Despite the most attentive chicken keeping, one of your birds will get sick sooner or later. It’s essential to have the ability to recognise the signs of illness and act fast — chickens are good at hiding their symptoms, so by the time you notice, they are generally very sick indeed.
If you believe that your chicken is ill…
A veterinarian always gets the best possible way of helping your birds and will have the ability to diagnose any issues with far greater details than any online source.
This article is a useful guide, but merely just guide — your vet is your best solution!
Diagnosing chickens is a huge challenge: they hide their symptoms, and could not let you know what’s wrong even if they wanted to. Furthermore, lots of the external symptoms aren’t specific to any one illness.
–Not drinking or eating
-Weakness or lethargy
-Pale comb or wattles
-Diarrhea or abnormal droppings
-Fluffed up feathers
-Other unnatural behaviour
If any combination of the above describes your chicken, she might be sick, and you need to take her into the vet ASAP to get specific diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of respiratory disease
Respiratory illnesses manifest unique symptoms in contrast to most other ailments.
Again, it’s practically impossible to get a backyard keeper to recognize the specific illness in question. You have to take your chicken to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. This will often involve antibiotics that your vet may prescribe.
General treatment choices
If, for some reason, you can’t bring your chicken to the vet immediately, then there are a few simple things which you can do to improve her probability of recovery.
–Isolate her from the rest of the flock to avoid any possible spread of illness and decrease bullying from healthy chickens.
-Keep her in a well ventilated and dry location.
-Provide a lot of water and food. Give treats if she will not eat her normal food-eating anything is better than nothing.
-Give a teaspoon of yoghurt for a few additional probiotics. Do not overdo it as this may lead to diarrhoea.
At times, a little TLC might be a chicken wants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After you’ve gone to the vet, it could be worth checking your coop setup — windy dust and loopholes are a common cause of illness, and repairing these issues will help keep your flock healthy.
Some disorders have particular symptoms (in addition to those described above) which can help with home identification.
Coryza: [respiratory] Extremely swollen eyes, and a very rancid odour.
Coccidiosis: Occasionally leads to bloody faeces.
Avian flu: [respiratory] Dark, reddish spots on legs and comb, and sudden death. This disease can infect people, so be extremely cautious if you suspect it. Report any cases to the community government immediately.
Impacted harvest: Swollen crop (a pouch in the front of the body), which is very tough to the touch.
Sour harvest: Swollen harvest, which can be mushy to the touch, and a rotten odor from the mouth.
Botulism: Tremors of increasing intensity, end in death.
Bumblefoot: Infected wound .
Egg binding: The bulge of a stuck egg at the exit to the port.
Frostbite: Pale, slightly blue comb or thighs.
Pasty butt/vent gleet: Droppings caked over the buttocks.
Mites or lice: Pale comb (from blood loss), and compact insects among feathers.
Worms: Proof of worms in droppings.
If your chicken is acting strangely, but does not appear to be showing signs of illness, they might just be broody.
They may not look very appealing to me or you, but from a chickens point of view mealworms seem as yummy as a home cooked meal prepared by someone you love. Even though they have the feel of crumbly corn chips, these tasty little morsels will drive your flock wild with temptation. Only a small part of these previously wiggly wonders is enough to enhance your chickens’ health and well-being so that they can live life in their flip-flappity best! Stick your beak into this easy to digest article with the top 7 reasons to feed mealworms to your hungry feathered friends.
1. Just a couple mealworms goes a long way.
Be sure to don’t create an entire meal from your mealworms alone. Generally speaking, adult laying hens should have a diet of approximately 16% protein. Younger chicks and pullets of course have additional protein in their chicken feed, or extra mealworms in their diet for that matter, to help them as they grow big and strong. Your laying hens will obviously eat the entire bag if you allow them, but make sure you limit their intake to the recommended serving size. Moreover, do not go overboard when you feed your hens with mealworms.
2. Power your hens with protein.
Protein is a vital part of any living creature’s diet, especially chickens. Not to mention chickens will need to have plenty of protein so that they can develop lustrous plumage to keep them warm in winter. Therefore, it only makes sense that any poultry owner needs to make certain that her hens have loads of protein in their diet. Mealworms are usually the natural choice, as every meal worm is nearly 50% protein — HOLY HEN!
3. Mealworms will help your hens through moulting season.
During moulting season, which generally occurs throughout autumn and spring, it’s essential that each and every chicken owner boosts their flock’s protein intake in 1 way or another. Mealworms are an especially good option, as they are a dense source of protein, which will aid your chickens grow their feathers back in no time. It’s also important to be aware that your flock’s immune system will be reduced throughout moulting season, so it is critical that you fortify their diet with a few tasty mealworms, to help them through this challenging season.
4. Bulk up your eggs with mealworms.
Naturally, when your chicken has enough protein in their diet, they’ll have the ability to produce eggs at their best. There have been many accounts of chicken owners noticing an improvement in size and flavour of their eggs after they began to feed their flock the recommended serving size of mealworms. Remember, eggs are almost entirely protein, so mealworm are the perfect extra treat in any laying hens diet.
5. Will help to flip the bedding in a deep litter system.
This may seem slightly left of focus but anyone who uses a deep litter system is always looking out for a simpler way to turn the bedding. Let me clarify, chickens absolutely love mealworms — actually it sends them a little loopy with enthusiasm. By scattering an appropriate serving size of mealworms blended in with feed within the deep litter system, your chickens will start to scratch and peck in the bedding, consequentially mixing it through. Long story short, you won’t have to get out the scoop and blend that hot and heavy bedding through.
