Anyone raising Jumbo Cornish Cross on soy-free organic feed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChandraR, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. ChandraR

    ChandraR New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    I've got a batch of Cx with whom I'm having a high rate of loss (about 15% at 2.5 weeks now). Hatchery (McMurray) chalked up the initial 5 days of loss (7 birds) to extreme shipping stress due to their symptoms. The ones I've lost since seem to succumb to "flip". I've also caught three so far who seem to be gasping for breath, looking like they are about to expire but whom I've revived with massaging their crop, forcing some grit and water and kelp powder down. No rhyme or reason to doing those certain things, just what I thought of while I was panicking holding a dying chick.

    I removed their food at night at two weeks of age but I wonder if I should have done that sooner, or moved the food away from the water and away from the lights sooner and further. Just trying to rack my brain for why I'm losing so many. I've raised several batches of Cornish from different hatcheries/strains but have never lost this many so quickly.

    Which leads me finally to my question! Does anyone feed these type of birds a soy-free organic diet? We sell ours to a bit of a niche market who wants this and that's how we've marketed our business. But I'm wondering if the genetics as they've been manipulated through breeding for confinement make this type of diet more challenging. Humans have built this bird for a certain environment and I know to do it differently we have to manage things very differently. I am doing fermented feed and the droppings are so much better and the coop doesn't smell too bad. They seem to be growing nicely, the ones who are still here! I thought about stopping the FF because of the issues but I have done it with my other birds and my pigs to great success, so I'm not ready to give up yet!

    Thanks for any advice!

    Chandra
     
  2. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    waverly ohio
    im not an expert on cornish crosses, but we raise some each year for ourselves. i fed mine twice a day, increasing feed to what they would eat at an average feeding for the first 4 weeks, then put them on full pasture and about 1 lb of feed per bird. typically my loss is less than 10% total.

    aoxa seems to be the expert on them, here is a link to the member page:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-cornish-x-for-meat-the-truth
     

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