Roach back - what does it mean and how do you know your bird has it?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Engteacher, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    I wasn't sure where to ask this question, so here we go.


    I'm confused by the term "roach back". The APA-SOP defines it as, "a deformed, humped back, a disqualification." Is this something you identify by running your hand over a bird's back or can you see it? Is this hump more center back or towards the hips/shoulders? At what age would you be able to identify it in a young bird for culling purposes? How common is it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    I can't answer all your questions, but I can tell you that in a severely roached bird you will be able to see it. Think of a razorback boar - how they've got that big humpy back and it is just funky. When you are feeling the bird, put one hand underneath to run along the keel bone, and one hand on the back. You will notice on a normal bird the back is smooth and pretty flat and should be level with the keel bone. In a roached back bird, the back bone will go up like a terrible hill behind the shoulders, then go back down towards the hips.

    I have no idea how common it is in your breeds or bloodlines. Inbreeding and just general terrible breeding practices can lead to this issue.
     
  3. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

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    5
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    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    Okay, I googled "razor backed boar" and have that image in my mind. So, what I'll feel is a hump where it should be flat. I have Black Javas, RI Reds, and Welsummers. All three have a flat back, so any arch upward on the spine would be "roach back." This must show up pretty early, right? Maybe by 12 - 16 weeks?
     
  4. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

    894
    14
    143
    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    I haven't had much experience with this so I'll give you a bump.
     

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