my chickens healthy?
If you know if your chickens are healthy or not you can:
sick chickens and prevent diseases spreading within your flock
management practices that are affecting the health of your chickens
Select only healthy chickens when buying new ones!
Factors contributing to health
• Intensive systems
Poultry (broilers for meat
production and layers for egg production) are kept in houses
• Extensive systems
Poultry are free ranging, and scavenge
for food. This system of keeping chickens is usually found in rural
communities where chickens are used for both egg and meat production
(dual purpose chickens)
Environmental factors that can influence
• Type of house
• Type of floor
Type of poultry
can be indigenous, dual purpose, commercial broilers or layers
to know if your chickens are healthy
you start looking at your chickens, you should do so from a distance to
observe their behaviour
• Do the chickens look healthy or are they sitting alone and looking puffed up?
• Are the chickens seeking food to
eat, walking or looking for shelter during cold or very hot weather?
• Are the hens laying eggs regularly?
the chickens the same size, or are some smaller than others?
Look at different parts of the body from head to tail
You should look at all the different parts of the body from head to tail.
For further information contact your
Animal Health for Developing Farmers
The Resource Centre
Compiled by Directorate
Communication, National Department of Agriculture
Printed and published by
National Department of Agriculture
Information provided by
Tel (012) 529 9158