Backyard Chickens Vent Gleet: Prevention and Treatment

December 7, 2012

Okay folks, this post is not going to be pretty.  In fact, some of the photos are just down right yucky!

Vent Gleet in Rescue Hen
Photo Credit: The Animal Sanctuary used with expressed permission.

Vent gleet also sometimes referred to as cloacitis or thrush is a fungal infection involving the digestive and reproductive systems.  Often the first signs of this infection can appear at the vent.  When examining the vent, it appears to have a whitish discharge that can sometimes smell like fermenting yeast.  The feathers surrounding the vent and backside are often missing and coated with fecal material as well as yeasty discharge and some crusting. The skin around the vent can also appear reddened and irritated. The degree of vent gleet can vary. Some cases are quite obvious, and others times it can be more subdued.  A yeast called Candida Albicans is responsible for the infection. All poultry of all ages can be susceptible.  It is not contagious and sometimes, although not often, can occur in roosters.

vent gleet on a chicken
Photo Credit: Old McAndy Farms used with expressed permission.

-ingesting moldy or spoiled food-especially corn
-contaminated water
-unsanitary conditions
sour crop
-imbalance of the normal occurring bacteria in the digestive system also known as the normal flora
-can occur after the use of oral antibiotics
-mating with an infected hen

Symptoms can vary from case to case but include
-white discharge from the vent
-missing or soiled feathers around the vent
-sour crop
-red or swollen vent- can be bloody if severe case
-loose stools
-decrease or cessation of egg laying
-decreased appetite or increased appetite
-loss of weight
-Whitish patches/lesions in the mouth
-pasting of vent feathers
-swollen bloated abdomen

Bathe the chicken to help cleanse and soothe the affected area.
-Nystatin liquid suspension provided by the vet to be given orally is very effective for 7-10 days. It is also available online here.
-Anti-fungal creams like those used for athlete’s feet applied topically twice daily to the vent area for 14 days.
-Garlic cloves, 1 per gallon, added to their water supply can be helpful as well.
-During treatment, avoid feeding your chickens foods that have a high water content and can cause watery stools, such watermelon.

-Acidify their digestive tract and crop by adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with the “mother” to each gallon of their drinking water. Be sure to use plastic waterers as the vinegar will cause the metal ones to rust.
-Add probiotics to their diet by enriching their food or feeding them plain unsweetened yogurt with live and active cultures once per week. This helps to restore the balance of the normal flora.
-Clean the waterers regularly with distilled vinegar.
-Keep the coop and run clean.
-Practice good hygiene. Keep the coop and run clean and dry.
-Never feed the chickens kitchen scraps you would not eat yourself.
-Keep chicken feed dry and stored in weather tight metal garbage cans.
-Discard any questionable or moldy feed.

Vent gleet is not caused by bacteria but yeast, thus trying to cure it with antibiotics is not typically successful and in fact can make matters worse.  Antibiotics can kill off both the bad bacteria and the good bacteria (normal flora) promoting the occurrence of yeast. A chicken that has vent gleet should not be viewed as being a weaker flock member. Vent gleet can occur in any chicken.  By instituting a few simple measures and treating any infected chickens in the flock, soon everyone’s’ butts will be fluffy again.

The fluffy butts of  Tilly’s Nest.

If you have enjoyed this post be sure to sign up to follow our blog (options on the right) and check out the chickens tab at the top of the page for many more articles like this one on chicken health and more.

References available upon request.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest/see photo captions.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email


Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.



162 thoughts on “Backyard Chickens Vent Gleet: Prevention and Treatment”

    • Access to a vet and a prescription for Nystatin will help to speed along the recovery and treatment in severe cases. However, the other treatments mentioned can be quite effective. When I reached out to one of the photo sources, they told me that their flock was cured after 3 days of adding yogurt to their diet. Hope this helps.

    • Call your farm vet…mine vets office is 3 hrs. Away…he is SUPER will always offer help known v we ARD out in the country…or he is out in the good luck. Call ask for advice…never hurts to tell them how far you many chickens…..& you can mail a check or money order or credit card for the meds.

  1. hi. i'm new to the blog hop. my husband and i have a cattle farm in alberta. i also own and operate a small paper shop from the farm. the shop like my blog is call Black Ink Paperie. my blog features stories about the farm and growing up in small fishing village in nova scotia. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it. i did a guest post last week called "a cow's tale" which tells the story about one of our cows and her exciting life.

    thanks and i can't wait to visit all the other blogs
    new follower bev

  2. Thanks for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Melissa. I had a chick with vent gleet once. The smell was putrid and unmistakable. It could be frightening if you don't recognize it or are unaware of what the foul droppings are caused by.

    I linked up a couple posts to this week's blog hop. Thank you for hosting! ☺


  3. Thank you , Thank you, Thank you. I rescued 3 hens about 1 1/2 years ago and have had this issue with them every since . They came from a bad situation, there were 6 in all and I took 3 and a friend took the other 3, they slept on a poopy blanket at night or should I say stood on it , didn't have anything to perch on, and were laying eggs in a rabbit cage on the ground, eating the eggs and there pen was on cement and no shelter from the weather and I wanted to give then a good home. I have searched all over for help, taken them to a vet, have been pulling my hair out as I have felt sooooo bad for the girls as their bums get so red and sore looking and they just drip from their back ends and boy does it ever smell.I love my girls and didn't want anyone thinking I was not taking proper care of them. Unfortunately I lost one of my girls in October, she had the worst bum, I even went as far as to have her body and stomach dissected to see if we could figure out what it was but they figured she died of something unrelated to her bum. You are my hero, I am going to put this action into plan and get my girls healthy. Again thank you so much . I will post again and let you know how their making out.


