Visit our Chick-A-Roo Shoppe to find many of the items we recommend.
Understanding the importance of biosecurity and chicken health care is very important when becoming a chicken owner.
Below is listed some information on chicken care to help you with caring for your own chickens.
If you have further questions we recommend joining our A&M Eggspress Farm Stand Community to ask fellow people of our community for further guidance. While you are welcome to ask us, we want to allow you all to help each other for greater expansion of knowledge and possibly faster response times.
Please note: I am not a veterinarian nor is this professional medical advice. The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. If you need medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment I advise you to consult a medical professional such as a veterinarian.
While we do our best to assure the best health of our chickens, we still recommend following safety guidelines.
New chickens should be kept in their own coop and run for minimum 30 days. Their location needs to be 50’ or farther away from your current flock. If your current flock free ranges make sure they can’t enter where your new chickens are located.
Tend to your current flock before your new chickens. This way you prevent cross contamination. If you do handle your new chickens or go in their area prior to your current flock, wash hands, change clothes and change shoes first.
Don’t wear the same shoes in your current flocks locations that you wear around the new chickens
Food and water should be separate and not shared with current flock and new chickens. If you do use the same containers be sure to sterilize them prior to using each time you reuse them.
Monitor the health of your new chickens and your current flock at the same time. Your chickens can get sick during this time from outside factors other than the new chickens. You want to be sure there is no health problems prior to introducing new chickens.
Some symptoms to watch for:
- Pale combs or waddles
- Limited movement
- Unusual droppings (mucus-like or bloody diarrhea)
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual behavior - acting weird
- Troubles walking - Limping
- Enlarged belly, crop, or vent
If you notice any of your chickens showing signs of illness you should quarantine the sick chickens while you get a diagnoses of their condition.
Do not start medicating you chickens with random medications playing a guessing game as to what is wrong with them. Not only is that unsafe, it can make your chickens resilient to medications if they actually do eventually need them. It's ok to give them chicken vitamin water, diluted Apple Cider Vinegar, a little molasses or yolk put into their water for added nutrition, and tend to any noticeable injuries at time of placing chicken(s) into quarantine.
Please try to take notice of all the symptoms and seek support from knowledgable chicken professional and owners or veterinarian to help get a proper diagnosis. Then at that point start a treatment regimen.
If your chickens die and you do not know why, you can get a chicken necropsy done for around $30. This is essentially an autopsy of a chicken to determine cause of death. This is used to help get a proper diagnoses in order to protect the rest of the flock in the event the chickens cause of death is contagious and has likely already infected the rest of the flock. This way proper treatment can be started to improve odds of saving your flock from the same demise.
- Medical Care/Treatment:
Wry Neck: When a chicken looks like it's always looking upwards, its neck is twisted, has difficulty standing, it most likely has wry neck. Treatment starts to show improvement in as little as 24 hrs but you still need to keep treating for up to a month to assure the chicken has fully healed. This usually affects baby chicks, but is known to also affect fully grown chickens. Give Chick vitamin water such as rooster booster (recommended also adding a little molasses)
Splayed Legs: When a baby chick hatches but looks like one or both legs are spread out while they can't properly stand. Put chick in a drinking glass with a little bit of napkin, tissue, or paper towel at the bottom. The chick will push itself up over and over. This is a form of physical therapy helping chick strengthen legs. The chick should resolve in about 24 hours. You can hold chick and offer water and food every so often to keep it hydrated and healthy. Then place chick back into the glass. Please keep the temperature monitored to not over heat or be too cold where chick is kept.
You can also use a homemade splint with very small rubber band and piece of straw, bandaid, or other methods you can google for step-by-step instructions.
Coccidiosis: Get Corid. It's also at Tractor supply and other places. The measurements on the bag are not correct for chickens. You'll use 1.5 teaspoons per gallon water. Shake it up real well to be sure it's mixed. Give for 5-7 days as only water source. There is a liquid one too.. that is 2 teaspoons per gallon of water.
