Skip to content
Chicken Health Checklist: Preventative Measures, Common Summer Ailments & Natural Remedies

Chicken Health Checklist: Preventative Measures, Common Summer Ailments & Natural Remedies

Summer can be challenging for chickens due to increased temperatures and humidity. As a chicken owner, it's essential to pay special attention to their health during this season to ensure they remain comfortable and productive.

Chickens are susceptible to heat stress, dehydration, and parasites, significantly affecting their well-being. 

Understanding these common ailments that occur in summer and taking preventative measures can help keep your flock healthy.

A flock of chickens.

Common Summer Ailments in Chickens

  1. Heat Stress and Heat Stroke

One of the main issues chickens face in summer is heat stress or heat stroke. Because chickens cannot sweat to cool down, they rely on panting and seeking shade. 

When temperatures rise too high, chickens can overheat, which can be fatal if not addressed promptly.

Symptoms of heat stress include:

  • Rapid panting or open-mouth breathing
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Pale combs and wattles
  • Reduced egg production

To prevent heat stress, provide plenty of shaded areas and ensure good airflow in the coop. Keep waterers full of fresh, cool water, and consider adding electrolytes to their water to help them stay hydrated.

  1. Dehydration

Dehydration is another serious concern during the hot months. Chickens need constant access to clean water to stay hydrated, especially in high temperatures. 

Without enough water, they can quickly become dehydrated, leading to a drop in egg production and a decline in general health.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Droopy appearance
  • Sunken eyes
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fewer or smaller eggs

Check water containers multiple times a day and refill them as needed. Place waterers in shaded areas to keep the water cool and encourage the chickens to drink.

  1. Parasite Infestations

Warm weather also increases parasites such as mites, lice, and ticks. These pests can cause significant discomfort and health issues for chickens, including feather loss, itching, and anemia.

Symptoms of parasite infestations include:

  • Excessive preening or feather-picking
  • Visible mites or lice on the skin and feathers
  • Red or irritated skin
  • Decreased egg production

Regularly inspect your chickens and their living areas for signs of parasites. Keep the coop clean and dry, and use appropriate treatments if an infestation occurs.

  1. Respiratory Issues

High humidity and dust can lead to respiratory problems in chickens. Poor ventilation in the coop can exacerbate these issues, leading to coughing, wheezing, and nasal discharge.

Signs of respiratory issues include:

  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Wheezing or rattling breath
  • Nasal discharge
  • Swollen eyes

To minimize respiratory problems, ensure the coop has good ventilation and is free from excessive dust. Regularly clean the coop and replace bedding to reduce the risk of respiratory infections.


Better Breathing promotes easy breathing by minimizing respiratory discomfort and wheezing.

Being proactive and attentive to your chickens' needs during the summer can help them stay healthy and avoid common seasonal ailments. This will improve their quality of life and maintain their productivity and longevity.

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures can help ensure your chickens remain healthy and comfortable during summer. By focusing on their environment, nutrition, and regular health checks, you can reduce the risk of common summer ailments.

A flock of chickens in a tiny house.

Environmental Controls

Shade and Ventilation

  • Providing adequate shade is essential to protect chickens from the intense summer sun. 
  • Trees, shrubs, or artificial shade structures like tarps can offer relief from the heat.
  • Ensure the coop has proper ventilation to promote airflow, which helps cool the coop and reduces the risk of respiratory problems.
  •  Windows, vents, and fans can improve air circulation inside the coop.

Fresh Water Supply

  • Chickens need constant access to clean, cool water to stay hydrated. 
  • During hot weather, waterers should be checked and refilled multiple times daily. 
  • Placing water containers in shaded areas helps keep the water cool. 
  • Adding electrolytes to their water can also help replace lost minerals and keep them hydrated.

Two chickens drinking water.

Clean Living Quarters

  • Maintaining a clean coop is vital for preventing the spread of diseases and parasites.
  • Remove droppings daily, replace bedding regularly, and disinfect the coop periodically. 
  • Keeping the coop dry and clean helps minimize the risk of respiratory issues and infestations by mites, lice, and other pests.


Egg Booster provides natural stress relief for chickens, promotes stronger eggshells, and boosts egg production.

Nutritional Adjustments

Hydration-focused Diet

Providing a diet that supports hydration is essential during the summer. Fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, and lettuce, can help keep chickens hydrated. 

