From hatch to death: health problems chickens have through their lives, and what you can do about them.
Raising chickens from chick to adult and into old age should be a happy experience. But health problems can arise at any point, and it's important to know how to spot them and what to do.
On this page, you'll find the most common issues which affect chicks from immediately after hatch, through health problems as they reach maturity, and complications that come with old age.
In the third section, you'll find links to articles which can aid chicken health.
To access any of these articles, just click on the headline or the button.
Chicks and health.
Incubating and hatching chicks can be the most amazing experience. It can also be incredibly stressful. While we all expect a perfect, healthy chick to hatch from the egg at day 21, it doesn't always work that way.
This first set of articles relates to what happens when a chick hatches and needs help.
A baby chick with wry neck can look very scary. Their head faces the stars and they have difficulty feeding and standing.
The diagnosis of this is straightforward, as is the cure. But if it's left untreated, the chick won't survive.
It's all outlined for you in this article. Learn what it is and how to treat it before it happens to your chick.
Pasty butt is another common problem when it comes to chick health. Like wry neck, it's easy to spot and easy to treat.
Left untreated, though, the chick will be unable to pass poop and will die.
It doesn't take any special equipment to deal with this, and there are easy ways to stop it happening in the first place.
It always pays to know what to do before you have to do it. Use this article to reference what you need to know.
Adult chicken health.
As chicks become adults, a different set of diseases awaits. These articles, which are still in the process of being written, refer to those diseases and how to manage them.
Red mite - one of the most prolific of all insects that can invade a chicken coop, and one of the most difficult to get rid of.
This article discusses how mites can affect chickens' health, how to spot an infestation, and how to deal with it.
Leaving mites to pester your chickens can lead to serious problems. Find out how to manage them, now.
Avian influenza was first identified in the early 1900s, and in 1983 spread to the chicken population, leading to millions of chickens having to be culled to prevent its spread.
Transmitted mainly from wild waterfowl and birds to the chicken population, it's important to know how to prevent it happening within backyard flocks as well as commercial farms.
In some countries, it's a notifiable disease. Find out about the disease and how to protect your chickens health in this article.
When chickens age.
Free ranging chickens can live as long as ten years, but most backyard flocks will see a tailing off of chickens somewhere between five and eight years old.
As age increases, the chickens - much like humans - become less able to deal with illness, and more susceptible to disease.
These articles tackle what happens as chickens age.
Sometimes, a perfectly healthy chicken can suddenly die for no apparent reason. It's distressing to see and hard to know what to do to prevent it.
This article covers how to tell whether your chicken has succumbed to this illness, and what, if anything, is likely to have caused it.
If you've had a chicken which seems to have died for no apparent reason, this article will help you understand how to deal with it.
Things that help chicken health.
Each of my topics about problems with chickens health also contain steps to take both to prevent and to treat them.
In addition, we can all take steps to make sure our chickens are kept in good health. The following articles contain general information about how to make sure your chickens are as healthy as possible, to counter any problems which may come their way.
Chickens can become ill very suddenly. You need to be prepared in advance.
This article lists all you need for a first aid kit for chickens which will cover all the more common chicken ailments. Complete with a free downloadable checklist, it deals with everything from external treatments, to medicines and pick-me-ups, to the equipment you'll need to administer them.
One of the main strengths in beating chicken illness is being prepared when it happens. Don't leave it till it's too late. Build your kit now.
Thought about free ranging your chickens but not sure if it's a good idea?
This article summarises several research papers to look at the differences between free ranging and confined chickens.
It examines the pros and cons of free ranging, and its effects on the chickens' health and well-being, the quality of their eggs and the consequent benefits for you and your family.
Also covering how to make "enriched" pasture possible and why you should, even if you have a small space.
One of the best natural remedies for chicken health is also one of the easiest plants to grow!
The humble marigold is proven to have numerous benefits including boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels in eggs and keeping flies away from the coop.
This article explains which marigolds to use for which benefit, and how to grow them whether you have a huge garden or a tiny plot.
There are many claims on blogs and forums about the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for chickens. But are they true? This article examines the claims, and goes on to assess whether or not proper, scientific studies have shown them to be true.
Covering whether ACV is a wormer and a cure-all for lice and mites, to its properties as a natural antibiotic, read this before you decide whether or not your chickens need it.
It also details the correct dose, how often to offer it and why metal containers are not a good idea.
Diatomaceous earth is one topic which can cause intense debate amongst backyard chicken keepers. It's seen as both a bonus for, or a risk to, chicken health.
This article covers the basics from what diatomaceous earth is through the risks and benefits, and finally how it is best used in the chicken coop to maintain the safety of both your flock and yourself.
Whether you use or it you're considering using it, you'll find information here to ensure you use it safely.
Chickens are very sociable creatures, but there are times when they need to be placed in solitary confinement for their own health and safety. You need to plan for that happening before it does.
This article reviews when it's not good to isolate a chicken, and when it's absolutely critical that you do; and when separation, rather than complete isolation, is in order.
It also considers practicalities: what's the best container to use for a sick or injured chicken, where's best to place it and what a lone chicken needs.
"Animal husbandry" is a phrase that simply means ways to keep your livestock healthy and happy.
This article covers everything from dealing with unwanted visitors in the coop - mainly rodents - to when it's necessary to isolate a chicken, to water, cleanliness, and when treats are healthy - and when they're not.
Whether you're new to chicken keeping, or you've been keeping them for generations, this article will contain tips you can action - now.
Other pages you may find useful.