help for geriatric chickens

horsejody

Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
6,923
48
271
Waterloo, Nebraska
Two of my chickens are getting on in years. This last cold snap has been hard on my rooster, Peter. He is at least 7 years old, possibly older. He has slowed down a lot. His comb is fading. He walks slower, sleeps longer and is no longer fertile. His favorite hen and constant companion, Eggatha, is also 7 or older. She has started laying shell less or thin shelled eggs, dispite good food and free choice oyster shell. Yesterday, she laid two eggs at once. Both were thin shelled, and one was filthy. I think one egg didn't come out on time and was pushed out by the second egg. Is there anything special that can be done for older chickens to help them along a bit? It will be a sad day when I finally lose them.
 

dlhunicorn

Human Encyclopedia
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
4,870
61
251
Warmth in this case will help them enormously... cold really can do a bird in.
Adding a good supplement to their feed like aviacharge 2000 (you can purchase from mcmurry hatcheries online) will also help.
Give your hen four drops of POLYVISOL (childrens liquid vitamins) in beak once a day for a week and then tpaer off... this will help with the thin eggshells (vit D3)... wouldnt hurt your roo either.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
1,081
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Best of luck! My oldest roo got to about 7 or so... he got beat out by one of his own sons in the fall before a hard winter... and I found him literally frozen to the ground...

As long as your roo can keep his spirits high, he should be able to make it a few more years if not more. A breeder supplement and vitamins can help them along. I really think the only reason my roo didn't make it was because after his son took over, he lost his will to live.
 

FarmerDenise

Songster
12 Years
Apr 21, 2007
810
2
149
Sonoma County
I had a hen that lived to be about ten years old. She is probalbly the oldest hen I've had so far. I've had only two old hens that died of natural causes (some sort of un-wellness) All my other old hens were killed by predators, including the one that was ten years old. I just try to keep them well fed and protected. Once the hens stop laying or slow way down, it kinda helps their overall health, since they don't put the energy into eggmaking anymore.
In the hot summer months I often put electrolites in the drinking water and sometimes even ice cubes. We have more problems with heat here in northern california where I live.
For the last couple of days we've been wearing shorts and tank tops.
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