6. You will love watching your chickens munching on the mealworms.
You think your hens are excited when they lay an egg just wait until you see how they act when they find out they’re having mealworms for dinner. Like many chicken enthusiast has stated before,”if my hens are happy, I am happy”.
7. Your chickens will love you for it.
As many poultry owners already know, chickens are very responsive to food. There are countless anecdotes of chickens charging across the backyard when their doting owner comes out of the house holding a feeder full of poultry feed, with maybe a few mealworms blended through. Food is just one of the great joys in any chickens’ life, so it’s only right that any chicken lover should provide a few snacks and variety in their diet. Mealworms are simply something that all chickens will love. Do not be a scrooge. Be sure you treat your hens to mealworms every now and then.
A lot of poultry owners feel worried and distressed when they open up their nesting containers to find out not a single egg has been actually laid. What have I done? Why have my chickens stopped laying eggs?!” Some committed chicken lovers find this moment so distressing that they temporarily develop hostile or contemptuous thoughts for their laying hens, but others put this perceived failure upon themselves and agonise over what they may have to cause this mockery! The wisest chicken owners know that this is all part of the natural cycle of a laying hens life and no eggs now does not always mean no eggs tomorrow. So, instead of tear yourself apart with shame and frustration, read this short article that will explain eight reasons which may be causing your laying hens to dry up.
1.The natural pattern of moulting will postpone egg development
It’s quite natural for chickens to moult throughout the autumn months, for example March through to May in Australia. This is a natural process that leads to all chickens to shed their feathers, because their body prepares itself to grow much more full and gorgeous plumage. Over these months your laying hens will appear slightly haggard and world-weary, however let me assure you that this is an entirely natural and essential part of being a chicken. One of the important point to note is that during this time you need to be vigilant and ensure that your laying hens have a balanced diet of protein (chicken feed) and calcium (shell grit). Other snacks, like yoghurt, berries and porridge won’t go astray either, as they often contain helpful vitamins and nutrients that will help your laying hens through this sometimes difficult moment. The upside is if your laying hens continue to put after their moult it’s very likely that your chickens with lay larger eggs. So, don’t despair when your laying hens start to moult, just look at it like your chickens are updating their egg maker.
2. Excess of bad food in their feeds
There’s the false perception between some well-meaning chicken lovers that a fat and happy chicken may in fact produce larger and more scrumptious eggs, but this is a total fallacy. Overweight laying hens, broadly speaking, are very unhealthy and their bodies won’t have the ability to function as they would if they were at the correct weight level. So, be certain that you only provide your laying hens the ideal types of treats, in addition to maintaining a balanced diet of chicken feed, shell grit and lots of water.
3. Not enough time in Sunlight
Not all first time chicken owners understand that laying hens need lots of time out in sunlight, otherwise they are unable to produce their eggs. This is due to the fact that there’s a gland that exists behind their eyes, which in response to sunlight produces certain types of hormones which cues the chicken’s body to begin egg production- that’s a really simple way of explaining it. The Automatic Door Opener is a perfect solution if you’re someone who prefers to stay in bed at six in the morning. Naturally, during seasons like winter and autumn when there are reduced daylight hours, chickens may begin to put less or stop entirely. Some breeders rectify this by introducing heat lamps and artificial light simulators, however that is left to the discretion of the owner, as some more organic farmers don’t feel comfortable playing the chicken’s biorhythms.
4. Your hens might be getting a bit old
Average laying hens will begin to produce fewer eggs once they are 72 months old. At the end of the day there’s absolutely no way from quitting laying hens from getting older but that doesn’t mean you must stop loving them.
5. Broody Hens
There comes a time in each chicken’s life when they feel pressured to be a mother. As most chicken owners do not let their laying hens to spend some quality time with a rooster, some chickens get really confused and believe that their eggs may be fertilised. This is usually referred to as broodiness and it often effect hens for five to ten weeks.
6. Stress can divert your chickens from laying
Chickens may look like tranquil creatures but through the laying season they are delicate and neurotic artists who need total concentration, otherwise they won’t be able to create their eggs. There are things which could cause your laying hens to feel distressed and distracted, such as untamed dogs, over-excitable kids, predators and enthusiastic owners who might be sticking their beaks to the nesting boxes too regularly. Additionally, transferring your laying hens to a new coop or introducing new chickens to the flock can also stress your chickens out, which in turn will inhibit them from laying. It is actually an excellent idea to put off any sort of significant modifications that will alarm your laying chickens to a time of the year when you don’t expect them to be laying anyway.
7. It may be a signal your chickens are suffering with lice and fleas
If you’re still unsure what may be causing your chickens to prevent laying you might wish to consider taking your laying hens for a check-up at the VET. Firstly however, check to see if there are any mites or lice within that dermis or on their skin which might be causing them distress. If you do find some mites or lice just clean out the coop and think about giving your chickens a wash, otherwise the fleas will continue to torment your poor hens and you won’t be able to enjoy their scrumptious eggs.
8. Disease and discomfort will stop eggs in their paths
There are a plethora of disease that laying hens can capture will often result in some terrible symptoms, which normally comprises a reduction in egg production. Most disease will often result in your chicken experiencing a period of diarrhoea, which can be characterised by excess mess around the poultry’s port. Once more, in the event you notice any typical signs of symptoms, which may include uncharacteristic reduction in eggs, please contact your local VET.
Most of the time laying hens cease to make eggs permanently or temporarily for a number of natural motives, such as age, season or moulting. Though a lot of us wish our laying hens would cook up tasty eggs for us for many, many years, this unfortunately is seldom true. The best thing you can do is relax, accept the facts and show gratitude to your laying hens, which have worked very tough for you for 72 weeks or more to prepare fantastic, nutritious and delicious eggs to you.