TMI-Chicken Health

I have been raising chickens for about twelve years now and I am never bored. Tired yes, but never bored. I have read about many things and experienced some of what I've read.  About two months ago when I got home from work I went to close the chickens in for the night, when I opened the door and was surprised by a Great Horned Owl eating one of my chickens. Now that was something I had never read about. About two days later I lost every chicken to what I don't know. A coyote or raccoon I think. However, I would like to tell you about some of the knowledge I read about but up until now, I had no use for. Two days ago I bought eleven three day old chicks from my local feed store in order to replace the ones from the massacre. I brought them home and put them in the brooder. Two days later I noticed two of them started pasting up.  Pasting up is when the poop starts sticking to their tail feathers and eventually dries and covers up their vent. Left untreated they would die.   I am sure many of you that are trying to live the homesteader life while doing real life can attest to, you just didn't have it in your plan today to soak poop off of a chicken's butt, neither did I. It needed to be done anyway.

The 1st large piece of poop is off!
She is warm and resting.

 I got a plastic shoe box and a brooding light to keep the chick warm when I needed to set her down so that I could warm up the rag I was using to soften up the poop. The reason it is so necessary to soften the poop before trying to pick it off is because a baby chicks skin is so thin and fragile you could end up tearing it. She didn't seem to mind at all once I got her in the warm very wet rag. I then wrapped her and the rag in a towel so that I could stay dry. I just held her and about every fifteen minutes I warmed up the rag and while I had her unwrapped I tried to gently remove the now softened poop a little at a time. One hour later she is clean and ready to dry off and return to her flock in the brooder. I have been able to watch part of a movie in Spanish (I'm learning Spanish and you never waste time if you can help it) while snuggling a baby chick. I will keep an eye on her for a few more days in order to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The vent is open but the feathers
are still dirty.
All clean and ready to dry.

Falling asleep again while drying off.


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