Chicken Help

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We found 97 results for category 'Chicken Health'

Q: Is Salmonella a concern with backyard chickens?
A: Not usually, but let us explain why. Humans do not catch salmonella from chicks or chickens the way you would catch a cold from your neighbor.... read more

Q: Should I get my birds vaccinated?
A: Marek's disease is a deadly, highly contagious "lymphoproliferative" disease affecting chickens. It is the #1 disease-related killer of chickens. It... read more

Q: There's a black spot or thin string attached to my brand new chick's rear. Is this a "pasty butt"?
A: No! It's your chick's umbilical cord, and if you notice, that black, scabby spot or string will be below your check's vent or "pooper." read more

Q: There is a black spot on my chicken's face! Should I be worried?
A: When a chicken gets a peck or a scrape on a comb or face, this will manifest as a black spot or scab, and isn't usually a cause for concern. If ALL... read more

Q: How do I care for a wounded chicken?
A: It is stressful to have a hurt chicken because an avian veterinarian can be hard to find, but don't panic. If you can't locate a vet, simple first... read more

Q: Do I need to give my shipped chicks vitamins and electrolytes when they arrive?
A:

We don't generally think it is a good idea to offer anything but plain, clean water unless your chicks are exceedingly stressed.

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Q: What is medicated feed all about--do I need it?
A: Medicated feed is formulated for chicks to help them combat coccidiosis, a disease that is found just about everywhere in the environment. Most... read more

Q: Why don't you offer vaccinations for bantams?
A: The reason we don't offer vaccinations for bantams is that the vaccine is often ineffective for them because the birds are so tiny that it is too... read more

Q: Are you a member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)?
A: Yes! Our hatching facility and all other breeders with whom we contract are NPIP-certified. If you would like NPIP papers to be included with your... read more

Q: What are the signs of mites or lice and how do I treat my birds if they have an infestation?
A: Mites and lice are a common problem for chickens and can be carried in by wild birds, so keep that in mind. That means that if you have an... read more

Q: What are the rough patches and hard pimples on my egg shells?
A: This is usually an occasional thing, although younger or older hens are more prone to it. If your chicken is young, sometimes rough shells can occur... read more

Q: Why does my hen sometimes lay eggs with ridges halfway down the shell?
A: You may be describing what is called a "body checked egg." Body checks are ridges or grooves that occur around an egg, usually at the pointed end.... read more

Q: What is the blood spot in my hen's egg?
A: These spots aren't related to having a rooster--or not!--in your flock. Presuming they are fertile, eggs with blood or meat spots are actually less... read more

Q: Why did my chicken lay a shell-less egg?
A: A shell-less egg is a strange sight! You might think a shell-less egg would look like a cracked egg: a mess of white and yolk soaking into nesting... read more

Q: My chicken has a lump or tumor on her chest--what should I do?
A: You are probably seeing your chicken's crop. A chicken's crop is a part of her digestive system, and is located on her breast. You see it in the... read more

Q: My flock is pecking one another! What should I do?
A: Pecking, also called picking, is almost always the result of high stress levels. When that happens, the birds will sometimes pluck each others'... read more

Q: Do my chickens need to be wormed, and if so, what schedule should I use?
A: If your chickens have worms, you will want to treat them. Some signs you can look for at home are pale combs, a drop in laying and watery poo.... read more

Q: My hen has sticky, tar-looking poop--is there anything wrong?
A: Probably not. Chickens actually produce two types of poo: fecal poo and cecal poo. Cecal poo is thicker, stinkier and stickier. It usually looks sort... read more

Q: What if one of my chicks dies on the way to me?
A: Losses are rare (we see them happen about 1% of the time), but they do occur. For that reason, we recommend that if you have children, make sure they... read more

Q: Are there any concerns I should have when keeping or caring for chickens while pregnant?
A: You will want to take the same kinds of precautions you would take with any pets: wash your hands after handling them and so forth. Avian and human... read more

Q: Do I need to be worried about bird flu if I keep chickens?
A: Probably not worried--but it's a good idea to be informed about it.

