Hello This is my first time posting. I was hoping to find an answer to this problem with a search, but nothing seems to come up and I don't know what it is. History - this is my first time keeping bantam chickens, or any chickens. We live on small acreage near Brisbane, Australia. We started with 5 bantams, 3 silkies and 2 Pekins, 2 started laying not long after I brought them home and have been the healthiest. The other three have had respiratory problems which we treated with antibiotics but I eventually culled them (I couldn't do it, so took it to the vet). I'm left with 2 Pekin Bantams and 1 Silkie and have not had any respiratory problems since. We have also had an infestation of mites which we have successfully treated. One of the Pekins is not laying, never started, so I checked her vent and found that she has a build up of white and black hard stuff that I can't remove. I have no idea what it is or how to help this hen. What I have done so far: - Removed as much as I could with wet paper towels and trimmed the feathers around the vent - Soaked her in warm, soapy water baths for about 15 minutes each time, and then rinsed her, over 3 days - applied olive oil to her vent daily hoping that it has an emollient effect The stuff is not budging and this poor hen is all skin and bones. She is not lethargic or segregates herself from the others but is definitely not as lively as the other two. She gets around with them in a normal chicken stance, just not as lively and doesn't feel right to me. She should be laying and her bottom should look healthy like the other two. Could you set me on the right path on finding out what is wrong with this hen and help her, please? Many thanks.