Backyard Chicken Disease Symptoms

Chicken Chick Hen

There are many breeds of chicken. Each one has its different characteristics. For example, some chicken breeds lay more than others. Some chicken breeds will stop growing feathers after a specific time, making them unable to keep warm if the weather gets cold while other chicken breeds can live in whatever climate they were raised in.

There are many chicken breeds around the world including gamefowl, game hen, Buckeye chicken, Catalana chicken, Cornish chicken, Crevecoeur chicken, Dutch Bantam, Faverolles chicken, Brahma chicken, Cochin chicken, Andalusian chicken, Leghorn chicken, Penedesenca chicken, Serama chicken, Silkie chicken, Spanish chicken, Minorca chicken, Modern Game chicken, Phoenix chicken.

The breed of chicken also is a major factor that decides the resistance of chicken to diseases as well as the diseases which it can get. Some chicken breeds can get sick more than others with some disease symptoms being more serious than other diseases in certain chicken breeds. However, all chickens will suffer from an illness or disease at one point or another during their lives.

A backyard chicken keeper should be familiar with the common backyard chicken diseases and learn how to spot the symptoms so they can take proper action immediately.

Some of these backyard chicken diseases include fowl cholera (also known as Pasteurella), Marek’s disease, chickenpox, coccidiosis, blackhead disease, infectious bronchitis.

It is important to note that chicken diseases are usually easily treatable if caught in the early stages of an illness or disease.

However, there are some backyard chicken diseases or illnesses that are more serious and need immediate veterinary attention in order for the chicken to survive.

First aid treatment for backyard chicken diseases includes keeping the chicken isolated from other chickens in a warm dry enclosure with food and water available at all times along with checking the chicken’s droppings daily to ensure that there are no traces of blood present in their droppings. If there is blood present in your backyard chicken’s droppings then it should be taken to the vet immediately. Also, make sure the chicken’s feathers are dry and soft which will help keep the chicken warm.

Marek’s disease

Backyard chicken diseases such as Marek’s disease are chicken sicknesses that will more than likely be deadly even with first aid treatment. It can cause paralysis of one or both of your chicken’s legs. If you see your chicken dragging their foot behind them then this indicates that it has Marek’s disease. Chickens that have Marek’s disease may also appear very lethargic, show signs of weakness in their wings, and may lose interest in food and water. Chickens who are suffering from Marek’s disease may also lose weight.

In order to treat backyard chicken diseases, you should stop feeding your chickens for 24 hours but make sure they still have access to water at all times during this time period. Also, provide warmth to chickens by keeping them in a warm environment. After this period of 24 hours, feed chicken blackberry leaves which are known to have healing properties.

If your chicken shows any of these backyard chicken diseases symptoms then you should separate them from the other chickens in your chicken coop immediately and take them to a chicken veterinarian as soon as possible.

Fowl cholera (also known as Pasteurella)

Another backyard chicken disease that is often fatal even with first aid treatment is fowl cholera (also known as Pasteurella). It can cause labored breathing, watery discharges coming out of the chicken’s eyes, nose, mouth, vent, and diarrhea. Chickens with this backyard chicken disease may hunch over or hunker down on the ground with their feathers fluffed up. They may also develop a crooked neck.

If your chicken starts showing these backyard chicken disease symptoms then it should be taken to a chicken veterinarian immediately since backyard chicken diseases are usually fatal. The chicken vet can give your chicken injections which will relieve their suffering so they don’t have to endure this backyard chicken disease any longer.


Backyard chicken diseases such as coccidiosis affect the intestines of chickens and result in diarrhea. This backyard chicken disease is caused by an intestinal parasite called Coccidia which are microscopic organisms that multiply rapidly inside your backyard chicken’s intestines. Chickens with coccidia will often produce soft yellow, green, or even bloody droppings that look watery. If there are other chickens housed near other chickens who have this backyard chicken disease then it is likely that they too will become infected since the Coccidia parasites leave behind spores when they die. The chicken droppings will also often smell bad.