    • Thank you Tina for leaving such a nice comment. I am so happy that I have helped you solve their problem. They will definitely need the Nystatin if the case is severe. Your girls are SO very lucky to help you. Good Luck! I will be thinking of you and your hens.~Melissa

  4. Just saw your post and wanted to add a treatment that everyone can get that has been having great results for several people I know. There is a product called NuStock that has anti-fungal properties. It is being applied to the vent area with great success. You can get it at Jeffers but if you google it, it is available other places as well.

    There is a very interesting story of a flock of chickens that were rescued from a bad situation at this blog:
    It lists many ways that the NuStock was used. It's one of those things that I keep in my "first aid" for the chickens at all times.

    Hope it will be helpful for others too!


  5. I also have a hen (1yr old gold star) with vent gleet that was given to me. When I have her seperated and treat her with warm epsom salt baths, Apple cider vinegar in her water and plain dannons yogurt it clears up within a few days but a couple days after she is back with the flock it starts again. I am seperating her and treating her again, if it happens to come back I plan on adding ACV in the whole flocks water and treating with yogurt a couple times a week and if necessary bathing her when needed. She has not stopped producing eggs thoughout her vent gleet and when she is separate I do toss her eggs. When she is with the flock though I am not sure which egg is hers as I have two gold stars and they both lay in the same nesting box. Should her eggs be eaten? I do wash all my eggs now because it does gross me out that she may be sitting on the other ones and getting her nasty smelling butt on the clean eggs. I have been raising chickens for a while now and none of my original birds have ever had this. Any other ideas or thoughts are greatly appreciated!

    • I think it sounds like you are doing all the right things. If you are concerned about the eggs, you could always just wash all the Gold Star eggs or use the commercially available egg wipes. Don't forget, the eggs do have a "bloom" on them that should keep any potential gleet from contaminating the egg. Do keep me posted please on how everything works out. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  6. I have questions… We had only 2 hens, about 2 years old. They were our first and only chickens and had been healthy.

    A couple of weekends ago we found Lucy dead in the yard. There was no evidence of predators or illness, and she had laid an egg the day before. She was our best layer of the two. After she died, Rosie (who had not been laying but one or two eggs a week) stopped laying altogether. She is a lone chicken now -no an egg for over two weeks. She's not egg bound, but has low appetite. She forages & eats worms we find when weeding but has not touched her feed. She is drinking water and clucks and tried to eat my sweater buttons yesterday.

    She has had runny yellowish white poop for several days now, with an occasional somewhat formed ball. I've not noticed a bad smell. She has lost feathers on her vent area which is now very red and irritated. We have added garlic & ACV to her water and bathed her in Epsom salts.

    Should we try a topical fungicide next along with plain yogurt? We've got Probios powder on order and will be feeding her that as well. We don't have a vet nearby. Thanks for your help!

    • Oh how sad of your loss. A couple of things come to mind. One is that she is most definitely lonely. Chickens do not do well as single birds and do best in flocks of three or more. Also, do you have an avian vet nearby who can help? It sounds like there could be an array of problems happening and often it is best to call in a professional. Also, there is a Chicken Vet on Facebook that you can post your issues to their page. Best of Luck and please keep me posted.

  7. Yes, we do know she is missing her buddy. We have been offered two more chickens from a friend but are concerned that she might have something contagious so are waiting about that until we get a handle on what is wrong. We thought a local vet would treat chickens but found out they only do structural things like resetting broken wings.

    I will look into the Facebook vet and see whether they can be of help. Thanks for the tip and for your sympathy. Will let you know what we find out. I appreciate your blog and that you are still following this post :^)

  8. Hi, my chicken is about 1.5 years old. Last October she had vent gleet and it took a good couple of weeks to clear up. She has not laid one egg since. She is healthy and active and eating well but she has about 1 day a week where she doesn't seem herself, will sit puffed up throughout most of the day, generally looking sorry for herself but then snaps out of it and is absolutely fine. I am giving all 3 birds poultry spice and hoping that this may help. I do not understand why she has not laid an egg since October.

    • There are many possibilities as to why your lovely hen has stopped laying. Things can go wrong with their reproductive systems and she could also be laying eggs internally 🙁 It could also possibly be lack of protein or calcium. You best bet would probably be taking her to a vet who sees chickens who can do a complete and thorough investigation into this problem. Best of Luck!

  9. hi
    I had a chicken that is 1 and half year old. She had stopped laying eggs since 4 months. Now from a week she is not eating and drinking anything.
    Her abdomen got swalloed and from yesterday her one leg and half of abdomen turns white and spongy. As if it filled of water or puss?

    Her discharge is white liquid mostly and a bit green.

    Is it diahreaa? Or something else. Plz help me identify it.
    I am giving her water and food by myself. I had given her butter milk

    I am very worried why her one leg and abdomen had turned white spongy like.

  10. Hi I have 3 chickens, one suddenly developed a problem similar looking vent as pictured became lethargic, not eating did not want to go out and stopped laying. Another has a similar looking vent and is not laying but seems well. Have tried treatments with red mite powders, louse powders, bathing them in antiseptics and just giving them layers mash no scraps. They have not been laying now for months and don't appear to be getting better, have just tried cider vinegar and a tonic from the wholesaler. Can anyone help? i am worried about introducing some new hens if they will get it?

    • Oh no 🙁 I would definitely hold off on adding new hen to the flock until you get this flock healthy again. If I were you I might also research to see if there is a vet in your area that sees chickens. They might require further examinations.

  11. I suspect my Lucille has chicken gleet. Looks like photo's above. I started giving her yoghurt with active cultures in the morning and afternoon and to my surprise she loves it!
    Also started adding some apple cider vinegar to her water.
    Only started this treatment yesterday, hope it works. My poor darl'n looks miserable.

