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I have six 3-day old pullets. One of my barred plymouth rocks, Salty, has some inflammation and buildup on her rump. She's still pretty feisty and the other chicks aren't bothering her too much. I have held a warm, damp washcloth on her butt twice a day starting yesterday. I also dabbed some vegetable oil on her to keep feces from sticking too muck.
 

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Macie is going on 3 and she STILL gets pasty butt so I still have to trim back her hiney feathers. She's the only one that has this problem thankfully!
 

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7chicks said:
Macie is going on 3 and she STILL gets pasty butt so I still have to trim back her hiney feathers. She's the only one that has this problem thankfully!
7,
reading your posts is always enlightening. Sometimes intimidating! My girls ...and especially Rooster... are almost mature, and I have yet to give them a good inspection. They seem afraid of being touched. I grab one once in a while, but they carry on and give me that look until I let them rejoin their siblings. Mama Rosa has grown to trust me reasonably well. I can mess with her some, but cut fluffy butt feathers?! I can barely imagine how one might go about it!
 

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I have found that adult birds who get build up around their vents do so for several reasons:

1) Parasites. If you are seeing poopy butts in adults, the first thing to do is check for mites or lice.
2) A fungal infection commonly known as "vent gleet." This is really annoying and can be hard to treat. Sometimes a good dose of yogurt with probiotics will clear it up, adding apple cider vinegar and/or garlic to the chicken's water can help, or sometimes a topical application of an anti-fungal like those used for treating athlete's foot works. Very rarely a stubborn case will need to be treated with a copper solution that can be purchased from some of the poultry supply houses such as First State Vet Supply.
3) Certain feeds can cause this, and why, I am not sure. Sometimes just switching feeds can cause this to go away.

But I would suggest trying to determine the cause, and curing it, rather than just clipping feathers.
 

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I have 6 barred rock and 4 dark brahma babies and I have to check each of them twice a day. Today I've had to clean 4 of them. One was all plugged up even though I had checked then last night. They are just so fluffy it's sticking to them like crazy. It's worth it though. They are the cutest!!
 

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Gen, if you are dealing with it that often, you may want to ever so gently pull some of the fluff right out around their vents so there's nothing for the poo to stick to. I know, it seems cruel at first, but it will prevent the poo from sticking, and will make your life easier.

As well, a good friend just told me of a trick her mentor taught her, and I'll pass it along. Get some very fine sand, wash it thoroughly, and add it to the chick's food. Yep, that's right, sand. A little sand will apparently prevent pasty butt. This is from a man who has been raising chickens for more than 50 years my friend said, and she's been using it for about five years and it works really well. Just be sure to clean the sand before adding it to the feed. Add about ten percent, just a sprinkle, but it should make a difference!

Let me know how it works if you try it.
 

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Best way to work your chickens and do inspections is off the roost at night. Set yourself a table up outside your coop with a nice, bright light. Lay down a towel and go choose your bird. Most will cut a fuss about being handled and that's natural~you are not being mean, so just roll on.

If they flap and fuss too much, just hold them upside down for a bit until they calm down and stop flapping. Then lay them on their backs on that towel and drape the end of the towel over their face and upper body, keeping hold of their legs.

This will give you a chance to inspect butts, feet, feathers and such without all the fuss..it works better if you have two people, one to hold the body of the bird while you sift through feathers and look at skin, vent, etc. If you don't have that second person, you can swaddle the chicken and just inspect parts of her at a time.

If you have a hen that has a messy butt at certain times of the year it will usually resolve itself but if you have one that has one continually and her skin is inflamed, you have another issue altogether and are probably dealing with gleet. I've only seen it once in a bird that I brought from a very bad place of chicken husbandry...I culled her later. I don't keep birds prone to infection.

Most often chicks will have pasty butt from uneven brooder temps and not so much as what they are eating. I've never seen a chick raised by a broody have pasty butt and only seen it a few times on a few chicks in my orphan chicks, raised via heat lamp...and a quick adjustment of the heat made an immediate difference.

Too hot of a brooder can cause runny stool just like really hot temps in the summer can do the same...the hotter it is, the more they drink and the more they pee..causing their stool to be runnier and cake on the behind.

Using fermented feeds or mother vinegar with chicks really help with early digestion also and can help prevent coccidiosis as well.
 
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