Vent gleet in chickens is an unpleasant sight to behold and a challenging condition to treat. The other day, I was out in my chicken coop, tending to my flock of chickens, when I noticed that one of my chickens was exhibiting signs of vent gleet. Vent gleet can sometimes occur at the same time as a prolapsed egg.
In this post, I’ll cover how to watch out for Vent gleet in your flock, and restore your chicken’s fluffy butt if they ever suffer from it.
- How Do I Know if My Chicken Has Vent Gleet?
- Vent Gleet in Chickens Symptoms
- Signs and Symptoms of Vent Gleet
- What Causes Vent Gleet in Chickens?
- How to Treat Vent Gleet in Chickens Naturally?
- Best Vent Gleet in Chickens Medicine
- How Do You Prevent Chickens From Getting Vent Gleets?
- Vent Gleet in Chickens FAQ
What is Vent gleet in chickens? Vent gleet, known as cloacitis or thrush, can cause chickens to have a foul-smelling vent that releases a yellowish-white discharge. Cloacitis in chickens may also result in feather loss in their bottom area.
Vent gleet is a fungal yeast infection that depicts increased pH ranges and an imbalance of bad bacteria in your chicken’s gut. It is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, in your chicken’s digestive and reproductive tracts and is most visible in the cloaca.
Note: The cloaca is the common opening for your chicken’s digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.
The first time I had to deal with a breakout of vent gleet on the chickens in my flock was a terrible nightmare. I was a bit familiar with the condition, and I conducted extensive research on treatment options. Most of my chickens were acting lethargic and they had foul-smelling discharge oozing from their vents.
How Do I Know if My Chicken Has Vent Gleet?
Vent gleet becomes apparent when you look and smell your chicken. Often you may notice the smell or see a difference in how your chicken looks that will clue you in.
What Does Vent Gleet Look Like?
Vent gleet looks like a white or yellow cheesy, creamy or thick discharge found around the chicken’s vent. It may also appear as a crusty or scab-like material around the vent
What does vent gleet smell like?
Vent gleet has a foul smell. It could be a strong unpleasant smell or the smell of fermenting yeast( A sour, yeasty odor that could be described as a combination of rotten eggs and baking bread.)
Normal chicken vent vs. vent gleet comparison
A Normal chicken vent is smooth, clean, red or pink in color, free from any discharge or discoloration, and has clean feathers around it that are not matted with droppings or dirt while the vent of a chicken suffering from vent gleet has a white, creamy, foul-smelling discharge and the feathers around it may be matted with the discharge, dirt or be damaged or missing due to the irritation caused by the infection.
Vent Gleet in Chickens Symptoms
Vent gleet is a common infection that can affect chickens of any age, and it’s important to know what signs to look out for and how to manage it.
Chicken With Vent Gleet Has an Oozing Whitish Discharge
A chicken with vent gleet has an oozing whitish discharge that varies in consistency, from a thin watery discharge to a thick, cheesy-like discharge. This discharge is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus, Candida albicans in your chicken’s oviduct and is often accompanied by a foul smell.
Signs and Symptoms of Vent Gleet
The Symptoms of vent gleet can vary from chicken to chicken due to the degree of infection. They include:
Whitish discharge from the vent that may smell like fermenting yeast. It looks like a thin, stringy, yellowish-white substance.
Missing feathers around the vent because the fungi, Candida albicans,which is responsible for the infection, irritates the vent area and causes inflammation thereby making the feathers become brittle and break off.
Red or swollen vent
Soiled feathers pasted around the vent(coated with fecal material)
Smelly watery droppings
Other signs of advanced vent gleet are decreased appetite, weight loss, decrease in egg production, soft swollen abdomen, and sour crop. A sour crop is due to the replacement of beneficial bacteria with an overgrowth of Candida in the chicken’s crop, thereby making the food in the crop sour, and disrupting digestion.
Note: The crop is a part of your chicken’s esophagus where the early stages of digestion occur.
What Causes Vent Gleet in Chickens?
Several factors can lead to vent gleet in your chickens ranging from what they consume to simple hygiene. Some of these factors include:
Eating Moldy or Spoiled Food can cause vent gleet
Chickens can get vent gleet from moldy or spoiled food. Just as moldy or spoiled food can make you sick, it can also make your chickens sick. Moldy food (especially corn, nuts, and most grains) contains mycotoxins that can poison your chickens, and give rise to conditions like vent gleet. Ingesting moldy food also introduces fungi to your chicken’s gut.
