Every chicken keeper wants to see a flock of healthy and happy birds fluttering joyously around the chicken run. However, just like other pets and livestock, chickens are prone to diseases and injuries. They, therefore, require special attention and care besides regular feeding.
Regular health checks will help you identify signs of sickness and take appropriate action before the situation runs out of control. The most important thing to consider when buying chickens is to ensure that they have been vaccinated for common chickens diseases.
Besides vaccines, here are a few more ways to carry out a quick health check of your birds and take action before the problem becomes worse:
- Eyes: Check your chicken’s eyes and ensure that they open fully, are bright, and free of discharge.
- Comb: Check the chicken’s comb and ensure that it is red and firm if the chickens is laying eggs.
- Droppings: Check the chicken’s droppings and ensure that they are dark-colored with white specs. This is a good indication that your chicken’s gut is cleaning itself properly as expected.
- Feathers: Healthy chickens should also have full and shiny feathers unless they are in molt. Bald patches or an unkempt look could be a sign of a health problem.
- Crop: The crop at the chicken’s breast region should be empty when you let the birds out in the morning. If it still looks full in the morning, consider this as a sign of a blockage in the crop.
- Legs: The feet and legs of a healthy chickens should be smooth and free of excessive scales.