Our Buff Orpington raised two chicks 2 years ago. One hatched the last week in August and one hatched the third week in September. These were hybrids crossed between Red Sex and a RR Roo. They were the only two chicks we kept out of 50 hatched.
On Sept. 9th, 2 years and 1 week old, the older of the two died after 4 days of lethargy, light eating and diarrhea.
Yesterday, Oct. 1 after only 24 hours of lethargy and light eating the second one died at 2 years and 1 week old. I never got to see if she had diarrhea.
I found it incredible strange that these two birds, born three weeks apart would die of the same symptoms, three weeks apart. My question is, are hybrids such as these prone to a short life span? Or are there more sinister forces at work here. I am very attentive to my flock of now 26. The rest of our flock is a mix of 4 yr, 3 yr and 6 mos old Red Sex, Amber White, Buff, RR and Barred Rock. We also have 4 turkeys who think they are chickens. We routinely clean the coop and run, DE both, keep straw clean and dry and changed often. We have the girls fenced in a 150ft x 100ft wooded area that they love. We no longer have a roo (he became very aggressive and started destroying all our eggs, so we ate him last year), provide clean water every day and feed layer mash from Agway who uses local farmers for their feed. We supplement with vegetable scraps from our organic garden and oyster shell. Our egg buyers also love to visit with vegetable scraps from their gardens. Our girls have lots of loving friends.
Any feedback is welcome.