Avoid feeding them too much corn or scratch grains, as these can generate additional body heat during digestion.

Electrolytes and Vitamins

Electrolytes can be added to the chickens' water to help maintain their mineral balance and prevent dehydration. Vitamins, especially vitamin C, can support their immune system and overall health during stressful hot weather.

Cooling Treats and Foods

Offering frozen treats, such as ice blocks with fruits and vegetables inside, can provide both hydration and a cooling effect. These treats can be placed in the coop or run to help chickens cool down and stay entertained.


Nutritional Deficiency provides natural support for nutritional deficiency. It was designed for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, and it promotes overall strength and vitality.

Regular Health Checks

Visual Inspections

Perform daily visual inspections of your chickens to check for signs of distress or illness. Look for symptoms like panting, droopy posture, or unusual behavior. Early detection of problems can prevent them from becoming severe.

Behavior Monitoring

Pay attention to changes in behavior, such as reduced activity, loss of appetite, or changes in egg production. These can be indicators of heat stress, dehydration, or other health issues.

Parasite Control

Regularly inspect your chickens and their living environment for signs of parasites. Look for mites, lice, and ticks, especially around the vent area, under wings, and in bedding.

Use appropriate treatments, such as dusting powders or sprays, to control infestations. Keeping the coop clean and dry also helps reduce the risk of parasites.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can create a healthier and more comfortable environment for your chickens during the summer. Regular attention to their needs will help them thrive and reduce the likelihood of summer-related health issues.

Chicken Health Checklist

Maintaining a regular health checklist for your chickens can help them stay healthy and productive, especially during the summer. 

Here's a detailed daily and weekly checklist to help you keep your flock in top condition.

Daily Health Checklist

  1. Water Supply:
  • Ensure all water containers are full of clean, fresh water.
  • Check for and remove any debris or dirt in the water.
  • Place waterers in shaded areas to keep the water cool.
  1. Feed:
  • Provide a balanced feed appropriate for the chickens’ age and purpose (e.g., laying hens vs. meat birds).
  • Check feed for any signs of mold or spoilage and replace if necessary.
  • Supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those with high water content.

A woman is feeding her flock.

  1. Visual Health Check:
  • Look for signs of distress or illness, such as panting, droopy posture, or unusual behavior.
  • Check for clean and bright eyes, clean nostrils, and alert behavior.
  • Inspect feathers for any signs of mites or lice.
  1. Environment:
  • Ensure the coop and run are clean and free from excessive droppings.
  • Provide adequate shade and ensure good ventilation in the coop.
  • Check for hazards in the coop and run, such as sharp objects or holes.

Weekly Health Checklist

  1. Detailed Physical Examination:
  • Check each chicken for external parasites, such as mites, lice, and ticks. 
  • Pay close attention to the vent area, under the wings, and around the neck.
  • Feel the crop to ensure it is emptying properly and not impacted.
  • Examine feet and legs for signs of injury, swelling, or bumblefoot.
  1. Coop Maintenance:
  • Clean and replace bedding material to maintain a dry and clean environment.
  • Disinfect feeders and waterers to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Check and repair any damage to the coop, such as broken windows or gaps in the structure.
  1. Health Monitoring:
  • Keep track of each chicken's behavior and note any changes in activity levels or egg production.
  • Monitor for any respiratory issues, such as coughing, wheezing, or nasal discharge.
  • Observe eating habits to ensure all chickens get enough food and are not being bullied away from feeders.
  1. Nutritional Supplements:
  • Add electrolytes and vitamins to the water as needed, especially during hot weather, to prevent dehydration and heat stress.
  • Provide grit and oyster shells to support digestion and calcium intake for laying hens.
  1. Parasite Control:
  • Dust chickens and their environment with appropriate treatments if parasites are found.
  • Rotate dusting areas and use natural deterrents like diatomaceous earth in bedding and dust baths.

Following this detailed checklist can help ensure that your chickens remain healthy and happy throughout the summer. Regular monitoring and maintenance can prevent common health issues and keep your flock thriving.

Monthly Health Checklist for Chickens

A monthly health checklist helps ensure that your chickens stay healthy and their environment remains safe and clean. 

A farmer and a veterinarian checking a chicken.

