Vent gleet? Or something else? Help!

Hillsider

Chirping
May 12, 2019
25
34
79
Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone!Hoping you can lend your expertise here. I bought 6 ISA browns (ready to lay) in June. By July, I was getting 2 misshapen, watery eggs pretty regularly and instinct tells me it was the same 2 birds laying these. 4 were always perfect. Recently, 1 of the chickens laying the oddballs came down with something that looked like vent gleet. White discharge, blood, a real mess. Nothing prolapsed. I tried everything I could find online - soaking, washing, yogurt etc. but sadly she didn't make it. Now this morning, I see another with the same issue. She laid yesterday and I see no signs of her being eggbound. I have isolated her but I'm now fairly sure this has to do with the odd eggs I was getting. I'm sure tomorrow morning, with her isolated, I will have 4 perfect eggs in the nesting boxes. Does anyone have any idea what's going on with my birds? They have adequate space, light, food, water, oyster shell. I have googled like crazy but I am at a loss. Were they just "defective" to begin with? Should I be worried about something contagious?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,383
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Hi everyone!Hoping you can lend your expertise here. I bought 6 ISA browns (ready to lay) in June. By July, I was getting 2 misshapen, watery eggs pretty regularly and instinct tells me it was the same 2 birds laying these. 4 were always perfect. Recently, 1 of the chickens laying the oddballs came down with something that looked like vent gleet. White discharge, blood, a real mess. Nothing prolapsed. I tried everything I could find online - soaking, washing, yogurt etc. but sadly she didn't make it. Now this morning, I see another with the same issue. She laid yesterday and I see no signs of her being eggbound. I have isolated her but I'm now fairly sure this has to do with the odd eggs I was getting. I'm sure tomorrow morning, with her isolated, I will have 4 perfect eggs in the nesting boxes. Does anyone have any idea what's going on with my birds? They have adequate space, light, food, water, oyster shell. I have googled like crazy but I am at a loss. Were they just "defective" to begin with? Should I be worried about something contagious?
Can you post some photos?

If possible, it would be a good idea to take some samples to your vet for testing.
I would have them check for worms, coccidiosis and infection.

Does she have any crop issues (crop not empty by morning)?
Did you ever notice any respiratory symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, etc.?
Have you checked for lice/mites?

Also have you tried giving any anti-fungal medication like Nystatin?

The blood is concerning for sure is it in the poop or do you see it coming out along with the discharge?
 

Hillsider

Chirping
May 12, 2019
25
34
79
Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the reply! I don’t see any crop or respiratory issues. I’ve been watching for those as I read that could be the cause of the funny eggs. The blood seems to be more related to the other chickens pecking. No blood in stool that I see. It was watery this morning though. I isolated chicken #2 as soon as we noticed there was an issue so she’s not as bad as chicken #1 yet. She’s still quite spunky and not happy to be away from the flock. Eating and drinking but no egg today. Here are some pics. Sorry, they are not pretty. I’ve marked what chicken 1 looked like when we caught it and then chicken 2. No discharge with chicken 2 yet. Also an example of the eggs I was getting. This was an extreme example (normal egg for ref). Yesterday her egg looked almost normal. Eggs from the 2 had normal enough yolks but the whites were like water.
 

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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,383
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Southern N.C. Mountains
The blood seems to be more related to the other chickens pecking. No blood in stool that I see. It was watery this morning though.
How much space do you have for your hens?
What do you feed, including treats?

The vent looks damaged due to picking, I would keep her separated until she heals. If you have a way to close off a section of the run so she can be near the others that would be good - she doesn't need to be "isolated" just separate so the others can't pick at her anymore.

I would flush the vent and surrounding tissue really well - you can use saline, warm soapy water, hibiclens (chlorhexidine) or betadine. Trim any feathers that may get into the wounds, then apply triple antibiotic ointment or vetericyn. Try to keep flies off that area as well since they lay eggs and the maggot that hatch will cause a lot more damage and infection.

Try to determine why the others are picking at the vents too - is there prolapse, are they picking at the vents when eggs are being laid, etc. You may need to remove a couple of the offenders or even try Pinless Peepers to see if those will help resolve the problem.
I don't think this is Vent Gleet, this is picking.
 

Hillsider

Chirping
May 12, 2019
25
34
79
Ontario, Canada
Thank you for your insight! I guess I thought vent gleet because of the white discharge from the first chicken. This one does look like pecking though - blood but no discharge. I cleaned her up as best I could by myself (she's quite feisty). We feed them a good quality layer pellet and supplement with veggies from our kitchen and leaves from raspberry plants (we have a forest full). I sometimes throw some scrambled eggs in for protein. And I always have oyster shell out. I will try to section off an area in the pen for her during the day and separate her at night as this seems to have happened in the coop last night. My run is 72 sq feet and I have 5 chickens. Coop is 24 square feet plus 2 nesting boxes. I have a perch in the coop but nobody seems to use it. Again, thanks for your thoughts - I appreciate it.

