There are a number of simple checks you can perform regularly to help you pick up any problems at an early stage and to help acclimatise your birds to being handled.
Observing your birds regularly to accustom yourself to their behaviours and habits will enable you to quickly pick up on any changes in their demeanour.
- Check eyes for brightness and clarity
- Comb should be bright red and free from discolouration
- Nostrils should be clear from discharge and not deformed
- Inspect wattles for injuries – this may be a sign of fighting
- Check the breast bone for straighness and the presence of abscesses
- Plumage should be in good condition, with clean sleek feathers
- Check shape and condition of wings, and check underneath for the presence of parasites
- Tail should be held straight
- Check around the vent for parasites and faecal soiling
- Check the condition of the legs – for rough scales, parasites, and under the feet for any swellings