Disease Rate


13 Years
Mar 8, 2010
Mid-Coast Maine
How long do most non-curable diseases take to kill off a bird or until I would know she is truly diseased?
I have a problem with one that I have separated from the flock just in case of disease - although it may be conjunctivitis or pecked eye.
How long should I keep her apart from the flock before feeling confident that she is not diseased and can return? I am afraid of her being lonely all by herself, and want to return her ASAP.
I really do not want to visit a vet - not because I am inhumane, but I cannot justify the expense based on the investment.
Well, many diseases chickens get are carrier type diseases...that won't necessarily kill them. Some have higher mortality rates than others, some have nearly zero mortality rate. They can live a good, long life carrying a disease that they can continue to infect others with. Many of them cause eye problems... watering, crusting, eye bubbles, the bird may just hold the eye shut... as first symptoms, long term symptoms or it may be the only thing you notice in a particular bird.

The biggest issue with the diseases (most often CRD type illnesses) isn't so much the mortality rate (but some DO cause a high mortality rate), but that they often affect egg laying/production... sometimes long term, sometimes just when in the acute stage of the disease or during flareups. For commercial flocks, this equals BIG BUCKS lost... even for smaller backyard flocks that rely on egg sales. A few of them also can cause stunting or slow growth in pullets. Obviously another costly problem in production flocks.

What are her symptoms? How long has she displayed symptoms?
Has your flock been potentially exposed to sick birds? (new purchases, showing (bird leaves, is exposed to others, then returns), tracking something home from a 'swap meet' or another flock you visited, someone else with a potentially sick flock visiting your flock in the last month?) Wild birds can pose some risk, too.
Any others displaying any other symptoms or similar symptoms?

Taking a good look at your biosecurity history, the bird's symptoms and behavior, and the rest of the flock's behavior and health might help you determine if this is more likely an injury or an illness.
She is a BR raised with 2 other BRs and 3 RIRs.
No new purchases, showings or any other separation from or addition to the flock.
My big concern and the reason I separated her from the rest is the 'eye' symptom.

Symptoms (about the last 2 weeks):
Slower comb and waddle development. The others are all in 'full bloom'.
Small cloudy circle in center of eyes over both pupils.(just noticed this yesterday, but may have been there longer)
Acting maybe hard of seeing. Takes sort of miss-swings at the food and water with her beak.
More approachable.
Not quite as big.
Hen pecked by others.(could she have been pecked in the eyes?)
Poops are normal
Drinking water
Not eating quite as much unless it's a treat.

The rest of the flock are flourishing and vibrant.
Have only gotten one egg so far(Saturday) as they are just 23 weeks yesterday.
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You might want to look at Ocular lymphomatosis which is one of the manifestations of Merek's. Not sure, but does sound along the same line as you describe.

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