The Pampered Pullets Farm
Fall & Winter 2013
It is all too common for you chicks to get pasty butt, where their poop will dry on their butt and this can cause serious problems if it should block their vent. The poop can back up into their system and cause infections and even death. So it is very important to keep a watchful eye on all your chicks and take care of the problem immediately.
The easiest way to handle this is to hold the chick firmly in one hand and use your thumb nail against your first finger to pick it off. I know it sounds gross but you can wash your hands afterwards. Be careful when doing this as the vent area is very tender and sensitive in chickens. Just slowly pick away the dried poop until most of it is gone. You can then take a warm, wet washcloth, just above body temperature, and gently was the area. Then dry it’s little butt and put it back into the brooder to completely dry and warm back up. Be very careful that you don’t pull out the downy fluff when you are doing this. You could make the chick start to bleed and then you would have to put a bit of blood stop or other astringent on the area to stop the bleeding. If this should occur, then keep the chick separated from the others until it heals or the other chicks could start picking at it and could potentially kill it.
Once a chick learns to squat better, then the instances of pasty butt will go down.
Pasty Butt also happens with older chickens especially hens. This is usually caused by too much butt fluff around the vent, that is those fluffy feathers around it’s butt that make it look so big from the back. This is handled pretty much the same ways as in chicks. What we do is we will firmly hold the offending chicken in one hand with its head tucked under our arm. Then we will take a pair of sharp scissors and slowly cut away some of the crusty fluff from around the vent area. This is just to trim back some of the feathers so there is less chance of a repeat offense. Be very careful that you don’t cut too much of the feather away or it will cause bleeding. Don’t cut more than about half of the feather shaft. Once most of the poopy fluff is cut away then you can gently wash the vent area with warm water. Dry the area and do any final trimming of feathers if necessary.