  12. Thank you soooo much for posting this info! My Annie "good chicken" has had vent gleet since we have had her and I never knew what was wrong until I read about this.
    I looked around to see why she would have such a messy tush and it is because of the information you have provided that I hope will save her from this fungus. She is only 2 years old and such a dear busy biddy. I hope I will have many years of her presence in my life and the the Nystatin clears it up.

    • Liza, I am so happy that you found this post helpful. I'm hoping that Annie makes a full recovery. Do be sure to pop back in and let us know how she does.

  13. thank you for this, I now think I have a solution-Mountain High Yogurt laced with Usnea which is an anti-fungal, anti-viral herb that grows on pine trees, put in some mealy worms-hope to see some results soon-we thought it was bacterial infection and was treating it wrong

  14. At last I know what is wrong with my hen! Although her feathers are covered in smelly discharge, her vent seems pink and healthy. She has had a bath this morning and is eating a bit of boiled rice (the only thing she will eat) laced with yoghurt. My other hen (I lost the third) is picking on her, perhaps because she smells, so I have to keep them apart until bedtime.Sh'e not drinking much so I gave her water with ACV from a dropper. How much yoghurt should I try to get in her? Such a helpful forum thank you

  15. At last I think I know what is wrong with my hen. Although her backside is covered with smelly goo, her vent seems pink and healthy She has had a bath this morning and is eating a bit of boiled rice (the only thing she will eat at the moment) laced with yoghurt. She's not drinking much either so I gave her water with ACV from a dropper. No vet available until after the holiday, I will try to get Nystatin then. What a helpful blog, thank you so much.

  16. Thank you so much for this information! Just freaked out over my 10 week old ameraucauna chick not feeling well and then when examined the redness/swelling/puss did look exactly like a yeast infection (being female I have experienced one…ugh).

    • Yes, you can eat the eggs as long as you are not medicating your chickens. Remember, chickens lay their eggs with a "bloom" that keeps the eggs safe by creating a barrier to bacteria, spores, and fungi.

  17. …just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading your posts…I don't raise chickens, but I just love the little creatures….I am elderly and live alone and remember my grandmas flock….we played with them and fed them for her….reading your posts brings back fond memories…and I just plain like learning more about them…I will keep checking in and reading about the girls…I agree…their "fluffy butts" are one of their best features….thank you for sharing all your knowledge…Judith

  18. Hello, my hen has vent gleet and I have been feeding her yogurt and I will buy the vinegar with the mother soon to put in the water. I cleaned her butt and clipped the feathers too close to her vent that would cause her to get a dirty butt again. The skin around her vent is red and a bit swollen. My question is, can I apply Organic Coconut Oil to the skin around her butt to ease its irritation. Coconut oil is known to cure fungi and athletes foot.

  19. I was diagnosed with candida by several doctors. I tried all the suggestions to no avail.
    My brother's doctor told him to use oregano oil. (surprised to learn he had it too!)
    It works!

  20. Thank you for writing this. We recently rehomed a hen and worked out she has gleet. I bathed her bottom and clipped the feathers near the vent (there were not many left) as they were matted with poo. For the last 4 days she's has been having a probiotic once a day (yakult) and has been drinking water with molasses. Before coming to us she always had water with apple cider vinegar. She hasn't shown any improvement whatsoever and is eating very little and drinking ever so much. I'm really worried that she is drinking too much, can drinking a lot make the gleet any worse? I think she needs to see the vet to get the Nystatin but is there anything else we can do in the mean time? I'm not sure if we should swap the probiotic for plain yoghurt and switch back to apple cider instead of molasses in water. She doesn't have much energy at all. She's a 3 year old Black Rock. Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you.

    • It's always difficult to asses the situation when I am not there. I am also not a vet, just a backyard chicken keeper with plenty of experience. If I were you, I would definitely take her off the molasses as that is sugar and yeast/fungus love sugar. I would readd the ACV and think about pursuing a vet for assistance and possible Nystatin. Yes, drinking too much water can certainly exacerbate the situation as well. I would keep her on the probiotics (same as the yogurt). You could try putting an antifungal cream on her bum as well but it definitely sounds as though a systemic medication might very well be needed. Hope this helps. Keep me posted.

  21. Thank you for the help and for replying so quickly. I will definitely stop the molasses, I'm a bit annoyed at myself for not even remembering that fungus loves sugar, the advice was from an article my partner read to do with treating gleet but as we've had no success I did my own research and found this. I will get her into the poultry vet ASAP and try some topical anti fungus on the vent. I will keep you posted. We have never had a hen with gleet before and we've only had her a week but she's lovely and I really want her to get better, she seems pretty miserable (and who can blame her) thank you again.

  22. I'm pretty sure my hen had this. I couldnt figure out why she all of a sudden stopped laying, eating, and just stood off in a corner by herself. She wouldnt go out to forage with the other hens when I would let them out of their pen, and normally she runs out just as fast as everyone else. Then her abdomen became very swollen and I figured she would die but she actually came out of it. Her back side never became anything like this picture's though, it looked pretty much normal. She still isnt back to 100% but she eats and is acting pretty much normal. Her abdomen is still swollen however and I'm not sure what to do about it. I give my hens probiotic foods and apple cider vinegar in their water pretty regularly and they're well cared for, so I'm not sure why she developed this. She is getting old…

    • You are probably right. Sometimes, hens develop problems of their reproductive system (egg laying) as they age too like egg peritonitis and even cancers that can cause fluid to build up and the abdomen to swell. Being egg bound can also be a problem for any hens of egg laying age. That is another possible reason. Many times, they recover with us not understanding what was entirely wrong. I'm glad she is on the mend.

  23. I have a rooster with gleet vent. He is a one year old Barnevelder. One of our hen seems to have it in her nostril. Have you ever heard of this before?

