are my cornish crosses sick? safe to eat?

podunk102

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
2
0
7
Hello, all.
I am new to this site and new to raising meat birds. I have (had) 12 cornish cross birds in the backyard. They reached 7 weeks old on commercial starter feed free choice feeding. We found one dead 3 days ago and removed/ disposed of it. Purple comb is all the symptoms i could see by the time i got home. Next morning one of the roosters was lethargic and purple comb also. I separated him with his own food/water but he died within a few hours. So i noticed a hen had wheezing and sneezing today intermittently but no discolorations or lethargy. Eating/drinking ok.
All other chickens show no signs of being sick. I butchered the entire flock today to get ahead of any possible sickness spreading.
My question would be are these birds safe to eat even after being potentially exposed?
Also, do you put your cornish crosses on some sort of feeding schedule to reduce intake? These birds were very large at 7 weeks.
Thanks for any advice you can give, and pleasd be patient with my inexperience.
 

keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,705
3,189
441
MA
I would suspect a cardiovascular cause of death rather than bacterial/viral. Cornish X are susceptible to heart attacks especially after 6 weeks of age. I have lost a few along the way. Many restrict feed at some point to try to prevent this problem. I wouldn't hesitate to eat the birds you butchered. Disclaimer - I will say I am fairly new to meat birds having raised them for only a year, but I've had chickens for 15 years.
 

podunk102

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
2
0
7
Thanks for the reply Keesmom. I was thinking somewhat along those lines after reading others posts. I look forward to hearing other people's opinions/experiences with this also. What do you think about the hen sneezing and wheezing intermittently? As i said she was alert and eating/drinking right up to the end.
 

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
879
341
Portland/Vancouver area
Hello, all.
I am new to this site and new to raising meat birds. I have (had) 12 cornish cross birds in the backyard. They reached 7 weeks old on commercial starter feed free choice feeding. We found one dead 3 days ago and removed/ disposed of it. Purple comb is all the symptoms i could see by the time i got home. Next morning one of the roosters was lethargic and purple comb also. I separated him with his own food/water but he died within a few hours. So i noticed a hen had wheezing and sneezing today intermittently but no discolorations or lethargy. Eating/drinking ok.
All other chickens show no signs of being sick. I butchered the entire flock today to get ahead of any possible sickness spreading.
My question would be are these birds safe to eat even after being potentially exposed?
Also, do you put your cornish crosses on some sort of feeding schedule to reduce intake? These birds were very large at 7 weeks.
Thanks for any advice you can give, and pleasd be patient with my inexperience.
Hey podunk
Sounds like you did the right thing. When they get that old and start dying of complications of their breed, it's definitely time to process. Good job. Eat and enjoy. Rest in fridge for a couple of days before cooking. Or if you've frozen already, take out of freezer a couple of days early to thaw. Good eating.
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,334
26,914
982
On the MN prairie.
Hello, all.
I am new to this site and new to raising meat birds. I have (had) 12 cornish cross birds in the backyard. They reached 7 weeks old on commercial starter feed free choice feeding. We found one dead 3 days ago and removed/ disposed of it. Purple comb is all the symptoms i could see by the time i got home. Next morning one of the roosters was lethargic and purple comb also. I separated him with his own food/water but he died within a few hours. So i noticed a hen had wheezing and sneezing today intermittently but no discolorations or lethargy. Eating/drinking ok.
All other chickens show no signs of being sick. I butchered the entire flock today to get ahead of any possible sickness spreading.
My question would be are these birds safe to eat even after being potentially exposed?
Also, do you put your cornish crosses on some sort of feeding schedule to reduce intake? These birds were very large at 7 weeks.
Thanks for any advice you can give, and pleasd be patient with my inexperience.
People do limit their feed intake and it does seem to make a difference, from what I've read. The two with the purple combs were probably cardiac-related as stated above.
 

mmgillan

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 10, 2012
65
0
41
Walterboro, SC


This is my first time raising Cornish x and was wondering if anyone else has birds that look like this? I started with 6 but after constant eating, lost 1 to heart attack I can only assume from what I have read about them. They are about 4weeks old.
 
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5 Acre Rooster

Songster
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
595
31
111
North Missouri
mmgillan. Have you been feeding full? Or restricting? Is this right after eating or awhile. It looks like they are plenty full, or even too full. Their digestive tract might not be ever getting emptied. That might explain the red rear. As for the for the feathering that's normal from what I see. Maybe even more upper feathers that a lot of birds at 4 weeks. Remember they are bred to have loose sparser feathers
 

mmgillan

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 10, 2012
65
0
41
Walterboro, SC
Yes, I was keeping feed available all the time
but now only in AM and late day if they finished it all in AM. Fatties were laying around the feeder with their heads hanging over the food! So I don't know about the red rump. It's always there now.
 

5 Acre Rooster

Songster
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
595
31
111
North Missouri
If I remember how most others raise them ( I am different that the "standard way") they only let them eat what they can clean up in 15 mins in morning and at night. Otherwise the health issues get extreme.
 

millergirlz

Hatching
5 Years
May 12, 2014
2
0
8
Kenai, ALASKA
Hello There! I have experienced the SAME EXACT issue just in the last week! My cornish X are now 7 weeks old, and I have lost 1, had to put one out of it's misery and tonight just butchered another. I was wondering at first if they had some sort of disease, and tried by separating the one that appeared ill. Twice that proved to fail at "saving" the bird. I was very afraid that I was going to have some horrible disease spread from my shoes or whatnot to my layers and turkeys. They also had this purplish coloring not only to their comb and face but visibly to their body under the feathers. I do believe it to be cardiovascular also. It's almost like they have had a stroke and can hardly move or open their eyes. I do not think that they are getting enough oxygen after the failure. I am following suite and butchering the rest tomorrow night.. The next batch that I have are freedom rangers, I am hoping they have less risk of these issues. Good luck to you and your future endeavors!
 
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