“I have a 7-8 month old CornishX roo who, up until recently, has been heathy. Within the last few weeks his comb and waddles, previously a nice normal red color has darkened to a deep purple. The odd think is that he isn't showing any other symptoms of cyanosis or circulation problems...no labored breathing, feet and legs are normal color, runs (or wattles, if you will) without difficulty. I see this condition getting worse, especially with the cooler weather coming (we're in Texas, co "cooler" is relative) and would like to dispatch him before he suffers and dies and we are unable to use the meat. The problem: my son...my FARM son, at that! thinks that butchering this roo would be "mean"! Any advice as to how to convince him otherwise? If it was up to me this guy (the bird, not my kid) would be in freezer camp as we speak! Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.”
To cull or not to cull...
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CXs are not built for the long haul. It is honestly amazing he has survived this long without outgrowing his legs or having some sort of organ failure. You have seen the organs in these birds. They are garbage. It's a wonder that any of these birds actually make it long enough to be processed. The bird is destined to die young. Whether that's by your hand or not is the only real question.
Comb color is only an imperfect indicator of health in chickens. It changes in appearance due to several factors, with only a few being related to health. Temperature changes, light changes, hormone fluctuations are some other factors that can affect comb color. I would not read too much into the CX's dusky comb in the absence of other signs of problems.
As far as the kid goes- you know him best. Try to reason with him and make him see that this CX is not a pet, it is food. Try to get him to see that cleanly slaughtering and butchering is in no way "mean". If you want to eat meat then something has to die to become that meat. I wish you luck on that front. Kids are not known for their rationality especially when it concerns animals that were once small, cute and fuzzy.