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Please advise - Tractor Supply sold us meat birds instead of layers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am a new member - I was planning to join eventually but decided to speed things up based on my current dilemma. I'll try to make this short - A friend bought 8 chicks on March 26 for her brother and his wife, because they talked about getting chickens. She bought them at the Tractor Supply Store. After 6 weeks, one got out of the yard, a neighbor complained, there was a big argument - result - they asked us to take them and we did - even though we are city folk and know nothing about chickens. Anyway, we quickly built a coop, bought feed, etc. 2 weeks later, we are getting attached to these crazy things - they make us laugh. We have 2 bantams (male and female) 4 hens and 2 roosters. Today, I went back to Tractor supply and met their chicken expert - I was wondering when they start to lay. I told her my friend bought them there and was told they were Cornish. The chicken lady said - "Cornish are not egg layers - whoever was here that night messed up and sold your friend meat birds. They should have been butchered by now it is cruel to keep them alive." I was in shock. She said "are they fat with huge feet?" - I said the roosters are - she told me to get rid of them. I'm heartbroken and angry. Why would tractor supply store allow someone to sell meat birds to a person who clearly wanted layers. We've invested time and money so I don't want to write them all off. They also sold leghorns - how can I tell what they are ? Am I being cruel keeping them alive? I need advice badly.

post #2 of 7

:welcome  Sorry for the circumstances that you are dealing with.  My local Tractor Supply has been particularly bad at mislabeling chicks this year.  My gut says they are coming misidentified by whatever hatchery they used this year.  The folks working at TSC mean well, but many know NOTHING about chickens.  The birds pictured in your avatar are Cornish Cross - leghorns will have white earlobes.  It may be possible to extend the life span of your birds by limiting feed intake and increasing their activity (free ranging).  Because of their rapid growth and large size they frequently develop leg problems and are prone to heart attacks.  They generally do not handle extreme heat well.  As long as their quality of life is apparently good you are not wrong in keeping them alive.  Good luck.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 7

First of all, welcome to the flock! I'm sorry about your situation. I agree with sourland. It's not cruel to keep them alive, so long as they are not in pain. Limiting food intake is a biggie. That's why CC get so overweight and develop leg problems. They're not really designed to live past butchering age, but with a little TLC, they may have a fair chance. It's the same here with my local Rural King except I think it's just laziness to some extent here. There have been multiple shipments of chicks in their brooders and the breed labels never change and of course no one knows anything (that's not their fault though). Another thing, if you're in the city. You may want to check on ordinances about keeping chickens, namely the roosters. Some neighbors are a little less appreciative than others. Just food for thought. I hope it all works out for you! Best of luck!

"To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

 

-I Timothy 1:17

 
 

 

 

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"To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

 

-I Timothy 1:17

 
 

 

 

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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

They are free ranging and walk around my property quite a bit. We had our first really hot 90 degree day last Saturday - they

looked miserable - some were panting like dogs - they drank 5 gallons of water in one day. I don't want to keep them alive only for them

to suffer. Will they lay eggs?

post #5 of 7

Type "Keeping Cornish cross as layers" in the search bar at the top of the page and do an on site search.  There is an interesting thread where folks share their experiences - it's not all bad.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am from the city - but now live in the country and have a lot of room for them to roam all day.  I am hoping I can keep

some of them alive as layers.  I will do that search now. Thank you to all who responded - you folks are the best.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocoloco View Post

I am from the city - but now live in the country and have a lot of room for them to roam all day.  I am hoping I can keep
some of them alive as layers.  I will do that search now. Thank you to all who responded - you folks are the best.

I'm sorry about your experience. I too bought a miss labeled Cornish cross from tractor supply two years ago. Do not despair. Keep free ranging your babies and only give them feed once a day or fruits and veggies or two small meals. They will need lots of water and shade. They won't be able to roost like other birds so make a roost very near the ground in your coop. Our Henry picked our doggie bed on the front porch over the coop. He was my guard chicken. 😂 I know your hens will eventually lay eggs, but I don't know how often. These guys will lay around more than your other chickens, but I have yet to meet a more friendly bird. Henry never succeed in producing offspring, but he tried and was good to the ladies. We lost him a few weeks ago from what I think was a collapsed lung. We had him over two years and he was happy and mostly healthy (he walked with a limp) until the day he died. So keep your cornish if you want! Just make some accommodations for them. Hope this helps.
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