Chickens Feces Stained Their Vent Feathers. If your chickens’ feces stained their vents and feathers, this is known as a pasty vent or gleet vent.
Chickens Feces Stained Their Vent Feathers / What is the Pasty Butt?
- A pasty vent, or “pasting up,” “pasty butt, is a stress-induced condition in which droppings dry and cake up around the vent of young baby chicks. It is most dangerous when it completely blocks their vent opening because the chick will be unable to pass any more droppings. A baby chick will typically die within two days of onset of a blocked vent, so you must quickly remedy it.
How can you Diagnose this Disease?
A pasty vent is easy to diagnose. The dried poo will be stuck to the outside of their rear, totally or partially covering their vent.
If you have ordered your chicks to be sent by mail or you have bought from a feed store, you need to check each one of them as soon as you receive them. As you are putting them into your brooder box is an excellent opportunity.
If you have hatched in an incubator, check each chick as you transfer it from incubator to brooder box.
In either case, the signs are the same. Hold the chick between your thumb and first or second finger. Turn it over and look at its behind. If it has a pasty butt, you will spot it straight away, a matted lump of usually dark brown stools attached to its backside.
You need to check your chicks regularly. Pasty butt is most common in the first week or two of a chick’s life as it becomes used to its surroundings and food.
Some Symptoms you might see in Affected Chicks are:
- Lethargy: chicks will be weaker than the other chickens. They are unable to walk, and they will find a separate place.
- The chicks will show no growth because they are off fed. When they become off feed, then they are unable to grow. If they grow slowly, then it’s mean they are off fed a little bit.
- They are not drinking water or any kind of liquid. They become dehydrated due to this kind of situation because they will not drink the water, and water and electrolyte become deficient.
- They will weak and tired, because they are not able to sleep because of this disease. If they do not sleep a well then they will in quite a lot of discomfort.
- Their vent will be protruding.
Locating the Vent:
Don’t mistake the navel/dried umbilical cord of a new chick for a pasted vent! The vent is beneath the tail; the naval is further down toward the legs/belly.
Caution Butt / Not Navel
If you remove the scab over an open navel, it will nearly always result in a dead chick, and the poor thing will die very painfully.
So before removing anything, be sure you are targeting pasting, not a healing navel.
Causes of Pasty Butt:
- Stress and being cold, most commonly seen in chicks, shipped through the mail.
- Over-heating, most often due to heat lamps
- Less common causes include viral or bacterial infections and improper diet, all of which can result in diarrhea. All newly acquired chicks should be checked immediately upon arrival home. Those with pasted vents should be treated and monitored closely after that for recurrence.
How can you Treat this Disease?
You need to carefully remove the hardened poop with as little damage to the chick’s down as possible. Being too rough can pull out the down, making the chick chill very quickly, and cold can kill them.
Here is a step by Step by Step Guide to Treatment – Not complicated!
You should wear disposable gloves for this both to make sure you don’t transmit any bacteria to the chick and to make sure the chick doesn’t give you any! If you haven’t got disposable gloves to hand, just make sure you wash your hand thoroughly before and after.
What kind of Supplies You Need?
- The chick
- Some disposable gloves
- Warm, running water
- Some cotton wool or cotton buds (Cotton Swabs)
- Some Vaseline on standby
10 Steps for Pasty Butt Treatment
- Hold the chick between your thumb and forefinger with its butt pointing outwards.
- The chick will not like this who would? Ignore the cheeping. She doesn’t understand it’s for her good.
- Run the chick’s butt under lukewarm water. The water should not be cold. You should make sure that the stream isn’t too fast.
- At the same time, very gently wipe the poop with a cotton wool piece or a cotton swab.
- This makes it takes some time if the poop is very hard. Work as quickly as you can, but don’t be tempted to pull. You will pull the downy feathers away, which will hurt and run the risk that she will chill. A pasted butt, once cleaned, will show a nice, pick vent.
- Once all the poop is gone, wrap the chick in a towel to dry off the worst of the water.
- Now put your hairdryer on a slow setting and warm –not hot. Use it to dry wherever the chick has got wet, in particular its butt. The babe needs to fluff up again before you put her back into the brooder.
- Using a hairdryer, I have found very useful in hiding the redness of the backside from other chicks. Red attracts pecking, and if the chick is left with a large red area exposed, chances are she will be bitten. All fluffed up with a blow-dry and ready to go back into the brooder.
- If pasty butt happens regularly and the area looks very sore, gently putting some petroleum jelly on the field can help. You should not use olive or vegetable oil when some people recommend it as it can turn rancid in the heat of a brooder.
- If several chicks have a pasty butt, or if one chick gets it regularly, check out why it happens and take steps to prevent it. It should stop by the time the chicks are a week old.
How Can you Prevent your Backyard Chicken from Pasty Butt?
The good news is that to do this is very simple: you will wet a cloth or paper towel using warm water. Use the warm water on the paper towel to soak the dried droppings. Gently wipe away any feces from the vent. If it is specially dried on, wet the area thoroughly and wait a couple of minutes. This will soften the manure and make it easy to remove. You can also use warm running water just to soak the manure and then work it out of the fluff with your fingers. Keep your chicks warm while you are in the process; they will chill quickly.