  24. Hello! I have a chicken that I believe has vent gleet. I gave her an epsom salt bath on Sunday and started her on capsule forms of probiotics yesterday. I gave her two capsules opened on a scrambled egg as a loading dose and one capsule today, again opened on a scrambled egg. She is quarantined in the basement in a 55 gallon rubbermaid tub. She is still laying eggs. She will eat and drink. Her last poop was green and not so solid…not runny but not solid (if that makes sense). I just dusted her backside with 2% miconazole powder for athlete's foot after cleaning her up with some baby wipes. She's not moving around much at all, more just laying in the shavings, which is what concerns me. How long does it take for the chicken to bounce back once probiotics and the anti-fungal powder have been started? I am new to chickens, started spring of 2014, and she is the first girl to have any sort of problems. Is there anything more I can do? Your help is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi there! Of course, it is very difficult to know what is exactly going on with your chickens online and without the opinion of a vet. If you feel it is vent gleet, then you do not have to separate her from the rest of the flock with this issue. Fungal infections like this can take many weeks to improve using the more natural systemic treatments and sometimes they ultimately will require the anti-fungal oral medication. As always, I recommend seeking out veterinarian help just in case something else could be going on. If I were you I would also try to include the preventatives listed in the above article to help keep it under control in the rest of your flock. Best of Luck!

  25. Another post mentioned the ingestion of epsom salts and water administered through a dropper. It worked for 3/4 chickens but im not sure about the last one. This was patient zero and unlike all the others it is missing all its feathers around its bum. It still seems fine, and is eating lots of yogurt, i have also put apple cider vinegar in the water. How long do fluffy bum feathers take to grow back? how long should i wait before repeating treatment?

    • The post you are speaking of is not on my website. I would not recommend the ingestion of any sort of salts without proper medical supervision as they can cause serious electrolyte issues, convulsions, brain swelling, and death in both people and in chickens. What you read is a dangerous recommendation! Feathers can take at least 4 weeks to begin growing in. Now, if the tip of the feather is still in the skin, the feathers will not return until the next full molt, which usually occurs in the fall. I would not repeat or continue the Epsom salt treatment for any reason. Much too dangerous. You might consider consulting with a veterinarian that can help you take care of this issue you are having using safe and sound techniques and treatment all based upon science. Good luck!

  26. Do we do the acv AND garlic at once in the water,or maybe alternate?? If I have 7 together in a coop, how much yogurt for all of them?

    • I would give the seven hens about a cup of yogurt about once per week. I typically have the ACV in one waterer and the garlic in another. You can also alternate them. In my opinion, I more often like to add the ACV than the garlic.

  27. What does "with the mother" mean? I was given 4 hens a few days ago and one has what appears to be this type of infection. Though I've read more about chickens since getting them, I have not found a definition nor can I deduce the meaning of the phrase. My apologies if this is common knowledge among chicken people, I am still learning.

  28. One of my 2 chickens seems to have this problem. Rita is coming up to 2 years old, and she laid constantly for over 15 months, from about 5 months old until 3 months ago, and haven't had any since. Saying that we did have over 400 eggs off her over this period, so she di well.We noticed a few months ago her bottom was quite red, but just presumed she was coming into the moult, plus a few feathers are missing. Plus she has been perfectly happy until the last day or two, now she has gone of her food and is just standing around a lot of the time. Anyhow this afternoon we have bathed her and dried her, and put some canesten cream on, and also put some natural yoghurt in with some tomato, they love a bit of tomato each day, she had a few pecks at it. She doesn't appear to have sour crop either. The other chicken Patti is fine, and still laying, although she started laying a couple of months after this one and has had 3 breaks due to broodiness. Thanks for your information and hope she will pick up soon. Do I put the canesten on each day?

  29. She seems pretty much the same this morning, but last night I made her some porridge with a little yoghurt on top and she scoffed that, she has had a little to eat this morning. She had a messy butt again too, as they both sleep in the next box, so I have cleaned off and applied a little more canesten.

    • It sounds like she might need a visit to the vet to get an oral medication to help with the vent gleet, if that is in fact what she has. From your description that is very much what it sounds like. Remember the infection can run the entire gi tract and reproductive tract inside the body as well. Please keep me posted with things. Hope she feels better soon.

  30. Thanks very much, I will keep you informed. She does seem a little better and has eaten more today, although she hasn't gone out much as the weather has been awful and she doesn't like the wind and rain so I have kept them in since mid afternoon.The redness has gone down a bit too.

  31. Thank you so much for this info- 2 of my three girls have vent gleet at the moment, which I am pretty sure is from spoiled food in the bottom of the feeder. We had a burst of extremely wet, hot weather and one morning when I cleaned out the hen house the clouds burst so quickly the top wasn't quite shut and I believe the feeder got soaked. My other girl had a prolapse this morning and of course she's the best layer of the three. I have them all on ACV in their water and plain yogurt, they are getting baths to clean out the gunk and I'm trying to be scrupulous about the dropboard. Lavender (with the prolapse) got an epsom salt bath today and seemed to enjoy that and after I pushed her prolapse in put some Prep H with aloe on this. There's no blood and she's starting to drink more but I have had to eye dropper them a little with fluids and will now be taking their favourite treat to work because I just bought a HUGE watermelon to cool them off and probably shouldn;t have given them any ! live and learn and thanks again!

  32. Hi Tillys Nest, one of my girls has vent gleet. She has lost feathers and was quite sore and I have separated heras she was getting picked on. I have tried everything you have suggested and last week I took Ashley to the vet as nothing was working. The vet gave me some solution to clean her and some Canisten cream. He said he thought it was an external infection and suggested we get some live probiotic powder for her. We have done that and although the solution and cream has soothed the soreness she is still leaking white smelly discharge. I phoned the vet today to see if I could have some Nystatin liquid suspension but they said they don't stock it but would be happy to prescribe Baytril instead. I had some and gave her a course of that initially but seemed to make her worse, which is why I searched and found your post to find out what the problem actually was. I don't know what to do next and would appreciate any further advise you can give?

