Sick Birds

Signs of Sickness

It’s important to know what normal appearance and behaviour looks like for your birds so that you can more easily spot the subtle signs that your birds may be getting sick.  The sooner we can work out the problem and provide appropriate treatment, the better the outcome for your birds.

White chicken with a bad leg lying on the ground


Are your birds much quieter than normal and avoiding interactions with you and other birds?



Do your birds seem a little more ruffled than normal or are they hunched, crouched, or droopy?

Young woman farmer caring for poultry

Food and Water Intake

Have there been any changes in the amount your birds are eating or drinking?

Group of white chickens sitting on the roost in the chicken coop


Have you noticed any changes to the colour, consistency, odour, and volume of the droppings your birds are producing?



Are your birds coughing, sneezing, or showing discharge from their eyes? Are they having to make more effort to breathe?

Running chicken


Is your bird having trouble moving around or wobbling more than normal when walking?

open wound injured chicken in the free range farm


Have you noticed any wounds, swellings, or fractures anywhere on your bird?

Freshly laid eggs in a hay nest within a free-range chicken coop.


Are your eggs thinner, softer, or more watery than normal or is your bird no longer producing eggs?

What’s bugging your birds?

First Aid Kits

Have you got the supplies you need on hand to treat your birds in an emergency?

  • The number to reach your veterinarian: ______________________________
  •  Euthanasia Guide
  • Separate cage /pen or kennel to separate a sick or injured bird from the flock
  • Spare heat lamp to warm a chilled bird that needs to be separated, or use as backup for brooder supplies
  • Band-aids to correct straddle leg in chicks
  • Sterile suture kit with dissolvable thread
  • Tweezers to remove debris or inspect wounds
  • Rubber/latex gloves to protect yourself and your chicken from spreading any bacteria infection or disease
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive cloth bandaging tape
  • Instant vitamin mix and electrolytes for dehydrated birds.

Tell us about your Concerns When Treating Sick Birds

What did you do the last time one of your birds got sick?
15 minutes