Also, do not just pull off the dried manure.
You can cause injury to this delicate area by pulling the fluff and feathers off of the skin and may cause infection. Usually, pasty butt will disappear in a few days as the chick starts to grow.
Tips to Prevent Pasty Butt
There are steps to take that will help prevent pasty butt. However, regular checking for the problem will always be suggested. Here are some tips on prevention:
- Brooder temperature:
Newly hatched chicks can become chilled or too hot very quickly, and both can kill. For the first-week post-hatch, your brooder box needs to be maintained at around 89 – 95 degrees F, 32-35 degrees C.
- Learn to spot chilling or overheating:
You don’t necessarily need a thermometer to tell whether your brooder is too hot or too cold. Your chicks will show it to you. Having a reliable heat lamp to maintain the right temperature is one of the most critical issues for keeping new girls healthy. Without it, they can very quickly become chilled and die.
Because the fluffy down a chick hatches with can’t protect them against cold. Only when they are feathered, at about eleven weeks, will they be able to maintain the temperature.
- Use a good quality heat source:
You can use Brinsea heat lamps, which provide radiant heat. They provide just enough warmth for chicks without ever running the risk of burning them or their brooder box.
- Avoid stressful situation:
If you have bought day-old chicks, either from a store or by mail, get them into a nice warm brooder as soon as you receive them and make sure your delivery service knows not to leave them standing in a depot.
- Give them enough space:
You will be amazed at how quickly chicks grow. For the first week in the brooder box, each chick will need about half a square foot of space. The chicks’ behavior is your best indicator of whether they have enough.
- Food and water:
Make sure your chicks have access to clean, fresh water. Don’t be tempted to feed them any grain at such an early stage except for a good quality chick starter.
If and when you do start to give your chicks treats, make sure they have some grit. Chicks don’t have teeth. They need the grit to help them grind up any food other than chick feed.
- For baby chicks, grit can be as pure as sand, a clump of weeds with soil still attached, or a fine grit from the feed store. Don’t mix it in with their food, provide it in a separate dish the chicks will instinctively take what they need.
- Don’t mix this up with an oyster shell for chickens who’ve started to lay only. Giving it to young chicks will damage their kidneys.
- Hard-boiled egg:
If pasty butt continues, try giving your chicks a little hard-boiled egg, well mashed up, making sure they also have access to grit. But remember that above all, you need to identify what’s causing the pasty butt in the first place.
What is Vent Gleet?
Vent gleet(cloacitis) occurs when a chicken’s cloaca becomes inflamed.
- The most apparent symptom you will see is a yellow-white discharge from the vent area, which sticks to the feathers on the rear end.
- Your birds may also have a bloated abdomen and gassiness, feathers that appear less shiny than usual, and if a female, a decrease in her general egg-laying frequency. The vent area may also appear red and inflamed and smelly.
- In case of late-stage or advance vent gleet, your bird’s abdomen may be firm to the touch, their vent may be very swollen, and their droppings could even contain blood.
How can I Prevent Vent Gleet in My Flock?
There are the following measures; you should adopt while preventing the vent gleet:
- Hold off on the treats: treats are usually higher in carbohydrates and lacking the complete nutrition that chickens need for total health. So hold off on the treats.
- Ensure your feed is correct for the bird’s age: depending on the maturity of the bird, they may need a starter, developer, or layer feed. The starter feed should continue until 10-12 weeks of age, then move on to developer feed until around 20 weeks, followed by layer feed for laying-age hens and older.
- Supplement water with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial products.
- Give your flock probiotics every week.
What Causes Vent Gleet?
- PH imbalance: The cloaca is the last few inches of your chicken’s digestive and reproductive tract. If your chicken’s body is too acidic or alkaline, it can make them more susceptible to vent gleet.
- Fungal, bacterial infections, stress or hormones, and protozoa or other parasites.
What is the Treatment of Vent Gleet?
- Quarantine the affected birds: separate the affected birds from affected birds.
- Offer fresh water daily, using a supplement and probiotic during the entire treatment period.
- Provide both sizes of grit at all times in cage cups or mixed in with their feed.
- Clean the vent area daily with warm water and a mild detergent.
- Use an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream on the vent area after washing the bird each day.
- Trim vent feathers carefully, making sure you don’t trim too close to the skin, injuring the bird.
Chicken / Poultry Breeder Associations
|US Poultry & Egg Association||United States||USPA|
|American Poultry Association||California||APA|
|Ohio Poultry Association||Ohio||OPA|
|National Chicken Council||United States||NCC|
|British Poultry Council||United Kingdom||BPCE|
|Poultry Club of Great Britain||United Kingdom||PCGB|
|Association of Poultry Breeders in EU||Europe||AVEC|
|Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc||Australia||ACMF|
|Australian Poultry Hub||Australia||Poultry Hub|