    • Hi there! Unfortunately, giving her Baytril will only cause the vent gleet to flourish. Baytril is an antibiotic. The vet can call the "human" pharmacy and order a prescription of Nystatin liquid for you. She needs an oral antifungal not an antibiotic. Sometimes, this is the only way to successfully get rid of this infection. The canisten cream is a good choice for the localized yeast infection from the vent gleet. I would try again with your vet. Good luck and keep me posted.

    • Hello again, thank you for your reply. I took Ashley to a different vet and told them about Nystatin liquid suspension, it has taken them well over a week but they finally came back to me yesterday. I am quite shocked ay the dosage they have recommended, (and the cost to be honest, 4 bottles at £18 per bottle, but she needs it and will get it) They have said 6ml twice a day for 10 days, which seems a lot for a 2kg chicken? I did some research and human infants only have to have 1-2ml 3-4 times a day. Does this dosage sound right to you? They have also said they do not have any information on egg withdrawal while she is on or after the medication, so would you be able to advise on that as well please?
      Many thanks for your help

    • Hi there! So glad that you found a vet that is helping you out and I hope that Ashley heals quickly. I believe the dose you describe is similar to the one my Tilly needed. I would do as the vet advises. Yes, it was for 10 days. I do not have any info on egg withdrawal. Sorry.

    • Thank you for your quick reply, that has really put my mind at rest coming from someone who has experienced it!
      By my vets own admission they know very little about chickens and were going on what I had relayed from your above information.
      Thanks again
      Penny (and Ashley)

  33. My chicken is missing an eye and there is a liquid substance coming from it and i really don't know what to do about it. can someone help me?

  34. Your best bet is to see a veterinarian. It could be an infection or a foreign body. Vetericyn does make an eye safe wash that I would start using as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

  35. I have a chicken with gleet that I have been treating with acv and yogurt for 5 weeks now with no change. The last 3 eggs she has laid in the last 4 days have shells so thin that they burst on trying to pick them up.
    I give her yogurt every four days, could this be affecting the shells as the rest of my flock are healthy and their eggs are perfect.
    She is one of my best layers, but losing her eggs and seeing her with this problem which she has had for over 6 weeks now, I have been seriously thinking about putting down.

    • Poor thing. The yogurt will not affect the quality of the egg shells. It is a good source of calcium. Her reproductive system is probably quite irritated. I think she would probably benefit from a trip to a vet for an all over assessment. Vent gleet can also be with other conditions. She might also benefit from an oral medication to treat the infection that the vet can prescribe. I hope this helps. Good luck. I'll be thinking of you both.

  36. I have just started our girl on nilstat today, she has what looks like vent gleet, and despite bathing her vent is still very messy and looks sore – she is still laying eggs although this must be extremely painful for her. She is getting yoghurt/probiotics which she loves and is eating lots of grit. I just wonder how long we should wait to expect an improvement or when to see a vet?

    • You should start seeing improvement within a few days but you will need to treat her for at least 10 to 14 days depending on the severity of the infection. If there is no improvement in about a week. I would visit the vet.

    • I think my girl has a prolapse as there is a red mass outside of her vent – and the faeces are sticking to the mass and her feathers (she is only 8 months old), she is still eating and laying eggs – what is the best treatment for her? thank you for your help!

    • I would bathe her (see my post how to give a chicken a bath.) dry her and apply hydrocortisone cream 1% to her vent twice per day. I would isolate her in a dimly lit place so she stops laying eggs to give her a chance to heal and prevent others from pecking at her vent area. Hope this helps.

    • thank you so much for your advice! Having read your blog about bathing using a towel over the head and shoulders we were able to give her a much longer bath last night and removed most of the faeces – the mass popped back into her vent and we have applied cream and kept her in a dark place – she is looking much better this morning – what a relief, and now I know what a vent should look like – very new at this but determined to do the best for our girls. We have Gracie – black aracuna, Isla – grey bantam, Vanessa – light sussex and Maddie – a fluffy footed golden girl. I so appreciate the help!

  37. My chicken s right foot was bleeding bad,today I bathed it,and noticed the end nail on right leg was broken of,she looks like she has spikes,sticking out,I've cleaned her up,and put chicken wound cream on it,she is limping bad tonight should I bandage it up,please help thankyou,

    • Are you talking about a broken toe nail or a broken leg? The nail will grow back. It should clot off. Most likely it broke close to the quick. If the leg is broken then I would take her to a vet.

      • you can strike the vet out just fine in case of a broken leg , you can treat the chicken at home , I had one with a very bad broken leg , all you need to do ; take two straws , put in both another ‘home-object ‘ , for example just a tiny treebranch-sticky so it can’t give infections , parasites etc due it’s ‘ protectection from the plastic ‘ , now you need something soft , just cleenex is fine , even toiletpaper but depends on how soft it feels , for more comfort I think a tissue will be best , now put the straws on each side of the leg on a tissue around it first ofcourse (this prevents taking of skin or causing harm when removal ) now you can use all kinds of tape you have in fact because the leg is good isolated by the cleenex , make sure your chicken gets some extra calcium and vitamin B , you can perfectly use supplements for humans but ONLY if not containing any iron ! you can cause some sevear damage in the fosforlevel in the blood if any of those contain any other then the vitamines B and calcium , don’t give a full tablet because the small animal needs ofcourse a smaller dosage , a good dosage in the case of a broken leg is 1/4th of human supplements , not daily , just once a week and if the chicken is not feeling a little bit better after +- 3-4 days add the vit B again , keep it on a place seperate from the flock and warmer , don’t put her on any hard flooring but a nice towel with a little bit hay is fine , never put hay where the hen itself is because it straps around their legs . About two weeks you will see a very good improvement and possible cured . ( information learned during working with a vet who letted me treating animals of all kinds at my own place ) I hope this information is helpfull . Kind Regards out of Belgium and please forgive any spelling / grammar 🙂 p.s. : your chicken in case of broken leg has more pain than if we , humans or mammals , the pain is unbearable and you can use a ‘numb cream ‘ , this cream is often used by doctors for stitching up and treating small area’s , also in case of esthetical non surgery for example lips injection , the cream has lots in common like going to a dentist , only available on prescription unfurtunately yet your vet or own doc can prescribe it . This can help if the pain causes the chicken too much suffering that it even won’t eat , but please note that if you use a numb cream the pain does NOT cure NOR does it take away all the pain and in case the chicken does not experience pain anymore it will try to walk and even scratch do please prevent her from doing this and make sure she gets all the rest she requires . I treated 6 hens only but this is in my experience a very effective ‘ home method of curing a broken leg ( if the ellbow isn’t broken only ofcourse , last case will need or more care or best indeed a veterinarian )

