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Health > External Problems

External Health Problems

External Problems

This category contains information about external health problems in poultry, including feathers, beak, skin, scales, spurs, eyes, comb, nails, legs and wings. It covers symptoms such as lameness, feather loss, external parasite infestation, frostbite, blindness, cuts and wounds.

Category Contents:

Articles are grouped as follows:

  1. External Parasites
  2. Head
  3. Body
  4. Legs & Feet

External Parasites (Lice & Mites)

Health problems associated with external parasites that can affect different parts of a bird’s body.

Northern Fowl Mite

Northern Fowl Mites are similar in size to Red Mite (about 1mm long) and are almost the same colour but slightly darker, almost brown. Red Mites

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Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens Feet

Scaly Leg Mite

Scaly Leg Mite is caused by a burrowing mite (Knemidocoptes mutans) which causes scaly, raised encrusted scales on the legs of chickens and other poultry that

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Depluming Mites

Depluming Mites

Depluming mites are one of the less well-known poultry parasites that can affect chickens, ducks & geese, causing irritation and damage to feathers and skin.

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Health problems and diseases that can affect the bird’s head, including the eyes, ears, nose, beak, and comb/wattles. Runny or bubbling fluid around the eyes, sneezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing is covered in the respiratory system category

Fowl Pox

Fowl Pox

Fowl pox is a very painful condition and one that is hard to get rid of from a holding although the disease itself is not

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The eye is obviously very delicate and any cleaning should be performed with great care. Blindness isn’t a particularly common problem, however poultry can get

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My recommendations

If you would like a good reference book on poultry health, these are the books I would recommend.


Health problems typically showing symptoms or affect external parts of the bird’s body, including wings and feathers.


Cuts and Wounds

Small scratches and abrasions will usually heal naturally. Severe open wounds and bites require a veterinarian’s help and often, antibiotics, but often you can take

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Wet Feather

Keeping ducks or geese is usually problem free although there is one problem commonly called ‘wet feather’ that can strike one or more of your birds.

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Angel Wing

Angel wing is a condition that affects ducks and geese and is sometimes called slipped wing, or dropped wing. In the wild, waterfowl live mainly

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Legs & Feet

Health problems typically showing symptoms or affect the bird’s legs, feet and nails.



Bumblefoot is the common name for a form of pododermatitis, which means inflammation of the foot. It can occur in any poultry or waterfowl and is usually only noticed on the underside of the foot when they go lame.

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Preventing Problems

Preventing health problems is almost always easier than curing them. Keeping chickens healthy and maintaining basic biosecurity measures (such as quarantining new birds) will get you off to a good start. There are some further ideas in the articles below.

Feeding Chickens

Feeding Chickens

Domesticated chickens, especially modern hybrids, are fantastic egg layers; however, this performance increases nutritional demands, so how we feed our chickens has never been so

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Garlic For Chickens

Garlic for Chickens

In European countries where they consume large amounts of garlic in their diets, they have a lower risk of cancer and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, but what about garlic for chickens?

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Verm-X pellets and liquid

Verm-X for Chickens

How good is Verm-X for chickens? Verm-X comes in a liquid or pelleted formulation and I tried it out over 6 months, but how can you be sure it’s working?

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Health: Categories

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External Problems

External Problems

Feathers, beak, skin, scales, spurs, eyes, comb, nails, legs and wings. Problems such as lameness, feather loss, external parasite infestation, frostbite, blindness, cuts and wounds.

Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory System

Respiratory problems including Avian Influenza, Aspergillosis, Gapeworm, Infectious Bronchitis and Mycoplasma.


Digestive System

Typical digestive system problems include internal parasites, loss of appetite, swollen crop, bad or sweet-smelling breath, diarrhoea, or messy bottoms.

Reproductive System

Reproductive System

Reproductive system problems include egg-laying problems (but not egg problems) in chickens and other poultry.

Wrinked Egg

Egg Quality

Common quality problems with eggs, such as soft or missing eggshells, wrinkled or misshaped eggs, watery whites, double yolks or blood spots.

Skeletal and Muscular problems

Skeletal, Muscular & Nervous System

Skeletal, muscular and nervous system problems.

Diseases such as Marek’s or Toxoplasmosis.

Cardiovascular and Organs

Cardiovascular & Organs

Diseases and disorders relating to major organs or the cardiovascular system include acute heart failure and Avian Leukosis.


Every effort has been made to provide accurate information about poultry diseases and illnesses, and it is provided in good faith; however, content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.