Does a pullet getting to POL open her up to illness?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Wynette, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I hope I've put this question in the right section.

    I've lost five pullets in the last year, and it seems like they are all just at POL or have not been laying long (not over 6 weeks). This makes me wonder if there's something about reaching POL that perhaps compromises their immune systems, opening them up to any type of bacteria that may be present in their environments? I may be way off base here, but it just seems awfully coincidental to me. Anyone else notice the same thing?
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Did you get all of the birds from the same source? Maybe it's a genetic issue. [​IMG]
    Are there any symptoms or signs, or do they just drop?
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    My original 6 came from a hatchery and were vaccinated for Marek's. All the rest were chicks that a friend hatched out for me. None of the originals were ones that died; which made me first wonder if it was Mareks, but I had no signs/symptoms of that disease. Then, I began to ponder about hatchery chicks and wonder if they simply breed for health, rather than conformation, egg color, etc. I'm familiar with dog breeding, and know that in many breeds, this has been the case and has resulted in ill-tempered dogs, and some unhealthy characteristics being passed along. (Oh, I should note that 2 that died were babies of my original 6).

    I think WAY too much about stuff like this, so my next evolution of thought regarding the deaths was wondering about when they reach POL.

    A few that died had respiratory symptoms (all with symptoms were treated with Tylan WS or Gallimycin; a few came through okay, a few died). Two that died I took to the vet and they were diagnosed with different bacterias, I was given meds, and they ended up dying.

    I wish I could get to the place where I just accepted it and moved on, but as I'm continuing to hatch chicks, I sure don't want to knowingly bring birds into the world that could eventually die of something that I could have prevented.

    I've tried to find a source that's written in layman terms that speaks of the physiological changes in pullets when they reach POL; I mean, there must be new/different hormones being released, etc. But, everything I've found was written by a doctor or chemist or someone speaking to other professionals, and I just don't understand it. Was hoping someone on here could maybe put things into layman's terms in that regard, and also hoping maybe folks who have noticed the same in their own flocks would weigh in.

    Thanks, CarriBrown, for answering!
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My only POL pullet I ever lost was my Delaware, Cassidy, and she had a heart defect. None of my birds are vaccinated for anything. I've only lost older ones to internal laying and one to sour crop. I dont think it's normal to lose them at POL, but if there is something genetic, then coming into lay could stress them too much, I think.
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, Cyn. Most were unrelated that I lost at POL. Some had begun laying and laid for maybe a month, one was about 9 months old (hadn't started laying before winter set in), all were at least a month apart. Weird. Well, hopefully 2009 will be a better year for me!
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hope 2009 is better for us both, chicken-wise. Starting with a broken ankle isnt great, but if my birds are okay, I can tough it out.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I'm sure glad to see you back, Cyn. I DO hope you're taking it easy! Good time of year to be laid up, really. Can't spend that much time outdoors anyhow in the cold! HA! Seriously, hope you heal quickly and without issue!
     

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