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#111801 - 02/14/14 09:25 PM Re: Adolescents & Mystery Disease [Re: Uno]
Altair Offline
Bantam

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 64
Loc: Vermont, USA
I'm with you on genetic faults; they're all rare breeds. Thanks for the tips, I used to drink cider vinegar shots daily myself. We'll be supplementing the flock with birds from a different breeding program come spring. "Excelsior" and all that.

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#111802 - 02/15/14 12:14 AM Re: Adolescents & Mystery Disease [Re: Altair]
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Altair, I realize I gave you bad advice.

Grit does not stay in a bird's crop and cannot help process anything in a crop. Grit does its job in the gizzard, where it is needed for birds to process hard seeds and grains.

But still, when my birds have too much long, tough, stringy grass and fir needles, they have crop troubles! It pays to pick your birds up and handle them, feel their weight. Sometimes they can look and act normal and be starving to death before your eyes and you don't notice until the day they drop over sideways.

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#112483 - 03/23/14 06:54 AM Re: Adolescents & Mystery Disease [Re: Uno]
Altair Offline
Bantam

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 64
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally Posted By: Uno
Sometimes they can look and act normal and be starving to death before your eyes and you don't notice until the day they drop over sideways.


True. My inlaws just lost a llama to an illness (perhaps worms). One couldn't see how thin he was through the mass of fur. By then he was too far gone.

I've come to the hypothesis these birds may have had lymphoid leukosis; paleness, green diarrhea, going light, bone issues. We are purchasing chicks this spring, marking the first time I've personally owned fowl of different ages.

What would be the best way to handle the chicks to become resistant? Some sources say raise them apart until the younger are 5 months old; another source says to brood them close to the adults as chicks to encourage gradual resistance over time.

I'm in the camp of gradual exposure early on but do value other's input.

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#112618 - 04/16/14 02:44 AM Re: Adolescents & Mystery Disease [Re: Altair]
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
My thoughts are to breed your own chicks and try to keep your flock closed. Of course you will need to bring in a new rooster from time to time, but in that case, you would need to quarantine him for a while.
By breeding your own chicks, you will be able to cull for non resistant lines, and also some diseases can be scanned for.
Heritage breeds of birds seem to be more naturally resistant so worth considering when you first establish your flock.
Buying initially from commercial breeders may also mean the birds at least are immunised against Mareks. Always ask.

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#112630 - 04/16/14 08:12 PM Re: Adolescents & Mystery Disease [Re: Foehn]
Altair Offline
Bantam

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 64
Loc: Vermont, USA
Well said. Someone familiar with leukosis remarked the symptoms did not really resemble that condition. With no real evidence anymore I've even considered poisonous plants in the environment (lungwort, bindweed, amaryllis) and got rid of them. Frankly I'm tired of guessing. Onward!

The remaining 6 of 11 seem to be fine (knock on wood), the pullets are laying great and will be a year old in July. Next year when they're 2 we hope to try and hatch from the hens. They are heritage types, rare ones, so quality and natural chutzpah is our goal. Between the mystery condition and this bleak, endless winter, they're earning their stripes.

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