Unexplained Loss of Baby Chicks, Explained

Fecal Impaction

One Common Cause of Death, and Why

At one time or another it’s inevitable you’ll lose one or more of your new baby chicks. Mail order chicks, or chicks kept in stressful conditions are most at risk. We usually blame it one one thing or another, but the most common reason is often overlooked… and can be avoided.

Once dehydration is ruled out, and the chick showed no other signs of trouble before it died, the problem is often caused by pasting up, which is just a fancy name for a poopy bum.

This is simply a condition where the baby chick’s poop gets stuck on the downy feathers outside their vent and prevents them from pooping. It’s often a fatal condition, so it’s very important to check all the chickie bums for at least the first two weeks of life.

Tending to Pasting Up

If there’s fecal matter stuck to the chicks vent, use a warm wet cloth and soak it off. Sometimes if a chick has a chronic problem with pasting up it’s better to pull off the poop when it’s dry. This way it takes all the downy feathers with it, preventing another impaction.

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6 thoughts on “Unexplained Loss of Baby Chicks, Explained”

  1. We’ve found that our home-hatched chicks don’t get poop-butt. I think being chilled during shipping gets hatchery chicks off to a bad start. We also have learned the hard way to feed medicated at least for a few weeks, then switch to plain. People recommend all kinds of preventative things like probiotics, apple cider vinegar, etc. but nothing seems to do the trick like medicated feed.

  2. True and it does happen! ( I got a kick out of the video ad at the bottom of this post, it’s for chile ad roasted pulled chicken… uh, not after just reading about chicken butts thank you)

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