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Chicks are more vulnerable to any diseases and prevention is difficult due to the early physiological and immunological structures in their body. Whether ordering through a hatchery, buying baby chicks from the farm store, or hatching your own, there are seven common DISEASES in poultry chicks from which they might suffer.


ASPERGILLOSIS is caused by a FUNGUS. The spores spread in warm, moist, dirty environments such as a dirty incubator or brooder. Aspergillosis is not spread between birds, only environmentally. Chicks are especially vulnerable because the new cilia in their throat aren’t matured enough to move the fungus spores up and out.

See Also- Brooder Pneumonia in poultry

Clinical Symptoms

Clinical Symptoms Symptoms include open-mouthed breathing and gasping for air among other respiratory symptoms such as nasal discharge. They may also have nervous system symptoms such as TREMORS, INABILITY TO BALANCE, and HEAD TWISTING. Symptoms may look similar to MAREK’S disease and is typically diagnosed by microscopic evaluation of the fungus taken from the internal respiratory system.

Prevention And Treatment

The best prevention is to keep everything clean and remove wet litter. Treatment The most common drugs for using to treat brooder pneumonia are Nystatin, griseofulvin, Itraconazole, Amphotericin B, etc. Other antifungal nonspecific remedies are copper sulfate and acetic acid also which are much more beneficial to inhibit the growth of aspergillosis and stop the infection immediate basis.


COCCIDIOSIS is caused by an intestinal parasite. Because birds peck at everything, they do also peck at poop. By doing so, they ingest cocci eggs, which hatch and then burrow into the chick’s intestinal wall.

See Also- Coccidiosis in chicken

Clinical Symptoms

This causes some bleeding, characterized by orange to red color in their poop which may also be frothy and contain mucous. The chicks may become withdrawn, droopy, and eat less. While your chicken may survive without treatment, they will likely never be as healthy and productive as they could have been. You can work with your vet on treatment and doses.

Prevention And Treatment

The common drugs for coccidiosis where blood occurs in feces are Toltrazuril, Diclazuril, Amprolium, Nicarbazin, etc. Without blood in the poo or feces, sulfur drugs such as sulphadimidine, sulphamethoxine, sulfaquinoxaline, sulphaclozine sodium, and tetracycline like oxytetracycline, doxycycline and chlortetracycline are easily diminishing the clinical signs, etc.

See also-Toltrazuril In Poultry

Any individual and combined drugs easily effective against coccidiosis. Prevention Good ways to prevent coccidiosis is by changing out bedding often and keeping your coop or brooder dry. Because there are different strains of coccidia, your birds may be infected multiple times especially in times of stress or changing environments.


It’s caused by the infectious bronchitis virus which is originated from the coronaviridae family. Called the chicken “cold”, INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS comes from a type of coronavirus and has several subtypes.

Clinical Symptoms

Symptoms Chicks may look much like a human cold with nasal discharge, coughing, difficulty breathing, depression, and huddling together. If one chicken has a cold, within a couple of days all of your chickens will likely have a cold. It is caused by nephrogenic lesion which is also metabolically called gout in chicken. The lesion is much more painful and causing huge mortality within one week of chicks. This affects chicks under 6 weeks of age the most, and they have the highest mortality rate.

Prevention And Treatment

Treatment There is no specific treatment for infectious bronchitis virus in poultry. Symptomatic treatment may partially helpful for stopped mortality in chicks. Provide antibiotics such as levofloxacin, norfloxacin,Aciphex are prevent secondary infection. Other drugs vinegar, soda-bi-car, methamine also reduced the gouty lesion during nephrogenic infection in chicks.

Prevention There is vaccines to help prevent infectious bronchitis, but the prevalence of subtypes and mutations makes it difficult to completely prevent. It is not much you can do to treat besides raising the temperature 3-4℃. Chicks that are sick with a cold are very susceptible to secondary infections, so keep them clean with good


Marek’s disease is a viral disease but symptoms is almost always fatal. Because of this, most hatchery chicks are vaccinated against it in their first 24 hours after hatching or even while they are still in the egg.

Marek’s Disease

Clinical Symptoms

In chicks, it typically manifests by weight loss even with a good diet and death within about 8 weeks.

Marek's disease

Characteristics leg posture- One leg forward and another in backward position in Merak’s disease.

Older chickens have other symptoms such as cloudy eyes with corneal degeneration, lateral paralysis, and TUMORS can grow an external and internal organ.

Prevention And Treatment

You should consider vaccinating your day-old chicks as they will quickly have less response to the vaccine as they age. While most chickens have probably been exposed at some point to MAREK’S without becoming ill, becoming stressed can weaken their immune system enough to catch it. MAREK’S has a 2-week latency period while still contagious before the chick becomes visibly ill.


While Omphalitis is usually caused by an infection of the navel soon after hatching, it can be caused by improper egg washing pushing bacteria into the shell. Also called YOLK SAC INFECTION. Chicks may even die before hatching.

Clinical Symptoms

Symptoms in chicks may include an unhealed, swollen, or leaky navel. The abdomen may be distended. In general, they will be lethargic, huddling near the heat source. OMPHALITIS may be caused by poor sanitation in the incubator or brooder, by a chick pecking at another’s navel, or even by a handler confusing the navel scab or dried umbilical cord for PASTY BUTT and attempting to clean it off.

See Also- Omphalitis in chicks

Prevention And Treatment

Prevention is in cleanliness, not incubating dirty eggs, and applying a little iodine to any unhealed navels on your chicks. there are common antibiotics eg- florfenicol, colistin sulfate, Enfloxacin, neomycin salt, used for successful treatment.


There are many strains of SALMONELLA spp; some of which are dangerous to humans, but usually different from the strains that are dangerous to chicks.

Clinical Symptoms

Symptoms may include diarrhea usually called a pesty vent, dizziness, Anorexia, emaciation all leading to death. A conclusive diagnosis is typically post-mortem from lab identification of bacteria.

Prevention And Treatment

some antibiotics have been shown to eliminate SALMONELLA Enteritidis in very young (1 week or less in age) chicks. The most common antibiotics are gentamycin, norfloxacin, flumequine, Ciprofloxacin, Novobiocin, Chloramphenicol, Ceftriaxone, etc.

See Also- Ceftriaxone in poultry

That is specifically the SALMONELLA that can be dangerous to humans but only carried by chickens. While antibiotics may be effective in treating a sick chicken, SALMONELLA can still be latent and infect other chickens.

Some SALMONELLA strains must be reported to health authorities. It is best to avoid it getting into your flock at all by only purchasing from clean, tested flocks. The bacteria can survive on cast-off feather dander for five years, can be transmitted directly into an egg by the hen, by infected droppings of other chickens or rodents, or contamination.


This illness produces very rotten-smelling diarrhea and listlessness in the chicks that are affected. It is a bacterial infection that typically spreads through overcrowding.

Prevention And Treatment

Antibiotics administered in water can be used to treat infected chicks, but the best prevention is proper cleaning and not overcrowding. While these illnesses can be scary, most can be prevented by keeping your brooder and coop clean. Practice good biosecurity measures such as isolation before introducing a new chicken.

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