Quarantine a sick or injured chicken

Have you already got a backyard flock of chickens or considering buying some? If you do it is vitally important to know when and how to Quarantine a sick or injured chicken.

So whether you make one yourself or buy something suitable, you should have on hand a quarantine cage. Think of this as your go-to medical centre for chickens which show signs of illness. A quarantine cage is also a safe place for a hen to recover after being injured. To Quarantine a sick chicken is also the best way to be kind to the rest of the flock.

A well thought out quarantine cage can be vital for hens which are suffering from illness, injury as well as dehydration.

Quarantine a sick chicken quickly
Quarantine a sick or injured chicken help prevent the spread of disease through the flock.

Your chicken quarantine cage should provide:

  • Isolation from the other birds in the flock
  • Use a medication drinker to supply electrolytes to your injured or dehydrated hen
  • a small feeder (this could be a small ice cream bucket as it is providing for only one chicken)
  • a clean, sanitized area while your chicken heals
  • fresh bedding
  • allow you easy access to the injured bird to apply ointments and medication if so required

Quarantine cages are also great for chickens who are suffering from stress and need a little time out.

At the first sign of illness you should quarantine a sick chicken. Depending on the type of sickness it can spread through the flock very quickly.

Top symptoms of a sick hen include:

  • Runny or liquid poop
  • Wheezing, rasping, sneezing or ‘coughing’
  • Pale comb
  • lack of appetite
  • watery or bubbly nose or eyes
  • swollen around eyes
  • bad smell
  • swelling of the wattles or comb

While some of these symptoms may be life threatening, others can be treated without a vet. It is best to learn these symptoms and be vigilant. If you see any of these symptoms, isolate and quarantine the bird. Doing so quickly helps limit the spread of illness throughout the flock.

Hydration is vital

Like humans, when a chicken is sick or ill it can dehydrate very quickly. When you isolate your hen in a quarantine cage it allows you to dispense fluids much easier.

Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is a great way to help kick in the birds natural immune system. It as mild antibiotic properties and is full of vitamins as well as minerals. If intestinal worms are the cause of illness it may assist by helping fight any bad bacteria or microbes in the gut. ACY also helps birds to recover from dehydration.

In fact, many backyard poultry keepers use ACV every couple of days in the coop water to boost the immune system of their flock. Although not scientifically proven, many backyard keepers swear a regular routine of ACV in the water helps prevent Coccidiosis in chickens.

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar with chickens?

  1. Choose organic Apple Cider Vinear

    Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is more naturally balanced in goodness. Check with your store to seel if they have it or can get it in for you. ACV for chickens and poultry

  2. Dilute at the correct ratio

    It is essential to dilute at the correct ratio to prevent burning the mouth or throat of the hen. Apple Cider Vinegar is very concentrated. You can cause injury to your hens if you do not get the ratio of dilution correct. We recommend 2.5ml or 0.08oz per litre of water. Dilute Apple Cider Vinegar for chickens at the right ratio

  3. Distribute by the chicken drinker

    Use the Dine A Chook Medication drinker with German lubing cup for the easiest way to monitor and fluid uptake of your bird.

Finally, once your ill bird has recovered, it is vital to sanitize the cage, remove all bedding materials and dispose and thoroughly clean out the medication drinker and lubing cup. This prevents contamination to the next hen which may need your quarantine cage, which hopefully won’t be to often.

Chicken keeping sounds like hard work sometimes but it really isn’t. If you stay on top of hygiene and have a sound coop management program that incorporates cleanliness, generally your flock will be healthy. So if you see a chicken that appears ill, remember, be prepared to Quarantine a sick chicken.

Want to learn more about Backyard chicken and poultry health? Read our free insightful articles on Chicken Health 101 | Free Articles on everything to do with chicken health (dineachook.com)

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