Vent Gleet aka Nasty Chicken Butt

Vent Gleet is a chronic disease of the cloaca, also called the "vent" ,"butt", or as my 5 year old sons suggests "The Tweeter".
By Sally Sunshine · Dec 27, 2012 · Updated Mar 11, 2017 · ·
  1. Sally Sunshine
    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.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    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...

    Feed this ORALLY with a syringe 1.)
    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.

    Isolate the hen and offer the epsom water. 2.)
    give any other fluids until she drinks this dry!DO NOT

    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.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Perris
    "Clear and informative article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Mar 30, 2019
    This article gives a clear description and photos of the condition, and how to treat it.
  2. cluckmecoop7
    "good article"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 12, 2019
    This was a great article! Thanks for sharing!
  3. DobieLover
    "Good article"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Nov 1, 2018
    I like the lay out and the photos. Well, I don't actually like all the photos, eew, but you know what i mean!
    I would only add that in addition to the daily soaks and cleaning, that should be followed up with an antifungal ointment to speed recovery.
    I haven't researched this but would converting the chickens diet over to fermented also be a preventive method?
    The article is sound advice. Thank you for sharing it.


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  1. lhamid
    I had a hen with BAD vent gleet. I used Monistat (I bought drugstore brand Miconizole). Get the one for 7 day treatment with 7 disposable applicators (not suppositories). Fill applicator about 1/2 full. Gently ease into vent (eggs come out of there so the applicator isn't a problem). Inject the cream. Best to do this in the AM before giving food and wait a bit to feed so she doesn't poop out the meds. Repeat for 7 days. DON'T USE ANTIBIOTICS, they will kill all the good bacteria you're trying to introduce. Keep the bird isolated for the entire 7 days. (My hen was pretty mad about this but she made a full recovery)
      LukePalmer likes this.
  2. tjo804
    I really hate to bother you @Sally Sunshine , but would you be willing to look at this post and see what you think? I will answer any additional questions.

    She has been on a regular bath schedule for 4 years now. If I missed an illness I will be horrified, but want her to feel and look clean.

    Thank you,
    And if you do not have time I understand.
  3. lovechickens23
    Hi can u help me my hen has vent gleet ppl told me its fat tissue cuz they did do atospy on a hen I had long time ago. It was a goat vet. I have no chicken vet her butt is swllon bad .
  4. remisophy
    My chicken is lethargic her abdomen is hard her vent is protruding I gave her a Tums last night so during the bath for 30 minutes and she is the same way today what do I do? I also use KY Jelly around the vent and in the vent could barely get my finger up in the vent
  5. Mysterious
    Wish i had known this earlier, my little bantam cochin chick died from the same thing.
  6. audy5000g
  7. shanezoobuild
  8. Sally Sunshine
    ;) glad the info is still helping!
  9. chicksurreal
    Thanks very much for this article. My SLW has a bad case of vent gleet and a prolapse right now and I'm going to treat the vent gleet with your suggestions.
  10. lhamid
    Sally, a while back you gave me permission to post a link to your article on vent gleeet on my web page. SO GLAD I DID. One of my favorite hens had a messy butt and some scabbing bleeding around her vent. I cleaned her up and used Vetericyn and she seemed okay. Then I noticed it again and red light went on - VENT GLEET! I gave her Epsom salt bath, now she is isolated with ACV water, and mash mixed with yogurt (she is devouring it). I gave her some of the whey off the top of the yogurt (syringed into her beak) which she seemed to like. Thanks again for your great article
  11. frillydishes
    Thanks!! Great info!
  12. grumpma1
    Thanks for the info. I have cleaned her up and giving her hard boiled eggs and yogurt. It has been 2 days and I think she has gotten stronger. I have noticed her poop seemed more solid but has green stuff in it. I will try to get ebson salt in her. Glad you said to keep her away from her sisters, I was thinking of putting her back to see if she is happier.
  13. kimi
    I took in some very anti-social chickens that I am sure have vent gleet & quite possibly worms. My instinct is to make a pumpkin/live culture yogurt mixture with added acidophilus. Day 1, feed mixture, days 2,3& 4 yogurt/acidoph only, day 5 mixture with acv in water daily. Thoughts?
  14. Dott2424
    Thanks great info
  15. TinaM13
    Thank you for this! I'm hoping I'm not too late for helping my Daisy girl. She has seemed to be looking worse the last couple days and I've brought her in the house tonight, trimmed back some her dirty butt feathers and will bathe her tomorrow as it's night time now and a little cool. I wasn't really sure what was wrong with her till I found this article. Great info!
    What kind of bedding do you use while she is in isolation. I brought in some straw, but that seems a bit rough for right now, so I laid out some towels for her to lay on.
  16. gander007
    This was very useful thank you ...
  17. judyki2004
    Great Advice! I think this is what my hen Ginahave! I been treating her with ACV & Antibiotics, now I know what else to do!
  18. Nutcase
    Great Info!
  19. jstlitlome
    My hen has had a runny stool for several days but is otherwise good. I'm following your regimen. She is bathed in an epsom bath and is now in a dog kennel in my garage with some flax seed, layer feed and yogurt with a little epsom water to wash it down. THANK YOU! This was very helpful.
  20. PandoraChick
    Funny, I googled "nasty chicken butt" and was brought right here...Thank you so much! I never in a gazillion years thought I'd have my finger(gloved, thank you!) up a chickens butt, but there was something NASTY hanging half out...poor girl. I did the first few steps thanks to common sense, but now know to use the raw avc and probios. Will also be giving her some epsom salt water tomorrow!
  21. Melabella
    Thank you for another wonderful article Sally Sunshine!
  22. Kernel Cluck
    Really well written article... thanks
  23. Minniechickmama
    Thank you , and I LOVE the pictures ;)
    The Tweeter! LOL! I will have to use that one with my daughter, she will get a kick out of it.
  24. earlybird10842
    Wow, thanks! Is it possible that birds die from this??
  25. ChickensAreSweet
    Thanks for the article!
  26. Teena Marie
    Good to know. Thanks for sharing!
  27. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations! Your article is now featured on the homepage carousel! Thanks for submitting it to our BYC Article Writing Contest.
  28. wahmommy
    Thanks Sally - really appreciate this, going to see if it helps my hen :)
  29. Sally Sunshine
    oh wonderful!
  30. bmcdugle
    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.
  31. roostersandhens
    thanks i think my like 3 of my hens might have that. hope not though.
  32. canesisters
    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.
  33. seminolewind
    Wow! I never knew anything about vent gleet!
  34. Sally Sunshine
    Thanks everyone, just hoping it helps so ya all dont need to go through the frustrations n stress like I did!!
  35. sumi
    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.
  36. countrygirl74
    Great article! Detailed and informative - I hope to never come across this but if I do, I'll know what to do!
  37. Brechin
    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. :)
  38. cluck-cluck
    That was great Sally, now I know of another disease that I might run across. This website is so helpful!
  39. Brookhavens
    Eggcellent article!!!
  40. NewToFarming
    Great article Sally!
  41. Chickenfan4life
    Thanks to your article, I finally found out what our black silkie rooster had. Now I know how to treat it! Thanks, Sally!
  42. cluckcluckgirl
    Great advice!
  43. willowbranchfarm
    Great information.

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