Return to Avian Health Program  Return to Avian Health Program
Return to tutorial beginning
Return to previous page
How can you tell if your bird is sick? Sick birds are inactive, dull and tend to isolate themselves from other healthy birds in the flock. Some symptoms of disease are:

The digestive system
  • Persistent watery diarrhea
The reproductive system
  • Decrease in egg production
  • Malformed or thin-shelled eggs
The nervous system
  • Weakness or muscular tremors
  • Severe depression
  • Twisting of the head and neck
  • Lameness
The respiratory system
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Gasping for air
Recognizing disease in your birds is sometimes obvious. But, by the time the disease is obvious, it is too late. So it is very important for you to know your birds "normal" or healthy behavior by observing them. The fact is, it's difficult to recognize when your bird is sick, especially in the early phases of illness. A trained eye or ear can recognize the subtle symptoms of early disease. Such early symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, ruffled feathers, a slight decrease in egg production, and reduced intake of feed and water. Knowing these symptoms will help you recognize illness in your birds at an earlier phase. When in doubt, contact a veterinarian.
Two sick chickens
The nervous system is affected by twisting of the head and neck which are some late symptoms of Newcastle Disease.
 
Ruffle feathered chicken
Ruffled feathers can be an early symptom of disease.
     
Salivating chicken
This rooster is showing late symptoms of disease in which its respiratory systom is affected. We can see this rooster gasping for air and it has nasal discharge.
 



Deformed eggs
Deformed eggs can be an early sign that something is not quite right with the birds.
 
Sample questions.
Symptoms of disease include the following (Mark the box of the one correct answer):
a) Persistent watery diarrhea
b) Severe depression
c) Gasping for air
d) All of the above
It is important to recognize your birds "normal" or healthy behavior so that you can more easily detect when your bird is sick.
a) True
b) False
 
Important information about medicating your birds.