Anybody have luck raising a meat bird with leg problems?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LoneCowboy, May 21, 2008.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    My meat birds are 4 weeks old now and Gimpy my little one with spraddle legs is still growing, but having more and more trouble getting around as she gets fatter. I hate to cull her as she is gaining weight and trying, but all the others just walk all over her, literally. Has anybody had luck with birds like this? If so, what should I do? I was thinking about seperating her out with her own food and water, but keeping her in the tractor to see all the other birds. Any ideas?
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    The problem is that they will be "lumpy" with one leg much bigger/thicker than the other side. As long as they can get to food and water, though, they should make it to 8 weeks.
  3. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I had one that I had to sometimes carry to the food and water and then she regained enough strength to do it herself. She was smaller in size then the rest at slaughter time but she made it and was great in the crockpot.
  4. hdchic

    hdchic Songster

    Apr 12, 2008
    I had 2 out of my 50 that were like that. When I first had them in the 'brooder' with newspaper, I had to put them near the food/water so they could eat. When I moved them to the shed, with the wire bottomed box, they did much better, however, as the others got bigger, they were literally trampled to death. Sad, but I wasn't counting on them to make it, and I had already figured in a percentage of loss. Meat birds, I am learning, are a real pain in the tail feathers. I'm not sure I will do them again, as the cost to raise outweighs the value to eat! [​IMG]

    I guess if you didn't want to lose the poor girl, you could seperate her....but then there is the risk of attachment.. [​IMG]
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Well, I put her in a wire cage inside the tractor with all the other chickens. I figure that at least she won't get trambled to death. I don't think she's doing all that great though but I have to give her the chance. We are going to sell some of our birds so hopefully we'll make enough to cover our costs and our birds. That's the idea anyway.
  6. Chicken Sniffer

    Chicken Sniffer In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2009
    Snohomish County
    I have one that is the same way. 3weeks old and can still eat and drink. My biggest question is it is in pain? I don't want it to suffer. Any Thoughts?[​IMG]
  7. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    We butcher those few as cornish game hens, rather than have them struggle.
  8. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    What Sedina said. And cornish game hens are delicious!! I don't like to butcher the meaties that young unless they have a problem, though. I haven't had many lame ones, but the few I did went to freezer camp ASAP. I'd much rather the chicken go into the freezer than the dumpster.
  9. Just today we processed 10 surplus roosters, one also named Gimpy. For the last 2 months Gimpy, a scrawny 4 month old barred rock, has hobbled around and begged for food, barely growing and causing grief as the kids got attached to him (since he was the only one who couldn't run away)We thought about putting him out of his misery, but he didn't seem to be in pain. So we let him live to harvest day... where he was by far the smallest bird of all our small birds. But at least his life was not wasted.
    Small as he was, he is still edible and his feathers will make masks for the kids who liked him so well, even though we warned them that he was doomed.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: