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Mucky vent - cleaning suggestions

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I have had Holly and Ivy for almost 6 months (arrived 18th Dec 2006). They are generally happy and healthy, and laying well and they have definitely livened up the garden!!


Holly has had a 'mucky' vent on several occasions. About 4 times this has been associated with soft shell eggs. After trawling throught the various posts on this topic I have added Poultry Spice and calcium supplement to their diet (organic Layers Pellets and whatever 'goodies' they find in the garden while freeranging in the afternoon). Of course they also get treats - mainly raisins (definitely the favourite), granary bread, or cooked potatoes.


However, Holly is still having 'soft' poos that stick to the feathers around her vent (even when laying normal eggs). As you can imagine, her back end gets rather smelly, and the poos also accumulate mud etc, which obviously causes her discomfort. In contrast, Ivy has had a perfectly clean vent throughout.


I have two questions:

1. Any ideas what is causing the soft, claggy poos and how I can prevent them? Perhaps I should add that they have been wormed - with Panacur in Feb, and with Vermex ~2 weeks ago.

2. What is the best way to clean a chicken's bottom?


Any/all suggestions gratefully received. Holly is such a sweet chicken, and I want to know that I doing the best for her.

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I can't answer the first part as Clarry has this all the time and I've still not worked out why but I can answer the second part as she's often in the sink! I put some nice warm water in the utility sink and stand Clarry in it up to her belly then gently splash warm water over the vent area and wearing rubber gloves, carefully roll the stuck on droppings between my fingers to break them up. They all come away eventually. If you do find any which are too firmly stuck to be removed, carefully clip the feathers off with a pair of scissors - very carefully!!

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I can just see this in months to come - a definite opening for a chicken grooming parlour! Get in there now Kate, before others jump on the band wagon! We'll be buying outfits for them next. Mine could do with a rain mac and rain hood at the moment please!

Chickens are the domestic pets of the 21st century!



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I have the same "problem" with my light sussex Nigella, as Kate does I wash her occasionally in water. :oops:


I spoke to her breeder and noticed that several of the ones she kept were the same and it just seems to be a trate that has been bred in as they certainly all dust bath enough and are very well nourished. :D


Hope this helps

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I do just the same as Kate. Doris had this a lot and I have an old sink outside especially for these sort of situations! Warm water, Marigolds and patience. The hard bits will break up and come off with gentle rolling between your fingers once well soaked with water. If there is a problem futher into the vent, plenty of vaseline is in order to help clean it out.


As a last resort I will trim the feathers off (very very carefully).


Doris took it all very well and didn't really object. Poor lady, she isn't with us now, but there you go.

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our Ella also suffers from messy bum problem. She is a healthy girl and gets all the right stuff etc but we have to clean her off every so often with warm soapy water and dry her with a towel. She doesnt take too long to dry off and i think she quite likes it actually. :)

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