For today`s article we at the typesofchicken.com team decided to walk our readers through the steps of doing your own physical examination of your chickens. How you can do it and why you should do it are also included. Doing the physical examination yourself can save you a lot of time and money because let`s be honest, sometimes it is not necessary to call the vet. And once you learn how to do it as thorough as possible it can be done regularly.
1. For A Quality Physical Exam You Need To Know Your Chickens
Knowing your chickens, their patterns of their behavior and signs of a problem can help you notice a health issue and the order in which the physical exam should start. If you notice a chicken limping or that the number of eggs that a chicken provides is getting lower, it is the time for a routine physical exam.
2. When Is The Right Time To Make A Physical Exam
The best time to do an examination is after a water bath. The wounds are cleaner and can be seen more clearly and the chickens are already used to the handling so you will have more maneuverability without scaring them. If you are not in the position to water bathe your chickens you can use a lamp and do the exam during the night when your chickens are roosting.
3. Start With Checking The Weight!
An all-grown up chicken should be able to maintain constant weight. Weight gain and weight loss are symptoms of many different illnesses that a chicken can have, and even bullying so checking the weight is the first thing you need to do when doing a physical exam to your chickens.
4. Know Your Breed`s Comb And Wattles
Knowing the specifics of the comb and wattle of a breed can help you recognize a problem with your chickens. The comb and the wattle are very trustworthy indicators of health issues and they should always be one of the first steps you take while doing a physical exam on your chickens. By knowing what the comb and wattle of a healthy specific breed look like, you can easily determine if something is wrong.
5. Checking The Eyes Of Your Chicken Is Important
We have discussed before that problems with the eyes is one of the most common problem a chicken can have with its health. The eyes of your chicken must be moist and the pupils at the same size. Due to the constant pecking and dust bathing chickens tend to get things stuck in their eyes. As we said, this is a common problem and there is a simple solution – but sometimes it can indicate a virus infection or a simple cold. You need to do a thorough inspection and call the vet if the same eye problems occur in many chickens from your flock.
Read More About 10 Common Chicken Health Problems And Solutions
6. Don’t Forget The Feathers
The feathers of your chickens have certain shine that is easily recognizable. If the feathers lose their shine may indicate other diseases. You can maintain the shine of your feathers if you add vinegar in their water baths. Not only when the feathers lose their shine but also feather loss can be a strong indicator that something is wrong with your chickens.
Read More About 4 Tips On How To Use Vinegar Around Your Coop
7. Checking The Beak And The Mouth Of A Chicken Can Be Difficult But It Is Necessary
Slight scratches on the beak are normal, when you are looking at the beak check closely if there are some bigger cracks and clean it if necessary. Also small holes are not a big issue. The mouth should not have foam or any bumps. To avoid scratches inside the mouth of your chicken you can add crushed baked eggshells in their diet.
8. Know The Breed In Order To Know The Skin
Always check out the skin of your chicken, again – know your breed so that you can know which color is normal for that particular breed. Any discoloration on the skin can indicate a bigger problem and if your chickens are active and enjoy playing and pecking you need to check the skin for bleeding scratches.
9. The Wings Are On The Frontline With The Outside Environment – They Need To Be Checked
Checking up on the wings is important especially if you are clipping them. Move one wing gently up and down and if your chicken shows signs of feeling pain, you may need to reduce the physical activities of that chicken. Check thoroughly in the pits between the wings and the torso. The skin on the outside of the wings should be checked up on regularly because chickens tend to damage that area a lot.
Read More About How to Clip Chicken Wings Properly, 5 Tips
10. The Legs Are In A Constant Risk Due To Their Unavoidable Contact With The Ground
We mentioned before that a chicken that is limping should be checked up. Chickens tend to scratch and hurt their legs quite often. Again, adding vinegar when you water bathe your chicken can help heal and disinfect any cuts and reduce swelling. End every physical examination by taking a good look at the legs.
Do you agree with our list? What more would you add to a physical examination of a chicken? Make sure that you share your thoughts and opinions with us through the comment section or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com
3 thoughts on “10 DIY Physical Exams For Your Chickens”
Chickens do NOT get “colds”. They get respiratory infections which are either bacterial or viral. Many that they get create carrier states in the birds. They may recover, but will continue to infect and potentially kill their flockmates. It is very important if you think that your chicken has a “cold” that you pursue an actual diagnosis. Most bacterial infections are easily treated and not cause for alarm, but things like Mycoplasma Gallisepticum are very dangerous if treated/recovered. If you keep a carrier bird you must exercise extreme bio-security measures for as long as any member of that now “closed” flock is alive. I speak from (very heartbreaking) experience.
Chickens do NOT get “colds”. They get respiratory infections which are either bacterial or viral. Many that they get create carrier states in the birds. They may recover, but will continue to infect and potentially kill their flockmates. It is very important if you think that your chicken has a “cold” that you pursue an actual diagnosis. Most bacterial infections are easily treated and not cause for alarm, but things like Mycoplasma Gallisepticum are very dangerous if treated/recovered. If you keep a carrier bird you must exercise extreme bio-security measures for as long as any member of that now “closed” flock is alive. I speak from (very heartbreaking) experience..
I don’t know why that posted twice but it won’t let me remove one :/