either.

The video below shows you how to clean their little bums with warm water. Depending on how hard the poop is, it may take a few minutes before it is soft enough to remove. Obviously with chicks that are only a few days old you have to be extremely gentle.

I don't get grossed out with poop so I did this with bare hands (mind you I did wash VERY well afterwards!), but if you have a problem with poop you may want to wear some surgical gloves.

Posted on Homestead Barn Hop #17


Jody said...

Thanks for posting this. I had no idea this could happen. When it happens to us now we'll know what to do.

Marissa said...

I've read that if you wash the pastiness off, it has a higher chance of reoccuring since you probably won't get it totally clean. Instead, some recommend to pull it off dry - meaning you yank the nearby fuzz/feathers out with it, thus leaving an area that is free and clear for future poop to go through.

I've only had a few pasty butts in my chicken rearing career. Of those, a couple were easy to just pull off as I must have caught it really early and it wasn't stuck in the fuzz yet. And others were so stuck on, I was sure I would rip skin off if I really tried to pull it. So of course, those got washed! I never have had reoccurrence, so I can't say which way is better, but I certainly wouldn't pull it off if it doesn't come easily!

Carpe Diem said...

Hi Marissa, Thanks for the comment. I have not heard of pastiness reocurring. I guess I had better keep on eye on the little ones.

Mama Hen said...

I have had this problem with a few of my little chicks throughout the years. Not fun to clean up, but the little ones (and the eggs) are worth it!

Annie said...

We have had chicks with pasty butt too. I always soak the chick in an ice cream bucket with warm (not too warm) water for a minute or two.

I cant imagine pulling the poop off a dry butt, the poor chick. Maybe it dfoesn't hurt them as I am imagining.

We found that if you clean them really good for a couple of days, it seems to get rid of it for good.

Marissa said...

Yeah, pulling stuck on poop didn't seem worth it to me to save a few additional washing. Maybe it's for big producers that don't have the time to soak each bum. But the one that I caught super early had not really attached on and those came off with no skin/fuzz/feather pulling. Still, I was worried to hurt the little guys!