Hello. I'm with the hens everyday and all of a sudden today I noticed their vent area looks matted and dark. The one pictured is the worst case. The other two don't look nearly as bad but it is still noticeable. Any ideas? I have the vet coming out on Friday but I'm a little nervous what will happen between now and then since it came on so quick...
Tonight when they all go to roost, go inside the coop and remove the hen to do an inspection with a headlamp or flashlight. In summer when flies are out, there can be maggot larvae that can be deposited on poopy vents, injuries, or a prolapse. That is flystrike and deadly. More than likely, it is just a soiled vent, but check it out soon. If she is soiled just stand her in a pail of warm soapy water, and rub it off.
I haven’t check them for mites. They looked fine yesterday. Can mites take over that quick?
Our hens are not very friendly. I’m not sure why because we’ve had them since they were chicks and were always nice...until they grew up. I’m going to go down now and check...gloves on.
My vet said she thought from the picture it was a soiled vent as well. The only thing I recently gave them was some baby spinach but I read that’s fine to do in small amounts. Not sure why they would be having a digestive problem.
A lot of hens can get soiled vents if they have a runny dropping, such as if they have drunk a lot of water in hot weather, or eaten something that caused it. Once there, it may collect more. Some stay clean, and a lot depends on the hen. You can remove any solids, trim excess feathers, and if needed, clean it off with soap and water.