Common chicken diseases

Today, many people start chickens in their yard - this occupation brings a good profit. But the success of this business depends on the experience of the owner, because it is necessary to quickly respond to problems and diseases of the legs of chickens. First of all, you should learn how to notice symptoms in a timely manner, and for this, the habit of examining the inhabitants of your compound daily is important. Many broilers have leg diseases.

Diseases of the hens

It is enough just to observe the birds a little to understand that any of the chickens has a problem with the paws. Sometimes a chicken stands on one leg, but few people react to such a symptom, but in vain. This behavior indicates a violation of the state. Among chicken leg diseases, lameness and the so-called calcareous foot take first place. There are paralysis of feathered inhabitants of the yard curves and curly fingers.

If among the chickens you notice an individual that is limping, falling on its paw, moving with difficulty or the chicken does not stand up, then immediately isolate it and very carefully examine it. And the sooner you separate the sick bird from the rest, the better it will be for her - among her relatives she will only get worse: she will be beaten, not allowed to eat, which will only aggravate her condition.

Poultry lameness

What is the cause of chicken lameness and its symptoms? Most often, if the chicken is limping, then this is the main symptom of any disease or injury. Chicken can suffer mechanical damage such as cuts to the feet or fingers, such as broken glass, the bird can stretch its ligaments, dislocate, bruise the foot, and damage muscles. Lameness can also result from diet deficiency. Broilers can suffer from lameness due to the fact that they grow intensively and gain weight. Lameness can also occur in birds that have growths or spurs. They appear mainly in adults and can develop due to poor-quality flooring. In any case, the spur or growths need to be removed.

A chicken may also begin to limp due to the fact that it develops a disease of internal organs, namely, kidneys. Such a symptom of kidney disease becomes quite understandable if we take into account that it is through this organ that the nerves that "are responsible" for the activity of the chicken legs pass.

The symptom can gradually increase - from a barely noticeable limp to a deep lameness - on one paw or both at once. The appearance of the joint changes - it swells, becomes larger, takes an unnatural position. the chicken may also limp due to the fact that her legs are trembling. After running for a short distance, the legs may “break” or the laying hen cannot stand for a long time at all, it rises to its feet with difficulty.

Treatment of lameness in chickens

First of all, you should examine the legs of the chicken - if there are any mechanical damage. Sometimes it happens as a result of a fall from a perch, the hen lies on its side, the legs swell, this is due to injury. It also happens that a bird inadvertently entangled in some kind of rope, fishing line, wire. If it is not released on time, such fetters can do great harm to the chicken. If you are convinced that the cause of lameness is only trauma, then you need to treat according to a minimal plan.

First you need to isolate yourself from other individuals (but since they are gregarious birds, it’s better for the sick laying hen to see their relatives through the net), a complete feed enriched with vitamins and the treatment of injuries or scratches. For cuts, punctures, use hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or brilliant green. If the limping individual does not have visible damage, then you should show it to the veterinarian.

Lameness Prevention

The bones, joints and ligaments on the legs of chickens are not strong enough, so you do not need to catch them by the legs - this can easily cause injury, even a fracture. Try to place the perches so that the birds have free access to the perch - without barriers that they could be damaged about, flying down. Of course, you need to ensure that sharp objects do not fall into the habitat of the herd, and monitor cleanliness.

Arthritis and Tendovaginitis

Arthritis is the process of inflammation of the joint bags and tissues adjacent to them. Broilers are most susceptible to arthritis. Tendovaginitis is an inflammation of the tendons. This disease is more common in older individuals. In a rooster, such a disease is not uncommon. These diseases can occur for various reasons - both of a mechanical nature, and because of the pathogen (bacteria, virus).

But still it is more a disease of dirty legs. In broiler chickens, the disease can result from improper maintenance: large crowding of birds, untimely litter replacement, unbalanced feed. A bird with such a disease, not only cannot walk, but even sitting on a perch hurts her. The first thing to do is improve the living conditions of the birds.

Symptoms of arthritis and tenosynovitis

  • The bird gets up hard.
  • Chicken limp on both legs
  • There may be growths on the paws.
  • The joint looks enlarged and if touched it will be hot.
  • the chicken sits in one place all the time.


At home, antibiotics and antiviral agents can not do here. The following drugs will be needed: ampicillin, sulfadimethoxin, polymyxin M. One of these drugs is given to infected individuals along with food for 5 days. The dosage and the drug itself are prescribed exclusively by the veterinarian, taking into account the characteristics of your chicken and the stage of the disease.

It is also necessary to tidy up the room where individuals are kept. The main thing is cleanliness and dryness in the chicken coop. And so that food and dirt do not stick to the paws and there are no growths on them, you can put feeders in which chickens can not climb into their paws. The second is to strengthen the immunity of chickens, for which vitamins and minerals must be added to the feed.

