How to Tell if a Chicken is Sick



Inspect your flock weekly (or even daily).,
Look through the feathers.,
Watch your chickens behavior.,
Examine the comb and wattle.,
Look into their eyes.,
Look at the body shape.,
Examine the crop and breathing.,
Look at the legs.,
Check the chicken’s vent.,
Examine the excrement.,
Act fast.

Symptoms are easier to notice if you perform a routinely check-up and inspection on each bird. A close-up can help you a lot. A check-up consist of examining the;

And claws.;
, You should be looking for bugs called mites/lice on your chickens skin and feathers. These bugs are small, black and can cause your chicken to become very weak and agitated.

If your chicken does have mites you will also notice white, flaky build up at the shaft of the feathers. These are called mite eggs and are easier to spot.
If your chicken has mites you might also notice her picking at her feathers and shaking her head, feather loss and visible agitation.

, Unusual behavior could be a give-away to knowing that your chicken is sick. They could be sluggish, cold or even agitated.

If your chicken is itching itself it could be a sign of mites/lice.
If your chicken is bundled up this is a sign of illness; especially if the rest of the flock are normal. But it it’s cold out you can expect this sort of behavior.
Sluggish chickens are most likely to be ill too. They aren’t moving around or cautious like the rest of the flock. Instead they just sit there in the corner.

, Usually, a chicken’s wattle and comb should be bright red. If you notice it is pale in color this could be another sign/symptom.

A pale comb/wattle can indicate frost bite if you get snow in your country. Reddened areas can indicate thawed frost bite.
Young chickens don’t develop bright wattles/combs until they have fully matured so expect to see a cream coloured wattle in young pullets.

, They should be aware and clear. A sign of illness is sleepy and/or cloudy eyes. This is known as conjunctivitis.

, If your chicken’s tail and wings are stooped down he/she could be ill. Your chicken’s body should be perked up and steady. A puffed up chicken could also be a symptom, however chicken’s do this in the cold anyway.

, If your chicken is wheezing/sneezing they are either ill or have something stuck in their crop. Their crop shouldn’t be engorged, hard or squishy. However a full crop is normal, it’s just their way of digesting food.

The crop is located below the beak, in the middle of it’s front body.
If your chicken is sneezing/wheezing they could have a cold or some respiratory disease.
Sour crop is commonly caused by bread or any sort of build up in the crop. The chickens crop will be smelly and squishy.

, Raised scales can indicate scaly-leg mites (which burrow under the leg scales). If your chicken has a black scab on the bottom of it’s foot this is known as bumble foot.

, If your chicken has a protruding vent it could be a sign of prolapsed vent or your chicken could be egg bound.

, If your chicken has blood in their excrement or diarrhea they could be seriously ill. This is a common sign of coccidia (a contagious illness deadly in young chicks).

, Chickens only show sickly symptoms in the last stages. However, all of the above can be treated as long as you get your chicken help as soon as possible.

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