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Hen panting at beak and vent, feather loss at vent, lethargic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by catcat, May 4, 2016.

  1. catcat

    catcat In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    I have a 4 year-old hen who has been lethargic for a few days. Last night, I noticed her vent area was balding and another chicken was pecking at it.

    Assuming it was egg-binding, I've been giving her epsom salt baths and feeding her calcium in a water dropper (Rolaids dissolved in water). When I go into her vent with a gloved & lubricated finger, I don't feel any mass. The entrance to her ovarian duct seems OK.

    Now, I'm wondering if it's vent gleet. There is a small trickle of white fecal matter that seems persistent.

    The pic below is a bit blurry. The redness is because she's just come out of the warm bath.

    Can anyone help with a diagnosis? [​IMG]

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It may be vent pecking which is a common problem in chickens. Sometimes it occurs from overcrowding, not getting outside to roam, too little protein in the diet, providing more than 12 hours of light in the coop, or boredom. Look at her skin for evidence of lice or mites, or lice eggs. Vent pecking can lead to vent damage, but she may have vent gleet if there is foul smelling droppings and white patches around vent. Vent gleet is basically like a yeast infection, and can cause scalding around the vent. I would apply Nustock cream to her vent area which may help prevent the pecking, since it tastes bad and is opaque. BluKote spray may also help.

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