Drinking Contaminated Water can cause vent gleet
Chickens can get vent gleet from drinking contaminated water. Contaminated water looks dirty and may smell bad. It also contains germs that are harmful to your chicken’s digestive system, thereby giving rise to various infections like vent gleet. Your chickens will take contaminated water if they are deprived of clean water, or if dirty water is left lying around carelessly.
Poor Hygiene Increases the Risk of vent gleet
Keeping your chickens in an environment with poor sanitary conditions can cause vent gleet. Poor hygiene provides a fertile environment for fungi and bacteria to breed, making it easier for your chicken’s cloaca to be open to infections like vent gleet. Poor hygiene and stress can also weaken your chicken’s immune system and make them susceptible to vent gleet.
Wet Conditions Initiate vent gleet
Chickens can get vent gleet from wet environmental conditions. Sometimes, your chickens may overturn their water into their feed or soil the environment with their droppings. Wet conditions give rise to wet litter or bedding which can, in turn, promote the growth of fungi and bacteria and cause vent gleet.
Imbalance of the normal flora(Bacteria imbalance) can cause vent gleet
Chickens can get vent gleet when they have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut. When the balance of good bacteria in your chicken’s gut is destroyed, it could result in vent gleet. In addition, overuse of antibiotics kills good bacteria and can allow harmful fungi like Candida albicans to grow.
High-carbohydrate diet can cause vent gleet
Chickens can get vent gleet from a high carbohydrate diet. If your chicken’s diet is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, it increases the level of glucose in your chicken’s body, and also spikes the amount of yeast in your chicken’s body and vent area. This provides a favorable environment for fungal growth, which in turn, leads to vent gleet.
How to Treat Vent Gleet in Chickens Naturally?
To treat a chicken with Vent Gleet naturally first make sure you keep her coop clean and dry, avoid moldy and dirty feed or water, bathe her butt as explained below in the Treatment Method steps, provide her with a fresh nutritious diet, add apple cider vinegar to her water, give probiotics, and provide her with a course of antifungal medication like Canesten cream. You need antifungal cream because it provides effective treatment and complete destruction of the pathogens that cause vent gleet.
It is much better to use natural remedies such as garlic, apple cider vinegar, yogurt, or probiotics to treat vent gleet. These natural remedies help to restore the balance of healthy bacteria in your chicken’s gut and help to promote healing.
How long does it take to treat vent gleet?
Treating vent gleet in chickens takes around seven (7) days. If treatment time exceeds 7 days, cull your chicken fro the flock for proper monitiring and effective treatment. Treating vent gleet could take about three days when you detect the affected chicken early enough and start treatment immediately. In cases where treatment is not started early enough or in cases of advanced vent gleet, treatment takes more than a week. It could even extend to three weeks. However, you need to continue treatment until you see signs of improvement and your chicken is well again.
Does apple cider vinegar help with vent gleet?
Apple cider vinegar helps with vent gleet. It contains acetic acid.which helps kill off harmful fungi that cause vent gleet. Ensure you do not give your chickens the vinegar directly because it is too strong for them to drink and can harm them. Instead, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to each gallon of your chicken’s drinking water.
If left untreated for a long time, vent gleet can lead to serious health issues in your chickens. It is not easy to notice vent gleet in its early stages before it spreads to the reproductive system of your chicken. However, once detected, it can be combated by improving hygiene, avoiding the use of antibiotics, providing a balanced diet, reducing environmental stress, and providing antifungal medication.
Note: Bacteria do not cause vent gleet, which should NEVER be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics kill both bad and good bacteria that the chicken needs to survive. Using antibiotics(a bacterial cure) for a fungal disease condition like vent gleet will only make matters worse. Also, probiotics help rebalance your chicken’s digestive system and restore a healthy bacterial balance in your chicken’s gut.
The Steps in the Treatment of Vent Gleet Include:
- Keep your chicken coop clean and dry, and maintain good hygiene.
- Isolate the affected chicken to prevent the other hens from pecking her vent area.
- Bathe your chicken’s butt area(Sit your hen in a half-filled bowl of comfortably hot water mixed with two tablespoons of Epsom salt and soak her bottom for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then take her out and rub her wet butt area softly with a clean towel) Repeat every 48 hours.
