Table of Contents
Ducks & Geese
Dairy Cows & Beef Cattle
Excerpt from page 53
Chickens can suffer many different health problems from many different sources. If you consult a book on poultry, you will find so many diseases listed you may be dissuaded from ever keeping chickens. Most disorders, though, are readily prevented through good management. Many infectious diseases can be prevented through vaccination and worming. How aggressive you need to be depends on many factors. The intensive husbandry of commercial poultry operations necessitates aggressive vaccination and worming. A well-maintained backyard flock, derived from healthy stock, will not require a lot of preventive medicine. Be aware, though, that backyard flocks that are not vaccinated or wormed can develop problems. If you show your chickens or regularly introduce new birds, you will need to vaccinate and worm more often than if yours is a closed flock, with no travel and no new additions. Consult your veterinarian or Extension agent for advice.
The longer you keep a chicken, the more likely it is to get a disease, which is why commercial growers and many experienced backyard flock owners won't keep chickens for more than a year or two- as soon as this year's replacement flock matures, last year's flock is out the door. Given a little extra care, though, your chickens can remain safe and healthy for many years.