FREE shipping within the contiguous US! FREE shipping within the contiguous US!
Home / The Grubs Times / Keep Your Chickens Healthy – Recognize These Signs of Sickness
Sick backyard chicken losing feathers

Keep Your Chickens Healthy – Recognize These Signs of Sickness

Keeping chickens in your backyard can be a great experience, but it requires commitment and effort to keep them healthy and happy. Ensuring that your chickens are healthy can be a bit tricky, especially if you are the new owner. In this post, we will be discussing telltale signs to help you recognize if your chicken is ill. Knowing these signs can help you take swift and proper action to ensure that your feathered friends get back to their healthy state.


Droopy comb or wattles

Combs and wattles are the fleshy red parts of the chicken's head that regulate their body temperature. If your chicken's comb or wattles appear pale or blueish, it's a sure shot sign that your chicken is unwell. The droopiness in the comb and wattles coupled with a lack of physical activity can indicate that your chicken is in trouble. It could be anything from anemia caused by mites to a bacterial infection. If you notice something suspicious, take your chicken to a vet.


Abnormal feces

As a chicken owner, you should be accustomed to what healthy chicken poop looks like. Any deviation from the norm could be a sign of illness. If you notice your chicken's droppings are watery or green or have visible blood, you need to take notice. The color, consistency, and odor of their waste can give insight into their health. It could be as simple as them eating something wrong or a serious infection like coccidiosis.


Lethargy and loss of appetite

Chickens are generally active animals and should be bustling around the yard or pen most of the time. A sick chicken will often appear lethargic, finding it hard to move and not moving about as much as usual. They may also sit a lot to conserve energy. In addition, they tend to lose their appetite, even for their favorite foods. This is a clear sign that something is not right, and you should seek advice from a professional.


Abnormal behavior or Discomfort

If your chicken is standing apart from the flock or crouching with its wings out, this could be a sign that they are experiencing discomfort. A sick chicken may also struggle to balance or even shake its head frequently. Excessive scratching or rubbing against their perches and walls is also a telltale sign of an itchy chicken, which is likely caused by mites or lice.


Difficulty breathing

If your chicken is suffering from breathing difficulties, you need to take action immediately. Difficulty breathing, wheezing, sneezing, or discharge from the eyes and nose can signal respiratory problems like infectious bronchitis or avian flu. You should quarantine the infected chicken and contact a vet to test the flock for respiratory disease.



Recognizing these signs of sickness can help you identify when your chicken is not feeling its best and take necessary action to ensure that they recover quickly. It's essential to keep an eye on your chickens and monitor even the slightest changes in your flock's health. Regular vet checkups and following healthy care practices can help keep your chickens from falling ill, and if they do, give them the best chance of full recovery. Keep them clean and well-fed and always be vigilant in ensuring they are healthy, happy hens!


Leave a comment