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Cornish meat birds seem small

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I got 8 cornish from tsc,and will be 5wks tomorrow. They are out in a shed with other geese,ducks and chickens.the bigger birds are barried away from all the small guys at night.they've all been out free since 2 1/2wks There are heat lamps set up on bottom parts of parakeet flight cages.anyways,yesterday a japanese bantam roo tried mounting one of my cornish. It was barely moving,thought it was scared. Put in in the one cage thats on the floor too,only has a breeder box door opening the smallest chicks can get in(theres barred rock males,pullets and brahma orps roaming too.this morning it still hurt or something,won't walk. I know this hybrid is notorious for leg and heart problems. So i brought it in,cleaned it and put it downstairs with my 2 ee pullets.theyre 5wk old too,and very calm,even with it in the box. It still wont walk but ate and drank.Before i put it downstairs,we weighed it. 1lb12oz there might be a couple bigger ones outside,but i'd say the avg weight for all our cornish are only 2 lb. i read that at 5wk they should be 3. Now it's been cold this week,they've not been coming out the shed much to roam,can cornish be smaller because they are burning more energy keeping warm or just free roaming in general? They are fed multiple times a day and closed feeders at night.waters filled at least 4times a day too. Feed was 28% for the first few wks,we both have our birds together,they left out 24%mash,i gave them the 28%mixed with cracked corn from the adults feeder bottoms,and will be eating a bag of 22%pellets next. They're def getting more than enough protein and fat,especially for how cold it's been,i don't know why they're still smaller than average? Could they be mostly females? We can't really tell comb differences yet.
post #2 of 4
I'd think they would be substantially larger at 5 weeks than 1lb 12oz. Cold will slow growth of all animals that's why most don't like to keep feeder pigs and meat birds over winter months. Is it possible they are over eating on corn and not getting enough protein from their feed ration? You say you feed numerous times a day, since you are hand feeding are your certain they get enough? I feed meat birds 21% meat bird feed and let them range if they want to i try to keep the feeders full all day and let them run out in the late afternoon or evening.
post #3 of 4

The cold will affect their weight somewhat.

But here in GA, mine weighed 3+ lbs at 5 weeks.

I feed 24% protein starter for 2 weeks 24 hours a day. After 2 weeks I only give them the amount of feed needed based on their weight.



Starting at week 6 I change to 20% protein starter.


No corn or scratch grains.


And your one that was mounted might have had a mild heart attack!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: They were kept on the 28%,i used the pellets for my adults.the mash was only one bag,ended up gone in days. They only ended up getting corn from cleaning out my adults bins,that was gone in days too,so not long enough on corn to affect weight.

So 3 days ago,he was barely holding his head up,and made the decision to cull so I could still use the meat. He indeed had heart issues,he had water around his heart. As for the bantam mounting it,it did it to another one,as did a lf roo,so if anything it just made a heart condition worse,not cause it.

Yesterday,I separated mine from the main shed,and made a little coop and a small "bachelor pad" pen area.

I weighed my heaviest looking one, and it was 2lb 9oz, so they are gaining,just not enough yet. I will probably just wait another week or 2 longer to process.
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