Chicken Health Chart / Treatment and Prevention




Illness Causes Symptoms Treatment / Prevention
Amonia Burn Damp or wet litter. Eyes water, may become blind.
Make sure coop stays dry and clean, give vitamin A. Sprinkle organic food grade diatomaceous earth on coop floor to keep it dry.
Aspergillosis Birds inhale spores from moldy feed, litter and dust.
Loss of appetite, more thirsty. Disinfect entire coop and feeders at least once a year, keep coop clean and dry, remove wet litter. Sprinkle organic food grade diatomaceous earth on coop floor to keep dry.
Bronchitis Airborne Virus. Sneezing, coughing, loss of egg production, soft egg shell.
Vaccinate before laying begins, no treatment.
Botulism Decayed matter is eaten. (animal or vegetable.)
Difficulty breathing, can't walk, very weak, can't swallow. Keep coops and yard clean, feed only fresh foods, remove any dead animals, try Epsom Salts in water. (1 lb salt in 5 gal. of water.)
Bumble Foot Bruised or cuts on bottom of feet.
Infection gets in the skin, hard time walking, scab under the foot.
Keep floors non-slippery, not too height of roost, open and drain any infection and paint wound with iodine.
Coccidiosis Hens eat the droppings that are contaminated with the parasite which attack the lining of the intestines.
High death rate in flock, loss of appetite and egg production, bloody stool.
Vaccinate as chicks, in major outbreaks give recommended medicine in water. (Can also try 1/4 C. of vinegar per gal. of water.)
Coryza Contagious respiratory bacterial disease. Can spread at poultry shows, some hens can be carriers even if they are better.
Nasal discharge, eyes goopy & sticky, loss of appetite and egg production.
Keep hens the same age group, antibiotics can be recommended by vet.
Cannibalism Too many hens in one space, not enough feed (protein) or water, boredom, taste of blood, bright colors.
Pecking each other, can cause open wounds and sometimes kill other hens, egg eating.
Make sure hens have enough space to run around, provide plenty of water and feed. If cannibalism gets bad, start feeding a mash or crumb so they get full faster. Offer variety of treats to keep them entertained, chicken scratch keeps them busy. (More treats listed on chicken care page.) Trim beaks if necessary.
Enteritis (diarrhea) Hard to diagnose, many types of causes. Mainly from drinking water that is contaminated with bacteria or viruses.
Hen has diarrhea, watery droppings in variation of colors from yellow, white and green.
Get specific diagnosis from a vet, practice good sanitation with coop and yard, use plastic waterers.
Leg Injuries
Accidents, slippery floors, rusty wire, infection, etc.
Swollen joints, soft bones, twisted legs, broken bones, swollen feet, paralysis, legs flex sideways. Use wood chips on the coop floor, do not use newspaper even for chicks, avoid slippery linoleum and vinyl floors for coop. Determine cause and treat accordingly. Wood or dirt floors are best, they also air out better.
Lymphoid Leukosis Tumor caused viral infection,(enlarged liver.) Can be transmitted to younger hens from older infected hens.
reduced feed intake, weakness, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, depression and reduced egg production. Keep flocks the same age, brood away from older hens.
Can spread from new hens or wild birds. Housing ducks and geese with hens can contribute.
Decrease in egg production and weight gain. Increased disease susceptibility, loss in appetite, diarrhea, excessive grooming, and sometimes molting is triggered, death can occur.
Clean shavings and feathers in coop, inspection is great prevention to catch them early (inspect around vents once monthly if possible), dust with Seven powder as directed or organic food grade diatomaceous earth every 1-2 weeks until gone. Sprinkle food grade DE in coop and nest boxes. Read more on Chicken Care page about lice and mites.
Marek's Disease Airborne, Herpes virus.  spread by contaminated skin & feather dust (dander), litter and infected hens.
Paralysis of wings, legs, neck. Eyes are a grey color.
Only purchase vaccinated chicks. Keep flock the same age, keep younger hens separated.
Mites Poultry mites are tiny reddish brown bugs that suck the blood at night when chicken is roosting. Lives in hen house and on the hen. Northern fowl mites are aggressive and feed day and night. (Wild birds can spread different types of mites.) Scaly Leg mites can get in hens leg scales.
Very similar symptoms as lice, loss of egg production and appetite, excessive grooming, bright pink bottoms and feathers falling out. Untreated can result in death. Leg mites cause scales to lift, legs swell and sometimes ooze. (ouch.) Clean shavings is coop as needed. Keep organic food grade diatomaceous earth on hand at all times, sprinkle it on coop floor, in next boxes and in corners. Inspect hens once monthly around vents, dust with food grade diatomaceous earth as needed once a week until gone. Seven powder can be used or other various pour on medications.
Newcastle Disease Virus spread by feces, contact with contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing. Nervous and respiratory signs, coughing, nasal discharge, decrease in egg production.
Vaccination, sanitary measures reduces the likelihood of outbreaks. No treatment.
Omphalitis Effects baby chicks, most commonly caused by bacteria, usually unsanitary Hatchery.
May involve the chicks appearing drowsy, they drop their head and look inferior to the other chicks.
Make sure to get chicks from reputable hatchery.
Pasty Manure on Bottom.
Lack of activity, stress while being transported.  Manure becomes pasty and sticks to the bottoms of the hens.
Remove manure with warm water and mild soap. Encourage activity with chicken scratch, let hens out to run around if possible.
Paratyphoid Transported from carrier hen to the egg, eating or coming in contact with droppings of infected carriers. Caused by Salmonella paratyphi. The chicks are drowsy, with eyes closed, ruffled feathers and grouped near the sources of heat. Hygiene is the best prevention. Keep rodents and snakes under control.
Pullorum Disease Caused by Salmonella Pullorum from egg to chick. Poults are also affected. White diarrhea with pasting of the vents. Antibiotic treatment not recommended as birds may become carriers. Control is usually by testing and the removal of infected hens.
Rickets Vitamin D deficiency, phosphorus or calcium imbalance. Reduced body weight, soft bones or beak, birds rest a lot or become lame.
Make sure hens have proper vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus. Increase dosage with vets instructions.

