Sometimes even the best kept chickens get sick. In order to help your sick friends get better and to prevent more sick chickens it’s important to talk about the signs of illness you should look out for.
Here are a few signs of illness that you should look for:
- Inactivity, weakness or excessive laziness
- Loss of appetite or not drinking
- Decrease in egg production
- Inability to walk, excessive sitting on the floor, or not roosting
- Tucking head under wings or hanging head down
- Cloudy eyes, swollen eyes or spots on eyes
- Discharge from nose or crusty nostrils
- Difficulty breathing or panting
- Sores on the skin
- Green, white, bloody or watery droppings
Vets are able to test droppings as well as dead birds to identify problems and give you sound advice. While we can offer general guidelines on this website, we are not able to offer you anything close to the experience or expertise of your local veterinarian.
Many problems can spread through a flock quickly, so it is a good idea to quarantine new birds before adding them to your flock. You can observe them for several weeks before putting the rest of your flock at risk. You should also consider putting any birds that becomes ill in quarantine so their illness does not spread.
Finally, if one of your chickens falls ill and dies, you should follow the guidelines of your local area to dispose of the bird. Typically, the recommended approach is to burn or deeply burry dead chickens. It should go without saying, but it is never a good idea to consume a chicken that has died of illness.
For detailed information on other common ailments, see related posts below.