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Vent Gleet aka Nasty Chicken Butt

Vent Gleet

 "Nasty Chicken Butt"

The word “Gleet” derives from the Latin “glittus”meaning “Sticky” so “Vent Gleet” is “Sticky Vent”



Vent Gleet is a chronic disease of the cloaca, also called the "vent" ,"butt",

or as my 5 year old sons suggests "The Tweeter".  Vent Gleet is also referred to as an avian yeast infection, cloacitis, thrush, mycosis and fungal Infection.  Vent Gleet is mainly seen in laying hens and much less commonly in males. In waterfowl, it may be associated with lack of access to water in which to defecate while swimming.


Vent Gleet is not a contagious condition although secondary infections from Cloacitis CAN be contagious to other poultry, so its best to separate from the rest of the flock! 




   Vent Gleet is characterized by fouling of the feathers with poo, urates and exudate, (mucus) around the vent, and a sometimes an evil, nasty smelling discharge.  Initially swelling and reddening of the mucosa is seen, progressing to ulceration affecting the vent and continuing a short distance into the cloaca, this may be covered with a yellow diptheritic membrane, another words, the infection may also cause a red and/or swollen vent which may bleed. Scarring may result with associated reduction in the elasticity and diameter of the cloaca, which may lead to problems with egg laying and even, in extreme cases, defecation.  Other general signs of illness often include fluffed feathers, a hunched appearance, partially closed eyes, the head tucked under a wing, sitting or standing on the ground rather than roost.


Did you know that Birds will attempt to hide their illness? A survival tactic, as predators may be more likely to target an obviously

unfit individual.  A bird which appears bright and alert when being watched may become huddled and fluffed up when it thinks

it is unobserved, so observe wisely!




Below are pictures of my Blue Cochin Hen, Fluffy's Butt. As you can see it's pretty "Nasty"









Did you know that a healthy cloaca is responsible for the passing of a round, tight, well-formed dropping that is capped with a neat white urine (urates) topping? This type of dropping is a reliable sign of good health in chickens!




SOAK, Wash and Dietary Changes....

 ACV, YOGURT, EPSOM SALT, WHEAT GERM & Simple Mash DIET! details below..


ISOLATE infected bird to prevent spread of any secondary infections and

also to avoid other birds pecking at the red/bloody vent.


IF MORE THAN ONE BIRD IS INFECTED please have some feces examined by your Vet to identify the type of cloacal infection bacteria, parasite, fungus or yeast.




SOAK and Wash

Soak 15 to 20 minutes.... get a chair! 

Then wash vent feathers to remove any accumulated droppings around vent area EACH DAY using a disinfectant or EPSOM SALT.  DAWN dish detergent  can be used to cut through that cement! You can also clip feathers at the vent area.









Natural Apple Cider Vinegar prevents yeast growth.

Add 1.5 Tablespoons to 2 C. Water & repeat daily.

This is a treatment dose, NOT a normal daily dose to add to waterers. 

Remember this is very important to help that ph change, BUT ALSO NOTE if your hen is not drinking it to try adding it to something she likes,

or add some to the yogurt as listed below.  You will have to judge if your hen is drinking it or not, and not let her dehydrate, 

the yogurt treatment listed below is HIGHLY suggested and will also keep them from dehydration by offering several tablespoons of yogurt per day.


  CVS Probiotic Acidophilus Capsules



Natural pro-biotic of plain yogurt with live cultures.

Offer a few tablespoons of  yogurt a day until you see a improvement. 

Another pro-biotic is acidophilus capsules found at a drug store.

Open the capsule and pour the powder onto the feed once a day. I get mine at CVS for $5.


I mix the yogurt, 1/4 C. store bought Wheat Germ and 1/4 C. simple layer mash and repeated

these feedings 3x a day until improved!  Approx. 5-7 days.


Even if you see improvement I suggest keeping it up for the 7 day treatment and soaking schedule!








Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral, a combination of magnesium and sulfate.

