hen with nasty behind...??


8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
West Texas
Hello everyone...I have a 1.5 year old white leghorn hen that has the dirtiest back end I've ever seen on a chicken. She is very healthy, eating & drinking great and laying a nice, big white egg every day. She has just started laying again after going broody (I was amazed, never had a leghorn go broody!) and raising a clutch of six chicks. She has had a runny bottom since she was about four months old, but it went away when she was broody...I have a flock of over 25 birds, mixed breed and ages, and she is the only one that has this...any ideas of what it could be or what I can do to help her out? Or, I guess, whether or not I even need to do anything at all?? She is super healthy, so I don't really think it's negatively affecting her, but it looks awful. I tried to get good pictures, but she's also very quick :) I hope these help!

Have you wormed her? That would be my first approach, maybe even at a slightly higher dose than usual if you have done it before with no effect.

Do you feed your girls on kitchen scraps at all? It may be that she is intollerant to something in her diet, though it would be unlikely to be her grain/pellet so maybe something of the vegetable matter?

You could clip the feathers around her vent to try and keep things less matted too and do be aware that with a bottom as dirty as that, she will be open to fly strike xx
Gah!! I've never heard of fly strike, but I'll be researching it now...thank you for the tips!

One question...if she is wormy, would it have gone away while she was broody? That's the part that is most confusing to me...she had totally "normal" broody poos (huge & STINKY)! Her poo now isn't always runny...they look normal when I've seen her go...I'm stumped!

Thanks again :)
I agree with everyone. I would first trim all the fuzz off aorund her vent, then bathe her bottom with Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water, then worm with Valbazen. If she has gleet it will be red, maybe with some white patches, and there will be a foul odor with white leakage from the vent. Antifungal creams like Nustock from the feedstore or mycostain would help. Also yogurt twice a week plus apple cider vinegar in her water 1/2 ounce per gallon.
Gah!! I've never heard of fly strike, but I'll be researching it now...thank you for the tips!
Flystrike is a term used to describe when flies lay eggs on an animal....whether due to fouling of the fur/feathers with poop or because of an open wound....then the eggs hatch and the animal becomes infested with maggots which will then eat into the flesh. It is an extremely unpleasant sight and leads to an awful, painful death for the animal. It is not easy to 'cure' once it has happened as usuallly it goes unnoticed until the animal shows signs of weakness, by which time there has been too much damage and the maggots have burrowed in deep.

It is far better to prevent it ever happening by ensuring the animal is clean and free up excrememnt build-up or wounds are treated and kept 'fresh' (flies are generally attracted to bad odours)

In your case, the messy butt will attract the flies so as mentioned above, she needs to be cleaned up and cured of the cause of the runny poops as soon as possible.....gleet sounds a fair possibility too and I have found that natural greek yoghurt, a tablespoon added to one scrambled egg and fed once a day for a week, does a fab job of clearing things up.

She may be prone to it (as humans can be prone to thrush) so an ongoing addition of yoghurt to the diet may be beneficial even once it has cleared up. You can use human thrush cream directly on the vent too but I would not then eat any eggs produced during treatment.
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