  38. I’ve got a hen who is prone to vent gleet. I use BOB, Big Old Bird in the water for three days and then off for two weeks. I’ve almost cured her. Every once in a while I get off schedule and she’ll start to have a messy bottom. Back on the BOB and she’s good. I do a tsp in a gallon of water and all the hens get it.

  39. Can a young hen die from vent gleet? I just had one of my favs die today and didn’t notice until today that she had a messy butt.

    • I am so sorry to hear that you lost your henny girl. Yes, it is possible. Vent gleet is a fungal infection. Like all infections if severe, it can enter the blood stream and cause a condition known as sepsis. There are also other infections and conditions that can cause diarrhea too and that is important to keep in mind. Without a necropsy done on the hen, there is no way to tell for certain.

    • Yes, they can die from vent fleet because the infection can change from being localized to the cloaca area to the entire digestive tract or even the blood stream. Vent gleet can also signal that something else is wrong in the digestive or reproductive tract too.

  40. Hi, we have our second chicken showing all the signs of vent gleet. However, they totally stopped eating and just stand around like they are in a trance. We have had other pets and when they exhibited this behavior they died. Could there be another problem?

    • Oh yes, it definitely can for sure. Vent gleet is an infection. Remember that the “digestive track” and the “reproductive track” merge in the body of a chicken. Therefore, the infection can be anywhere in the tract higher up from the crop all the way through to the cloaca (vent). Infections if left untreated for a period of time can also progress to being systemic and enter the blood stream. My guess then is that this is probably what has happened. Also to note, that egg bound hens sometimes exhibit diarrhea when there is an egg that they cannot pass. That condition should not be confused with vent gleet. Lastly, chickens can be susceptible to cancers and tumors. When they grow large enough they can block or affect the digestive tract and cause diarrhea and malaise too. Lots more to share than in just this comment. I hope this begins to clarify things for you.

  41. Thank you so much for all this wonderful information. I had 2 seramas with vent gleet one died last night and I read all of the comments. I had done everything you suggested but they did appear to have a cough/sneeze so I was looking about respiratory problems and was advised to get nutri drops for lethargic and weak birds. Having read every single comment, I checked the ingredients, cane molasses. I feel dreadful losing my lovely little serama. But if this post helps anyone else, that would be good.

  42. My 14 month old chicken seems to have an old dark red brown blood scab down her back with green around it only had her 4 days bathed her n saw today what is it? X

  43. Great tips and practical info. I have a Barred Rock that seems to have this. I saw egg leaking out of her tonight. Im going to bath and blow dry, massage and use lube to try and get egg out. Must be broken because yellow and cream is dripping out I saw at 7pm. I was going to do this in the morning I hope thats ok???
    I love the yogurt idea once a week. I’ll use plain Greek yogurt on the feed once a week.

    • I sure hope that she makes a speedy recovery. One note, she could also be internally laying or an egg could have broken inside. She might need to see a vet for antibiotics to prevent an infection in her abdominal cavity or reproductive tract. Keep me posted with how things go.

      • She passed a soft egg that next morning. Im treating her now with the anti fungal med creams twice a day for 14 days. I had given her a warm bath and blow dry first. Shes getting greek plain yogurt on lettuce daily with my other birds and probiotics in the water changed fresh daily. Her bottom is red all the up her chest bone. Its been red so long ive asked others but never found what this could be till googling around more and found what this must be.

      • Still red but not as bad. Im still using the anti fungal cream but once a day and washing her butt up every few days. The cream looks lile it has helped so Im going to keep it up another week. Her weight is great shes not laying for months no big molt and laid up a storm for over a 1year daily. Shes (they all are) getting plain greek yogurt on lettuce or greens daily and long with layer, grow, flax, pumpkin. Vitamins and probiotics in water. They get some really fine scratch a handful of corn 9 birds. Oyster shell and fine grit and they free range. Some fruit like bananas, oatmeal in he winter, molasses and coconut oil.

  44. Hi I’m hoping someone can help me….my chicken pepper is butt inside has this white stuff…it’s not running…it’s stuck on ..we tried to soak her butt to remove it but it’s not budging…it’s like it needs to be scrapped off….I’m not even sure what is going on. It’s sad cause when she poops she makes this sound . She is eating and drinking…but very skinny …..I’m really worried about her….every day I soak her ,clean the area the best I can….but I just can’t get that white stuff’s like it’s clogging up her vent….

    • I think you might need the assistance of a vet. The white stuff is not necessarily gleet but could also be urates or signs of something else serious going on. Feel free to share pics on my Facebook page and we can all try to help you out.

