5 Signs of a Healthy Chicken
Consistent Egg Production
On average, most hens lay 5 to 6 eggs per week during prime laying years. You should expect a higher number of eggs in the first year, decreasing as the hen ages.
You can see the strength of your eggshells by the way they crack. A shell that breaks in a crisp, clear line and measures about 0.3 mm thick is a good indicator of a healthy hen.
While calcium will help your chickens produce stronger eggshells, it’s important to maintain a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 3:1 to absorb the nutrients.
Black Soldier Fly grubs are the only insect with this optimal ratio, and will not require additional calcium supplements such as oyster shells. A small handful of grubs per chicken daily will help your chickens lay thicker eggshells and prevent egg-binding, a potentially fatal condition.
Do you ever sit and admire your flock’s feathers? When your chickens aren't molting, healthy feathers should look shiny, strong, and vibrant.
If this is not the case, your chickens may lack protein in their daily diet. Insects are a rich source of protein for chickens and can help your flock speed up their molt, and grow healthier, shinier feathers.
Brightly Covered Combs
A change of color should happen frequently depending on whether or not your chickens are laying. As hens lay eggs, their combs and wattles get larger and become a dark red color. When hens stop laying eggs, their combs and wattles get smaller and become a pink/pale red color.
Healthy chickens often run for their snacks out of excitement. This high energy and alertness is a sign your chickens are eating, drinking, and getting care the care they need. If your chickens are moving slowly and appear depressed with their head carried low, this is a sign they’re in poor health. Be sure to make sure your chickens are eating and drinking!