Visual Inspection of Chickens - What do I look for?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jmpurser, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. jmpurser

    jmpurser Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    Good Morning,

    I'm going to wash my chickens today. They all seem to act healthy but some chickens look better than others, some act a little differently, and I'd like to look them over to judge their condition. Has anyone got any tips or is there a good online guide? I don't handle my chickens every day so I feel like this is an opportunity not to be missed but other than obvious injuries I'm not sure what else to be looking for.

    Thanks for any help.

    John Purser
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I usually part their feathers in random places and look around the vent area for mites/lice. I also inspect legs (looking for raised scales). I usually check my birds for bugs at night because some of them don't like to be handled and its a pain to catch them. You can shine a light on the roost bars to check for bugs, they run away from the light. I also look at poops while I'm in the coop/run, they can tell you alot about the health of your birds. That's about all my health inspections consist of. Good luck!
  3. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I check my chickens twice and day (opening and closing coops) and when they are running around the yard. I do a head to toe. This is what I look for as far as the visual inspection that you asked about.

    TOP 10 Visual Inspection List
    1. Comb- abnormal color, injuires, scabs (dry pox)
    2. Eyes - swelling, crusty eyes, no yucky stuff in eyes
    3. Beak- injuires, cracks
    4. Nostrils - clog, clean for air flow, no greenish or yellowish yucky stuff there
    5. Neck- missing feathers, injuries, wry neck
    6. Body - missing feathers, injuires
    7. Crop - look for impacted crop
    8. Legs/Feet/Toes - scales to indicate mites, swollen areas between toes (possible bumblefoot underneath), toenails that are too long and need trimming.
    9. Vent - Missing feathers, swelling, yucky/colorish stuff, pastey butt, look for evidence of mites/lice
    10. Poop- check for worms or any other problems and remember poop chart comparison for problems.

    HANDS ON inspections
    1. Part feathers to look for parasites
    2. Smell breath for any foul/sour odor
    3. Feel crop for impaction
    4. Check and feel vent feel for internal laying
    5. Open mouth for problems with tongue and walls of mouth, looking for lesions
    6. Feel entire body for possible weight loss
    7. Listen for abnormal breathing (respiratory problems)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  5. Sonic Pug

    Sonic Pug Chillin' With My Peeps

    How do you know a crop is impacted and not just full? How do you treat it?
  6. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    Are little black spots on the comb dry pox?? Does dry pox need to be treated?

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