Chicken Diseases and Treatment

Treat common poultry diseases with simple, cheap home remedies and preventative care.

| March/April 1974

Even with modern antibiotics and premixed medicated poultry rations, chickens still get sick . . . sometimes with fairly lethal diseases that can sweep quickly through a flock. We rely on our few hens for their eggs and want them to be healthy, for their sake and ours, so we started digging around in the older farm books and asking questions about the birds' ailments. The remedies we came up with use simple, cheap, easily available ingredients and methods that are surprisingly like those frequently employed in home nursing.

Caring For Chickens

Since the best cure of all is prevention; knowing something in advance of your flock's needs can ward off a lot of trouble. Basically, chickens should be kept warm and dry, get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet . . . sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Hens left to roam will satisfy their dietary needs and busily keep the local bug population under control (just take care to protect the vegetable garden, because the birds also love young green stuff ).

Onions and garlic fed regularly are a natural preventative of any worms that might be thinking of a home in your fowls' warm innards, and sour milk or buttermilk mixed in their feed or drinking water will deter diarrhea. Feet and droppings in food or drink are a potential source of infection when birds are confined, so equip your chicken house with feeders and watering equipment that force the biddies to observe sanitary table manners.

New birds should be quarantined a few days before joining an existing flock and, to control the spread of parasites and disease, henhouses and brooders should be thoroughly aired and whitewashed between flocks.

During the winter, keep chicken house litter dry and exposed to air by scattering scratch feed around on it every day. This serves the added purpose of providing the hens with exercise so that they stay warm and healthy. On especially cold mornings try adding one tablespoon of kerosene to their drinking water as a pick-me-up.

8/8/2017 8:42:24 PM

I have several chickens that have eye problems starting as watery, progressing to milky and swollen closed with the entire head swelling with death shortly following. Any ideas on a way to eradicate this problem. Brian

3/17/2014 1:58:54 AM

My Chicken it stands all day long and does nothing but sleep when we make a noise it will turns its head. It leaks snot out of its mouth and nose and now its started bubbling in the eyes and we just can't find anything on and chicken care sites.

6/28/2013 12:52:06 AM

I have a hen that has a watery type sack on her breast she also feel hot in this area when I lift her and turn her upside down alot of water spills from her, she is not laying and is slow to get around my father also had several birds with the same problem that came good for a short amount of time but relapsed and eventually died from the problem, I have 11 other hens that are off the lay and have been for some time now some have diroreah. Their house is clean and dry and they always have fresh food and water any sugestions as to what this could be she is the only one in my flock to suffer this condition so far

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