Today was “poop day”. Chicks have a tendency to “paste up” when they are small. Just think about it: they hatch. They are picked up by weird human hands and put in a cardboard box (with holes of course). Then they are jostled about in the mail for a couple of days (usually 2). Then they are picked up at the post office by the ecstatic chicken purchaser (ME!). Transported (again) in a vehicle to a very large plastic tub with wonderful smelling pine shavings in the floor and a water dispenser. And a food dispenser. Yay! Chicks go through a lot before I get them to my home. That’s a bunch of stress. And these babies aren’t even 4 days old! So in response to all this stress, the chicks sometimes get a little poopy and their feces is not the right constancy and this can cause a poop build up on their little backsides. If this happens in the wild (or in the wild of my hen house) the chick momma takes care of that poopy backside. But when the chick momma is a big human person instead of a hen, well, somebody’s gotta take care of that poopy bottom. If that fanny goes unattended, poop can actually build way up and block the vent (which is a chicken name for the place where poo and eggs come out of). Left untreated, this problem, which on the surface just seems a little gross, can actually be fatal. Can you imagine dying from a poop clog? Yikes! Most of the time this obstruction can be prevented. I usually just have water available when they first come to their new home. After they’ve all had a good look around and lots of sips of water, then I introduce the food. That way all the little babies can have a very fluid gut environment to help move the new food along the digestive tract and hopefully not have any pasting problems. However, pasting up is easy to remedy if need be, and just takes a quick check.
So after about a week, we do “poop day”. Each chick is checked for a poop dam. A warm wet wash cloth to dampen and dislodge the dam is all one needs.
These sweet little babies are easily scared. Even my presence is disruptive. So I sit quietly on my observation crate for a time before I even touch one. Each chick is gently picked up and her backside is quickly examined. The third little girl I checked had a clog.
Before the removal. Eeeewwww. Poor thing.
After the removal. Wet, clean, butt. Happy chick. YAY!
It only took a few minutes before they were back to their normal activities: eating.
Looky there. Just like nothing has happened.
Well, kind of. I think some of the girls were a bit insulted.
Addendum: All little girls were happy and healthy this morning (Friday). Sometimes the de-pooping can be upsetting and it can take a couple of days for the babies to recuperate. But they seem unfazed this morning. Good.
Today’s count: 48 eggs, 2 gallons milk
Supper: Chicken burritos.
Weather: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce small hail, gusty winds, and frequent lightning. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Light north northeast wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%.