Here's a detailed checklist to follow each month:

Thorough Physical Examination

  1. Weight Check: Weigh your chickens to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight. Significant weight loss or gain can indicate health issues.
  1. Feather Condition: Inspect feathers for signs of molting, parasites, or feather loss. Healthy feathers should be smooth and shiny.
  1. Skin and Comb: Check the skin for any signs of irritation, redness, or scaly patches. Examine the comb and wattles for color and texture changes.
  1. Vent Area: Inspect the vent area for cleanliness and signs of parasites or infection.

Parasite Control:

  1. Dust Baths: Provide fresh dust bathing materials such as diatomaceous earth to help chickens keep parasites at bay.
  1. Treatment: Apply monthly treatments for mites, lice, and other external parasites as needed. Follow the instructions for any products you use.
  1. Inspection: Look for signs of internal parasites, such as worms, in droppings. If necessary, administer deworming medication.
  1. Documentation: Keep detailed records of each chicken's health, including any treatments administered, changes in weight, egg production, and behavioral notes.
  1. Veterinary Visits: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups for your flock and ensure vaccinations are up to date.


Injuries was designed for injury care. It promotes natural healing and it is useful in reducing swelling and discomfort.

Behavioral Observation

  1. Social Dynamics: Observe flock behavior to ensure that there are no issues with bullying or pecking order disputes. Separate any aggressive birds if necessary.
  1. Activity Levels: Monitor activity levels and overall behavior. Look for signs of lethargy, depression, or changes in normal behavior patterns.

Environmental Adjustments

1.Seasonal Preparations: Make any necessary adjustments to the coop and run based on seasonal changes, such as adding fans for summer heat or insulation for winter cold.

2. Ventilation: Ensure ventilation systems work efficiently to provide fresh air and reduce humidity levels inside the coop.

Homeopathy for Common Summer Ailments

Homeopathy is a natural medicine system that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body's healing processes. It can be a gentle and effective way to treat some common summer ailments in chickens. 

Below are some homeopathic remedies and their applications:

  1. Heat Stress

Belladonna: Useful for treating sudden onset of heat stress, especially if the chicken is panting heavily and appears restless.

Glonoinum: Effective for severe heat exhaustion, especially if the chicken shows signs of throbbing headaches or heatstroke.

  1. Dehydration

China Officinalis: Helps in cases of dehydration and weakness after excessive fluid loss.

Veratrum Album: Useful for severe dehydration accompanied by coldness and collapse.

  1. External Parasites

Sulphur: Effective in treating skin conditions and infestations by external parasites.

Staphysagria: Helps in cases where chickens are excessively itchy due to lice or mites.

  1. Respiratory Issues

Aconite: Useful for the early stages of respiratory infections, especially if symptoms appear suddenly.

Antimonium Tartaricum: Effective for treating rattling breathing and mucus in the respiratory tract.

Observe and Record Symptoms: Carefully observe your chickens for specific symptoms and document any changes in their condition.

Choose the Correct Remedy: Match the symptoms to the appropriate homeopathic remedy. Selecting the right remedy is crucial for effective treatment.

Administering Remedies: Homeopathic remedies are typically administered through the drinking water. Dissolve the recommended pellets in water and ensure they are the only water source for the chickens during treatment.

Monitor Progress: Monitor the chickens' response to the treatment closely. If there is no improvement within a reasonable period, consider consulting a veterinarian or a homeopathic practitioner for further guidance.

Maintain Clean Living Conditions: To support their recovery, along with homeopathic treatment, ensure the chickens' living environment is clean and stress-free.

Picture of a chicken flock.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining the health of your chickens during the summer requires proactive measures and keen observation. Proper hydration, ventilation, nutrition, and regular health checks can prevent many common summer ailments. Recognizing the signs of heat stress, dehydration, respiratory issues, and parasites is crucial for timely intervention.

Homeopathy offers a natural and gentle approach to treating these common ailments, supporting your chickens' health without harsh chemicals. By incorporating homeopathic remedies into your flock's health regimen, you can help them navigate the challenges of summer more comfortably and effectively.

Remember, while homeopathy can be a helpful tool, it is essential to combine it with good hygiene practices and consult with professionals when needed to ensure the best care for your chickens. 

By staying vigilant and informed, you can enjoy a healthy and thriving flock throughout the summer and beyond.

Previous article Comprehensive Homeopathy Guide for Rabbit Owners: Natural Remedies for a Healthy Bunny
Next article Ultimate Guide to Rabbit Health: Tips for Keeping Your Bunny Happy and Healthy