  45. Also my pepper is only 4 months old….so we did take her to the vet but he just gave her a antibiotic shot .ive been trying to fine someone to help me…I’m doing the Epson salt ,yogurt….-trying to clean and get that chunky white stuff that won’t come out and when we do get some of it out she bleeds a little…we put olive oil to maybe help soften the area up….I’m all out of what to do…

  46. Hi Melissa it’s Julie from Ireland few weeks I had contacted you about my hen with Vent Gleet, following the 10 day course on Nystatin Suspension she’s flying it now and laying an egg every morning which I remove and throw away for 1 complete month !
    Now I have another one of my girls with a limp and a mucky rear end where she sits down all the time to rest her leg it seems to be a bit painful is there anything I can give her ? I have her resting in the pen , so as for her bottom end there is missing feathers red skin and mucky but it’s different from the first hen because she’s not leaking discharge at all ? I check her vent several times a day but I’m just not sure if it’s Vent Gleet because it’s different to the first hen !
    Any Help Would Be Appreciated Melissa!

    • Hi Julie, I am so sorry for the delay. I was traveling. I’m glad that the vent gleet is all better now. I am so happy for you. I am sad to hear that another one of your girls has an icky bottom. Could you post some photos of your girl on my Facebook page so I can help to see what is going on with her. We’ve got a great community over there and I am sure we can all share our advice and opinions.

  47. Hi.two of my girls have white discharge from vent,and their vent feathers always are wet.but they are normal and healthy.I wash their feathers everyday.but nothing change.Is it vent gleet?I add ACV in their water.can epsom salt help with vent gleet? and treat completely?

  48. So thankful for this post. We took in several girls that are a year old and they almost all had pasty butt. I had never had one aged only babies to have pasty butt. I asked a couple friends and they had never heard of older hens getting it as well. I noticed yesterday one of my girls acting odd and distancing herself. Today she was laying against the fence in a dirt bath panting B.B. I checked her EBT and it was red and oozing a pus like substance. I’ve cleaned the water containers. Added the garlic and apple cider vinegar. Wondering if it’s going to be to much to add probiotics now? Or is it okay to go ahead and add. And are their eggs okay or should I toss them? the girl I was worried about is eating and drinking. Can’t say she is laying as I have three Cochins that lay at various times. Thanks again for this post and any tips you can share.

  49. I have 80 chicks, roughly a week old. Their brooder is 8’x 16′, however due to their size we have them in half of it right now until they begin to need more space. All chicks have been thriving, although we had a little bit of a tough time maintaining the temp. at first (nothing drastic, and is stabilized now). This evening I was checking on them and noticed one seemed very lethargic. I tried to encourage her to move just to make sure she wasn’t taking a deep snooze, but she didn’t even flinch. I dipped her beak in water to promote drinking (I also have a few of the waterers filled with the powder mixture of electrolytes and probiotic – the others with just plain water). She took what coated her beak but that’s it. I then noticed she expelled a clear, slime-like discharge from her vent. Absolutely no signs of fecal matter…just clear. I’ve never seen this before but keep reading mucous in relation to the dreaded coccidiosis. I was told these baby chicks were vaccinated for mereks, and to keep them on non-medicated feed. Seeing that it’s Friday, I don’t think I will have an opportunity to have a fecal test done until Monday, and of course the possibility of waiting a few more days for the results. I’d hate to assume coccidiosis and put them all on treatment. Also, I read a few articles about gleet of course including this one, and this article seems to be describing the symptoms more accurately. Any advice will be greatly appreciated – I’m feeling terrible watching her like this. Thank you!

    *update – she is now expelling a white discharge from her vent. No swelling or loss of down around the vent. I am going to gently wash the area and try garlic in water. 🙁 I hope she gets through this

    • Hi there, I am so sorry that I got this now. I was traveling.
      Wow! 80 chicks that is a ton of babies. How fun! Marek’s vaccination has nothing to do with coccidiosis. If there were vaccinated for coccidiosis then they should be on a non-medicated feed. Medicated feed will negate the effect of the vaccine. Also note, the medication in the feed will prevent but not treat coccidiosis. If you feel they might have coccidiosis, which is a strong possibility given the number of chicks, then they all should be treated with Corid, starting immediately. Usually they will be pooping blood with a coccidiosis infection and they die rather quickly from bleeding out. Clean the entire brooder and keep it very dry. Clean up water spills and droppings promptly. They should all be kept around 90 degrees right now too. Chilling them can cause stress and death. I agree with the vitamins and minerals in the water. No, they are way too early to get vent gleet. You might need to make a smaller brooder for her to nurse her back to health. Sometimes, with so many chicks it can be difficult to care for them.

  50. Hi my chicken may have bent fleet she seems to be getting better and it has lasted for a long time now I’m wondering if it’s more serious but she is laying an egg a day I was also wondering if they are safe to eat??? She seems to be getting better gaining more weight eating more it’s just the white discharge coming from her vent and it’s red and every time she lays an egg it gets bloody……help?

    • If she is on medication for this, then I would recommend researching the egg laying withdrawal period- meaning how long if you have to wait before eating her eggs. Egg laying is a sign that her health is improving. If you still have concerns about your chickens, the best advice I can share is to visit a veterinarian. They can best assist you, do a physical exam and testing in person. I’m hoping that your girl makes a full recovery.

  51. Hello I was wondering if this would also work on a turkey. We rescently picked up a baby turkey who’s butt had been pecked at by others, now its healed over you can’t see the vent this little guy/gal is in a lot of pain from what we can tell and not going to the bathroom. I’d love to be able to help it cause honestly he/she looks healthy minus the butt thing though he/she is getting weaker.