How much space do you have for your hens?
What do you feed, including treats?

The vent looks damaged due to picking, I would keep her separated until she heals. If you have a way to close off a section of the run so she can be near the others that would be good - she doesn't need to be "isolated" just separate so the others can't pick at her anymore.

I would flush the vent and surrounding tissue really well - you can use saline, warm soapy water, hibiclens (chlorhexidine) or betadine. Trim any feathers that may get into the wounds, then apply triple antibiotic ointment or vetericyn. Try to keep flies off that area as well since they lay eggs and the maggot that hatch will cause a lot more damage and infection.

Try to determine why the others are picking at the vents too - is there prolapse, are they picking at the vents when eggs are being laid, etc. You may need to remove a couple of the offenders or even try Pinless Peepers to see if those will help resolve the problem.
I don't think this is Vent Gleet, this is picking.
How much space do you have for your hens?
What do you feed, including treats?

The vent looks damaged due to picking, I would keep her separated until she heals. If you have a way to close off a section of the run so she can be near the others that would be good - she doesn't need to be "isolated" just separate so the others can't pick at her anymore.

I would flush the vent and surrounding tissue really well - you can use saline, warm soapy water, hibiclens (chlorhexidine) or betadine. Trim any feathers that may get into the wounds, then apply triple antibiotic ointment or vetericyn. Try to keep flies off that area as well since they lay eggs and the maggot that hatch will cause a lot more damage and infection.

Try to determine why the others are picking at the vents too - is there prolapse, are they picking at the vents when eggs are being laid, etc. You may need to remove a couple of the offenders or even try Pinless Peepers to see if those will help resolve the problem.
I don't think this is Vent Gleet, this is picking.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,383
56,153
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
My run is 72 sq feet and I have 5 chickens. Coop is 24 square feet plus 2 nesting boxes. I have a perch in the coop but nobody seems to use it. Again, thanks for your thoughts - I appreciate it.
I guess I thought vent gleet because of the white discharge from the first chicken.

The white discharge from the first one looks like urates from the poop - could have been some discharge from egg material, etc. but with damage to a vent a lot of times there can be "leakage".

imho, your coop space is a bit tight for 5 large fowl hens, if the picking is occurring at night, then consider expanding the coop size some, run space too if possible. I know that can be hard to do at time, but the more room they have, the less tension.

Hopefully she will heal quickly and won't get infection, I would definitely check it at least once a day and apply ointment/spray daily as well.
You may want to look at the other's vents too just to see if there's any picking there too.
 

Hillsider

Chirping
May 12, 2019
25
34
79
Ontario, Canada
An update. The chicken is quite healthy looking aside from the vent area. We've been soaking and cleaning it every day and I was able to get a hold of some Vetericyn to apply (surprisingly difficult in Canada). She laid a soft shelled egg yesterday and seems to be pooping. The skin around the vent is blackish. I though maybe it was dried poop but it doesn't clean off and I don't want to pick in case it's a scab. I trimmed the feathers around the vent but wasn't 100% sure how close to the skin to go. I see no other signs of vent pecking in the other birds but I'm going to pickup and apply some Stop Pick just in case. Hoping like heck that she heals up!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
39,383
56,153
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
An update. The chicken is quite healthy looking aside from the vent area. We've been soaking and cleaning it every day and I was able to get a hold of some Vetericyn to apply (surprisingly difficult in Canada). She laid a soft shelled egg yesterday and seems to be pooping. The skin around the vent is blackish. I though maybe it was dried poop but it doesn't clean off and I don't want to pick in case it's a scab. I trimmed the feathers around the vent but wasn't 100% sure how close to the skin to go. I see no other signs of vent pecking in the other birds but I'm going to pickup and apply some Stop Pick just in case. Hoping like heck that she heals up!
Can you post an updated photo of what the vent looks like now?
Blackish skin around the vent may be a scab or it could be necrotic tissue. If it's necrotic, then you would want to debride that (use a wet wash cloth to gently scrub the tissue daily). Then apply your ointment or vetericyn.

It's good that she was able to lay an egg! If the soft shell continues, I would give her extra calcium in the form of something like TUMS or Caltrate (1/2 tablet) daily for 3-5 days to see if that helps.

I'm glad she is getting better, you are doing a good job taking care of her.
 

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