Did you know that Epsom salt is also used internally, it detoxifies toxins if your chickens get into something toxic,

It acts as a laxative, so if your hen’s system needs flushing, or if her crop is impacted or the digestive process seems blocked,

this will gently move things along.  More advice see... Flushes for Toxin Removal


1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1 ounce of water ONLY one TIME TREATMENT!

Offer 1 of two ways (depending on your experience) see below...


1.) Feed this ORALLY with a syringe

DO NOT force down her throat and get it into her lungs,

work slowly drops at a time. 

A trick is to pull firmly down on her wattles to open her mouth you can

put it in her mouth and let go of the wattles and she will swallow on her own.




2.) Isolate the hen and offer the epsom water.

DO NOT give any other fluids until she drinks this dry!




After an Epsom SALT treatment she will be extremely thirsty so be sure to

keep water available!


Fluffy had clear liquid "diarrhea" the day of the Epsom, this is OK!




If necessary for a sore vent area, you can spray to her vent with antiseptic, or use Vetericyn "blue gel" spray.





 You should see an improvement after 2-3 days and she should be

able to join the rest of the flock after 7days. (2 treatments sessions may be necessary.) 





If left untreated it can cause problems to the reproductive tract, leaving scar tissue internally or around the vent causing deformity. If the reproductive tract is damaged the hen may become infertile and if scar tissue deforms the reproductive tracts or vent the hen may be unable to pass an egg. As a result of this the hen could develop peritonitis which is often fatal.




Other suggested methods of treatment include:

APRALAN (Apramycin Sulphate), Apralan is an antibiotic used for pigs, but very effective in poultry with this type of infection.

 It is POSSIBLE that antibiotics may be needed if it has caused a secondary infection!




Back with her bud! 



Physical examination of bird/s should be a part of routine disease control, monthly health checks and always quarantine/complete examination of new birds. 





Disclaimer: This is the advice I would recommend based on my experience and research, however you should always follow the advice from your vet. 





Sally Sunshine profile picture


Sally Sunshine



Comments (40)

Thanks to your article, I finally found out what our black silkie rooster had. Now I know how to treat it! Thanks, Sally!
Great article Sally!
Eggcellent article!!!
That was great Sally, now I know of another disease that I might run across. This website is so helpful!
Wonderful article Sally!! I am so glad you share all your experiences. I know exactly who to go to when something happen to my chickens or hatching eggs. :)
Great article! Detailed and informative - I hope to never come across this but if I do, I'll know what to do!
Wow, another great article from Sally Sunshine! Now we know what to look for and what to do. Thanks for sharing your experience and I'm glad your hen is better.
Thanks everyone, just hoping it helps so ya all dont need to go through the frustrations n stress like I did!!
Wow! I never knew anything about vent gleet!
A few days ago I noticed poo stuck to the fluffy feathers around my EE hen's rear. She's hard to catch so I let it go and came to BYC to see what I could find. And then I had one of thos 'DUH! Of course!' moments. I had been feeding my girls any and all leftovers that they seemed interested in. And some of it contained itmes that on some of the 'no-no' lists. Also, I had run out of ACV months ago so even though they had been raised with it in their water, it hadn't been there for a while. I went back out and got a better look and 4 of the 5 hens had wet, yucky bottoms. None of them seemed to have any swelling, red or irritated skin around their vents so I just trimmed them to remove the stuck on mess (instead of bathing) and started them back on ACV in their water. They're also going to get a little yogurt & acidphilus powder with some egg daily for the next week or so.
Thank you for this informative article.
thanks i think my like 3 of my hens might have that. hope not though.
Your article was so helpful--was so surprised that my Penney seemed to actually enjoy the soaking! Isolation seems hard on her, but she is getting better. Thanks for your help.
Thanks Sally - really appreciate this, going to see if it helps my hen :)
Congratulations! Your article is now featured on the homepage carousel! Thanks for submitting it to our BYC Article Writing Contest.
Good to know. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the article!
Wow, thanks! Is it possible that birds die from this??
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