Pipinchick Symptom Checker
Please answer all the questions below
Is Your Hen Still Eating And Drinking?
Is Your Hen Sneezing, Coughing, Gasping
Does Your Hen Have Runny Eyes or Nose?
Does Your Hen Twist Its Neck and Wobble When She Walks
Does Your Hen Have Very Wet and Runny Poo?
Does Your Hen Seem Floppy and Lathargic
Is Your Hen Breaking her Eggs, Laying Soft Or Malformed Eggs?
Does Your Hen Sit On Her Nest For Long Periods But Seems Fine and Well In Herself?
Has Your Hen Had A Sudden Feather Loss?
Does Your Hen Have A Limp And A Lump On One Of Her foot Pads?
Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG) is a bacteria-like organism that causes respiratory disease primarily in chickens and turkeys but it can also infect gamebirds, pigeons, ducks, geese, peafowl and wild birds. MG infection in chickens is also known as Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD).
It sounds a lot more serious than it is, think of it is a chicken cold which is treatable with an antibiotic.
The mortality rate is fairly low if caught early enough, if left untreated it can make the bird very unwell and they can die.
Every so often you hen will go broody, this is more common in pure breeds than hybrids as pure breeds have not been genetically modified to mass produce eggs and run on a natural cycle.
A Broody Hen is a hen that has hit a point in her reproductive cycle where she has an overwhelming natural instinct to hatch a clutch of eggs and make chicks.
Sadly, as chickens are not the brightest of creatures this natural instinct is so strong she will even sit on an empty nest. This broody period can last anything from 28 days to 3-4 month.
Calcium and Vitamin D are very important for laying chickens, once a hen gets to laying age they will most likely need a calcium boost from time to time in her diet. Vitamin D works in unison with calcium as without enough Vitamin D your hen cannot absorb enough calcium. Calcium is used by the hen to produce the shell for her eggs. If she does not have enough Calcium in her diet she can begin laying mal-formed eggs, soft eggs, and her eggs can even get stuck causing her to become ‘egg bound’. If a hen does not have enough calcium she will draw on her internal resources and this can cause her to have weak and brittle bones which can ultimately cause death.
Bumblefoot, or plantar pododermatitis, is caused by the introduction of a bacteria called staphylococcus, Bumble foot is usually found at the base of the foot, but the bacteria can live on the toes, hocks and pads of a chicken's foot. It is more common in heavier and larger chickens. The bacteria enters the chicken through a cut, scrape or scratch, it can cause a very nasty infection and is commonly seen as a swollen puss filled bulb on the chicken’s foot or a black lump.
Wry neck is a condition also known as Star Gazing, the exact cause of wry neck can be one of a few things but it is simply a miss communication from the body to the brain meaning that your hens nervous system is not functioning correctly. This displays as a twisting of the neck, walking in circles or to one side.
This condition can look very severe and can cause the hen to have serious mobility issues.
Wry neck can be caused by one of a few reasons:
- Bad hatching, if you have a young chick with this condition it could be that they did not hatch from their egg properly and have some kind of nerve damage.
- Lack of Vitamin B12 this is such an important vitamin for chickens, without enough vitamin B12 their brain cognitive function does not work properly resulting in the twisting of the neck and mobility issues.
- Brain damage, sometimes and shown particularly in pom pom pure breed chickens a bang to the head in the wrong place can cause this type of nerve damage which is sadly, permanent although it can be treated to be less severe. Causes could be jumping up to roost and hitting the top of the hen house, falling off a walkway that is too steep, a cockerel that is overly aggressive or perhaps too large for the hens.
- Inner ear infection, this results in the bird waling in circles a lot more than neck twisting.
Feather Moulting is a dramatic loss of feathers in your chickens. It is a natural moulting process which allows your chickens to shed old and worn feathers and then re-grow fresh, shiny, new ones. It is a natural cycle and will occur usually at the change of the season from summer into winter as the daylight hours are greatly reduced. The feather moult also allows your laying hens time to rejuvenate their reproductive organs as they will usually stop laying during this time.
There are many different parasites that can cause noticeable symptoms in your chickens, the most common are:
- Red Mites
- Worms (including Gape Worm)
They are all a parasite infestation that can manifest internally or externally on or in your hen. Mites and lice live on the skin of you hen, they sustain themselves by drinking your hen’s blood which can cause your hen to become deficient in iron. Internal parasites such as thread worm or gape worm live inside your hen’s body using it as a host, feeding on them from the inside. All are disgusting and horrible for both you and your hen but most are very easily prevented and treatable.
Chickens have quite an unusual digestive process as they do not have teeth. Firstly food is stored in a pouch on their chests which is called a crop, from there the food goes down into their gizzard where the food then is grinded up and digested. Sometimes there can be a blockage in the primary digestive process and food can become stuck in their crop. If food becomes stuck in their crop it is not able to go down to their gizzard and they can literally starve to death.
Internal infections in your chicken can range from parasites, fungal infections to gastrointestinal infections. These kinds of infections are quite hard to confirm without testing but there are some signs you can look out for. If you can rule out other more common illnesses listed and your hen is still unwell and has any or all of the below symptoms then you may need to consult your vet for testing to ascertain if they have some kind of internal infection that may need an antibiotic treatment.