healthy chicken feathers how to tell a chicken is healthy

Healthy Backyard Chickens: What are the Signs?

Healthy backyard chickens make healthy humans. Today, we're clucking about something close to all our hearts: our feathered friends' health. Just like how you can tell a bad egg from a good one, there are clear signs that show if your backyard chickens are thriving. 

We’re gonna lay down some egg-spert tips on keeping them in tip-top shape using only natural care like herbs and essential oils. Let’s get cracking!

Healthy Backyard Chickens Have Bright Eyes

Healthy chickens should have bright, clear eyes that say, "I see you, and I might peck you!" If your chickens’ eyes look dull or cloudy, it's time to play chicken detective. Infections and illnesses often start showing in the eyes, so keep a watch out!

White rooster with a read wattle and comb

Plump, Red Combs and Wattles = Healthy

A healthy chicken flaunts a vibrant red comb and wattles. These fleshy bits are not just for show; they actually help regulate body temperature. If you see a pale or shrunken comb. it can be a sign of illness or poor nutrition. Ensure your flock has a balanced diet, plenty of water, and some herbal supplements to keep them healthy and happy.

Healthy Chickens Have Feathers That Shine

You'll know that your backyard chicken is healthy and happy if their feathers are shiny and smooth. If their feathers are dull and scruffy like a wet mop, you might want to take a closer look.

Keep in mind, regular molting is natural even for healthy chickens. But if your flock looks like they’ve been through a tornado, they might need a bit more TLC. Consuming herbs like oregano can help keep those feathers looking fluffy, full, and fabulous.

Plus, a good dust bath with neem, cinnamon, and chrysanthemum will keep those pesky parasites at bay. CoopShield is a proprietary blend that is a perfect pest prevention mix!

Healthy Hens are Full of Energy

All chicken owners know that a healthy chicken is one busy bird. They are always scratching, pecking, and clucking away. Knowing your chickens' personalities can help you detect of they are sick. If your usually feisty hen is sulking in a corner, something’s definitely up and it's time to start inspecting.

healthy chickens are hungry for food and happy to eat

Healthy Chickens are Hungry!

Healthy chickens eat like they’re always at an all-you-can-eat buffet. If your chicken is ignoring her feed, it’s a red flag. Natural remedies like garlic and ginger can help with their digestive and overall health. And let's be honest, who can resist the smell of a coop filled with delicious herbs?

Healthy Hens Have Consistent Egg Production 

A hen that's in prime health lays eggs consistently, that doesn't necessarily mean everyday. Different breeds lay at different rates. If your egg count is dropping, it might be time to investigate. Stress, illness, parasites, and poor diet can all affect egg production. 

Good Poops Mean Good Health

Yep, we’re talking about poop. Noticing how your hens' poops look can give major insight into their health! Healthy chickens produce firm, well-formed droppings. If you see runny or oddly colored poop it can mean dietary issues or illnesses. 

Happy Clucking and Cackling 

A happy chicken is a noisy chicken. If your flock is unusually quiet, it might be time to worry. Chickens communicate through a variety of sounds, so any change in their usual chatter can indicate a problem. 

how to tell chickens are healthy prarie blue bell egger

Regular Health Check: How to Spot Illnesses, Parasites, and Injuries

To keep your chickens in egg-cellent health, its important to perform regular health checks. Here’s a handy checklist to help you spot potential problems early:

1. Examine Eyes: 

Look for any discharge, cloudiness, or unusual color. Check if the eyes are bright and clear.

2. Inspect Comb and Wattles: 

Ensure they are a healthy red color and not pale or shrunken. Look for any signs of injury or scabbing.

3. Check Feathers: 

Look for shiny, smooth feathers. Part the feathers to inspect the skin for mites or lice.

4. Observe Behavior: 

Note if the chicken is active and energetic. Watch for any signs of lethargy or unusual behavior.

5. Monitor Eating Habits: 

Ensure the chicken has a healthy appetite. Watch for any refusal to eat or drink.

6. Check Poop: 

Look for well-formed, solid droppings. Note any changes in color, consistency, or frequency. Notice if worms are present! Learn more about preventing parasites in chickens.

7. Feel the Crop: 

Check if the crop is full in the evening and empty in the morning. Watch for any signs of impacted or sour crop.

8. Examine Legs and Feet: 

Look for any swelling, cuts, or scabs. Ensure there are no signs of bumblefoot or scaley leg mites.

9. Listen to Breathing: 

Listen for any wheezing, coughing, or unusual sounds. Check for clear and easy breathing.

11. Inspect the Vent Area: 

Ensure the vent is clean and free of mites or lice.Look for any signs of prolapse or infection.

12. Check for Parasites:

Look for mites or lice around the vent, under wings, and on the neck. Observe for any signs of scratching or excessive preening. Learn about natural remedies for mites and lice in the coop.

Checking your chickens for these illnesses, injuries, and parasites can help you catch any health issues early.  Remember, a healthy chicken is a happy chicken!

If you chicken is showing signs of a problem, check out this neat tool to help you diagnose the problem and figure out a solution! 

Herb Heroes for Healthy Hens

Here are some of our favorite natural remedies to keep your flock in egg-cellent health.


This powerful herb is a natural antibiotic. Adding oregano to your chickens’ diet can help boost their immune system and keep infections at bay.


Garlic is a superfood for chickens. It boosts their immune system, improves circulation, and can even help repel parasites. 


Peppermint helps keep insects away and can also soothe chickens’ respiratory systems. Plant mint around the coop or add dried mint to their nesting boxes and dust baths.


Lavender is calming and can reduce stress in chickens. A calm chicken is a healthy chicken.


Rosemary can improve digestion and boost the immune system in chickens. Mix dried rosemary into their feed for a tasty and healthy treat.

Try Buff Clucks Herb Supplement to boost your flock's health and prevent parasites and illnesses. 

handful holding buff clucks herb supplement for backyard chickens

Natural Care Keeps Chicken's Healthy and Happy

Keeping your backyard chickens healthy is important as prevention is the best way to keep your flock healthy. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Keep your eyes peeled for the signs of a healthy chicken and investigate when sometimes seems of. By using natural care, herbs, and essential oils, you can ensure your flock stays in prime condition. 

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