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Monday, March 28, 2011

Lucy-Poo: Chicks and Pasting Up

The subject of our post today is poop. Poo. Crap. Doo-doo. Dookie. Feces. More specifically, chick poo.

One of the worries chicken owners have when getting new little chicks is that they may paste up. In fact, it's something every chicken owner should check for every day on every single little chick that he or she has. Tiny chicks can get stressed out, especially after getting transported or having their housing changed. When they get stressed, they often hunker down, causing poo to get stuck to the feathers by their vent. The pasting refers to the thick poop that is being excreted. Pasting up refers to their vents getting essentially blocked by dried doo-doo, leaving new dookie without an exit.

Pasting up is not in and of itself too big of a deal. However, it can be fatal if left unchecked.  That's why it's essential to check each chick each day.Little Lucy (who is now being affectionately referred to as Lucy Poo) got pasted up on Friday. She did not exhibit any sort of lethargy or illness. We only noticed the pasting up by checking her little bottom.

So what to do if you have a chick who has pasted up? Well, wipe her little tush. We used a warm, wet paper cloth. We held it on the bottom of her bum until the poop loosened and easily came off. Lucy was not happy with this AT ALL. She peeped loudly, and when we put her down, she kept trying to scratch her raw little butt. She soon got over it though, and she still loves us. 

The good news is that this is a short-term worry. You won't have to wipe a large chicken's bum! Chicks grow incredibly fast, so the pasting-up concern need only be present the first few weeks of a chick's life.

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