4 yr ol barred rock dyine

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cgolden, May 28, 2016.

  1. cgolden

    cgolden New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    My 4 year old barred rock is standing still, not eating, unsteady on her feet, and her comb has fallen to one side. She tries to follow our free range friends, but won't eat. She stands and closes her eyes a lot.
     
  2. jaybud

    jaybud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2016
    Tehachapi, Ca
    Sorry to hear that, hope things get better. It tough to see, I feel for you. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Is she a hatchery bird? At that age, most of the time, it seems to be internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis or reproductive cancer. Hatchery stock is most prone to reproductive malfunctions. I've had SO many hatchery hens die that way, but my breeder stock almost never does. Sadly, if it is any of those things, you cannot fix it, only provide supportive care. If it isn't one of those things (and frankly, it's almost impossible to tell sometimes, symptoms appear similar with lots of stuff), then it could be many things like heart failure, liver failure, etc.

    Hatchery hens rarely live much past 4 years old. I realize that 's a general statement, but I've had very few exceptions, especially among the most common breeds they sell, like the Rocks, Wyandottes, Orps and Production Reds/RIRs.


    Welcome to BYC, wish it was on a brighter note.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. cgolden

    cgolden New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    I don't know what a hatchery hen is. She is free range and we don't have a rooster, received her the day she hatched with 5 others. That was about 4 years ago. Thank you for your input! I'm going to google hatchery hen and breeder stock.
     
  5. cgolden

    cgolden New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, hatchery stock means they came directly from a hatchery, mass-produced "dollar-store" birds, I have started to call them. That may sound derogatory but it just means they vaguely resemble the breed they're supposed to, but aren't top quality. Hatcheries are into numbers/quantity, not longevity nor do they select for good type in a breed. They just mass produce chickens for folks who pretty much want eggs and don't care that they are not proper for their breed. Most are not fit for shows or anything of the sort and the hens, especially the most common hatchery-to-feed-store-bin breeds, tend to have serious reproductive issues.

    I have one hatchery hen who is going on 10 years old, but she is an rare exception and she's my only direct-from-hatchery hen left. All my other hatchery hens died long ago. The ones I have now are mostly from good breeders of quality stock, or hatched from my own birds, though a couple are daughters of hens who came from McMurray Hatchery, mostly 7-9+ years old now, some still laying. After losing around 15 hens to this mess, I do not buy from hatcheries any longer. That means none from feed stores, as well, which almost all came from one or more of the hatcheries around the country.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  7. cgolden

    cgolden New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    Thank you for that information. It makes so much sense now that I think of it! My first interaction with my new chicks was to rub warm water on the backed up cloaca on one. Which google said was common with chicks that didn't spend time with their mothers. Shouldn't be hard to find fertilized eggs from small coops with my next batch.
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    What you encountered with the chick is called pasty butt. It happens a lot with shipped chicks or just a slightly weaker chick. If you put a teaspoon of the apple cider vinegar with "the mother" (unfiltered with the sediment in the bottom, preferably organic type) in a quart waterer, it seems to help. I've had it happen on rare occasion with a chick that hatched with a broody hen, again, a slightly weaker chick. Good luck with your birds!
     

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