Poultry Diseases and Other Health Problems

Diseases of Free Range Poultry Book
Diseases of Free Range Poultry

Chicken Health Handbook
The Chicken Health Handbook

There are a number of health problems and poultry diseases that you may encounter at one time or another. This section  contains articles and information about many of the most common problems. It is divided into sub-categories to help you find the information easily.

Examine your bird, then check their symptoms here to get an ideas of what could be wrong with them.

Please remember this advice should not replace the advice of a qualified vet – Whilst we have experience in keeping chickens, waterfowl and a few other types of poultry, we are not vets!

Worth a mention are Diseases of Free Range Poultry by Victoria Roberts and The Chicken Health Handbookby Gail Damerow, both very good books covering just about all diseases and disorders in a non technical way. Victoria Roberts’ book in particular is an excellent read with information aimed at UK enthusiasts.


Red MitesRed Mite
Articles and information about red mites and how to get rid of them.

Symptoms of red mite infestation can include hens off lay, pale combs and wattles, eggs with blood streaks from squashed mites and hens not wanting to go to roost in infected houses.

Respiratory ProblemsRespiratory Diseases
Articles and information about respiratory problems in poultry.
Symptoms of typical poultry respiratory problems include: Runny / watery eyes, swollen sinuses, wheezing, sneezing, gurgling / rattling, and difficulty breathing.

Digestive System ProblemsDigestive System Problems
Information about the digestive system and the problems that can occur in poultry. Symptoms of typical digestive system problems include: Loss of appetite, a swollen crop, bad or sweet-smelling breath, diarrhea, or messy bottoms.

Reproductive SystemReproductive System Problems
Information about the reproductive system and disorders of the reproductive system, including egg laying problems.
Problems with eggs themselves are covered in the Egg Problems category below. Symptoms of reproductive disorders include infertility, hatching problems, laying difficulty, swollen abdomen and prolapse.

Wrinked EggEgg Problems
Articles and information concerning egg problems.
For egg laying problems, see the Reproductive System category above. Typical egg problems are soft or missing egg shells, wrinkled or misshaped eggs, watery whites, double or multiple yolks and worms or blood spots inside eggs.

Skeletal and Muscular problemsSkeletal and Muscular Disorders
Articles and information about skeletal and muscular problems found in chickens and other poultry.
Lameness, splayed legs, legs or wings pointing in odd directions, inflammation of joints are all typical symptoms of skeletal and muscular disorders.

External ProblemsExternal Problems
Information and articles about problems  that affect feathers, beak, skin, scales, eyes, comb, and nails. Cuts, wounds, feather loss, blindness, external parasites, (with the exception of red mites which are in a separate section) and other symptoms.

Nervous System DiseasesNervous System Problems
The nervous system is effected by a number of things from nutritional disorders to beak trimming and diseases such as Marek’s disease or Toxoplasmosis.

Cardiovascular and OrgansCardiovascular and Organs
Articles and information about health problems with cardiovascular and major organs in poultry.
Symptoms such as rapid un-explained death of a seemingly healthy bird.