Bird flu, or Avian Influenza (AI), is a viral disease that can infect...
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Q: What biosecurity should I practice to protect my flock from AI and other illnesses?
A: Good question! Most illnesses or even infestations (such as mites or worms) are contracted when your birds are exposed to other birds, either... read more

Q: Are there symptoms I should watch for that mean my birds are seriously ill? If they do get seriously ill, whom should I call?
A: Yes, as a pet owner, you are responsible for keeping your pet chickens safe and healthy, so it's important that you watch to make sure they don't get... read more

Q: What is the Biosecurity for Birds campaign and how can I find more information about it?
A: Biosecurity for Birds is a public awareness campaign started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in... read more

Q: How can I tell if my flock is infected with Salmonella? What are the symptoms?
A: While you won't be able to make a firm diagnosis of Salmonella on your own, it will be easy for you to see that your hens are sick. Chickens sick... read more

Q: How is Salmonella infection transmitted to chickens in the first place?
A: You probably don't have to worry about well cared for backyard hens catching salmonella if you provide a clean environment for them. Hens in factory... read more

Q: What can I do to reduce the risk of my birds getting sick with Salmonella or another illness?
A: The easiest thing to do is simply to provide your birds with safe, roomy, clean conditions. read more

Q: How do I know which chickens feeds have hormones and which are hormone-free?
A: There are no hormones in any brand of commercial chicken feed in the United States, according to the US Cooperative Extension Service. We think that... read more

Q: Should I be concerned that my hen laid an egg with blood on the shell?
A: When a hen has just begin laying, there can occasionally be a little blood on the egg shell, but it is usually no cause for concern. Eventually her... read more

Q: What can my chicken's comb tell me about his or her health?
A: A chicken's comb can be indicative of her circulation and condition. For instance pale pink, shrunken combs may indicate anemia, a mite infestation... read more

Q: Today I noticed that the tip of one hen's beak has broken off--how can this happen and what should I do?
A: This can occasionally happen, although it is rare. A chicken's beak will continue to grow throughout her lifetime, so as long as it is just the tip,... read more

Q: Will my lawn be safe for my pet chickens at the same time it's safe for dogs or cats, after the exterminator has sprayed it?
A: Well, having your lawn sprayed with pesticides while you are keeping chickens isn't a good idea---it isn't something most of us would ever want to... read more

Q: Why is my chick's beak getting crooked, and what should I do?
A: Usually, chickens with crossed beaks or scissor beaks lead long, normal lives.

In most cases, this defect is caused by the chick...
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Q: How do I dispose of a dead chick or chicken?
A: This is a difficult question to answer definitively, since what to do with a dead pet or animal can vary depending on your your state, city and even... read more

Q: I got Marek's vaccinations for my chicks from another hatchery, but they got sick and some died within two weeks. When I asked them if it was Marek's disease, they just denied it and asked about whether their brooder was set up right. Is this Marek's... am I right to be upset?
A: You're not wrong to be upset at the loss of your pets, of course, but if you're upset at your hatchery for suggesting that deaths weren't related to... read more

Q: Are oversized eggs that are difficult for my hens to pass caused by overfeeding?
A: It is not likely that the problem is overfeeding. We recommend feeding free choice and not limiting their feed: underfeeding usually causes more... read more

Q: I got the Marek's vaccination for my chickens, but one chicken seems sick! Is the vaccination not working?
A: If your chicken received the Marek's vaccination, she will most likely be protected from the symptoms of Marek's disease, but a small percentage of... read more

Q: Why does my chicken have a bare spot on her chest? She's not molting!
A: If she's not molting, isn't getting picked on and isn't suffering from external parasites like mites or lice, it's possible that the bare spot on her... read more

Q: Will ticks attack our chickens? We find ticks on our dogs.
A: Probably not. Chickens actually eat deer ticks, wood ticks, and dog ticks (as well as other types), and these are the most common ticks that bother... read more

Q: Is wry neck a genetic weakness that I should be worried about seeing in my chickens' offspring?
A: If you have a hen with wry neck, it is probably not a genetic problem... but read on, because the problem with answering that question definitively... read more

Q: Should I order extra chickens so enough survive into adulthood?
A: Normally you want to order the number of chickens you want to end up with---don't order extras with the expectation that some will die. But there are... read more

Q: If one of my chickens was recently diagnosed and treated for bumblefoot, do I need to worry about my other chickens catching it?
A: We're sorry if your flock is having problems with bumblefoot! The more technical name for this problem is ulcerative pododermatitis, but most people,... read more

Q: Why does my 12 week old rooster have trouble keepoing his balance? He otherwise seems healthy with nice, shiny feathers and bright, alert eyes. Any idea what his problem is?
A: That's a tough one. A problem like this could be caused by many things.

Keep in mind that something like this may end up being nothing...
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Q: Why do the fresh eggs from one of our hens always have a strange, unpleasant fishy smell?
A:

If this is the only symptom you're seeing, she's probably not sick. (If she does show other signs of illness you will want to take her to a... read more

Q: Is your breeder stock vaccinated for Marek's Disease?

