Poultry Health

Disease Affects Primarily Cause Signs & Lesions Prevention (P) & Treatments (T)
Abnormal Egg Shells Chickens Improper nutrition, disease, physical condition of hen. Soft egg, cracked eggs. P-make sure laying hens are free from disease & feed a laying mash. Give oyster shells to hens. T-proper nutrition to hens.
Air Sac Disease
(CRS, colds, infectious sinusitis
Chickens, turkeys, all ages Egg transmitted. Also by contact with infected birds (healthy carriers). Coughing, sneezing, runny nose. Stress or secondary infection increases severity. Transmitted slowly through flock. P-Don't mix age groups. Get chicks or poults from MG-free birds. T-Encourage eating. Some antibiotics help.
Ammonia Burns All birds Ammonia gases created in damp litter. Lopsided shape of eyes, watery eyes, facial swelling, may become blind P-Keep litter clean & dry. T-remove wet litter & feed Vitamin A.
(brooder pneumonia)
Chicks, poults Birds inhale spores from moldy feed, litter, dust. Gasping, loss of appetite, increased thirst. P-Avoid sources of mold. Control dust. T-Clean, disinfect. Change litter.
Blackhead Turkeys Transmitted by eating contaminated substances or direct contact with infected birds or droppings. Darkening of head, loss of appetite, droopiness, sulfur-colored droppings. P-Keep turkeys away from chickens. T-Hepzide, Enhaptin, Emytryl-follow vet & label recommendations.
Blue Comb Turkeys Transmitted by eating contaminated substances or direct contact with infected birds or droppings. Weight loss, constant chirping, bluish colored head. P-Get rid of birds, disinfect & leave empty for a time. T-Raise temperature in building, use antibiotics & vitamins.
Breast Blisters All birds, more common in heavier breeds. Sharp edges of feeder or waterers. A blister on the breast contains clear or bloody fluids. T-Drain with a sterile needle and rinse with Potassium.
Broodiness Turkeys, chickens Hen wants to hatch something. Hens sitting in nests, returns to nest after being chased off. P-Remove egg from nest, provide roosts for fowl. T-Change hen to different pen. Remove eggs, remove hens from nest or let her hatch something.
Infectious Bronchitis Chickens Virus. Airborne from infected flocks. Rapid onset. Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes. Flock symptoms may last 10-14 days. Production drops, small or soft-shelled eggs. P-Vaccinate before lay if an important problem in your flock. T-None. Permanent problem.
Botulism All birds Toxic birds eat decaying animal or vegetable material. Toxin is soluble so can be in water or maggots. Extreme weakness. Paralysis of legs, wings, neck. Bird cannot swallow. Feathers easily removed. Head hangs, swollen wattles, difficult breathing, dark head & wattles. P-Clean yards. Don't use spoiled food. T-Place bird in shade. Fill crop with water twice daily. Give Epsom salts (1 lb. to 5 gal. water) into crop. Remove dead animals.
Bumble foot All birds Cuts or bruises on foot pad allow entrance of organisms. Lameness, swollen foot, scab on foot pad. P-Avoid high roosts, sharp litter. T-Open abscess with sharp knife, remove pus, paint with iodine or sulfa ointment.
Cannibalism All birds Bright colors, too crowded, too hot, not enough feeders or waterers, lack of entertainment. Picking at one another. P-Provide enough room, food, water, possibly entertainment for birds.
Fowl Cholera Most birds Contact with feces of sick birds, carcasses of dead birds. Rodents, contaminated soil, water, feed. Birds may die before there are visible symptoms. Dead on roost, yellow-green diarrhea. P-Clean ground, good management. Eliminate rodents, predators. Medications, use clear antibiotics for layers. Complete clean out.
Coccidiosis Chickens, turkeys, one of most prevalent diseases worldwide. Eating droppings containing infective parasites. Coccidian invade intestinal tract lining, produce tissue damage while multiplying. Possible high mortality. Pale, droopy, huddle, use less feed, water. Production drops. Bloody droppings. Use preventive drugs (coccidiostats). Screen droppings from birds. In acute outbreak give recommended drugs in water according to directions. May try (1/4 c. vinegar to each gal. water).
Infectious Coryza Chickens only Recovered apparently healthy birds remain carriers. Contact at poultry shows. Sick birds. Dust or water contaminated by discharge. Rapid onset. Swollen sinuses, nasal discharge, eyelid may stick shut, drop in feed consumption & egg production. P-Don't mix age groups. T-Antibiotics or sulfa drugs effective in some cases. Use as cleared by vet.
Enteritis (diarrhea) All birds Many causes, most unknown. High salt in feed. Droppings in infected birds. Watery, discolored droppings. Layers may drop in production. P-Sanitation & good ration. T-Get specific diagnosis. Antibiotics. Avoid metal waterers.
Hemorrhagic Enteritis Turkeys Virus-Spread from eating infected feed, water, litter & droppings. Change in weather or feed. Sudden death & blood from vent. P-Disinfect hands & boots when tending sick birds. T-No antibiotics.
