Gleet? Ascites? Help! (Warning: Gross pics)

hems_and_hens

Chirping
Sep 28, 2020
30
78
59
Manitoba, Canada
Hi all! To start, a quick overview of our situation here:
  • 5 laying hens in total, no roosters
  • All 1 year old, got them all together when they were 4 months old
  • We saw symptoms of mycoplasma (MG) shortly after getting them - treated with Tylosin - have not seen symptoms since, and they are "normal"
  • They eat a locally-made layer ration and I try to limit treats to ~10% of diet
  • They forage in the bush on our property, free range, quite a lot, but they always have access to feed, water, calcium supplement, and a dust bathing area
Now the problem: One of my girls has had a bad case of poopy-butt for a month or two now. We gave her a warm bath 3 weeks ago to try to clean her off, and once she was wet, I was alarmed to realize there was an area near her vent which was swollen and missing feathers. The feathers that were left were very caked with poo. (We were also using the bathing opportunity to check for lice, as they had all been itching a bit more than normal, and we found what we think are lice eggs on some feather bases. Vet prescribed permethrin spray and we treated with that.)

It's been 3 weeks since discovering the swollen area, and she's been acting normally the whole time. She's been laying normal eggs, eating and drinking, walking normally, and I haven't seen any weird poos. The swollen area is her normal skin colour (not red). I wouldn't say it feels exceptionally hard or soft - somewhere in between. None of my other hens are experiencing these issues.

I am still relatively new to chicken ownership and am having trouble identifying whether this is vent gleet, ascites (water belly), or something else. I think it is more vent-located than ascites would be? But, would vent gleet cause the swelling? Below are some photos that show the swelling (taken 3 weeks ago while bathing) and the current poopy-butt situation (taken yesterday).

I'm willing to take her to the vet for sure, but I thought I'd check here first with the amazingly experienced BYC community. THANK YOU!


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hems_and_hens

Chirping
Sep 28, 2020
30
78
59
Manitoba, Canada
What ingredients are used in the Layer Ration?
I can contact the feed store to ask re: the ingredients, but it's 17% protein and 3.5% calcium. All hens are fed the same diet and only one has these issues.

They get treats every day and I try to limit to 10% of diet. They get mealworms, leftover veggies (mainly chard, spinach, cilantro), frozen berries or watermelon when it's hot, and small amounts of cheese/bread.
 

MysteryChicken

Spicy Silkies🌶🥢
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
35,520
71,293
1,291
Tawas City, Michigan
I can contact the feed store to ask re: the ingredients, but it's 17% protein and 3.5% calcium. All hens are fed the same diet and only one has these issues.

They get treats every day and I try to limit to 10% of diet. They get mealworms, leftover veggies (mainly chard, spinach, cilantro), frozen berries or watermelon when it's hot, and small amounts of cheese/bread.
Treats should be given like maybe once, or twice a week.

Spinach is high in iron, & can reduce calcium absorption in laying hens.

Mealworms are high in fat, shouldn't be given every single day.

I think all the treats maybe the cause of this, & cutting them out for awhile may help, or at least reduce how often you give them.
 

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