Types of Poultry Worms

Roundworm Spread by the ingesting infected feces. Roundworms present in small intestine are 5 to 8cm long. Large roundworms occur when litter or runs have been used for many years. poor growth, diarrhea, loss of activity, possible for worm to crawl into oviduct and inside eggs. (extreme case.) Flubenvet and other drugs are approved for poultry worms. Organic food grade diatomaceous earth can be used, 2-5% in dry feed continually and very effective.
Hairworm 7-18 mm long, about 0.05 mm wide and hair-like in appearance. Earthworms can be a host, spread by ingesting infected feces. Diarrhea, weight loss, depression. Fenbendazole has shown high effectiveness, other drugs are an option. Organic food grade diatomaceous earth can be used, 2-5% in dry feed continually and very effective.
Tapeworm Found in digestive tract of hens and many animals. They can make hooks and suckers to attach themselves to the lining of the gut. Some species can grow up to several meters in length. Spread by infected feces and secondary hosts like flies, ants and snails. Malnutrition occurs, poor growth, sometimes without symptoms. Hard to control, practice good hygiene, drug effectiveness is questionable. Fenbendazole can be tried, sometimes levamisole which is an antibiotic. Organic food grade diatomaceous earth can be used, 5%-8% (increased dose for tapeworm) in dry feed continually. DE lacerates worm which comes out with stool in pieces.
Gapeworm Infecting the trachea's of hens. Worms clog and obstruct the airway. Adults travel through the lungs causing a severe pneumonia. Eggs found in the feces. Can spread by eating infected slugs, snails, earthworms. Hens "gape" or open their mouth while stretching their necks over and over. Ivermectin is often used. Organic food grade diatomaceous earth can be used, 2-5% in dry feed continually and very effective.


**For proper use and dosage of medicine, talk to your  vet.

**Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is all organic and non toxic. I have found it to be every bit as effective as medicine for certain treatments. Food grade DE  is safe to add in hens feed, to use on hens body and in coop.


Clean Coops - Coop Plans and Chicken Care