  52. Hi. We have 7 chickens – I feel bad because I only noticed today that one of them had a large bald area at her backside. I did not notice any discharge, however, she does not allow me to get close to her – I am waiting for my husband to grab her as she will allow him to pick her up. None of our other 7 are missing any feathers and this is the only place she is missing any. So, I am not sure if we should treat her for this or if it might be something else. This is the first time we have had an issue. They are 1 year – no roosters, only hens, all still laying daily. However, this bald spot is large and very red – I am sure she is not comfortable. Thank you for any help.

  53. Does Vent gleet have any other things to look for? My human doc said unsteadyness can happen…The hen in question has a mild case of bumblefoot (I think) but she goes backward and appears to be shaky???

  54. Hello. I have a hen that has had green discharge and she is not walking. I have bathed her and cleaned her and put iodine on her butt because she is bald and red back there. Today I put her in the bath and she stood up but she had no balance. She has not stood for a week. And ideas on what i should do

  55. My hen has poopy rear and noticed white discharge this morning but she has been eating and free ranging with the others. I wouldn’t have even known if I didn’t check them for problems every couple days. No vets in my area. What should I make of this?

    • I would give her a bath. Clean her up and see if it returns. This can be caused by her taking in too much water on a hot day, vent gleet, being egg bound or another infection in the reproductive tract. These are all things that come to mind when you try to figure out what is going on.

      • How about brewers yeast? Could too much of that supplement cause this issue? I mix the brewers yeast in with my feed because I have ducks but have often wondered how much is a good amount and how much is too much. I know the brewers yeast isn’t activated, but it is yeast.

      • I don’t use Brewer’s Yeast. Sorry. I try to avoid extra supplements. Plus remember- Vent gleet is a yeast infection. I’m not sure what the yeast’s role would be in chickens. The studies that I have researched all basically concluded the following- no differences between those fed brewer’s yeast and those not: “Body mass, body mass gain, feed conversion ratio, health status, mortality and carcass characteristics were investigated during 42 days of the experiment. Results showed that there were no significant differences between control and experimental group of the same sex.”

    • Fermented foods are changed due to the presence of yeasts and lack of oxygen. Both ferments and brewer’s yeast (while an excellent source of B vitamins) definitely tilt the body towards the ‘yeasty side’, animals or humans. If your hen has vent gleet or sour crop, removing these products from their diet would be a priority. However, a higher protein content, probiotics and general nutrient supplements (i.e. a multivitamin) are ‘supplements’ that can help to bring their body back into homeostasis. Although I feed a high-quality organic lay pellet and organic scratch, I had what I feel is a higher mortality rate than normal and a low egg count until I started supplementing with vitamins. No matter what anyone says, foods these days do not carry the nutrient amounts that most people and animals need to thrive, esp if you live in an extreme environment like I do (AZ).

  56. Hi i have a hen that has bummble foot we was treating it with a antibotic i just pulled her off the medicine today 10/14 but heres where i am at a loss we bought five 6 month old barred rock hens four of them started laying there eggs two days after we brought them home the one hen has bumble foot so we got some medicine for her and she is still separated from the others so i would not mix up the eggs but she hasnt layed any eggs at all even before we treated her i have had them roughly about a month now when can i put her back in with the flock and can the eggs be eaten when she starts laying or should i just keep her away from the flock and throw the eggs away the vet said to discard any eggs for 14 days but she has yet to lay any eggs

    • If you are treating her with an oral medication you will need to refer to the packaging for the egg withdrawal period or recommendations from the veterinarian. Since the vet said to wait 14 days after the last dose, whether she is laying eggs or not that is the withdrawal period. After 14 days, the eggs are safe to eat. I would also try and do some investigation as to why your flock is developing bumble foot. I would look at the roosts and any areas where she could get splinters or injuries and also clean up the chicken coop and run from chicken manure, so there is less of a risk of infections.

  57. I have one hen who is losing feathers like crazy. She has random bare spots. It’s not molting season. I have checked for mites and lice — all negative. She is separated from her flock in case she has a disease. She’s on layer pellets and scratch as it is cold here in New England. I added apple cider vinegar to her water. Any other suggestions?

    • It is actually molting season right now in New England, so I think she is molting. Our chickens are all at different stages of their molt right now. I would give her a temporary source of extra protein like dried meal worms and sunflower seeds (unsalted) to help supplement her diet. I would put her back with the flock. She probably misses them. Hope this helps.

  58. Thank you, Melissa. This is so helpful. All other hens have completed their molt and have their beautiful new “winter” feathers. She is loving the extra meal worms! Happy Holiday season to you and yours!

  59. 7 Golden Comets, 10mths old,healthy layers…super clean environment. HOWEVER, 3 of them have crusted vents; black, hard poop on VERY fluffy butts. Too cold to bathe, but can I trim the questionable area! Thanks.

    • I would not trim the feathers. Can you bathe them inside? I would try to do that. Then completely dry them all the way with the hair dryer prior to bringing them back outside. Also, what are you feeding them? Are they getting just layer feed or are you giving them anything else additional? Their diet can affect their poops.

  60. Hi there, Do they just have red bottoms or is their white drainage coming from the vent? It may not be vent gleet….. Could be mites or feather picking too.
    Sounds like they are spoiled ladies. Remember that your chickens should be getting 90% of their nutrition from their organic layer pellets. You might be over treating them. 16 ounces is a pound of mealworms. That is a huge amount. I would not feed each hen more than a few mealworms each. Bread also has no nutritional value for them as well. Might I suggest, try cutting way back on extra foods. Make sure they have plenty of room. If confined all the time at least 10 square feet per chicken and take a peek at my post on missing feathers. Fresh water as you have been doing too. Hope this all helps.

  61. This is really helpful, i had two cases of vent gleet, unfortunately i lost one of the chicken before i could discover the problem.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your chickens. I hope this information can come in handy, but hopefully you won’t have to use it. I hope that your flock remains healthy.

Leave a Comment

About me

Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.