First health problem with a hen... Need some advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenmomma16, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Songster

    Jul 16, 2012
    Buckley, Washington
    I'm not going to spare any details with this one so make sure you lunch is already eaten.

    With that said, the last few days when ever I go out to visit the girls I noticed a foul odor. I worked in a vet hospital for 5 years so I know the smell of pus. I did my head count, and observed everyone and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
    Today when I went out right before I steped up into the coop (I get a view from below) I noticed one of the hens had an unusually dirty behind and the smell was even stronger when she met me at the door. On further inspection her vent is poopy, and pus is oozing out of it, creamy yellow in color.

    I just started my light timer about a week ago and the girls just started laying. Could this be an egg laying problem or...???

    The hen is 6years old and an austrlorp x leghorn. Her energy level is good, she was eating and drinking when I checked on everyone. Her comb is bright red and warm, a little brighter red then the rest of the girls but not noticable at first glance.

    I will add photos in a few minutes, I'm having trouble getting them on my computer...

  2. Possibly vent gleet. That's where I would start. I am pretty sure there are some good threads addressing the issue on BYC.
  3. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Songster

    Jul 16, 2012
    Buckley, Washington
    Here is the best pic I could get of her backside.


    Her poop looks normal (yes I followed her 'till she pooped, and then the turkey stepped in it :he )
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
  5. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Songster

    Jul 16, 2012
    Buckley, Washington
    Do you think the outcome for a 6 year old hen will be good? I was about to cull a couple hens that have stopped laying. Has anyone had a hen bounce back from this and continue laying with out complications? I do not want to put her through a bunch of treatment only to have her reproductive organs permanently scared.
    I wonder what could have caused this?

  6. Suzierd

    Suzierd Crowing

    Aug 8, 2011
    Nustock works well on vent fleet.
  7. lily12

    lily12 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2013
    Heres some info on vent gleet i found on another post when i was looking for cures for my chicken who also has it.

    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? yup yup!


    SOAK, Wash and Dietary Changes....
    ACV, YOGURT, EPSOM SALT, WHEAT GERM & Simple Mash DIET! details below..

    Remember isolate infected bird from flock to prevent spread of any secondary infections and also because the red/bloody vent will attract the other hens to peck the area.

    IF MORE THAN ONE BIRD IS INFECTED in the FLOCK have the droppings examined microscopically to help identify the type of cloacal infection (bacteria, parasite, fungus or yeast) by your Vet!


    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. I used a little DAWN dish detergent because that "NASTY BUTT" can get like cement!


    Natural Apple Cider Vinegar prevents yeast growth. Add 1.5 Tablespoons to 2 C. Water & repeat daily.


    Natural pro-biotic of plain yogurt with live cultures. The infected hen should get a few tablespoons of yogurt a day until you see a good improvement. Another pro-biotic is acidophilus capsules found at the drug store. Open the capsule and pour the powder onto the feed once a day. I get mine at CVS for $5.
    I mixed 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!


    1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1 ounce of water ONLY one TIME TREATMENT!
    Offer 1 of two ways (depending on your experience)

    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. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral, a combination of magnesium and sulfate.
    2.) Isolate the hen in a holding cage and offer the epsom water in a coop cup. DO NOT give any other fluids until she drinks this dry.
    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.

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

    You should see an improvement after 2-3 days and she should be able to join the rest of the flock after 7days.

    If necessary you can spray to her vent with antiseptic, or I use Vetericyn "blue gel" spray.

    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 a bird or birds is a useful part of the investigation of a problem and may also be a part of routine disease control, e.g. annual health checks and examination of new birds entering a collection.

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

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by