The most important thing you need to know about chicken health is that good nutrition is the best way to keep your birds healthy. An important factor in chicken care is making sure the birds have access to plenty of clean drinking water. These animals require a lot of water, and they cannot survive very long without it. The hotter it is outside, the more water your birds will drink to try and cool their selves down.
If you want to know how to keep a chicken healthy then you need to know what their housing needs are. A chicken that does not have adequate housing facilities will quickly become ill. A sure way to have chicken illnesses in your pen is to have too many hens crowded into a pen, or have a pen that does not drain well where the birds stand in mud all the time.
One common chicken illness is coccidiosis. The main symptoms of coccidios are bloody droppings, a reduced egg production, and listlessness. When the birds get this disease they may simply die immediately. There are medications that will help cure this disease but you will have to look at the droppings your birds are making occasionally in order to determine if any of your flock is infected.
You need to provide chicken medicine to treat worms to your birds at least once every six months. These birds are susceptible to intestinal parasites that will cause chicken illness in your flock, or lower your egg production, or simply kill your birds. The worm medication is added to their drinking water a couple of times each year, and it effectively gets rid of this problem. You can purchase these medications at most places that sell feed.
Tapeworms and roundworms are the most common concerns of chicken health. Sometimes you cannot even see signs in the birds that they have the worms until they are getting very thin, and starting to stop their egg production. That is why making a schedule and worming them no matter if they show any symptoms or not is the best way to go.
Do not become overly obsessed if you see your chickens pecking at each other. This does not necessarily mean that something is wrong in the cage. They will peck each other and remove mites, and fleas from each other, they will also peck at each other when they are fighting. One hen in the bunch will be the lead hen, and it is her job to keep all the other hens in line. She will peck at them, and fuss at them regularly. Sometimes a younger bird will try to take over as the lead, which of course leads to a fight. These are all pretty normal occurrences in the chicken cage.
If you do have a bird that is acting sickly, you may want to have a small cage that you can use as a hospital cage to keep from spreading the illness to the rest of your flock. When you go to purchase birds watch them closely to try and determine if they are ill.
The only signs you have to answer the question is chicken healthy is their bowel movements, their weight, and if they appear to be listless. Look at the cage the animals are being kept in for the signs of bloody or loose stools. You want to observe the birds to see if they are wandering around their yard, pecking at the ground, and each other, or are they sitting in one spot?
The animals may be taking a dust bath, which they do to help alleviate mites, or they could be hunting bugs, but unless it is very hot weather these animals are generally moving around not just setting. Throw a few blades of grass into the pen and see if they run to it, they should. Those who do not are more than likely not feeling well and should not be introduced into your flock until you are certain they are okay.
These birds can get colds. In them the cold is called air sac disease but they can get them, and usually when they do you can give them some antibiotics to help them get over it. Most of your feed and supply stores carry the common antibiotics that you can give to poultry, as well as their wormers, and their vitamins and supplements.
We are right back to where we started but good nutrition is the best defense against illness in your flock.
Yes! I Want My FREE Mini Course on How to Design & Build A Chicken Koop
Send Me My Free “Building the Perfect Chicken Koop Without Being a Contractor”: Email Mini-Course Today!
You Will Receive the First Lesson in Your Inbox mmediately.
100% Spam Free! I Value Your Email Privacy. You may unsubscribe at anytime.