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Broiler Chicken Help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was given a bunch of chicks a few weeks ago, one of which I was told was a leghorn. She has grown incredibly quickly though, and is now bigger in girth than my laying hens. I will not cull any of my hens becuase I treat them as pets. What can I do to help her? Can she be a healthy layer? She can walk and she often tries to run with the others but she can't seem to fly or really jump very well. Any and all help is appreciated.
post #2 of 8
Ok you do not have a leghorn, you have a Cornish Cross. Leghorns are slim birds that are one of the top laying breeds. Yes she can be made into a layer but it takes some effort on your part and accommodations. Fist and foremost you must limit her feed. Put the food in a raised location, somewhere out of your CX reach. To keep my meat birds healthy I only feed them first thing in the morning and last thing at night whatever they can eat in 15 minutes. Many only feed them at night so that they are better encouraged to forage.
If she is freeranged she is much more likely to live a longer life. The more this bird is made to move the better.
She is not going to be able to fly and be cautious of any falls. This bird falls like a brick and can break a leg. Build ramps and set things up for ground roosting.
There are many who have experience raising these birds to laying age, it is possible, but be aware it is also likely she will die early. Many have heart attacks and other health problems, they were not made to have long lives.
Edited by OrganicFarmWife - 5/24/16 at 8:13pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the response. I will start building ramps for her so she can move around better, I already had one for the brooder but I'll make some more for the stairs in the back yard. Is there any special diet she needs? Thank you again for the help ☺
post #4 of 8
Not really because you do not want to eat her, just a severely restricted one. These birds will, and I mean this literally, eat themselves to death. So the less laying around and the more active she is the healthier she will be. They are prone to getting heat stroke so make sure she has lots of shade.
If you can scatter her food around so she has to work for even that, that might help.
post #5 of 8
I will look up the guy I know who has raised them to layers on here.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have noticed that after walking around for a while she starts panting so I usually bring the water dish to her. It's gotten to the point that if she sees me she walks over and starts nudging me with her break to let me know she is thirsty. She is such a sweetheart, I want to do the best I can for her. Right now she is in with my other chicks (all the same age). How do I restrict her feed when they are together? Do you have any recommendations for introducing her to my older girls?
Edited by PeepersMomma93 - 5/25/16 at 7:46am
post #7 of 8
Introduce carefully. I tried to house my broilers with my Barr Rocks it went terribly. I think the trouble is your Cornish cross is so much slower and less agile that the normal hen pecking turns violent. If you can keep her and the rest of the chicks in a cage, in the coop with your adults, somewhere that they can see and hear each other but not touch. Let them stay that way for a few weeks and introduce the whole group with close supervision. That might help.
To restrict her feeding can you keep a continuous feeder someplace out of reach of your CX. Unlike your other birds your CX will have difficulty jumping up even a foot soon, I would bet she already cannot get up 3 feet. So if your feeder is up on a block or something a few feet up your hens should easily reach it but your CX will be unable to.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, I can do that. Right now they are in a cage in the main run so that they can do just that ☺ and I can easily make a second level for the rest to have food. She can barely make it 6 inches right now so that shouldn't be a problem.
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