Originally Posted by aspica
Long story short, I only wanted to raise layers but ended up with one Cornish Rock that I didn't particularly want. My very first flock of 6 were all Cornish Rocks because I didn't know there was a difference in breeds for laying...anyway, this one's a giant at 6 weeks and is far bigger than the others were at that age. She has really thick legs and big feet, and has trouble standing/walking for any longer than a minute or so. I'm confident that it's not an issue of splay leg.
I'm hoping someone can help me. I didn't have any intentions of slaughtering her, but I also don't feel like she's going to be very healthy or happy as she continues to grow. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? Does this happen to meat birds and I just happened to have 6 that didn't have the issue? Is there anything that can be done?
Cornish Rocks are a hybrid that are bred for weight gain and putting on muscle, and in reading your post...you already know this fact.
This tremendous growth rate is sometimes completed at the expense of the chicken's Bone Structure; if this occurs then the pullet/cockerel will start having issues standing and walking; there might be the development of breast blisters, crooked legs, etc. The body is growing so fast that the skeletal frame cannot keep up with the growth. And with an animal that has virtually unlimited access to a feed trough, this is going to be a problem.
I would reduce feed as a treatment for this animal so that it looses excess weight and fat, while at the same time the skeletal frame is able to adjust and strengthen to bare the burden of such a well-nourished animal. It will have to be separated from the rest of the flock, during this time, until things are stable. It's easier to do when working with a single breed and all members of the flock have the same or similar issues, thus are being treated the same.
This is the surest way that I know of to reduce an animal's weight so that the skeletal frame can play catch-up.
Edited by Rock Home Isle - 4/26/16 at 12:17pm