There are countless benefits associated with raising your own chickens. And, although livestock is rarely the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “hobby”, the rise in backyard poultry has become increasingly more popular from rural areas into the suburbs. Whether you are just getting started with your own backyard poultry or are looking for a veterinarian provider to ensure they have the best preventative and emergency care possible, the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help.
Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital maintains a focus on educating pet owners on why spaying and neutering your cats is important and why this process is a critical part of being a responsible cat owner. Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions we receive about these procedures to help you make an informed decision about whether or not the process is right for you. If you have any questions that aren’t answered here or want to schedule your cat's appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Comprehensive Poultry Veterinary Medicine
While it may not be apparent to many chicken owners, they often need veterinary care as much as any other farm animal. Since not all veterinarians will work with exotic animals and farm animals, it is important to ensure you find the right care provider for both you and your flock to ensure your poultry remains healthy and safe. To find the best provider of comprehensive poultry veterinary medicine, it is important to understand why a professional veterinarian is needed and how the services that they provide and how they fit into your overall care for chickens whether you live in a rural or suburban area.
Unfortunately, most birds are great at hiding signs of illness to ensure they are not easy prey for predators that they may encounter. Often, this characteristic makes it incredibly difficult to monitor changes in your flock or pinpoint illnesses that are occurring.
By working with veterinarians that are experienced and trained in treating backyard poultry, pet owners can detect and treat a variety of illnesses that could otherwise quickly spread among the flock and spiral out of control. To ensure the health of your avian friends remains a priority, some of the veterinary care services that Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital provides include:
At Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarians and staff believe that early identification and treatment of illnesses can help ensure that your chickens remain happier and therefore more productive. The staff at our clinic is trained and experienced in caring for a variety of exotic animals, including backyard poultry, and can help ensure your pet is receiving the best preventative care possible with annual checkups.
Parasite and Infectious Disease Screening
Since chickens live outdoors, they are often exposed to a variety of parasites and infectious diseases that may not be encountered by other animals that live indoors. Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital can provide diagnostic testing to identify and treat infectious diseases or parasites that may affect your flock. This service is often crucial when egg-laying changes or altered behavior is seen.
Flock Husbandry and Biosecurity Consultation
It can often be hard for the owners of backyard poultry to determine the best way to incorporate chickens into their existing infrastructure. While most people will just set up a coop and release their chickens into it, this often is not the best approach to ensure they remain productive and happy as a new pet. Advanced Care can help provide husbandry and biosecurity consultation to help meet this need.
Avian Nutritional Consultation
In many cases, feeding your chickens the proper diet with result in the production of more eggs and provide an overall boost to the health of your entire flock. Our experienced veterinarians can help create the perfect nutritional plan based on the unique goals you have for your flock. Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of maintaining the health of your backyard poultry, let our experienced team help take out the guesswork.
Avian Emergency Procedures
Unfortunately, the outdoor nesting habits of poultry can make them a higher risk for predation and a small incident with an attacker can quickly become a much larger issue. The veterinarian staff at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital can help assist when emergencies occur from bumblefoot to surgical needs. If you have concerns about the health of your flock and think an emergency procedure may be needed, we can help.
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Common Diseases That Affect Poultry
Part of deciding to raise your own backyard poultry is being able to understand and treat some of the common illnesses that may occur among your flock. Unfortunately, there are a wide variety of illnesses and diseases that can quickly take over your flock without the proper care and attention to their overall health. If you notice any changes within your flock of chickens that are not normal, seeking veterinary support may be the best approach. Some of the most common diseases that affect poultry and the ways to begin treating them include:
Manifesting as white spots on the skin, scabs on their combs or white ulcers in their mouths, Fowl Pox can become a concern when chickens stop laying eggs. Often Fowl Pox can be treated with soft food and a warm, dry place to rest. With the right care and early identification of this common illness, most chickens will be able to survive this illness.
When backyard poultry begins to have yellowish diarrhea, joint pain or show signs that they are struggling to breathe, they may be experiencing Fowl Cholera. This bacterial disease can be contracted from other wild animals or contaminated food. Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for this disease currently and most chickens that contract it will need to be put down or quarantined to avoid further spread among the flock.
Commonly known as “bird flu”, avian influenza often leads to respiratory trouble and facial swelling among the flock. Any chickens that contract avian influenza will always be a carrier and that makes them a threat to the other non-infected members of the flock. Once contracted, there is generally no way to treat this disease.
If a chicken accidentally cuts its foot on something, the cut can often become infected and lead to a condition named bumblefoot. While this can lead to swelling in the leg and can occur easily, it can often be treated with surgery. If neglected, bumblefoot can spread throughout the body of the chicken and be fatal. If a cut is noticed on your poultry, it is important to wash and disinfect the area to prevent this disease from occurring.
Often showing as respiratory problems, discharge from the nose or murky eyes, Newcastle Disease can also lead to the development of paralyzed legs or wings among the chickens within a flock. Often this disease is passed by other wild birds that encounter a flock of poultry. Currently, there is a vaccine for Newcastle Disease available and the United States is working to eradicate it.
Often like the thrush that babies get, chickens that have this fungal disease will often have a white, oozy substance inside of their crop and will have more of an appetite than usual. Thrush is often contracted through moldy feed although poultry may contract the disease from contaminated water. While there is no known vaccine, thrush can often be treated with anti-fungal medicines available through a veterinarian.
While only a small sample of the common illnesses and diseases that affect backyard poultry, these are among the most common that pet owners will experience. With a great preventative care routine and annual check-ups, many common poultry diseases can often be treated by the team at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. If you notice changes among your flock or aren’t receiving as many eggs as you once had, our team can help pinpoint any problems that may be occurring and treat them before they become a larger issue.
A Poultry-Friendly Hospital
Chickens have unique medical needs that often do not translate to other pets. To help ensure that your flock of poultry has the best preventative care and treatment options possible, Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital uses specialized equipment and extensive employee training to ensure your poultry is in the best hands possible from the moment they arrive at our clinic. Our primary goal is to minimize the stress your flock faces and give them the support needed to adjust to the new environment for an accurate diagnosis if problems are occurring.
Although we may not be able to make every flock feel like they are at home, we strive to ensure they remain as safe as possible while they are within our facilities. From preventative services to disease intervention or surgery whenever they may be necessary, we want to create a positive experience for both you and your poultry through compassionate, transparent and respectful care. Taking care of your own backyard poultry should not be a challenge and, with the help of Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, it does not have to be. Contact our team today to schedule your in-clinic appointment to learn what is possible!