The Most Common Chicken Sicknesses: Symptoms, Causes, and Best Treatments

If you are a backyard chicken owner, you know how important it is to keep your flock healthy. Unfortunately, chickens are prone to a variety of illnesses that can impact their health and egg production. In this article, we will cover the most common chicken sicknesses, their symptoms, causes, and treatments.

You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.

Understanding Chicken Health

Before diving into specific chicken sicknesses, it’s important to understand what constitutes healthy chickens. A healthy chicken should have:

  • Bright, clear eyes
  • Smooth and shiny feathers
  • Alert and active behavior
  • Good appetite and water intake
  • Clean vent area

If you notice any changes in your chicken’s appearance or behavior, it’s important to monitor them closely and seek veterinary care if necessary. Make sure to give a good chicken food.

Chicken Sicknes

Common Chicken Sicknesses

1. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a viral illness that can affect chickens and other birds. It is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through a flock. Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite and water intake
  • Respiratory distress
  • Diarrhea
  • Drop in egg production

Prevention is the best way to avoid avian influenza, but there is no cure for infected chickens. Sick birds should be isolated from the rest of the flock and euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

2. Newcastle Disease

Newcastle disease is a viral illness that can affect chickens and other birds. It is highly contagious and can cause respiratory, nervous, and digestive system problems. Symptoms include:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased egg production
  • Twisted neck
  • Paralysis

Prevention is the best way to avoid Newcastle disease, but there is no cure for infected chickens. Sick birds should be isolated from the rest of the flock and euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

3. Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a parasitic illness that affects chickens and other birds. It is caused by a protozoan parasite that lives in the intestinal tract of chickens. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite and water intake
  • Huddling together
  • Blood in the droppings

Prevention is the best way to avoid coccidiosis, but infected birds can be treated with medication.

sick chicken

4. Fowl Pox

Fowl pox is a viral illness that can affect chickens and other birds. It is spread by mosquitoes and other biting insects. Symptoms include:

  • Pox lesions on the skin and in the mouth
  • Decreased appetite and water intake
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory distress

Prevention is the best way to avoid fowl pox, but infected birds will usually recover on their own within a few weeks.

5. Marek’s Disease

Marek’s disease is a viral illness that can affect chickens and other birds. It is highly contagious and can cause tumors to develop on the nerves and organs of infected birds. Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Enlarged feather follicles

Prevention is the best way to avoid Marek’s disease, but there is no cure for infected chickens. Sick birds should be isolated from the rest of the flock and euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

Conclusion

As a chicken owner, it’s important to be aware of the most common chicken sicknesses, their symptoms, causes, and treatments. By understanding these illnesses, you can take steps to prevent them from impacting your flock and seek the right solution.

About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.