Black Rock with anaemia

Country Smallholding - - Vet’s Forum -

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

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