Common Chick Diseases
What To Look For And How To Treat Common Illnesses
Because chicks live in close quarters and easily can spread disease, raising a healthy flock requires constant vigilance. Watch for any signs of distress or illness, and separate chicks that appear sick. Some of the most common diseases that affect hatchlings and young birds include:
E. Coli (Colicbacillosis)
- Symptoms: fever and lethargy, trouble breathing, diarrhea and coughing
- Impact: high death rate for newly hatched, infected chicks
- Prevention and treatment: Good sanitation is imperative, especially in hatching conditions. Avoid overcrowding and stress. E. Coli is not easily treated, and different strains react to different drugs.
Rot Gut (Necrotic Enteritis)
- Symptoms: diarrhea that that has a rotten odor
- Impact: Rot gut primarily affects 2- to 5-week-old birds.
- Prevention and treatment: Maintain clean conditions and avoid overcrowding to prevent an outbreak. Providing antibiotics through the chicks' drinking water is an effective treatment.
Brooder Pneumonia (Aspergillosis)
- Symptoms: slowed eating, increased drinking, gasping for air
- Impact: Normally occurring in 7- to 40-day-old birds, brooder pneumonia can cause a death rate in up to 50 percent of the flock.
- Prevention and treatment: Because Brooder pneumonia is caused by a fungus, maintaining a clean hatchery and living conditions is vital to controlling the spread. This disease is not curable.
Cold (Infectious Bronchitis)
- Symptoms: heavy breathing, gasping, mucous discharge from eyes, and sneezing
- Impact: The illness spreads easily through air, food and from bird-to-bird contact.
- Prevention and treatment: Giving antibiotics and raising the room's temperature can help treat the cold. Vaccines are available but cannot be used during an outbreak.
Mushy Chick Disease (Omphailits)
- Symptoms: navel infection, unabsorbed yolk sac, dehydration and a putrid smell
- Impact: Infected chicks usually die within a few days of hatching.
- Prevention and treatment: Mushy Chick Disease occurs when a young chick's navel does not heal and becomes inflamed with bacteria. It is important to remove any ill chicks and maintain good sanitation to avoid future outbreaks.
- Symptoms: Sick birds often huddle near heat and experience pasting with light-colored diarrhea.
- Impact: Infected chicks have a high death rate.
- Prevention and treatment: Salmonella is transmitted from the hen through the egg but also can come from contaminated equipment. By law, all contaminated birds must be eradicated.
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SKU 11402652Keep chicks healthy with the Sav-A-Chick Electrolyte and Vitamin Supplement. This supplement is appropriate for all domestic poultry and waterfowl. Electrolytes help prevent dehydration, promoting proper blood pH, normal nerve and muscle function, and overall health.
SKU 11402505Help chicks get off to a great start with Manna Pro Non-Medicated Chick Starter. These complete crumbles for chicks, ducklings and goslings contain 18% protein for weight gain and muscle development. Fortified with vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and sound development, Manna Pro Non-Medicated Chick Starter is great for mixed flocks.
SKU 11402821Formulated specially for poultry, Sav-A-Chick Probiotic Supplement provides beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract to help the bird maintain a healthy digestive system. Convenient, premeasured packet mixes into one gallon of drinking water.
SKU 11403682VetRx Poultry Remedy provides effective relief from respiratory diseases in all classes of poultry including bantams, ducks, turkeys, geese and game birds. The formula relieves colds, roup, scaly legs, and eye worm. This product is also effective against mites and ear canker.
SKU 11431185Prozap Garden And Poultry Dust Insecticide contains .25% Permethrin, in a dust formula, to control northern fowl and chicken mites, lice and bedbugs in poultry and poultry houses, and brown ticks and fleas on dogs and cats. Also controls certain garden variety insects.
SKU 11403709Manna Pro Hen Healer Multi-Purpose Ointment is for use on all classes of poultry. The formula temporarily protects and helps support healing of minor cuts, lacerations, scrapes and sores. It keeps affected areas soft and supple and creates a barrier to insects and dirt. For use on body, legs, head, face, comb and wattles. No egg withdrawal required.