Influenza Geese-possibly ducks Bacteria-Passed on by infected birds. Coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, death P-Clean & disinfect pens. T-Sulfademetharine
Joint & Respiratory Disease Chicks 4-12 weeks Egg transmittable direct contact through air, equipment & people. Lameness, loss of weight, green droppings, breast blisters, limping, affects respiratory. T-Need not treat CRS, will butcher sooner. Treat other fowl with Tetracycline or Erythromycin.
Laryngotrachetis (trachy, LT) Chickens, pheasants Virus. Infected birds; unwise use of vaccine, carriers; airborne; contaminated clothes & equipment. Rapid spread. Coughing, sneezing, gurgling. Blood or cheesy plug in windpipe. May be high mortality. P-Vaccinate, but only if a problem in your area. Do not vaccinate unnecessarily. T-None.
Leg Problems All birds Accidents, inadequate nutrition, lack of vitamins, slippery surface, bacteria, virus, infections. Swollen joints, soft bones, twisted legs, broken bones, swollen feet, paralysis, legs flex sideways. PT-Determine causes & use the proper treatment or preventive measures. Use peat moss & wood chips, no newspaper.
Lice All birds Ducks & geese if housed with chickens are likely the cause. Chew on skin; dry skin. Lack of appetite, diarrhea, sleeplessness, set less, lower egg production. P-Clean buildings & use roost paint. T-Dust adults with Sevin.
Lymphoid Leukosis (Big liver disease) Chickens Virus. Egg borne or transmitted to very young chicks from infected older birds. Weight loss. Green droppings, tumors, enlarged liver. Sick birds usually die. Deformed, thickened leg bones. P-Brood away from older chicks. T-None.
Marek's Disease
(Range Paralysis)
Chickens Herpes virus. Airborne or other contaminated skin & feather dust (dander). Contaminated litter. Infected birds. Gray eye, enlarged feather follicles, paralysis of wings, legs, neck. P-Vaccinate day-old chicks. Buy vaccinated chicks. T-None.
Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG) Also known as Infectious Sinusitis in turkeys. Most birds Mycoplasma organisms. Spread mainly by infected birds coming in contact with others. Also spread by careless humans, contaminated equipment, and vehicles. Symptoms of turkeys in the upper form of the disease are watery eyes, noisy breathing, unthriftiness, water discharge from nostrils, and swollen sinuses below the eyes P-isolate infected birds. T-NA
Newcastle Disease
Most birds Virus. Contaminated equipment, shoes, clothing. Contact with infected birds. Gasping, coughing, nasal discharge, uncoordination, paralysis. Rapid spread, high mortality. Adults may show only respiratory symptoms & egg productions drop P-Vaccination. T-None.
Omphalitis (Mushy Chicken disease) Baby chicks Unsanitary conditions in hatchery. Chicks huddle-dropping heads. P-Make sure hatchery is known for sanitary conditions-know where birds are coming from.
Pasty Rear Ends Mostly chickens Lack of activity. Stress in transporting. Manure sticks to the rear-end of birds. P-Use a scratch feed & increase activity of chickens. T-Remove manure from rear end with mild soap.
Avian Pox Most birds Virus. Direct contact with infected birds. Mosquitoes carry virus from wild & other birds. Dry Pox; small yellow warts on wattles, comb, face. These increase in size. Dark brown scabs form, then drop off. Wet Pox; yellow, cheesy lesions in mouth, windpipe. P-Vaccination is recommended in areas of large mosquito populations. T-Swab lesion with Lugol's solution of iodine.
Paratyphoid Poults, chicks Egg shell penetration. Eating or contact with droppings of infected carriers. Huddling near heat, closed eyes, drooping wings, diarrhea, pasted vent, increased peeping sounds. P-Egg sanitation. Rodent & snake control. T-Drugs, antibiotics. Follow label recommendations.
Pullorum Disease Chickens, turkeys, pheasants, guineas Egg shell penetration. Eating or contact with droppings of infected carriers. Pasted vents in chicks 1 to 21 days old, sudden death or huddling, pneumonia. P-Buy pullorum-free chicks. T-Various drugs, antibiotics. Follow label recommendations. Destroy birds.
Rickets Young chickens (4wks) mostly top heavy & Cornish Rock. Deficiency of Vitamin D & Calcium (can't have excess of either). Chickens become crippled. T-Increase Vitamin D intake as per Vet’s instructions
Staggering Ducks Out of water Choking or otherwise dizzy because of food caught in esophagus. P-Never let ducks run out of water. T-Always have water for ducks.
Worms All birds. Don't affect ducks & geese as much. Roundworms-eggs directly move from bird to bird through feces. Tapeworms-transmitted by flies, etc. that contact contaminated feces. May cause unthriftiness & slow growth. Roundworms-3-6 inches long, pencil lead in diameter. Tapeworms-flat ribbon-like, segmented. P-Rotate birds in yards or pens. Screen off areas of heavy fecal deposits. T-Various drugs. Follow label.
Cards Accepted