It started with a bum full of wet, messy, smelly feathers. Hmmm… time to do some research on diarrhea in chickens. Most sources stated nothing to worry about unless it’s bloody. Phew, break number 1. No blood.
I tried a number of home remedies – epsom salts and warm water delivered via syringe (yes, that was pretty fun), no watery foods (like watermelon), no table scraps (sorry to the entire flock!) I watched Cutie closely for a few days. I was hesitant to separate her, as she is currently the lowest chick in the pecking order. Surely, reintroduction would be challenging for her. I figured maybe her runny bum was due to a nervous tummy. She got better, then worse, then better then worse.
Then she got a much bigger problem. After hours of viewing pictures of wet, messy chicken butts on the web, I determined my poor little Cutie had vent gleet. Yep – it’s like a yeast infection in chickens. It’s not contagious, but it can go internal and spread into the digestive tract – and that’s not good for anyone.
If only my 8 week flock would roost like chickens should. They bed down on a shelf in the coop. It was sort of cute when they were wee ones, but now they are so big they have to pile up to fit. They scratch away all the bedding I put there for them, so they are basically sitting on a metal shelf. Cutie’s icky poo could not fall to the ground, she basically sat in it all night (after night, after night).
Yikes. Here’s the treatment I used:
- Butt bath in warm water with epsom salts. I had to gently remove the stuck on poo. A little gross, and a little time consuming. I entertained Cutie while she wandered in a bucket of water for about 15 minutes.
- Dry those feathers! Yeast thrives on moisture, so moisture we removed! Cutie was an excellent patient. She stood in front of this portable heater fan for 20 minutes. I fluffed her feathers while she pecked at some scratch.
- I read that Nystatin was a good med, but I could only find Lotrimen (a powder spray for jock itch). I sprayed that on her butt feathers to control future yeast.
- Dietary supplements including yogurt with active cultures. I opened a capsule of acidopholus and sprinkled it on top of the yogurt.
- Dietary restrictions – no watery foods (like watermelon) and decreased table scraps.
- Close supervision!
I’m pleased to say the outcome was good. Once we got some active cultures in her tummy and we had a nice clean, dry butt she was in good shape. Now, fixing my roosting situation is another problem to solve. I tried carrying these crazy chickens to the roost one by one, and one by one they fluttered back to their favorite shelf. A new fence may be needed – we’ll see how things progress!