Originally Posted by LeslieDJoyce
I have no clue what the person who introduced me to this idea had in mind.
Long story short, I was sharing some info about my flock of Delawares (re-created line from preserved Standard Bred Barred Plymouth Rocks and German New Hampshires, currently at the F6 pullet/cockerel stage), with a Poultry Scientist at a research university who told me that if my pullets didn't start to lay in the summer this year then they are probably infected with a disease and I should send one in to get tested.
I've not done the NPIP testing thing, and know that testing is fairly limited to some specific things and that a necropsy can be more thorough. My birds "look healthy." For whatever that's worth. I treat for external parasites, and have recently started treating for internal parasites, too. But nothing else as I've not had a reason to suspect any problems.
These Delawares are my first experience with Standard Bred poultry, or birds not sourced from a feed store, and the hatchery birds (lots of "breeds") I have raised in the past do start laying a lot sooner than the Delawares. But it seems that is pretty expected. I hadn't thought twice about it except to start to plan to breed toward an early POL, if possible.
So, I thought I'd ask. And I thought this "breeding for production" thread would be a good place to have this conversation, as part of breeding toward any goal means getting a good grip on external environmental factors that impact the results.
I'm super eager to hear everyone's thoughts.
So far, I haven't had any pullets "volunteer" for necropsy. Meaning, I've not had any losses.
Interesting - I will be following this as well.
Given that I am a Board certified (human) Pathologist with extensive autopsy experience and a specialty in Medical Microbiology, you can BET if I lose any of my chickens to an unexplained disease, they will get a THOROUGH necropsy.
(I should add, though, that veterinarians and veterinary pathologists are all on average SO much smarter than human doctors - just look at how hard it is to get into vet school compared to medical school, and how many different anatomies and physiologies they need to know... Hug a vet today!)
- Ant Farm