1st Cornish X showing signs of.... what?


Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 23, 2017
Richmond, MO
What's wrong with this bird? I'm raising 26 Jumbo Cornish Cross chicks for the first time, they are 7-weeks old. Butcher date is middle of next week. They already average about 8-9 pounds each. Always voracious at the feeders when it's feeding time - except for one, this afternoon. He refused the feeders, took a little water, but hid in the coop. I pulled him out twice to feed, and he just waddled back inside. His breathing is very labored, and intermittently he made sounds like a loud hiccup or a dog barking - I've never heard that sound from any of them. His comb and wattles are normal color (red).

Is it butcher time a little early for this poor guy? Or does he just have the hiccups?

FYI, I did clean out the coop this afternoon during the heat of the day - and forced the flock outside. it was about 89-degrees. They don't have much shade at this time of day, so they crowded into shady spots while I worked around them. I may have stressed them too much, I fear! I withheld their afternoon feed until the run was in shade, and that's when I noticed his distress.
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Update - checked again a few minutes ago, and I can't identify him from the rest of the flock. All the boys were either eating or had their crops full already. No labored breathing from any of them. So I have to assume it was just hiccups! LOL

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