My chicken is sick. What do I do?
It’s a good idea to separate your sick chicken from the rest of the flock, to prevent her from spreading any germs to your healthy birds. You should also avoid visiting anywhere else that has chickens, to avoid spreading germs to their flocks.
Our Small Flock Production website has a lot of helpful information on keeping your birds healthy.
- The main site is here:https://extension.umd.edu/programs/agriculture/program/animal-science/small-flock-production
- Here is a table comparing symptoms of common poultry diseases: https://extension.umd.edu/programs/agriculture/program/animal-science/poultry/publications
- Here are factsheets with more details on many of these diseases (look at the navigation panel on the left): https://extension.umd.edu/programs/agriculture/program/animal-science/poultry/publications
In addition to diseases listed on our "common diseases" spreadsheet (linked above), in the past year, we've seen cases in particular of "infectious coryza" respiratory disease in flocks around the Mid-Atlantic region: Insert Link
The best thing to do to identify the cause of your bird’s symptoms is to consult with a veterinarian who treats poultry. You can find a list of Maryland veterinarians who treat poultry here: http://www.poultrydvm.com/poultry-vets.php?professionalName=maryland
If you have a chicken die, you can get a necropsy done by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to find out the cause. The Frederick Animal Diagnostic Lab is the closest to Baltimore. They do necropsies of dead chickens for $12. You would need to keep the chicken cool and deliver it to them at their lab in Frederick: 1840 Rosemont Ave, Frederick, MD 21702
They're open from 8AM to 4PM. Their phone number is 301-600-1548 and please call ahead before you go.
You can fill out the submission form when you get there, or you can print it here and fill it out ahead of time: https://mda.maryland.gov/AnimalHealth/Documents/FAHL%20Necropsy%20Form.pdf
For the $12, they will do a preliminary investigation and e-mail you a report. If they think they need to do more tests, they will let you know. Additional tests would have an additional cost.