Black Rock with anaemia
QI have nine Black Rocks who are all fine old ladies of five years. They have been all healthy until now, are free-range and still laying about four to five eggs a day. They have become pets but unfortunately one has become very poorly. Her comb has gone from bright red to pale pinky brown. I know this is a sign of anaemia and could be mites but I see no signs of infestation. I have now put louse powder on and sprayed for red mites in the hut. The others are all fine. She is very down and keeps herself away from the others and she is not eating much that I can see, her tail is down and she is very lethargic, even weak. I have now isolated her but want to know what I can do to perk her up, if anything. Someone said Marmite on toast gives B vitamins but she has had layers pellets as well as free-ranging so I would have thought she gets all her vitamins. She has also developed very runny poo. I hope there is a solution - we will all be very upset if she’s a gonner! Thanks for your anticipated help....I think I had better get your book!
There are several causes of anaemia, mites being one. The colour can go out of the comb if the bird is out of sorts or ‘off colour’, which is probably one source of the phrase. A blood disorder such as leukaemia could be the cause, or it could it could be a treatable bacterial liver infection or an intestinal parasitic infection such as capillaria, both of which can cause loose droppings. Firstly use Flubenvet if a bird is off colour, then a broad spectrum antibiotic may be necessary; in any case you should take her to your vet immediately. Black Rocks are a superb hybrid as
they were the original one developed for free-range and do keep laying for several years, but even these can get egg peritonitis.
Healthy Black Rocks