If chickens are kept in chicken coops that are too crowded then this is more likely to occur since it makes it easier for chicken feces to spread which is how the Coccidia parasites get transmitted around. Coccidia spreads very quickly so if you suspect your chicken has backyard chicken diseases, you should immediately take them to a chicken veterinarian who can provide you with the appropriate treatment.


Another backyard chicken disease that needs immediate veterinary attention along with first aid treatment is Aspergillosis which is caused by inhaling mold or fungus spores. This backyard chicken disease or illness may result in difficulty breathing, lethargy, appetite, coughing, wheezing, and chicken droppings that are often discolored.

If your chicken starts showing signs of backyard chicken diseases then you should separate them from the other chickens in your chicken coop immediately. This is because Aspergillosis not only spreads through the air but also through chicken droppings so it is best to quarantine any chicken who shows symptoms of backyard chicken diseases until a chicken veterinarian can provide them with the proper treatment which usually involves medication and antibiotics.


Another chicken illness that needs immediate chicken veterinarian treatment if backyard chicken diseases symptoms are seen is Clostridium chicken disease. This backyard chicken disease is caused by the bacteria being ingested so it easily spreads among chickens especially if your chicken coop has poor hygiene conditions or you have not disinfected your chicken coop for a long time. It can also be transmitted through contact with wild birds since this type of bird often carries the Clostridium bacteria.

If you have backyard chickens then it is best to follow good chicken coop hygiene practices at all times, ensure that your chicken food and water containers are replaced regularly, avoid overcrowding, never handle sick backyard chickens without using protective equipment such as disposable gloves, keep roosters away from hens, and wipe chicken coop surfaces with disinfectants at least once a week.

Egg binding

Another chicken disease that backyard chicken owners should be aware of is egg binding chicken diseases which are more common in older hens since their reproductive organs weaken over time. There are chicken symptoms such as lack of appetite, nesting behavior even if there is no place to nest, lethargy, and excessive straining when trying to defecate or pass backyard chicken droppings. If you notice any backyard chicken disease symptoms it is best to keep your chickens warm and provide them with healthy food that contains calcium like leafy greens.

If your chicken needs veterinary attention then the first thing you need to do is confine them indoors away from other chicken pets that may catch chicken diseases. You also need to keep their chicken coop clean and chicken feeders full. If the chicken does not get backyard chicken cures then they may die of egg binding which causes pain, exhaustion, and death if it is left untreated.

Backyard chicken disease


There are many chicken diseases or backyard chicken diseases that can affect your fowl friend but if you notice any signs of chicken illness early on then your hen will be able to get chicken treatments in time before it becomes serious. Ensure you practice good chicken hygiene at all times especially when handling sick chickens to prevent yourself from catching backyard chicken diseases too.

Make sure that the chicken coop is well ventilated so that there is less likelihood of bacteria being transmitted from chicken droppings. Keep chicken feed covered to discourage rodents from getting into it and infecting other chickens in the chicken coop. For backyard chicken diseases such as lice, you can use red sage tea as a chicken disease treatment.

The chicken coop should be kept at a temperature of 35 degrees F, to minimize the risk of infection from chicken diseases. Provide your chickens with a balanced chicken diet that includes calcium-rich chicken feed so that they will have stronger eggs and shells. Once backyard chicken diseases symptoms are seen, separate them from other chickens in the chicken coop immediately to avoid transmitting chicken diseases or infections to others.

If you notice any chicken disease symptoms then take your sick chicken into your house and keep it on an isolated spot away from other pets such as dogs and cats who may catch backyard chicken diseases too. Make sure that the chicken’s bedding is dry before putting it back into the chicken coop because wet bedding can increase the chance of chicken diseases. If your chicken is constipated then give it some blackberry leaves to eat.

If the chicken disease symptoms are not too serious and do not affect the chicken’s general health, you can provide them with natural backyard chicken treatments by giving them garlic supplements, apple cider vinegar, ginger root tea, aloe vera juice or gel capsules, or chicken probiotics.

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