Red Stars - Egg Peritonitis & Shorter Life Span?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Liz Birdlover, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Liz Birdlover

    Liz Birdlover Chirping

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    Jan 6, 2018
    Delaware, USA
    I was given 2 Red Star pullets about 4 years ago. So I had also just gotten 2 other youngsters, 1 Barred Rock Rooster, 1 Barred Rock Hen and the 2 "Redheads" I named Ginger & Lucy. All 4 were pretty close in age, they got along well and my handsome Roo was such a gentleman, always giving the best bugs and treats to his girls before he'd even take some. This past summer, Ginger was a little "off" and I noticed she was just not acting quite like herself. When free ranging and when I was digging up bugs, the 3 were right in there, zigging and zagging chasing down fast beetles, crickets, etc., but Ginger was a bit slow. I'd have to save her a few bugs, to make sure she got them. A few weeks later, she was really acting slow, then was laying eggs every other day, then a few a week, then about a month later, she stopped laying altogether. I feed the best I can, supplement with calcium. I tried to read all that I could and one article said that Red Stars can have a shorter egg laying & life span. I set her up in her own little area, near some elderly Homing Pigeons. She would hear them coo and cluck to them, and when they ate, she would eat, so it was a good therapeutic setting, in her own space near a sunny window, not being picked on. I tried tempting her with treats, mealworms, which at first she ate, but gradually her appetite faded. I tried taking her for free range walks, but she'd peck a bit then just sit down. I gave her little charcoal tablets we give to pigeons to stimulate appetite, it only worked for a few weeks. I took her to a vet, luckily she knew a bit about chickens, and she told me that it was egg peritonitis and also said this chicken is aging, and her lifespan is not as long as my other breeds. There is no medicine or treatment I can give her to change that. I lost Ginger this past summer, my 1st hen death. I'm fairly new to the Poultry world, but for 20 years have had other various types of birds. I've only had 1 Cockatiel, 2 Homing Pigeons and 1 English Roller Pigeon die from egg peritonitis over the past 20 years, so it is not really a common thing to have happen, at least for me. I was pretty upset when it happened to Ginger, tried warm baths, extra calcium, vitamins, etc.

    Now her sister, Lucy, stopped laying in Dec. and has been eating less and less each day, even tempting her with Pigeon & Cockatiel feed and fresh picked Chickweed I grow, she has been eating less and less, and her condition mimics what Ginger went through. She pecks at the feed, but doesn't eat. She will sit on my lap and close her eyes when I pet her and sleeps a lot. She is basically skin and bone, and I think she may pass this week. I've set her up in a large cage, same place I set Ginger up, near the window, keeping the heat around 70 degrees, close to the elderly Pigeons, in her own space so she isn't picked on but she does cluck to the Pigeons, and when they ate, she used to eat, but I think this week will be it.

    I don't even know why I am writing this, am I just sharing feeling sad for losing my little Redhead friends? I guess I am wondering...have any of you found this to be common for the breed? I have 13 other chickens, 3 Roo's and 9 hens, 2 which are Barred Rocks, the rest Ameraucanas, and they are all doing great. If the Red Stars are bred to produce big eggs and it wears them out, making them die young, then I won't be getting any more of that breed, it is too sad to have them die so soon. Well, hope this isn't a depressing post here, just love the chickens, they have enriched my life in many ways, not even counting the eggs they give, bringing me joy, making me laugh and smile every day. I miss Ginger, and will miss my Lucy.
     
  2. Roosters110

    Roosters110 Chirping

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    Mar 10, 2018
    Yes I love red stars (Aka red sexlinks or golden comets).I lost all three this year , all four years old.Would be five this spring.Had these birds as my first very own hens.Yes laying system can be the cause to their death usually seems to be the killer.One of my hens started actually laying eggs told then shells,then months later on her and her sister became limp,couldn’t walk,and by the time her other sister healed my grandma lost her,she mighta survived,as for the other one,she died,and the other sister died this winter.Defiantly getting more.
     

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