Crooked toes

Chickens can get such a disease during the first month of their life. It is necessary to distinguish between two types of disease: crooked fingers, when an individual walks with his paws pressed to the side, and curly paws that somehow bend downward, which makes the bird “tiptoe”. The symptom of crooked fingers is quite obvious: when moving, the individual rests only on the side surface of its paws or on one limb.

The disease occurs due to a mechanical injury, cold floors in the chicken coop, mesh floors, as well as due to violations of the rules of the incubation period. Heredity can also play a role. Therefore, in such cases, when the bird has no obvious reasons for the crooked fingers, it is not worth leaving it for breeding. You can see the curvature of fingers in poultry in more detail in a photo or video.


It is too late to treat such a disease if an individual has grown. It is only appropriate to talk about prevention. And for the chickens you need to create the right conditions. In the case of a genetic cause of the disease, another tribe is needed. During incubation, strict observance of all conditions is required. And in no case can you keep chickens on the cold floor, as well as on the floor of the net.

Curly fingers of a bird

In fact, this is developing paralysis of the legs. The individual walks at the tips of fingers bent down. She cannot straighten them. It’s the same that the bird’s paws were taken away. The disease is acquired by a bird in the first few weeks of life. Usually this leads to food in which riboflavin is not enough and it turns out that the legs are taken away. Chickens with this disease die quickly. And the surviving chicks grow poorly, so there is no point in keeping them further. There is only one symptom - the bird walks with difficulty, rising to the tips of his fingers.


In the initial stages, even if the manifestation is weak, multivitamins with riboflavin should be given in high doses. But if the disease is started, you can’t fix anything. It is necessary to change the breeding bird if chicks with congenital signs hatch. You need to feed a young brood with a balanced feed. In winter, include more greens and vitamin in your chicken diet. With a full diet, individuals acquire a strong and stable immunity.

Tendon displacement (perosis)

It is very important to detect this disease in time and begin its treatment, because it is this disease that causes many broiler diseases. For fast-growing birds, this disease is not uncommon. But you can avoid it, for which you need to feed the bird in a balanced manner, paying increased attention to the content of vitamin B. The hock joints of the chickens swell and acquire an unnatural shape - they turn out.

At the initial stage of the disease, it is easy to defeat. For diagnosis, a veterinarian should be invited. Sometimes it’s enough to just show a photograph of a sick chicken and an experienced specialist will confirm or deny the presence of tendon displacement.


Manganese and vitamin B, which must be introduced into the feed, can alleviate the condition of the disease. During periods of vitamin deficiency, you can give vitamin B in combination with other supplements. The best prevention of perosis is genetic selection. Also, do not forget about the balance of feed and vitamin supplements. Young growth from birth must be properly fed. Immediately after birth, young animals should be with their parents.

Knemidocoptosis in chickens

This disease is also called calcareous foot or scabies. Such a disease is quite common. With timely treatment, the disease can be eliminated. But it should be borne in mind that the disease is contagious - the scabies mite is easily transmitted both through direct contact of individuals and through inventory. Combed areas turn red, the skin may in some places have small holes. Knemidocoptosis is considered a chronic disease if the disease is started. The essence of the disease is that ticks live in the non-feathery part of the leg, make moves and lay eggs in the tissues from which the larvae develop.

Due to the constant itching from the side caused by ticks, the infected bird behaves very restlessly. Especially at night or in the warmth - the most favorable conditions for ticks. The scales begin to peel off over time and become covered with a coating similar to calcareous, and then fall off. If fingers are affected, growths form on them. Scabies can be suspected by growths on the legs. The scales on the legs have a white coating, over time they peel off and fall off. Due to the itching, the bird can peck wounds on its legs. She is behaving uneasily; she is reluctant to go to the chicken coop.


Treating chicken scabies is easy. Method 1: prepare a soap solution. In it, the legs of a sick bird must be kept for 20-30 minutes. After such a bath, the paws should be treated with a 1% solution of creolin. Method 2: Birch tar, which needs to process problem areas, is also suitable for treatment. So that the scabies mite does not spread to the compound and does not affect the entire herd, you just need to regularly inspect the birds and take measures in time if the disease is detected.

For humans, the causative agent of chicken scabies is completely safe - no cases of transmission of this tick to humans have been identified. It must be borne in mind that problems with the legs in birds can occur due to other diseases. In particular, we are talking about infectious diseases that can affect chicken legs: pasteurellosis, coccidiosis, ornithosis.

Useful Tips

This entire list of diseases should not scare an amateur poultry farmer and force him to abandon his beloved and profitable business. You just need to remember: the bulk of diseases can be treated if they are diagnosed and taken in time. Do not forget the owner of the poultry yard and that it is not always possible to make a diagnosis yourself. If the cause of the ailment is not entirely clear or in doubt, then it is better to contact a professional.

The veterinarian will help diagnose and determine exactly why the hens are out of order. A correct diagnosis and treatment started in a timely manner is what will prevent the spread of the disease and preserve the entire bird population. Keep the room clean, establish good ventilation. Be sure to make a normalized feeding regimen and periodically change the diet to make it varied.


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