What Are Some Bird Flu Symptoms in Chickens?


Quick Answer

Bird flu symptoms in chickens may include ruffled feathers, decreased consumption of feed and reduced egg production, according to the official website of King County, Washington. In low-pathogenic forms of the disease, there may be no symptoms.

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What Are Some Bird Flu Symptoms in Chickens?
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Full Answer

Symptoms of bird flu in chickens vary depending on the age of the chicken, the strain of the virus, the bird's environment and other bacterial diseases that may be present, advises Gempler's. Chickens may appear uncoordinated and lack energy. They may have diarrhea or nasal discharge, and they may cough or sneeze. Their wattles, combs and legs may take on a purplish hue, and their heads, wattles, hocks, combs and eyelids may swell. Any eggs they produce may have soft shells, or they may be misshapen.

Highly pathogenic bird flu viruses are virulent, often killing chickens within 48 hours, and the first sign that the disease is present may be dead chickens, notes the official website of King County, Washington. Infected birds shed the bird flu virus in their feces, saliva and nasal secretions, and susceptible chickens develop the virus following direct exposure to the virus or exposure to surfaces infected with the virus, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bird flu virus spreads quickly through flocks of chickens, can impact multiple organs in the birds and can kill 90 to 100 percent of a flock within two days.

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