A: Yes, we do vaccinate our parent stock.

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Q: How do I help a chick that isn't eating or drinking?
A:

Well, first remember that if you hatched these babies at home, chicks don't actually need to eat or drink for the first two or three... read more

Q: My hen was vaccinated for Marek's disease as a chick, but I still lost her to this illness. How could this have happened?

A: Marek’s disease is very common and will eventually end up in most backyard flocks, whether or not the flocks have been vaccinated. It's strange but... read more

Q: My chicken cannot walk. Does she have Marek’s disease?
A: Lameness is a very common symptom of Mareks’ disease, but there are many other conditions that can also cause paralysis or lameness in your chicken. ... read more

Q: I plan on vaccinating my chickens – is there anything else I can do to prevent my flock from getting Marek’s disease?
A: In order to prevent the symptoms of Marek’s disease from affecting your flock, we highly recommend getting your baby chicks vaccinated at hatch.... read more

Q: Coccidiosis Overview
A: Coccidiosis Also called
Cocci

Prevalence-
Very common

Signs
General signs...
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Q: Spraddle leg overview
A: Spraddle leg Also called
Splay leg

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
General signs...
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Q: Crossed beak overview
A: Crossed beak
Also called
Cross beak, scissor beak, scissors beak, crooked beak, lateral beak...
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Q: Coryza Overview
A: Coryza Also called
Cold, Infectious Coryza, IC, Roup

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
...
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Q: Mycoplasma gallisepticum Overview
A: Mycoplasma gallisepticum Also called
MG, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Infectious sinusitis (in turkeys)

Prevalence-...
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Q: Avian Encephalomyelitis Overview
A: Avian encephalomyelitis Also called
AE, epidemic tremor, New England Disease, Star-gazing Syndrome

Prevalence-...
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Q: Heart Attack Overview
A: Heart attack Also called
Sudden Death Syndrome, SDS, acute death syndrome, flip-over disease, acute heart...
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Q: Omphalitis overview
A: Omphalitis Also called
Navel infection, mushy chick, yolk sac infection

Prevalence-...
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Q: Pullorum Overview
A: Pullorum Disease Also called
PD, Bacillary White Diarrhea, BWD, White Diarrhea

Prevalence-...
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Q: Pasted Vent Overview
A: Pasted Vent Also called
Pasting, vent gleet, pasty butt

Prevalence-
Very common in chicks. Not common in adult...
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Q: Egg Binding Overview
A: Egg binding Also called
Eggbound hen, stuck egg, bound egg, obstructed vent

Prevalence-
Common in some breeds...
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Q: Vent prolapse overview
A: Vent Prolapse Also called
Blowout

Prevalence-
Common in some breeds and crosses, especially those prone to...
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Q: Egg Yolk Peritonitis Overview
A: Egg Yolk Peritonitis Also called
Yolk peritonitis, yolk stroke, abdominal sepsis, abdominal septicemia

Prevalence-...
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Q: Aspergillosis Overview
A: Aspergillosis Also called
Pneumonia, coop or brooder pneumonia, mycotic pneumonia, pneumomycosis

Prevalence-...
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Q: Botulism Overview
A: Botulism Also called
Food poisoning

Prevalence-
Infrequent

Signs
General signs...
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Q: VVD Overview
A: VVD Also called
Varus/Valgus Deformity, Twisted leg, Crooked leg

Prevalence-
Rare in home flocks; common in...
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Q: Myiasis Overview
A: Myiasis Also called
Flystrike, fly blown

Prevalence-
Infrequent. It is more common in other animals such as...
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Q: Lymphoid Leucosis Overview
A: Lymphoid Leucosis Also called
Liver cancer, Liver disease, LL

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
...
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Q: Salmonella (general) - Overview
A: Salmonella (general) Also called
Various types of Salmonella infection include Pullorum, Typhoid, Paratyphoid, Arizonosis,...
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Q: Are there any special secrets to help my chickens stay warm in the winter?
A:

Secrets? No. Tricks? A few, maybe.

First of all, take a few moments to review read more

Q: Will a broody hen starve herself to death on the nest?

A: It's unlikely she'll starve, but even so, it's not unheard of for a hen to die on the nest. Remember, even when they're broody, they do get off the... read more

Q: Ascites Overview
A: Ascites Also called
Pulmonary hypertension syndrome, waterbelly, fluid retained in abdomen

Prevalence-...
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Q: My chick's toes are all curled up--what's wrong with her?
A: Sometimes a chick will develop or hatch with a condition called curled toes or curly toes in one or both feet.

