When a chick defecates, the droppings may sometimes not fall off. Instead, they dry and form a heavy lump at the back of the chick. This can cause the chick to die if the vent gets completely blocked in a way that the chick cannot defecate. The weight of the crust can also cause a tear at the back end of the chick causing a would. The caking should be corrected as soon as it is noticed.
Caking of the vent, also called pasting, in chicks may occur due to
- irregular temperature
- change of diet
- improper bedding
- insufficient gut motility
The easiest way to stop caking of course would be to correct the items mentioned above.
as much as practical make sure the brooding temperature does not fluctuate too much.
Source you chick mash from the same reputable supplier always. When changing do so gradually.
The litter you use for chicks should be more flakes-like than dust. Use wood shavings (maranda) instead of sawdust. Sawdust is especially bad because the naive chicks eat it but they cannot digest it.
Encourage gut motility by adding a little Liquid Parafin in their drinking water every morning. The drop of paraffin should be added into the drinking trough AFTER inverting the drinker and not before. This is because if you add the oil before inverting the oil will rise to the top of the container once you put it the right way up. Most like the chicks don’t finish the water in the container and so do not get to drink the liquid paraffin.
Remedy to an already blocked vent.
If the vent is already blocked by the dried stuff, the chick may stop feeding due to constipation then die. You want to remedy this fast.
- Put some warm water in a piece of cloth or tissue
- careful dab the back of the chick with this warm giving it time to sock.
- Pickaway the dry stuff with your fingernails speck by speck, carefully taking care not to tear the soft tissue to the chick.