Chicken Diseases and Treatment

Treat common poultry diseases and ailments with these simple, cheap, home remedies and methods for preventative care.

  • Chickens and Rooster
    Feed your chickens onions and garlic as a preventative for worms.

  • Chickens and Rooster

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.
11/28/2019 9:18:54 AM

For the love of poultry and all things sane, DO NOT GIVE YOUR BIRDS KEROSENE. This article was written in 1974. We are slightly, just slightly, more informed on the mysterious ways of poultry and their illnesses. Thus, we have a bit more intel regarding treating said illnesses. There are plenty of home/natural "remedies" without using these "folk" treatments that amount to poisoning. And by keeping your birds in a clean, dry uncrowded, well fed environment, you prevent these illnesses from even starting. Dont forget: quarantine new birds! They may be cootie carriers!

2/14/2019 10:39:44 AM

Do you really mean kerosene or is that a typo?

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



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