When one is not like the other, wondering if there is an epidemic happening or if it is just part of being a chicken. Here are some of the actual conversations from the event that we hope will help you answer your chicken questions.

Q: I have a young pullet that I hatched in an incubator this spring along with several others. This one seems to have some moderate vision impairment, and when I look in her eyes, I see cloudiness. Is this common in chickens? Is there anything to improve her vision?
They are all on complete feed, plus goodies now and then. We have around 30 chickens of three different breeds, and this is the only one that seems mostly blind.

A: If it is only one bird, most likely it is genetic.

Q: I have a chicken with leg deformities. 4 month old pullet. Should I be concerned about egg quality with this hen?

A: It won’t effect the egg quality but it could effect the quality of life. Make sure she doesn’t get picked on by others and can get to food and water.

Q: She’s eating and drinking fine. She compensates with a wing flap here and there. Also, Could the deformation be from a mineral deficiency?

A: It could be but more likely it is genetics. Especially if there are others that were unaffected, then genetics are most likely the reason.

Q: I bought 8 new hampshire red poults, 3 turned out to be rousters. But I have 2 that look like hens but have heavy combs is that normal?

A: Yes, it is probably fine, as hens get ready to start laying her comb will change shape and color due to hormonal changes.

Chicken

Q: How would I know if they have mites or lice?

A: Check closely for the critters – especially vent area and under the wings. you’ll see them crawling. Yuck! Here is an article by Nutrena to help prevent mites.

Q: I have a two year old rooster whose legs have quit working over the course of a few months. He eats and drinks fine but the legs just don’t seem to do what he wants. When he tries to walk, he just stumbles.

A: I would quarantine the rooster and consult your vet. There can be serious diseases that can cause paralysis like this.

Additional feedback from customers:

Also (you probably already did this) be very sure there isn’t something tangled around his legs. Chickens get into the oddest things and get tangled!

We did have a rooster that had these same symptoms about two years ago. His legs got worse and worse, then turned black. We culled him. Never had another chicken with the same symptoms, and never found out what it was! Frustrating!

Q: I have a hen that sits in the nest all day and never lays any eggs. When I pick her up off the nest she will eat and drink and then heads right back to the nest. This has been going on for over two weeks. What can I do about this.

A: Sounds like you’ve got a broody hen! You may need to put her in an isolation pen to get her over it.

Additional feedback from customers:

Sounds like she is broody and wants to sit eggs. Some hens are prone to going broody and some never do. I love broody hens even though their production is low. You can sometimes break them from it and there are lots of suggestions online on how to do that.

You definitely have a broody hen; get to work RIGHT AWAY and build her her own isolation pen!!!!

…or let her sit on some fertilized eggs`and hatch you some chicks. I love watching the peeps and their mom.

Q: When chickens have strokes what do you do?

A: Cornish Cross are prone to having strokes because they grow to fast for their internal organs to keep up. Restricting feeding to 12 hours on, 12 hours off can help this problem.

Chicken with berry stainsQ: I have 3 backyard hens. The oldest has had black spots on her comb and waddles for a few months. The two newer hens are also starting to get black spots on their combs. I don’t believe that it is avian pox (it is not raised or scabby). I have treated the coop for mites. What is it? How do I treat it? Here is a picture of it. (BTW – we can rule out frostbite too).

A: This could be part of their coloring pattern, and not an indication of sickness.

Additional feedback from customers:

I would agree if all three chickens were the same breed – but they’re three different breeds and all getting spots on their combs. Could it be a fungus? I’ve read about comb fungus – but that sounded like it was usually white.

Are there any types of berries near where they are kept?

Not on bushes – but I feed them blueberries on occasion.

It’s possibly berry staining…I’ve seen it on our messy chickens!

Our free-range hens STRIPPED our blackberry vines this year! …and then I caught the dog eating the ones higher up!

CombChickenQ: I have a Black Australorp who is 5 months old. The front of her comb has a wave in it. What would cause this to occur? Should I be concerned by this? What can I do to fix this or prevent it from happening again?

A: I don’t think this is a cause for concern. Hens will have natural variation on their combs. If it is not hurting her or bothering you, it is just fine.

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