What causes diseases?
- Parasites (Internal and external)
- Chemical ( eg Sodium chloride poisoning).
1. Fowl Pox
If you notice that your chickens develop white spots on their skin, scabby sores on their combs, white ulcers in their mouth or trachea, and their laying stops then you should grow concerned that your chickens are developing Fowl Pox.
There are treatment options for Fowl Pox. You can feed them soft food and give them a warm and dry place to try and recoup. With adequate care, there is a great chance that your birds can survive this illness.
If you would like to remove the odds of your birds even contracting this disease there is a vaccine available. If not, know that they can contact this disease from other contaminated chickens, mosquitoes, and it is a virus so it can be contracted by air as well.
If your chickens begin to have progressing tremors you should grow concerned. If your chickens have botulism the tremors will progress into total body paralysis which does include their breathing.
It is a serious disease.
You will also notice their feathers will be easy to pull out and death usually occurs within a few hours.
But what can you do about it?
Well, there is an antitoxin that can be purchased from your local vet. Though it is considered to be expensive. However, if you catch the disease early enough you can mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts with 1 ounce of warm water. You can give it to them by dropper once daily. If your chickens have contracted this disease it means that there has been some type of dead meat left near their food and water which contaminated it. Which means this disease is avoidable as long as you keep your chickens in a clean environment and clean up any dead carcass from around their environment.
3. Fowl Cholera
You should be suspicious of this disease if you see your birds begin to have a greenish or yellowish diarrhea, are having obvious joint pain, are struggling to breathe, and have a darkened head or wattle. Fowl Cholera is a bacterial disease that can be contracted from wild animals or food and water that has been contaminated by this bacteria.
5. Infectious Coryza
You will know that your birds have caught this disease when their heads become swollen. Their eyes will literally swell shut and their combs will swell. Then the discharge will begin to flow from their eyes and noses. They will stop laying and will have moisture under their wings.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to stop this disease.
Once your chickens contract this disease they should be put down. If not, they will remain a carrier of the disease for life which is a risk to the rest of your flock.
Be sure to discard the body afterward so no other animal becomes infected by it.
However, the light at the end of this tunnel is that even though this disease is a bacteria it only travels through contaminated water, other contaminated birds, and surfaces that have been contaminated with the bacteria.
So if you keep your chickens protected from other random chickens and keep their coop and water clean they should be safe from this disease.
9. Newcastle Disease
This disease also appears through the respiratory system. You will begin to see breathing problems, discharge from their nose, their eyes will begin to look murky, and their laying will stop. Also, it is common that the bird’s legs and wings will become paralyzed as well as their necks twisted. This disease is carried by other birds including wild birds. That is how it is usually contracted. But if you touch an infected bird you can pass it on from your clothes, shoes, and other items. However, the good news is that older birds usually will recover and they are not carriers afterward. But most baby birds will die from the disease.
12. Avian Influenza
Avian Influenza is most commonly known as the bird flu. It was one of my initial fears of owning chickens because all you hear about on the news is how people get sick with bird flu from their chickens. However, after knowing the symptoms you’ll be able to put that fear to rest.
You need to know how to act quickly if you are afraid your backyard birds have come in contact with it.
So the signs you will notice will include respiratory troubles. Your chickens will quit laying. They will probably develop diarrhea. You may notice swelling in your chicken’s face and that their comb and wattle are discolored or have turned blue.
And they may even develop dark red spots on their legs and combs. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine and the chickens infected will always be carriers. Wild animals can even carry the disease from bird to bird. Once your birds get this disease, they need to be put down and the carcass destroyed. And you will need to sanitize any area that the birds were in before ever introducing a new flock.