Gummy Butt (aka Vent Gleet)

Common poultry diseases and conditions, advice on what they are and how to treat them.
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Gummy Butt (aka Vent Gleet)

Postby Scarlet » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi everyone. I've got a hen with a weird problem: her poo seems to be gumming up her vent. Her backside has been dirty for a couple of weeks, a few days ago I took a closer look and found a whole lot of stuck-together feathers and an odd smell, so decided to give her a bath. It took a fair amount of soaking and me crushing the "dags" (with gloves on!) to get it all off. Some of it was crusted over her vent and seemed to be partially blocking it. I bet she felt better afterwards!

I put her in the hospital coop and kept an eye on her for a couple of days. The poo was very stinky and not deposited in neat plops like normal, but softer and... well, gluey. And it glued up her feathers and butt again. So I've just given her another bath, but there still seems to be stuff plugging up her vent.

Any ideas what this could be, and if there's anything I can do to make it better? At the moment I'm thinking she might have to be culled, because I can't just leave her like this - she's attracting lots of flies even now; what's it going to be like when the weather warms up?

Verity's a Silver Pencilled Wyandotte, getting on for 3 years old. She lays like a Shaver, rarely missing a day, though she's been on holiday since moulting in autumn and hasn't started again yet.
Last edited by Scarlet on Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2 BPR crosses (Trouble and Brownie), 1 Partridge Wyandotte (Rosie), 1 Black Orpington (Nigella), 3 Barnevelders (Alison, Annabel and Delia), and one Barnevelder cockerel (Gordon).
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Re: Gummy Butt

Postby wolga » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:17 pm

Hi Scarlet,
you are definitely doing the right thing. You could give her backside a good trimm and that
should stop the built up in her feathers. What are you feeding her ? Maybe a diet of grains would help.
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Re: Gummy Butt

Postby Marina » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:48 pm

Maybe it's vent gleet.

Is the smell yeasty? It's a nasty thing to have and, unless you get a systemic untifungal medication for her, it will be difficult, if not impossibkle, to get rid of it.

If you google vent gleet you'll come across a number of pictures with descriptions. If you think it's something different please let us know.
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Re: Gummy Butt

Postby Scarlet » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:15 pm

Thank you for your replies, Wolga and Marina, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I think you were right about the vent gleet, Marina, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get rid of it. When Verity started laying again her cloaca tore and it was all a bit of a mess - and painful, I'm sure - so in the end we made the decision to put her down. :(

I wonder how she could have got it. Their main feed is Barnyard layer pellets (not the best I know, but it's readily available here and they've always done well on it) with a handful of wheat each (more to keep them friendly than anything), a few scraps and whatever they can forage in a large run. And oyster shell grit. Vent gleet can result from spoiled feed, right? Well I keep their food in sealed containers, and the Grandpa's feeder is under shelter so unlikely to get wet, but I know the pellets can spoil before they ever get to me. Hm! And then of course who knows what dirty puddles they drink from in winter, when everything's wet.

At least if it ever shows up again in another hen I'll know straight away what it is and what steps to take. I won't forget that smell.
2 BPR crosses (Trouble and Brownie), 1 Partridge Wyandotte (Rosie), 1 Black Orpington (Nigella), 3 Barnevelders (Alison, Annabel and Delia), and one Barnevelder cockerel (Gordon).
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Re: Gummy Butt

Postby wolga » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:30 am

Hi Scarlet,
so sorry to hear that you had to put her down. But you gave it a good shot and tried everything you could.
Sometimes it's just the way it is no matter how hard we try. You might never know what caused it. Maybe some
chooks are just a bit more receptive to diseases than others.
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Re: Gummy Butt

Postby Marina » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:21 pm

Hi Scarlett,

I'm sorry to read that you lost her but many thanks for the update. There are plenty of people who read these posts and if a thread ends with a conclusion it's very valuable for others.

As to what may have caused the vent gleet: Fungal infections are very contagious and you are not the first person I hear of who's had this problem in her flock. I've never heard of a whole flock being infected - only one or a very small number of individuals are usually affected and it doesn't seem to spread. This supports what Wolga mentioned - some chooks just are more inclined to pick up problems than others.
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