As chicken lovers, our first order of business is to keep our chickens happy and healthy! Happy chicken, happy you, right? But what if your backyard chicken becomes ill and you don't recognize the symptoms right away? That sounds terrible. Better safe than sorry, chicken owners should be aware of some common sick chicken symptoms and set aside some time for pretreatment.
In fact, chickens usually hide their weakness by instinct until they are too sick to act normally since they are prey animals. Therefore, make some time to observe if your chickens’ behavior is out of the ordinary and help those chickens that are under the weather in time. Here are some common criteria you can use to determine if your chickens are sick.
A decreased appetite
A decrease in appetite is one of the most common warning signs that something is wrong with chickens, just like it is with other pets. When feeding, keep an eye out for your chickens. If a chicken hangs back and doesn't come for special treats like mealworms, just stays off to itself, and doesn't even peck around, it may be sick.
A weight loss
Weight loss follows a decrease in appetite, which is also a sign of illness. They may lose weight due to stress, parasites, nutritional deficiencies, or disease. So you must determine why your chicken is losing weight and take appropriate action.
Chickens that are happy and healthy are always on the move, pecking at the ground for insects. If your chickens are hiding in the corner, are always on the roost, or appear lethargic, they are probably sick. You should keep an eye on your suspicious chickens for any additional symptoms.
Runny or cloudy eyes
Healthy chickens have clear, bright eyes that are free of discharge. Keep an eye on your chickens to see if their eyes have bubbles, are runny or cloudy, or appear sticky and tired. These are symptoms of illness.
Changes in egg quality and quantity
A decrease in egg production in your hens indicates a possible chicken illness, molting, aging, stress, or poor nutrition. If you also have some misshapen or shell-less eggs, you should pay closer attention to the chickens for additional clues that will help you solve the problem. Don't dismiss these warning signs of illness.
Discolored combs and wattles
Healthy chickens' combs and wattles should be bright, red, plump, and waxy. If you notice their combs and wattles turning pale, purple, or black, or if they develop lesions, you may have a sick chicken.