Chickens, Getting Started with Chicks, Keeping Chickens

Speaking of Chick Poop!

If you’re going to bring home baby chicks, you need to know about “Pasty Butt”. Just like human babies, you need to keep the little chick babies’ bottoms clean. If the poop dries on the chick’s bottom, it can block things up, which a little chick can die from. So you need to check their little fluffy bottoms daily, especially when they are tiny. When you find one with Pasty Butt (because you will), you’ll need to wash it VERY gently. It is important to use warm water, like you would for a baby bath, and not to pull any down out. If you pull down out, it can cause bleeding. Also the chick needs her down to stay warm. Some people use cotton swabs. The method which works best for me is to hold the chick with one hand, and create a little baby bottom bidet out of my other hand by cupping it under the chick, with a trickle of warm water running into it. If you keep the chick warm, she may actually relax or even take a nap. It will take a few minutes of soaking for the poop to loosen. You can use a little mild soap to help loosen it, but be very gentle! You will be amazed how tiny and fragile a little chick with a wet bottom seems. If you are grossed out by touching chicken poop, nitrile or latex exam gloves are fine. After you have shampooed the poop out, gently dry the chick with a paper towel or cloth. You’ll need to use a blow dryer, on low, to dry the chick’s down until she is fluffy again before you put her back. Keep the chick against you, and shield her with your hand as you blow her dry, so that you can feel the temperature and air pressure. Be careful not to blow her little wings the wrong way.

Giving this Pasty Butt baby a little bottom bath. She was super relaxed and happy!

Some people put a bit of Vaseline on the chick’s vent afterwards. I’ve never needed to, but if the vent seems irritated, or if the “Pasty Butt” persists, a little Vaseline can’t hurt. It’s also a good idea to have some Vetericyn (animal-safe wound care) on hand, to use for any abrasion, or any other injuries. If Pasty Butt persists, adding some corn meal, or mashed hard boiled egg, to their feed, can help. Also, try providing some chick grit. And finally, make sure that the temperature is neither too cold nor too hot in their brooder. Temperature is so important for these tiny babies!

Ok, that’s all I have to say about baby chick poop for now. I don’t think I’ve ever written the word “poop” so many times at once! 😂

#urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #cooptofork #chickens #eggs #coop #farmlife #coopdreams #coopgoals #prettyeggs #chicks #chickpoop #pastybutt

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