I've read everywhere on cures and causes of pasty butt in young brooder chicks... I've tried every one of the suggested ways to cure it.. with no relief being 100% and permanent.
This is how I clean up pasty butt..
Put the chick's rear under warm running water.. that loosens up the chunks and comes off totally clean and pain free. The warm water stimulates them to poop after they are back in the brooder.
Then I go out to the yard and dig up a tiny clump of grass with roots and soil, put it in with the chicks and watch them go after it to a varying degree.. Some go crazy, some just pick.. but the next day, it's all gone and so is the dirty bottoms!
I've done this 3 times now, with 3 different hatches.. from 3 day olds to 3 weeks old.. with mild to severe cases all 100% cured. I've seen the chicks fill their crops with nothing but dirt, which scared me to death.. but even the ones that were weak and wobbly have completely come out of it... and I have no more dirty bottoms to clean.
I do not leave a huge amount of dirt in there on a constant basis, but one meal of natural roots and dirt has done the trick... when nothing else would.
Think about it.. How many times have you seen chicks outside with their moms that had pasty butt? I believe it is another one of those problems caused by too much human intervention trying to recreate natural conditions.. which is impossible.
I'm sure some won't agree with me.. and some will think I'm crazy.. LOL I hope this helps someone else, cause pasty butt can be deadly real fast.
Well... that's a good question 4paws... The first time I gave it to them, it was not intended to cure anything.. I was fostering 2 wild turkey babiez and gave them some.. (they had no symptoms) and just thought the little bit left would entertain the chicks.. I figured they would eat the tender grass, not the dirt! Within two days.. all the pasty butt was gone.. I had been washing one of them every day! Figured he just grew out of it..
Second time, it was just a trial.. several ended up with pasty.. and I had one that was sickly for some unknown reason.. a few days later and the symptoms were gone.
This third time.. The chicks only just started to have "clingons" LOL Not really pasty yet.. Only one chick had full blown symptoms.. one day with a clump of root dirt.. no evidence at all... now I can't tell which one it was that was so weak it could barely stand up..
That's the entire story.. So now, in a very small amount, I plan to make it available to all my chicks...early on.
Thank you Claire.. but I kept thinking why does everyone warn against too much grit for chicks? What keeps the outside ones from getting too much grit??? The moms don't!!
i've never had the problem either but I let the chicks outside in a sheltered area from the first week on to pick at teh grass weather permitting. Though i was doing it to save myself from cleaning so much poo out of the boxes they stayed in at night never thought I might be saving myself more trouble than just that. I love watching them find bugs for the first time.. or figure out that dirt turns to dust & flies when you roll & scratch in it. So mostly i put then out in the pen for selfish reasons, nice to know it turned out good for them in ways i never imagined. :)
I never heard the warning...where did you hear it? It's not in any of my books. The primary warning I've read/heard is not to give them adult chicken feed, which I don't, because of course their little beakie-weakies can't handle the size of it. But still, a very creative and easy solution. Kudos to you!
There was a lot of discussion on BYC.. I believe the idea is that they will fill up on it and not get the needed nutrition from their feed. It just never was one of those things I could agree with..
This is for chicks that were hatched inside, and in a hatcher.. They never touched the grass.. LOL Only ate the dirt off the roots.. I'm talking about chicks that are less than a week old... (the last group)
I believe the warning for to much grit is probably that they may eat more grit than feed causing malnutrition.
Brooder chicks would be more susceptible to eating too much than free range.
In a brooder there would only be 2 choices the grit and their feed where as free range there is a endless variety to choose from.
I personally do not use grit as with feeding only chick crumbles they don't need the grit.
Chicks need grit if they are given scratch or any grains or seeds.
I wouldn't recommend giving grass from your yard unless you know for certain it is chemical free.
Most people have lawns where they put fertilizer or other chemicals like things for insect control some with residual effects.
We saw here how deadly fertilizer can be when someones chickens died from eating it.
There could also be animal feces in it if you have cats or dogs.
I'm not saying zz is wrong i'm just cautioning to be careful where you get your grass from.
Heres a site that says you can cure it with oatmeal for those that can't use the grass method