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White Genes Health Question

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by TwistedFeathers, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. TwistedFeathers

    TwistedFeathers In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2014
    New Zealand
    Have any of you peeps on here found that white chickens are more prone to health issues?

    I have talked to a couple of people local to me that have found their white pekins to be really susceptible to health issues, and my white Araucanas (live in New Zealand, we follow the British tailed version) seem to be very prone to star gazing issues, or else they just get sad and die within a couple of days. Their age mates in the same pen are 100% fine.
    Not all of my whites do this, but about 3/4s seem to, they can be fine and then one day bam, issues. It doesn't seem to matter if it's dominant or recessive white, as i have had both do it, (dominant white from my leghorn cross girl, was hoping to make some nice blue laying crossbred pullets to sell, they in big demand here) as well as my pure aras that are recessive white.

    Currently battling to pull my breeding rooster, Zeus thru atm, he has got the star gazing, has convulsions, spends a lot of time with his head stuck back, but then can get up, eat, drink, wander round, crow his head off fine, and then he has another episode. Have been dosing him up on vegemite in soaked pellets, in his water, and it seems to help, but not 100%, also been mixing raw honey in, giving dog roll, and food scraps, has plenty of fresh greens, and has been treated for lice and external parasites, also wormed not long ago.
    Really hoping to get at least a couple of fertile eggs from him, as he is my only white rooster (my back up died a few months ago of the same thing) as i have a a horrible feeling he isn't going to pull through this, as he gets a lil worse every day.

    Has anyone else struck anything like this in white birds? Is there something about the white that makes them more liable to get ill/unable to absorb as much minerals and nutrients as they need?

  2. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Crowing

    Jun 22, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    There are not scientific links between white feathering and health issues.

    There use to be an old-fashioned game breeder indictment of white birds, probably stemming from Columella's historic, if undefensible, discussion of the Red and White chickens people like to imagine were the progenitors of Dorkings.

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