Ameraucana Deaths

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sweepersrgr8, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. sweepersrgr8

    sweepersrgr8 Hatching

    Oct 21, 2019
    Is the Ear Tufts gene a death sentence to Ameraucanas? My parent flock of LF Lavender Ameraucana hens died in their first year and half from apparent respiratory distress. They all had ear tufts. I tried everything to save them. I was able to hatch 10 out of 40 eggs before the last ones died early this year. 6 of these were boys, leaving me with 4 pullets which are now approximately 25 weeks old. I now have a pullet showing the same symptoms of the parents respiratory distress. She is the only one that has ear tufts, the other three do not, and appear fine. What ever the illness, it is not effecting any of my other mixed flock. Only the Ameraucanas. The distress appears to be symptoms of Gape Worm, stretching the neck out, and open beak gasping. Could this be genetic? Note: the original flock Roo is still alive and well.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC!

    You mention they have symptoms of Gapeworm, gasping, stretching of the neck.
    Is there any facial swelling, mucous, bubbly/watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, etc.?
    Where are you located in the world (state or country)?
    Have you added any chickens to your flock in the last 30days?
    What do you feed including treats?

    Getting a fecal float would be a good idea so you can rule out worms.
    Stretching of the neck could be a crop issue, check it first thing in the morning before eating/drinking.
    Respiratory illness like Infectious Bronchitis, Mycoplasma can cause similar symptoms that you describe. ILT (Infectious laryngotracheitis) has a symptom of "pump handle breathing". If you have vet care or can send some swabs to your state lab for testing to find out more information, that would be best.

    I don't know much about genetics, so someone else may need to clarify this, but from a quick read the ear tufts gene is lethal when 2 copies are passed to the embryo. The chick would die in the shell and not hatch, so if you have one that is alive, I would say ear tufts are likely not your problem.

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