How can you tell if your chicken is healthy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mystang89, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. mystang89

    mystang89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    0
    102
    Jul 12, 2011
    Louisville
    Hey again everyone. Just as the topic says, how do you tell if your chicken is healthy or if there is a problem with it. I have 5 leghorn bantam and all of their combs "seem" to be ok except for one. The combs of the rest are standing up, some are wobbly but in the "too big for their head" type of wobbly. This other leghorn though seems to have a small malfunction. I've posted pictures and if you notice in one of the pictures there is a white spot on the comb.
    [​IMG]

    On the other picture half the comb is fallen over, making the comb look unhealthy.
    [​IMG]
    Anyone know if this is normal or if something is wrong? Also, does anyone know where I can find where to look so I can tell everything is ok with the chickens? Thanks
     
  2. mystang89

    mystang89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    0
    102
    Jul 12, 2011
    Louisville
    Anyone have a clue on this? I'm about to eat this bird if she doesn't start looking better. She's the low bird on the totem pole and doesn't really socialize with any of the other birds. She doesn't lay, although that being said I don't think any of the other birds but 2 lay anyways.
     
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Dunno about the white spot, may be nuthin. The combs look a little pale on all of them. Maybe worming is in order. However, to determine if a pullet or hen is laying, feel the bones UNDER the vent. They`re like pelvic bones and react to egg laying much the same as a womans pelvic bones expand for childbirth. You can feel them through the skin and they`re about an inch under the vent. You have to use your imagination, but the idea is a mature hen that is laying will have room for three fingertips to be laid between the bones. A pullet, maybe two and a non layer, only one. Best to pick them off the roost at night to lessen the stress on everyone.........Pop
     
  4. mystang89

    mystang89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    0
    102
    Jul 12, 2011
    Louisville
    Major thanks for the info as I didn't know any of that. When I dust them again I will check their bones under the vents.....after I find out what the vents are and where they are located, but thats just a google search away.
    About their combs though, what is a good looking comb supposed to look like? By that I mean, how can you tell if the combs are too dull and what is normally the reason for it. They all act healthy and happy except for that one. I will start the Witine or whatever that is that wormer is. Thanks very much.
    EDIT: My chickens are bantams and I've been looking up stuff about the vent. I've read that it depends on whether they are standard size in order to determaine the finger width of the bones beneath the vent. Does this way of figuring out if your chicken is laying also apply to bantams?
    Second EDIT: I found on this PDF http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/AG_Poultry_2009-01pr.pdf
    the color of there chickens comb that they have as laying is quiet pale. Are they wanting me to look at just the size of that comb or are they also saying they comb being paler is a sign of laying as well? Sorry for the list of questions I just find myself getting more and more confused. Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Gee, that`s a great article. A lot of that stuff is new to me, mostly because in my 53 years keeping chickens, I have never had just a laying flock. However, I like the way they define the vent. I would have told you it`s their "poop shute". I can tell you that most hens, that are not commercial layers, will not fade out as much as the ones pictured. Ya gotta use your own judgement about the hen/egg size in respect to the distance between the bones. Bantam hens will definately not have the spread of a full size hen laying jumbo eggs. The size of the comb has nothing to do with anything other than breed and gender and individuals will have combs and wattles that vary in size. They are saying that color fades in the comb when the hen is laying. It is not a rapid change and most banty hens will not look much different whether laying or not. Don`t be concerned about it enough to allow yourself to be confused. Ya gotta enjoy this hobby, even though some distastfull chores go along with it. The wormer is Wazine. It only treats round worms, which are the most common. As a side note, I like to give my birds a vitamin called Red Cell. It`s a liquid for horses and should be mixed in their water a couple times a week. Mix it to look like weak tea and don`t overdo it if you decide to use it. Fowl on Red Cell have glistening feathers and bright red combs. Relax and have fun..........Pop
     
  6. AnimalCrazed

    AnimalCrazed Chillin' With My Peeps

    189
    5
    111
    May 1, 2011
    Idaho
    color of combes can also be a factor of diet, just an idea. also just like what someone already said the combes don't always get that pale when laying eggs.
    there is this thing called the "bleaching sequence" depending on how many eggs the hen lays determines what boody parts go pale or "bleach"
    Body Part Number of eggs required to bleach Approximate weeks to lay that many
    Vent 1-10 1-2
    Eye ring 8-10 2-2.5
    Earlobe 8-12 2.5-3
    Beak 35 5-8
    Bottom of feet 50-60 8
    Front of shank 90-100 10

    * keep in mind that the Bleaching can be suttle like just barely lightening to a big difference.
    I've also heard that dull combes can mean a lazy layer.

    here is a picture of mine they are just over a year old and have been laying 9-10 months.
    the flash on the camara makes it a little lighter but they are really red
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mystang89

    mystang89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    204
    0
    102
    Jul 12, 2011
    Louisville
    Thanks for the info. My wife and I just put the second coat of sevin on the chickens tonight and while we were at it she tried to see who was laying eggs by the finger method. Queeny, the alpha and the chicken we figured was doing the only laying was 3 fingers and all the others were 1 or 2. Queeny's feet are very pale and so is her beak but her comb seems to be the brightest out of all of them, not that that is really saying much right now. I'm still trying to fight off the feather lice and give them dewormer. They are semi free range chickens. They live in a 10 x 24 run which is covered most of the day but when I get time I will let them roam the yard until they get tired and want water. Their diet is layer pellets. I'm hoping to see better looking combs and wottles here soon and hopefully all of them will lay for me instead of just one. Thank you all very much for the info.
     
  8. CHICKENGIRL7

    CHICKENGIRL7 New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    May 18, 2012
    If your not sure its healthy or not, please don't eat it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by