Treating a Sick Chicken

Treating a Sick Chicken

Just as disease can be a problem for humans, chickens are susceptible to disease. Any variety of illnesses can infect your chickens, some are caused by something you do, some are not. It is often possible to successfully treat these diseases on your own. However, we should first go over some common symptoms of chicken illnesses, listed below.


  • The chicken won’t eat or drink very much or anything at all.

  • It doesn’t go to the bathroom, goes too often, or has odd-colored, runny, or too-thick fecal matter.

  • It avoids other chickens that usually it stays around.

  • A flock that is normally temperate suddely pecks at it or avoids it.

  • It’s wings droop or drag.

  • It’s eyes become discolored and/or discharge fluid.

  • Bald patches start to be visible anywhere on the body.

  • It moves very little and with dificulty, or acts as if movement is painful.

  • It sleeps too much or too little.

  • The ‘vent’ has a bulge near it or is clogged.

  • Sneezing or coughing.

  • Any other abnormal behavior or physical signs may be indication of disease.


So how do you treat a diseased chicken? First, do a careful inspection of the chicken. Check everywhere, for anything you can think of. Try to determine what the source of the problem is. You may or may not be able to determine the problem, and even if so, you may not know what to do for the problem, but often you do.

Think about things you may haved changed in the chicken’s environment recently, or other factors that may affect a chickens health. Is it eating new feed? Is it free-ranging in a new area? Is it an old chicken? These questions and questions like them may help determine the source of the problem.

If you still can not determine anything that might help, it may be necessary to see the vet.

You will also want to isolate the chicken as soon as possible. This will allow the chicken to rest, as well as allow you to give it more special attention and more closely moniter it, particularly it’s feces, which can be a significant indicator of illness. Also, it will prevent the spread of disease among your flock.

Try to analyze things that may have caused the disease. Excessive heat may be a culprit. Make sure the chickens have enough shade and cool water. If you are using any kind of fertilizer or weedkiller in the area they freerange in or any other area near them, it will probably cause health problems to the chickens. These should never be used anywhere near chickens.

But determining symptoms and eliminating hazards may only be half the battle. You also need to care for the bird and do what is nessecary to treat the disease. Keep the chicken in a dry, warm area, preferably one where you can moniter it closely. If it won’t eat regular food, try feeding it crushed up food or food mixed with a little bit of water. Try to make sure it is drinking plenty of water. Keep the area you have it in as clean as possible.



Indoor Chicken Area

An Area like this may be Ideal for keeping your Chicken indoors while you moniter it's Health


As far as treating the disease goes, the procedure depends upon the ailment. There are many home remedies out there that may help. This link may be helpful. Look up the specific symptoms your bird has and see what results come up. If you cannot find a suitable treatment, or if the treatment fails to yeild results, it may be necessary to contact a veterinarian. Even if a single bird is not worth the expenses of a trip to the vet, the disease may be contagious and the vet might just give you advice that will save your entire flock.

While you treat the sick bird, keep a close eye on all your other birds. The disease may have spread to the other birds or baceria may be living in an area the chickens frequent. If they exhibit any of the same symptoms, it may be necessary to deep clean the entire cage or take other drastic measures.

For more information, try this link.