- Keep water dishes clean and food dry and contained.
- Manage you coop in such a way to minimize health risks (sanitation and number of chickens).
- Although chickens love your kitchen scraps, beware of what you give them. Do not feed moldy or rotten foods.
- Spend time with your flock and observe their behaviors, poop, and physical characteristics. If there is a problem, catching it early is key! If you find a sick bird, be sure to isolate it from the flock.
- Some possible symptoms to look for indicating injury/illness/disease include: Coughing, wheezing, labored breathing, warts/scabs, swollen joints, loss of feathers, reduced egg production, thin egg shells, fever, abscesses or open wounds, paralysis, twisting of neck/head, discharge from nose/mouth, diarrhea/blood in stool, not eating/drinking, weight loss, retarded growth, lack of coordination, enlarged abdomen.
Even when you follow proper care habits however, injury and disease/illness can still strike your flock. Many chicken keepers feel helpless when they have a sick bird, and it can be difficult to find an avian vet that specializes in chickens. Many chicken diseases also present similar symptoms, so diagnosis and treatment can be tricky. Here are some resources to help you learn about chicken illnesses, injuries, and disease.
What’s wrong with my chicken?
While many diseases present similar symptoms, the following resources may help you in identifying what is wrong with your bird.
- Common Poultry Diseases (w/ diagnostic charts of clinical signs) from the University of Florida IFAS Extension
We are looking for more resources related to add to this list.