- Apply Antifungal cream like Canesten twice daily to your chicken’s vent area for about two weeks, or until you see clear signs of improvement.
- Avoid feeding the affected chicken with high water content food or fruits to prevent watery stools.
- Provide probiotics: Provide probiotics to help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the chicken’s gut, which can help prevent future infections
- Consult the Veterinarian in cases you can’t handle yourself to avoid fatalities. Most vets highly recommend nystatin liquid suspension because it kills the fungus Candida and gets rid of the infection. It is given orally for seven to ten days.
- Monitor your chicken closely. Check her vent for signs of improvement and make sure she eats and drinks well enough.
Best Vent Gleet in Chickens Medicine
There are several medicines that are used to treat vent gleet.
Treating vent gleet with Monistat
Monistat is an antifungal cream that treats vent gleet by killing or inhibiting the growth of the fungi, Candida albicans. It is safe for treating chickens suffering from vent gleet. It contains Miconazole and Clotrimazole which destroy the cell wall of the fungi.
Tea tree oil for vent gleet
I don’t recommend tea tree oil for treatment of vent gleet in chickens. Tea tree oil contains terpenes, which can be toxic to chickens. A friend of mine used it for vent gleet on her favorite chicken and she noticed that the chicken started acting strangely. The chicken suddenly became unable to stand, with her head bent.
My friend rushed her chicken to the Vet who stayed at about 1 km away and the Vet diagnosed that the tea tree oil was too strong for the chicken and caused an adverse reaction.
The Vet also suggested that the chicken might have mistakenly taken an unhealthy dosage of tea tree oil orally, or more than enough tea tree oil seeped through the chicken’s vent. The chicken was given a small amount of activated charcoal to deactivate the toxins, and she eventually turned out fine.
Vetericyn for vent gleet
I don’t recommend Vetericyn for the treatment of vent gleet. Vetiricyn is a wound and skin care product designed to help heal skin infections, open wounds and other skin irritations.
Vent Gleet is not a wound although it might cause inflammation on your chicken’s vent area. The hypochlorous acid in Vetericyn is effective against Candida but it is chemical in nature.
Nystatin for vent gleet
It is safe to use Nystatin oral suspension for vent gleet in chickens. Most vets administer it orally for seven to ten days. It kills the fungus Candida and gets rid of the infection.
How Do You Prevent Chickens From Getting Vent Gleets?
Preventing vent gleet in your chickens is the most effective method in the control of the condition because it reduces the risk of your chickens being exposed to the condition to the barest minimum.
Provide a balanced diet: Make sure your chickens have access to a well-balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals, and low carbohydrates. This will help keep their immune system strong and prevent nutrient deficiencies that can lead to vent gleet.
Keep your chickens’ environment clean to prevent the buildup of feces and bacteria that can contribute to vent gleet. Use a high-quality disinfectant to clean and sanitize the coop.
Provide plenty of fresh water: Ensure your chickens have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Dehydration can lead to a weakened immune system, making chickens more susceptible to infections that can cause vent gleet.
Minimize stress: Try to minimize stress in your chickens’ lives by providing plenty of space, avoiding overcrowding, and avoiding sudden changes to their environment or routine.
Provide a probiotic supplement: Consider providing your chickens with a probiotic supplement to restore the balance of good bacteria in your chicken’s gut. A healthy gut can help prevent bacterial infections that can lead to vent gleet.
Adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s water(in plastic waterers because vinegar will cause the metal waterers to rust) to boost their bacterial balance.
- Giving your chickens a tablespoon of plain unflavored yogurt occasionally.
- Don’t feed chickens kitchen scraps you would not eat yourself.
- Protect your chicken feed. Keep it dry and stored in airtight metal garbage cans.
- Throw moldy feed away immediately.
Vent Gleet in Chickens FAQ
Many questions about vent gleet are probably running through your mind. “Can my chicken die from vent gleet? Can I eat eggs from a chicken with vent gleet? What do I feed a chicken with Vent gleet?…” Let’s address some of those questions.
What Do You Feed A Chicken With A Vent Gleet?
Provide the chicken with a balanced and nutrient-rich diet low in carbohydrates, rich in adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals to help boost her immune system and aid in the healing process. You can also add garlic cloves (1 per gallon) to your chicken’s water, add apple cider vinegar to drinking water and provide a probiotic daily.
