Chicken Coop Chatter©
There can be many causes for *vent gleet*. Parasites is a common cause, change of diet, or even over indulgence in treats, and stress, but there are illnesses that will also cause it such as coccidiosis, viral infections and New Castle Disease.
Vent gleet looks nasty, and similar to *pasty butt*, there will be feces around the vent and feathers will be plastered to the bird around the vent. You may see swelling of the vent and even bleeding and typically associated with a runny stool; start your ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) solution of 1 T. Vinegar to 1 gallon water, to bring the pH level into balance. (see my article on making your own ACV, http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/1/category/making-vinegar/1.html)
Soak the bird in warm Epsom salt water, to remove all the feces from their feathers and help heal the vent which is often red and sore and possibly bleeding. While soaking, be watching for parasites, such as round worms which are most common in chickens. But be watching at that time for other parasites as well, such as scale mites around the leg scales, and mites around the eyes, beak and vent. If you notice any parasites, treat accordingly. Each parasite will have a different means of treatment. Make sure your bird is completely dry and keep in a carrier, garage or area that is warm, draft free and away from the rest of the flock, for 3 or 4 days while treating.
You will need an over- the -counter yeast infection treatment formula. Squirt about 1/2 tsp. into and around the vent and rub this in, to aid in healing.
A slurry of cooked rice and canned pumpkin given to the chickens is easily digested and recommended by a veterinarian, provided parasites is not the cause. Most vets will do a stool test to determine if parasites are a cause, even if they do not typically treat fowl, however when bathing or soaking your bird, you should be able to see parasites through observation.
Probiotics are helpful in treating vent gleet. Plain yogurt with live bacteria provides all the probiotic needed and can be either mixed with some of their feed formula, or into scrambled eggs. They do not need the yogurt as a steady diet and we advise against using it more than a couple times a month and no more than once a week. You can make your own yogurt to have on hand and it freezes well without killing the active bacteria. Just bring it to room temperature and give to them as needed. (see my article on making your own yogurt, http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/3/post/2014/02/yogurt-good-for-you-and-chickens.html
Antibiotics should not be necessary in treating the vent gleet unless illness is associated. Then you may need to administer the antibiotic in water. IF using antibiotics, do not eat the eggs or sell consumable eggs for at least 5 days after the last treatment. Read the instructions on the antibiotic you have chosen, some will require up to 2 weeks after treatment to be considered for consumption.
Usually within 3 or 4 days you will see improvement or complete cure, and may notice within a couple of days. Repeat treatments as necessary, and be observing the entire flock for signs of illness, lethargy, or runny stool. If you have more than one or two birds showing signs, you should treat the entire flock, not just the one or two. Typically when more than one is showing signs of illness, they will all contract the illness. If you have a bird that seems to have chronic vent gleet, that bird should be culled in the event it is a carrier and infecting the other birds in the flock.
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