Ongoing gleet, low weight, recurrent blue comb tips but otherwise happy chicken


In the Brooder
May 8, 2021
For a while now we have one ISA brown chicken that is always seeming to be ailing. She has periods of laying large pale eggs occasionally double yolked, then eggs revert to normal for a week or two. She’s long had gleet now (2 months pretty persistently), lost a lot of weight when this first started and never gained it back (but is now a stable weight), and now occasionally her comb tips turn purple. The current issue started while I was away, and by the time our carer mentioned it she had a small prolapse and small bit of damage to her vent because of crusted poop :(.

Still, she eats vigorously and does chickeny things with gusto.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

Lighter and narrower since about two months ago.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
normal behavior.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
two months on and off, but the last 3 weeks persistently. But, we’ve had issues with the chickens vent since we got her when she was one years old. She has always laid large Rough eggs despite having plenty of access to oyster shells.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
We have three ISA browns. One bird has on and off diarrhea. The other has always been fluffy butted and healthy as anything.

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
her vent has a nick in it, totally healed but just nicked

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
not sure

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

We feed the flock water, purina layer pellets, oyster shell, grit. On and off for the past 2 months I’ve been giving them powdered probiotic on their food, and occasional plain yogurt mixed with wheat germ and feed.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
normal. Very occasionally on the soft side.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
At first I separated her but after a few weeks of her stressing out in her quarantine cage I put her back in with the other birds and her mood has improved greatly. They never pick on her. Ongoing treatment: bacatracin applied just inside vent for healing occasional bloody egg. nystatin cream applied to vent daily for 1.5 weeks (no improvement). Once or twice a week I feed probiotic powder and yogurt+wheat germ+feed. I cut her butt feathers off 2 months ago and wash the area every 1-2 days.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

I’ve called all vets within 100 miles and no one takes chickens. Im on my own.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
see photos!

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
See photo! We use pine shavings in their coop and chopped straw in their nest boxes. They have a dirt area in the broader run where they love to take baths under the pine tree. Occasionally we let them out to free range in our yard.
They have a roosting bar but have never used it... all sleep in the same place each night on the nests or coop floor.


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In the Brooder
May 8, 2021
Bump! also to note that I didn’t actually ask a question… I am trying to figure out whether I can solve all these issues with one solution? Are they all connected? What would you do?


8 Years
Sep 2, 2013
NW Missouri
So, vent gleet means there is a discharge. One of my hens has this and I've been treating her for 8 days now with Nystatin. I think there is some improvement...So I'm searching for info about it and came across your thread. Does your hen have the white discharge? Your set-up looks really nice. Hope your hen is doing okay.

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