Ammonia cleans up after coccidia really well if you clean everything out and wash well. Rinse afterwards. Let air dry out. No chickens should be in area during cleaning or until properly dried and aired out. You can just wash with antibacterial soap and water too. But that wont necessarily kill the parasite eggs. Coccidia can be present even up to a year for longer afterwards and reinfect chickens if not properly cleaned.
If you keep a clean, dry bedding the chances of infection are slim. The reason is the eggs hatch in warm, wet environments. So even if eggs are present, unless the environment is suitable (warm and wet), they don't hatch and if they don't hatch they don't infect the host.
Provide clean water and feed source to avoid contamination and expose that way. Essentially poop shouldn't contaminate their food and water. Do not offer vitamin water..only corid. After 5-7 treatment days offer vitamin water with probiotics to help rebuild gut to increase survival. Some chickens may die after treatment if they got to sick and too much damage done during active parasitic infection..but adding vitamins and probiotics helps rush recovery helping save some chicks. Chickens up to 6 months are most susceptible but after 6 months are still capable of getting infected. Their immune systems should fight it off unless they have weakened immune system for any reason. Learn more here:
Pasty Butt: Pretty common condition caused by stress from transporting/over handling chicks or inadequate brooder conditions. This is when their poop becomes stuck to and blocking their vent causing constipation. Just wipe gently with a warm wet cloth to remove the build up and provide adequate brooder and health care. Give vitamin water such as Rooster Booster.
Weak and gaping chick: There are many causes to why it’s happening so start by checking brooder conditions.
Also, check to see if it’s choking on feed from eating too fast or food caught in crop. You can gently massage crop downward to help chick swallow it. Also offer water for it to self drink to soften food.
For overly stressed/dying chicks add vitamin water to chick’s feed to turn it into a soupy mush. If chick can self feed and drink, allow chick to do so. Otherwise, using a teaspoon offer soupy mushy feed to chick to take small bites.You may have to dip chicks beak in it to show her what it is before she will eat/drink. She may only take a little which is fine. Just keep offering more every 30 mins and water too.
If not eating the mush offer the soupy feed water from the mushed feed to give the nutrients in liquid form. You can even put in egg yolk watered down, thinned, in a spoon to offer chick. Keep trying to feed and water chick to rebuild health.
Some people suggest using dropper to give water. I advise against that as they can aspirate from the water forced down their beak. So, dipping beak just a touch into the water by holding spoon to beak and allowing them to drink is my recommendation.
Missing feathers is typically a result of molting. Giving Feather Fixer feed will help with regrowing feathers. You can also just add more protein, B.O.S.S (not too much) and give vitamin water with electrolytes to your chickens instead. *Black Oil Sunflower Seed*
If it's happening to hens near the top of the head and the lower backs, this is likely from the rooster being a little too aggressive and favoring the hen. If you get a chicken saddle to strap to their back, this will help stop the constant plucking during mating.
Minor cuts and open injuries: Putting non-medicated triple antibiotic Neosporin is ok to put on minor chicken injuries. You can also use Blu-Kote to treat those injuries.
Major cuts and open injuries: After making sure chicken is calm and relaxed. Observe the injuries on your chicken to make sure any life threatening injuries are not present. Many chicken owners have successfully recovered their chickens for major injuries from chicken attacks, dog attacks, wild animal attacks and other injuries equally as bad by cleaning the wound ( do not use hydrogen peroxide as it will kill healthy cells), putting Blu-Kote on the injuries, and using gauze to wrap them up. They keep their chicken in quarantine in a dark, calm, space like a kennel in the garage corner with lights off.
Make sure to clean up after chicken to keep their area clean and continue to clean and rebandage wounds. Keep food and water with chicken at all time. Can keep outside of kennel as long as the chicken can stick head trough to reach.
- Fowl Pox/Wet Pox:
- Bumble Foot:
- Water Belly:
- Impacted Crop:
**As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.