Yolk-like discharge.. SICK! PLEASE HELP!!


9 Years
Apr 20, 2012
Good morning! Well, not so good for little Bridget. She is a Buff Orpington that I bought in a group of 4 chicks. They are now about 26 1/2 weeks old. One is a rooster, but 3 are hens. The other two hens' combs started turning bright red and growing the week before last. It was just about an overnight process. I fed them, went to bed, woke up, and they looked so much more like Hens than pullets. Except for Bridget. I don't know why, but her face is still pink and she has a little baby chick comb, not a Hen comb, and no visible wattles. I just figured she is a late bloomer. Anyway, about 5 days ago, I started seeing eggs in the nest box. I don't know who has been laying them, but my guess would naturally be the girl with the most developed and bright comb, maybe the other. But not Bridget, right? So, I think that Bridget has never laid an egg before.

This morning, I went out to feed, and no eggs in the nest box yet. Which is normal. Mine don't lay until a little later... But Bridget was on the ground, laying kind of weird with her feathers all puffy, and I think she was shaking a little (could be my imagination). Anyway, her bum was laying with a streak of yellow and white junk under it on the ground. Looked something like a partially scrambled egg as soon as you pour it into a hot skillet and it becomes less translucent. At first, I thought she may be egg bound. I didn't think of palpating her because I was trying to act fast. I put her in a coon trap with a cup of water, and sat the coon trap across the top of my bath tub, put a hand towel partially over the coon trap where she was sitting, pulled the shower curtain, directed the showerhead away from the cage, plugged the tub, and turned on steamy hot water. After the tub was full, I turned the water off and left the room, closing the door.

She has been in there now for about 40 minutes. Quiet as a mouse. I just went to check on her and it wasn't too warm in there, so I unplugged the tub and turned the hot shower back on. She is standing normally, looking around. She seems comfortable. So what is wrong with her?

I may need to go in and get her out of the coon trap and feel her tummy, but I don't want to bother her if this is an obvious indication of something else. I'm concerned that it might be egg yolk peritonitis, EYP.

Any info is appreciated, thanks!
Perhaps I should add that, although the hens do not seem too afraid of me when I go in to feed, they also do not want me to look at them and walk toward them, as if with the intent to touch or capture them. However, when I walked toward her, at first she did nothing, and then she stood up and made a little bit of normal chicken sounds, but she did not try to run as usual when I stooped to pick her up. Then, I realized that I needed to get the cage/shower ready, and I left her alone (instead of picking her up).. and when I returned to get her, she was standing with the others, crowded around the feed, but she was not eating and her head was pulled into her shoulders. When I picked her up, and started putting her into the coon trap, she was uneasy about it. But she didn't fight me too much either. Her wings remained close to her body and all she did was grab at the bars with her feet so it was a little more difficult to get her in there.

Although she is still in the hot shower and appears to be quite comfortable and relaxed, it has been an hour an a half now, and I have seen no poop or discharge otherwise from her vent. Maybe because she hasn't eaten yet or something, I don't know. But that seems odd.
In my research, I just found "vent gleet" so I went back into the bathroom and checked her bum, and there is white pasty junk under the vent on her feathers, but only a little bit, nickel sized. I think there would be a bit of a mess with a discharge regardless of the cause as this area is very fluffy and would harbor some mess. Upon reading further about vent gleet, I must say that she has no loss of feathers that I can see and the mess on her butt is currently minimal. She has just displayed symptoms today and is already just lying around. So, I am not sure it could be vent gleet but maybe someone with experience could tell me.

It's just too hard for me to determine which ailment she has, and we don't have a vet here who knows chickens.. Any info would help!
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She may have passed part of a broken egg or some material from internal laying. I would put her in warm soapy water and wash her bottom well. Then take a rubber glove with lubricant and insert a finger into the vent to feel around for any contents or shell left behind and gently remove it. Dry her off well. Make sure she is getting plenty of calcium with crushed oyster sell available in a container, crush egg shells that you can give them, or give her a Tums or 1/2 calcium tablet. There are plenty of threads to look up on internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis which can result from internal laying.
So, you think it might be EYP? Can a chicken with internal laying live? I was trying to rehome my birds because I have developed Bird Egg Syndrome. But I'm sure I can't do rehome her while she is like this, especially if she will need special treatment later or anything. I don't have rubber gloves.. I need to make a trip to the store. I'll give her the warm bath. Are laxatives a good idea? I have Epsom salts.
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You can soak in epsom salts, but I prefer soap. Don't give her the epsom salts by mouth because she will have diarrhea. Some chickens especially production birds that are great egg layers will have a tendency to be internal layers. Yours may have just had a one time problem. I would check her vent (you can just use a bare finger lubricated with soap and water) to make sure all of the contents are out. Then I would watch her for a while and read up on this. She may never have another problem. If she has major problems later you can treat her if you choose or then you may need to put her down. Chicken owners are all different--some will treat everything and have the time, and others will choose to end any suffering quickly.
I just got back from the store with gloves! I suppose that if there are two types of chicken owners, then I am the latter. Although I will always do what I can for a time, I prefer an animal not to suffer and for my time not to be tied up on keeping a suffering animal alive. I am never really sure when to make the call. I'll do what I can for her today and see what happens. Thanks.
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Oh! One other question.... If it isn't internal laying, does it sound like anything else that would cause an issue for me to put her back with the flock? I'd like to put her back outside after this bath thing. Can I do that or will it be better for her to be caged today? Thanks!
Okay, this will sound weird, but how far in the vent should I have felt? At 1 inch, maybe a little more, I felt nothing except a soft, sort of open space. I tried to feel further, but didn't know in what direction (up/down), and the bird got testy with me, so I quit cause I didn't want to hurt her. She had a poo. It was blackish with white stuff all in it, like wild bird poo but much larger. There was quite a bit of it. With her feathers wet, I got a good look at her vent. It was small and pink. Didn't look odd or anything.

Does that mean something else is/was wrong with her? Can I put her back with the flock? I think she hates me. =/
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