Lethargic and yellow goop on vent


Jun 19, 2020
I have an approximately 5 month old barred rock hen, along with 9 other hens and a Easter egger rooster. For the past few days, this single bird has had these symptoms

  • solitary and lethargic. Stays inside coop and very still
  • eats only a little
  • closes eyes often, when eyes are open can see eyelids ... they look like pale rings around her eyes
  • pale comb but Some other health birds‘ are not bright red either
  • every few seconds she will extend her neck and open her mouth about a quarter inch
  • yellow damp goopy streaks around her vent
  • when viewed from behind, area between legs (In front of vent) seems to “heave”

other info:
  • eyes are clear and bright
  • no paralysis, shaking or neurological signs
  • scales on legs are smooth and shiny (normal looking)
  • no beak or mouth discharge
  • no distended or hanging crop
  • she will scoot away when pecked but then goes back to sleepy behavior

Any ideas?
Update: I went out to the coop just now and she was holed up under some boards. Breathing but almost no energy. I could easily pick her up and turn her over and she would stay put. Even as a newb, I’d be surprised if she lasts the night (but what do I know). I took a rag with warm soapy water and cleaned around her vent and got almost all the yellow goop and poop off her feathers, and dried her as best I could with paper towels. She squirmed once but that was all she had. Her vent looked pink and normal. I pulled her feathers apart and looked down near her skin in a few places and did not see mites or lice. Poop is bright yellow judging by the clumps around her vent.

did not notice anything abnormal around where her crop would be
Update: I appreciate everything, guys ... I put a heat lamp out late last night because it got down in the low 40s, thought maybe it would keep her comfortable at least... this morning she was just barely hanging on, and I decided that enough was enough so I dispatched her quickly. I cleaned out the hay in the coop where she was laying. I’ll let that hay sit out for a day or two, then put it in the compost.
No more hay. I know some people swear by it, but it holds moisture, mold, mildew, parasitic eggs, and dust.

I am sorry you lost her. I lost 3 two years ago before I figured it out, one right after the other. Mine was brought into the run by wild birds who would sneak in when the girls were out free ranging. Or they picked it up free ranging. Or it was brought in by mice, which we were infested with that year.

All we can do is our best.
I'm very sorry for your loss.
I suggest you to not put the hay on the compost: maybe bury it in a place where your chickens never go. Take a vigil eye on the others and ask us whatever you want.
Good luck :hugs :hugs
No more hay. I know some people swear by it, but it holds moisture, mold, mildew, parasitic eggs, and dust.

Well my current routine is every 2 weeks I completely empty the coop of all hay and pine shavings, and spread it in the run, and replace the coop bedding with hay and shavings on top. Every morning I toss out about a cup of scratch grains.

I’ve been doing a little more reading and I think the consensus leans more towards just using the pine shavings. Better absorption and odor control, and the chickens are less likely to snack on it, reducing the risk of impacted crops. I have seen them gnawing on the hay.

So, I think I’ll switch to using only the pine shavings (white bundle from tractor supply), and rake out all the hay currently in the run. I can dump/scatter it in the woods. The coop is 6x10 so I think perhaps one bundle should take care of it.

I’ll make that the only change, for the moment, to make sure I know what single thing I’ve done that has/hasn’t had an effect. I’ll have to wait until Sunday for the raking though because we’re expecting rain Saturday, and I don’t want mud puddles.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom