What to look for in chicken diseases

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What to Look For in Chicken Diseases

What to Look For in Chicken Diseases
By Suzie OConnor

Most medical conditions that affect backyard flock poultry affect the respiratory system of the animal. This particular system includes the air sacs of the body, the passages that permit the intake and outtake of air, as well as the lungs. If you keep chickens for your personal use, or for commercial purposes, it is important to understand that diseases respiratory based in the poultry are capable of spreading rapidly within a flock. Here, you will learn about five of the most common diseases, as well as chicken diseases symptoms so that you may appropriately identify health issues before they affect your entire backyard flock.

Infectious Bronchitis

Infectious Bronchitis is a diseases respiratory based in backyard flock chickens that is relatively common. This condition is also known as “Bronchitis” and a “Cold”. This disease is specific to chickens in particular when it comes to types of poultry. The infection may be mild to severe, depending on several circumstances such as the strength of the immunity of the bird, and other conditions present in the environment in which the chicken is located. Chicken diseases symptoms that are present when it comes to this particular illness include, but are not limited to:

  • Indulging in less water and food consumption
  • Liquid discharge will be present in the eyes, as well as the nostrils
  • Breathing complications will be evident, with signs of gasping
  • The chicken may make distinguishable chirping sounds
  • The production rate when it comes to laying eggs will be reduced dramatically
When it comes to this particular diseases respiratory, there is no “cure”. There are methods of treatment that many who raise chickens in backyard flocks have found to be productive. First of all, individuals may have their chickens vaccinated against this condition as a preventive measure. If vaccinations are not acquired, once the poultry acquires the chicken disease, antibiotics may be administered in order to address the bacterial based infection that may be present, therefore reducing some of the chicken diseases symptoms. One may also increase the temperature of the room in which the sick chicken is kept by an average of 5°F.

Avian Influenza

Many chicken owners have discovered that the chickens in their flocks come down with a condition which is called “Avian Influenza”. This is also known as the “Fowl Plague”, and the “Flu”. While any type of bird may acquire this illness, chicken owners should be concerned because of the fact that it can spread rapidly through flocks. There are many ways that this condition can be transmitted from one chicken to another, making it a large concern when it comes to diseases respiratory in home flocks. These methods include contamination by shoes that can carry it from one location to another, insects, rodents, and even equipment used in chicken coops and the basic care of chickens. Chicken diseases symptoms may include any or all of the following:

  • Distress when it comes to respiratory function
  • Noticeable change in eating habits
  • Mild to severe diarrhea
  • Decrease in egg production rates
  • Spots that are red and/or white on the legs of the chicken affected
  • Discharge may be noticed around the nose and may include droplets of blood
There are preventive vaccines available, but chicken owners must acquire a special permit in order for their backyard flock to qualify. Otherwise, there is no basic treatment for Avian Influenza. It may be possible to administer antibiotics that are considered to be “Broad Spectrum” in order to contend with some of the symptoms that may be present in the animal, but this is not guaranteed to work. Simply ensuring nutrition, that the animal is properly hydrated, and rests is about the best treatment available for this chicken diseases respiratory.

Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

Mycoplasma Gallisepticum or “Chronic Respiratory Disease” is a diseases respiratory that many chickens may be affected by. Many may also refer to this illness as “Mycoplasmosis” or “Infectious Sinusitis”. While poultry such as turkeys and ducks may be affected by this condition, backyard flock chickens are commonly affected as well. Chicken diseases symptoms present with this diseases respiratory include:

  • Chickens that are adults may show no symptoms at all
  • The sinuses may become swollen
  • An obvious sneeze may become apparent
  • Discharge may be emitted through the nasal cavity
  • A foamy based discharge may be evident in the eyes
When it comes to treatment for this common chicken disease, there are antibiotics available that have proven to be highly successful. These may be administered by mixing with the chicken feed, the water that the chickens drink, or by injection. Examples of antibiotics for this condition include Lincomycin and Erthromycin.

Fowl Pox

Fowl Pox is another common chicken disease found in backyard flocks. This is known by many names, such as “Chicken Pox” (Not the same as the human version), “Bird Pox”, and “Avian Diphtheria”. When poultry suffers from this diseases respiratory, there are many chicken diseases symptoms present, such as:

  • Lesions that reflect that of “warts” often appear on the areas of the body where there are no feathers
  • Egg production rate is typically hindered
  • The skin may appear raw, and this may be accompanied by bleeding
  • Noticeable distress in respiratory function
  • Congestion in the respiratory system may be experienced
At this time, there is no treatment for this diseases respiratory in chickens. However, owners should not be alarmed as this condition is relatively slow spreading overall. Many owners take the preventative measure of vaccination against this condition.

Infectious Coryza

Infectious Coryza is often called “Cold” or “Roup”. Many refer to this diseases respiratory as “Coryza”. This is extremely common among backyard flocks of chickens. Chicken diseases symptoms include many of the following:

  • Distinguishable smell that is relatively “foul” based
  • Discharge from the nasal cavity and the eyes
  • Challenges in breathing
  • Mild to severe diarrhea
  • Unusual sounds emitted when taking breaths
The treatment for this diseases respiratory include antibacterial medications. In addition to this, antibiotics that are considered to be soluble in water may also be used for treating this respiratory condition.


As you can see, there are many common diseases that affect chickens kept in backyard flocks. All of the diseases here are considered to be diseases respiratory. If you want to ensure the health of your backyard flock, it is important to learn about the conditions as well as chicken diseases symptoms. Here, you have been introduced to the five most common diseases. For further information, you may research your local library or ask your vet.

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Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Suzie_OConnor/31172