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Q: How long do I have to keep my chicken quarantined after treating for an illness or infection?
A: There is not a single answer to that question--it will depend on what your bird has been treated for. For instance, once you've treated for mites and... read more

Q: What is wry tail?
A: A chicken whose tail always twists to one side has "wry tail." This is a condition that is exactly what it sounds like: your chicken's tail is held... read more

Q: What is regular chicken body temperature?
A: Chickens have a much higher body temperature than humans do. Normal chicken body temperature ranges from about 105 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as... read more

Q: What is a wormer?
A: A "wormer" is a medication used to help rid your chickens of infestations of internal parasites like round worms or other worms, the same way you... read more

Q: What is NPIP and why should I purchase only from NPIP breeders?
A: NPIP stands for National Poultry Improvement Plan, and it's a voluntary certification system that poultry breeders and hatcheries can participate in.... read more

Q: Avian Infectious Bronchitis Overview
A: Avian Infectious Bronchitis Also called
IB, IBV, Infectious Bronchitis, Cold

Prevalence-...
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Q: Domestic Newcastle Overview
A: Domestic Newcastle Also called
Newcastle Disease, Avian Distemper, Pseudofowl, ND, Parainfluenza, Fake Flu...
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Q: Exotic Newcastle Overview
A: Exotic Newcastle Also called
Pseudo-plague, Asiatic Newcastle, VVND, NVND, Velogenic Newcastle, VN,...
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Q: What is quarantine and when should I use quarantine in my flock?
A: In your backyard flock, quarantine is the act of isolating a chicken or chickens who has been potentially or actually exposed to contagious illness... read more

Q: Can bed bugs bother my chickens?
A: Ew, yuck! But yes: just as bed bugs can feed on dogs and cats, they can feed on chickens, too. It's a particular problem with chickens in factory... read more

Q: Salpingitis Overview
A: Salpingitis
Also called
Inflammation of the oviduct, infection of the oviduct

Prevalence-...
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Q: What is a lash egg?
A: A lash egg is less of an egg than it is a roughly egg- or sausage-shaped exudate, consisting of thickened pus and other materials. It is probably read more

Q: Will my lawn be safe for my pet chickens at the same time it's safe for dogs or cats, after I've had it treated?
A: No, even if the lawn treatment may be safe for dogs and cats, it won't necessarily be safe for your pet chickens. Remember, dogs and cats are not... read more

Q: Infectious Laryngotracheitis Overview
A: Infectious Larygotracheitis Also called
Avian Diphtheria, Laryngo, ILT

Prevalence-...
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Q: Fowl Pox (Wet) Overview
A: Fowl Pox (Wet) Also called
Fowl Diphtheria, diphtheritic pox, ILT

Prevalence-
Common, but less so than Dry...
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Q: Fowl Pox (Dry) Overview
A: Fowl Pox (Dry) Also called
Fowl pox, sore head, cutaneous pox, dry pox

Prevalence-...
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Q: Infectious Synovitis Overview
A: Infectious Synovitis Also called
Mycoplasmosis (one form), MS, big hock disease, enlarged hocks,

Prevalence-...
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Q: Mycotoxicosis Overview
A: Mycotoxicosis Also called
Aflatoxicosis, Aflatoxicosis, Ergotism, Fusariotoxicosis, Oosporein Mycotoxicosis, other mycotoxicoses...
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Q: Nutritional Myopathy Overview
A: Nutritional Myopathy Also called
White muscle disease, Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy

Prevalence-...
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Q: Perosis Overview
A: Perosis Also called
Slipped tendon, chondrodystrophy

Prevalence-
Uncommon in layers, common in heavy, fast...
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Q: Polyneuritis Overview
A: Polyneuritis Also called
Star gazing, Thiamine deficiency

Prevalence-
Uncommon, particularly so in backyard...
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Q: Encephalomalacia Overview
A: Encephalomalacia Also called
Crazy chick disease

Prevalence-
Rare, particularly so in backyard flocks with...
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Q: Marek's Disease Overview
A: Marek's Disease Also called
Neurolymphomatosis, MD, range paralysis, grey eye, Marek's, uveitis, neutitis, pseudobotulism, false...
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Q: Infectious Bursal Disease Overview
A: Infectious Bursal Disease Also called
IBD, Gumboro

Prevalence-
Common in large flocks

Signs
...
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Q: Blackhead Overview
A: Blackhead Also called
Enterohepatitis, histomoniasis

Prevalence-
Common in turkeys, rare in...
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