1 Week Old Cornish Cross Chicks, Please HELP

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tumbleweed Farm, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Tumbleweed Farm

    Tumbleweed Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,105
    52
    168
    Jun 17, 2011
    Benton City, WA
    [​IMG]

    I have 15 1 week olc cornish cross hens that look terrible. Most are bald on the butt and stomach and a few on the wings. I am feeding them a high protein broiler mash and today they ate cut up boiled eggs. They are all eating and drinking (with Sav-A-Chick) fine. I change the entire brooder daily. I have them outside on the grass for 2-3 hours a day and they love it, it's very warm. Why do they look so awful!?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,278
    735
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    From most of the pictures I've seen (I've never raised any cornish x), it seems they look pretty terrible when they go through their awkward phase. You could post some pics in the meat bird section just to be sure though. Most pics the skin looks stretched and red, and they just look icky- probably because they grow so fast. Good luck!

    Edited to ask- do they look bad because of "normal growth stuff", or do they look like they are pecking each other???
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  3. Tumbleweed Farm

    Tumbleweed Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,105
    52
    168
    Jun 17, 2011
    Benton City, WA
    Yes,and thanks Overrun, I'll post some pics. They look like how you described them. Appreciate your response.
     
  4. Kaelinstorm

    Kaelinstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    386
    0
    99
    May 17, 2011
    Lampasas
    :-/ I had that same problem. I dont want to tell you the bad news but they do that because they grow too fast. They are not made to live long. Mine is already at 2 months old and is looking worse for wear with the heat. They will grow so large from what Im told and read that they will not even be able to support their own weight. They are prone to heart failure and other problems due to the enormous weight on their internal organs. Ive decided to have mine processed out of mercy for her before the heat takes her or her own body does. I will NEVER own one again. My chickens are my pets and I only keep their eggs. If I hadnt known this I would have kept her and not known why she was suffering. Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news [​IMG]
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,278
    735
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Quote:I believe most process cornish sometime between 6-8 weeks old. These are the birds you usually see on the shelf at the grocery store. They were "designed" to convert feed to body mass as quickly as possible. The faster they grow, the faster they make it to the super market. Poor birdies.
     
  6. akcountrygrrl

    akcountrygrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,024
    18
    173
    Apr 3, 2010
    Nenana, AK
    Do your chicks have access to feed 24/7? It slows their growth a bit if you only put feed in twice a day for about 30 minutes at a time. I do that for about the first month. They don't grow as fast and their feather growth can keep the rapidly growing body covered much better. After about a month, I'll leave all of the feed they care to eat in the pen for them to let them finish out. This produces birds that are 6-8 lbs at 8 weeks old. They don't get overfat and don't seem to have the heat prostration, heart, and skeletal problems of birds that are given feed 24/7 and allowed to get to 8-10 lbs by 6-8 weeks.
     
  7. Tumbleweed Farm

    Tumbleweed Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,105
    52
    168
    Jun 17, 2011
    Benton City, WA
    [​IMG]

    Yes, they have food 24/7, read to let them do that the first week only--so tomorrow it's ration time. Thanks everyone for yor help. I know they have their problems, I do think it's sad man has genetically engineered these birds. I have one that looks beyond pathetic, every day I think she'll die, but she goes on, she's practically bald. My heart aches.
     
  8. Kaelinstorm

    Kaelinstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    386
    0
    99
    May 17, 2011
    Lampasas
    I feel your pain. I cried when I found out. I have about 3 self sorted flocks out there so I dont think I can do rationing unless I separate pens. I like mine to free range. 2 chickens group together, The ducks kinda flock (when no babies) and then the 5 new chickens did but now the Cornish lags behind and just lays down where ever alot. They all eat one group at a time and then free roam. I dont want to keep her locked up to keep her thin (I think its too late now anyhow) But hey if that works for you then totally awesome!

    Good luck!
     
  9. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,140
    63
    203
    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Cornish Cross birds are bred to grow fast. Unfortunately that means they go through an ugly phase because they are growing faster than their feathers come in. So you will see their skin as their feathers come in until about 4 weeks. It's totally normal for them. You should change from free feeding to feeding them for 12 hours and then taking the food away at night though because they will actually eat themselves to death if they are left with food for 24 hours each day. It's just in their genes.
     
  10. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

    728
    131
    201
    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Normal for the Cornish X to look like they were in a street brawl. I have raised a few batches and they really never feather out completely, and NEVER on their underside. Limiting feed will help if you find yours breathing heavy or having leg issues (which may come anyway as they get heavier). They should be harvested at 8 weeks or so, but will probably look even worse by then....... Typical Cornish X.... Good luck.
    P.S. If you do start to withhold food be prepared to be attacked when you do bring it to them.... They are really nothing but eating/pooping machines.....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by