Treating Pasty Butt
Updated: Jul 27
It’s baby chick season! I can already almost hear the sweet little peeps when walking into our local farm supply store. And honestly? Is there anything cuter than a little chick’s poofy bottom? There is almost nothing better for me.
Baby chicks are so fluffy, cute, and did I mention adorable? Better yet, they grow into big and beautiful chickens that will provide our family with eggs for years. But, in order to get them to the laying stage, we have to make it through the first week of their life and of course, their awkward teenage weeks. They grow so fast! But in the first few weeks, baby chicks are very fragile and require a little extra care.
Today, I’ll get right to the point. We are going to talk about how to treat pasty butt in chicks. Pasty butt can be fatal if not dealt with quickly. Pasty butt is when the baby chick’s poop gets stuck to them and covers their vent. The vent is the only way for poop to leave their body, so if it gets clogged or blocked, the chick can get sick and die within hours.
I check our chicks multiple times a day the first few days. If I notice any poop starting to build up, I gently wipe it away with a warm cloth. You have to be so careful while doing this. Again, baby chicks are fragile, and you could tear their skin or their vent if you’re not gentle.
If you pick up a chick and you find they have pasty butt, don’t panic! It’s easily treatable and normally the chick will be just fine. Below are the steps I take in order to treat pasty butt.
As you can see this chick has pasty butt
Steps to Treat Pasty Butt
1. Soak the vent area. I do this by either warming a wet rag or cotton ball and holding it on the crusty poop. If it’s a larger spot of poop, I will even dip their little bum in a bowl of warm water. If you choose to do this, please take careful care to make sure the chick stays warm. Baby chicks can’t regulate their body temp and will need to get back into the brooder asap to get under the heat. A wet chick can lose heat very quickly.
She actually thoroughly enjoyed this step!
The snuggles at the end are the best!
2. After the poop is soft, carefully wipe it off. If it’s not coming off easily, you need to soak it more. Chicks’ skin is very tender and can tear easily. You don’t want to do this step aggressively. You could harm the chick or cause damage to their vent.
3. After the poop is off and their vent is clean and clear, dry the chick as best as possible and place it back in the brooder. If you have a chick that is prone to pasty butt, you can place a small amount of a gentle oil on their vent area to prevent poop from sticking. However, I don’t normally have to do this.
4. Make sure you’re feeding your chicks Chick E-lixir™ from the Baby Chick Care Kit. I’ve noticed this makes a huge difference in the chicks’ poop. It has vitamins, electrolytes and organic oregano essential oil to get their digestive systems off to a great start! Honestly? Once I get them started on these products, I rarely have any chicks with pasty butt issues.
After their first week of life the chances of pasty butt go down with each passing day. But I still like to check them over really well for the first 2 weeks to ensure they are all getting off to the best start possible! If you’re getting chicks this spring, the Baby Chick Care Kit is a must have! Buy now on Amazon or Chewy!
Happy almost spring!
Until next time,
The Wing Lady