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NC State Extension

Health

Having a healthy flock keeps your birds, and other birds in the area and around the state, safe. These resources help you know how to keep your flock healthy and how to address diseases or other health concerns.


NC State Extension resources

Keeping Garden Chickens in North Carolina

This article from N.C. Cooperative Extension covers all aspects of starting and managing a backyard or garden flock of chickens in North Carolina.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.


Other resources

Anatomy

The Avian Immune System
Publication #VM74

This article from University of Florida IFAS Extension describes the avian immune system; some sections are very detailed.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Avian Necropsy Techniques
Publication #VM81

This article from University of Florida IFAS Extension gives the process for performing a necropsy (postmortem examination). Steps are given; there are no images.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Chicken Feathers

This article from University of Illinois Extension explains feather purpose and describes many feather patterns.

This resource can be viewed online.

Combs

This article from University of Illinois Extension describes many comb types. Illustrations included.

This resource can be viewed online.


These articles from Penn State Extension give an overview of rooster and hen reproduction physiology. These resources include images of the reproductive organs.

These resources can be viewed online.

Diseases

Avian Disease Fact Sheet
2902-1094

This article from Virginia Cooperative Extension includes an overview of how diseases are spread, preventing disease, diagnosing disease and treating disease. It includes tables with diseases and their symptoms and prevention/control.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Common Poultry Diseases
Publication #PS47

This article from University of Florida IFAS Extension covers many diseases. Each disease is broken into subsections for symptoms, treatment, prevention, etc.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Control of Poultry Disease Outbreaks

This article from Extension at the University of Missouri provides information for specimen collection and other tasks required during disease outbreaks.

This resource can be viewed online.

Diseases of Poultry

This long article from Mississippi State University Extension details a large number of poultry diseases. The article includes the following sections:

  • Bacterial diseases
  • Parasitic diseases (internal)
  • Parasitic diseases (external)
  • Viral diseases

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Poultry Disease Diagnosis
Publication Number: P1276

This article from Mississippi State University Extension includes topics related to diagnosing poultry diseases. Sections include necropsy procedure, poultry anatomy and flock history.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Prevention and Control of Fowl Pox in Backyard Chicken Flocks
Publication #VM65

This brief article from University of Florida IFAS Extension describes prevention and control of fowl pox, which does not have a cure.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Prevention of Poultry Disease

This brief article from Extension at the University of Missouri explains methods for preventing poultry diseases.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

That is a Good Question: Salmonella and Poultry
ANSI-8401

This article from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is a Q&A format about salmonella and poultry.

This resource is a direct download link (PDF); updates cannot be guaranteed.

What Are the Risks of Contracting Diseases Associated with Chickens?
Publication #ENY724

This article from University of Florida IFAS Extension explains diseases that can be passed from poultry to people. See also Avian Diseases Transmissible to Humans (Publication #PS23).

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Parasites

Control External Parasites of Poultry
Publication Number: IS0331

This article from Mississippi State University Extension lists parasites and includes a table with recommendations for controlling them.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Poultry Parasites

This group of articles from University of Florida IFAS Extension covers a variety of poultry parasites, including:

These resources can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Other topics

General Characteristics of Disinfectants

This article from Mississippi State University Extension lists disinfectant types and their characteristics.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Pesticides Used for Control of Poultry Insect Pests

This article from Mississippi State University University Extension lists chemicals approved for treating different poultry pests.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Solutions and Treatments

This article from Mississippi State University Extension lists solutions that have been used as supportive treatments for poultry.

Note: They [the solutions] are intended as aids in treating the described conditions, not as a replacement for any management, drug, or antibiotic therapy. (from the article)

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.

Understanding Vaccines
G1445

This article (NebGuide) from University of Nebraska Extension described vaccines in sections including terms, types, expectations, selection factors and vaccine failure reasons.

This resource can be viewed online or downloaded for free.


If you have questions about the health of your backyard flock, contact an Area Specialized Agent for poultry, your county livestock agent or Ask an Expert.