Check Your Chicken Health - How To Tell If Your Flock Is Healthy

by Kassandra Smith July 08, 2014

If you’re worried that your chicken flock might be feeling a bit under the weather, there are a number of warning signs that will indicate if something is wrong.  Their physical features are a great alarm bell - and their visual cues are often quite obvious if something is amiss with your hen's health.

different-signs-to-tell-if-your-flock-is-sick-or-healthy The Chicken Comb

Your chicken may be sick if you spot these symptoms with their comb:

  • Limp
  • Pale
  • Discolouring (purple, blue)
Potential chicken illness:
  • Frostbite (pale discoloured comb)
  • Worms (pale and limp comb)

Chicken Eyes

Your chicken may be sick if you spot these symptoms with their eyes:

  • Cloudy eyes
  • Excess fluid in the eyes
  • Mucus around the eye area
  • Dull eyes

Potential chicken illness:

  • Cholera (swollen eyes with mucus)
  • Conjunctivitis (cloudy, watery eyes)

Body weight and Appetite

Your chicken may be sick if you spot these symptoms with their weight and appetite:

  • Overweight
  • Underweight
  • Sudden changes in eating habits

Generally, if chickens are unhealthy, you’ll notice that they will dramatically reduce their food intake, or stop eating altogether.  If you notice that they’re overweight, try reducing their treat intake.

Potential chicken illness:

Feathers

Your chickens feathers should look strong, glossy and sleek. Unless they’re moulting - in which case patchy feathers is perfectly normal, and will pave the way for shiny new plumage!

  • Patchy feathers
  • Lice or mites in the feathers

Potential chicken illness:

  • Poultry lice or mites (feather loss around vent and under wings)
  • Pecking order issues (feather loss around neck and back)

Please treat this article as a basic guide and consult your vet if your chickens show symptoms. Getting professional advice is always recommended if you think your chickens may be at risk of illness or death, but you can always help prevent chicken health issues with the right tips and tools. Have a peck at our guides to chicken health and get the jump on any nasty problems your chickens might face.

Sources and further reading


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