We loved getting our mail-ordered Jærhøns so much that we ordered some more.  Our first batch was from a school that had a government supported program to maintain a breeding stock of Jærhøns, being the only national breed of chicken and all.  This time we thought we'd give one of the little guys our money.  The small suppliers buy the eggs from the actual school that we got our first batch and hatched them themselves, but shipped at a cheaper price.  They had all these warnings on their website about shady chicken sellers and all these endorsements by different Joes.  No harm in trying right? This time the shipment arrived to schedule.  Opening the box the chicks looked a little frazzled so we didn't waste time in getting them home. We had a nice cozy brooder waiting for them but as we took them out one by one we noticed that the chicks were a lot smaller than our first batch - maybe they were from smaller eggs?  At the bottom was a little wet fella.  He couldn't sit straight up and his feathers were all gluey.  Then I noticed its butt.  I flipped it over and saw a pasty goop stuck to its butt. Being new at this, we had a mad dash to the computer  - hopefully google could tell us what was wrong.  Yep, sticky-butt.  There are a number of causes but we doubt that it was from the transport.  The chicks in general didn't seem very healthy. We moved the chickens inside so we could monitor them closely.  Every two hours I had to search for new sticky-butts and wash them off with cotton wool and water.  Sticky-butt forms a plug over the butt-hole and stops the chicken from pooping.  This clogs it up and makes it dehydrate and sweat.  It looses balance and keeps falling onto its back.  When it can't stand, the others trample it and then it is a slow death. I was cleaning butts all day and all night, every two hours for two days, we only lost two, but I couldn't stay awake any longer and had to go to bed.  The next morning we lost six.  (Why did I have to sleep?)  But we lost no more after that. I was angry at the suppliers but like every company they tried to blame us.  What ever the one thing you don't do, they say is the cause.  We use a different chicken feed to the suppliers and that's what they said it was (funny how the chicks were already dying before they even ate our feed).  We didn't want to fight it because we were just too sad.  But we saved most, so we look to the future now.  RIP little chicky-babes.  

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