Oh the shame of it. One day your hen has a lovely fluffy bottom the next she has a nasty sticky yellow white paste around her vent and soiling her beautiful feathers. You may also notice her flock mates might keep a wide birth as the smell is really unpleasant! These are all signs that your poor little hen has developed vent gleet.
Any Google search on vent gleet will come up with a couple of different causes. Some say it is caused by a Herpes virus and is a STD others say it is a yeast infection (Candida albicans) similar to thrush.
A hen that has been living in a cage with no cockerel is not likely to have vent gleet caused by a Herpes virus. I would always treat on the basis of it being a yeast infection unless you have a cockerel with your girls.
Here are my tips for successfully treating vent gleet:
- Put two tablespoons of Epsom salts into a washing up bowl half full of comfortably hot water.
- Sit your hen into the water and allow her to soak her bottom for a good 10 minutes – she will enjoy this and may start to nod off!
- Take her out and pat dry with an old towel.
- Apply Canesten cream around the vent area and just inside the entrance to the vent.
- Add Apple Cider vinegar to her drinking water and provide a probiotic daily.
- Repeat the bath every 48 hours and re-apply the cream.
If you do not see an improvement in the first week and you keep a cockerel with your hen you will need to have the hen tested for Herpes Virus.
If you would like to ask Gaynor a hen health question please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hen Central on 01884 860084. To support our Advice Line we ask for a nominal donation to help fund this service, so that we can continue to help your hens.