Listless 2.5 year old ISA brown - what's wrong?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 22, 2012
Adelaide, South Australia
One of my Isa Browns has been looking older recently- pale comb, unable or unwilling to jump up on the perch, lagging behind the others when they are out free ranging. She also has smelly poos. Could this be a virus? The other three seem fine so far. Any ideas would be great, she is our favorite of the flock!
whoops! Darn auto complete! That's supposed to be *isa* brown (not USA brown, as it says in the header)

Fixed that for you, hope you don't mind.
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What, if anything, have you done for general health inspection? Worming? Mites or lice?

We've raised a lot of ISAs over the past years. The truth is, that at 2.5 years of age, she's likely wearing out. The genetics are such for these birds that they mature extremely early, enter point of lay extremely early, lay 320 eggs for a or two and then?

The commercial houses, for which these birds are intended, swap out their laying flocks just before first moult at 18 months or certainly just before their second moult at 30 months. This is what this strain's developmental purpose.

We've had a few that have lived very healthy lives into the 4th year and a rare one or two even a fifth year. But those are excepts.
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Hi again,

we haven't wormed (I have never wormed any of mine and don't believe I've ever had problems), they are a small flock, and none of the others look the same

I've checked for mites - no problem

I wonder if maybe chickens can 'age' differently, even from the same batch and the same breed (we bought all of them as 3 week olds on the same day from the same fodder store). She has always had a speeded up metabolism: we thought she was a 'roo cuz her comb darkened and got bigger before the others, she went into Moult before any of the others, could it be she's just aging a lot faster than the others (all of the others look fine!)

We can take her in to a vet, but I'm reluctant to subject the poor thing to a hideous exam if it is something irreversible (and 'natural') (if anything about these engineered birds is 'natural' any more!)

(And I have had experience taking ISAs to the vet before, only to have them die under the exam)

Her decline has been slow... 5 - 6 weeks or so she's been looking not-quite-right. Makes me think it's not a stuck egg or anything (which would have turned toxic a long time ago)

chicken cancer? (We think this is what the last one died of)

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