As previously discussed, it is very important to monitor your chicken residents’ GI system by paying attention to their appetite and their poop. There are many different things that can affect the GI tract directly, and a healthy digestive system is imperative in order for the chickens to have a top-notch immune system to fight off diseases of the other systems. You can aid this by providing high quality nutrition to your residents.
Some common GI disorders that can occur include, but are not limited to, the following: Salmonellosis, Coccidiosis, hemorrhagic enteritis, intestinal parasites, mycotoxins, necrotic enteritis, and crop issues. In addition to the more severe diseases, chickens can also develop abnormal GI conditions simply from indigestion which can be brought about feeding inappropriate or spoiled foods, or by switching the chicken’s diet too quickly (which is why in Basic Chicken Care Part 1 we emphasized gradual changes when switching to a new type of food). Having a good handle on your chicken resident’s appetite and fecal output will help you identify signs of concern early. If you see signs of GI issues, be sure to work with your veterinarian to determine the cause.