Common Chicken Illnesses

Keeping backyard poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, and turkeys) is becoming more popular. People enjoy raising baby poultry including chicks, ducklings, goslings, and poults. Many people keep chickens to have fresh eggs. Although keeping backyard poultry can be fun and educational, owners should be aware that poultry can sometimes carry harmful germs that make people sick.

These germs can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses that could cause death. One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick is to wash your hands thoroughly right after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.

Whether you are building your first coop or are a seasoned backyard poultry owner, you should know the risks of keeping poultry and the simple things you can do to stay safe.


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease  caused by Coccidian protozoa that lives in and damages a specific region of the gut in chickens. The trouble starts when chickens consume a sporulated oocyst which is broken down by chemicals in the gut, releasing an infective sporocyst. This begins the life cycle that causes the destruction of intestinal epithelial cells.

Together with damage to the gut walls, it causes loss of appetite, diarrhea, ruffled feathers, weight loss and inability to absorb nutrients.

Chicken Illnesses