Offer dark leafy greens such as kale, collards, and spinach as part of a healthy diet. Avoid feeding your chicken suffering from vent gleet scraps you wouldn’t eat yourself, and high-carb snacks.
What are the complications of Vent gleet?
Some of the complications of vent gleet in chickens include inflammation of the cloaca(thereby making it red and sore; Watery foul-smelling diarrhea, Weight loss due to reduced feed intake or poor nutrients absorption, Egg-laying problems such as reduced egg production, soft-shelled eggs, or even the complete cessation of egg-laying, and Death. These complications can be prevented by early and effective treatment, proper hygiene and sanitation including regular cleaning of feeders, waterers, and bedding. and giving your chickens a balanced diet.
Can Chickens Die from Vent Gleet?
Yes. In severe cases, untreated vent gleet can lead to the death of the chicken. However, if you identify and treat it quickly with the right methods, then the chances of the chicken surviving are much higher. A chicken with vent gleet may also be more susceptible to other infections which puts it at the risk of death, so it is important to provide proper care and treatment.
Is Vent Gleet Contagious?
No. Vent gleet is not contagious but since your chickens are eating the same nature of feed and going through the same environmental stressors, there might be a breakout of the condition in your chicken flock. Most cases of vent gleet result from an overcrowded stressful environment where proper hygiene is not maintained. It is important to keep your coop clean and well-ventilated, maintain proper nutrition and provide adequate space for your chickens.
Can You Eat Eggs From a Chicken With Vent Gleet?
You can still eat eggs from a chicken with vent gleet if you don’t use antibiotics for treatment and if you boil the eggs well, but if the whole idea doesn’t sit well with you, feel free to keep your chicken in isolation and dispose the eggs.
I understand that infection of the vent area of your chicken causes food safety concerns and makes you wonder if the eggs are to be consumed or not. There is no problem if you follow the treatment method in this post and you NEVER use antibiotics to treat vent gleet. Antibiotics kills the good bacteria in your chicken’s gut necessary for the healing process of vent gleet and it also makes the eggs less nutritious and “not safe for human consumption”
I have a suggestion I tried out with my own chickens though, and it turned out pretty good. How about you boil the eggs and feed back to your chickens to help them gain the adequate proteins they need to fight the infection?
Can You Eat a Chicken With Vent Gleet?
I wouldn’t eat any chicken that has an infection because it could cause food poisoning. Personally, I can’t eat a chicken with vent gleet but I have seen other people who ate chickens with vent gleet and they weren’t affected. They explained that they disposed all the gut content and they boiled the chicken thoroughly with some vinegar to kill the fungi on the chicken.
My Favorite Chicken and Duck Supplies
This list contains affiliate products. Affiliate products do not cost more but helps to support BestFarmAnimals and our goal to provide farm animal owners with accurate and helpful information.
Manna Pro Oyster Shell keeps eggs strong. Before I gave my chickens oyster shell, I had the oddest eggs, many with weak and irregular shells. Now, I don’t have an issue.
Layer Feed by Manna Pro. I like pellets rather than crumbles as my chickens eat them better and less gets wasted or scavenged by rodents. A good layer feed makes the difference in hens laying many more eggs.
My chickens love this mealworm treat, which gives added protein, something that’s great during molting and winter months.
There are many ways to feed and water your chickens. I like this food and water setup the best because it reduces waste, saves me time feeding and watering, and keeps the food fresh longer. Except, in the winter, I use a heated waterer. The only problem is the heated waterers need to be replaced every few years.
I love this chicken veggie hanger. It makes it easy to give your chickens produce from the garden and keep them occupied in the winter with a fresh head of lettuce.
These chicken toys are a hoot! They will help curb bullying and keep your chickens active, especially in the winter when hens tend to get more lethargic.
I found out that vent gleet is not contagious and the outbreak of the condition was because my chickens were eating the same nature of feed and going through the same environmental stressors. Eventually, good hygiene practices (especially concerning their feed and water), probiotics, and application of Canesten cream on their vent areas sped up their recovery process.
Vent gleet is an infection that can occur in chickens when their environment is not kept clean and well-ventilated, and if left untreated, it can lead to their death. Proper hygiene, ventilation, nutrition, and adequate space for your chickens are some of the most important factors to consider when caring for chickens in a coop. By being proactive about keeping the coop clean and well-ventilated, providing adequate nutrition, and ensuring that your chickens have enough space, you can help prevent vent gleet and keep your chickens healthy, productive and happy.