Cornish Cross bird with interesting defect

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Winsor Woods, May 24, 2010.

  1. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I've got about 30 Cornish X's in a tractor. They are about 6 weeks old and I'll process them between 9-10 weeks. This morning, I noticed that one rooster was very lethargic and not heading for the feeder when I fed them. I reached in an pulled him out. He was alert but wouldn't eat or drink. He was fine yesterday. Anyways, I noticed that his beak was crooked, starting to look like a crossbill. Not a big deal. Then I started examining him to see if I could find out what was wrong. I noticed that the left side of his body was normally developed but the right side was very thin/small. It was almost like his right side was 4 weeks old and his left side was 7 weeks old. Very strange.

    I watched him for about an hour and no improvement. He started wheezing, so I dug out the killing cones and put him in. I let him bleed out and it took about twice as long as normal to get the blood out. Much more blood that a chicken that size would normally have. After scalding and plucking, I could really see the development difference between both sides of his body.

    When I made the abdominal cut to pull out the guts, Lots of yellowish/clear liquid spilled forth. I've never seen that before. The Liver was twice as large as normal. The gizzard seemed normal. When I pulled out the heart, it was encased in a bag of fluid as well. The heart was also very soft and squishy, not firm like it normally is. The lungs were normal on the left side but very small on the right.

    I composted the head, legs, and giblets. I've got the carcass aging in the fridge.

    Anyone ever seen anything like that?

  2. Iluvmypeeps

    Iluvmypeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Well for one thing, a large liver is a fatty liver. So, the diet he was eating was probably extremely high in calories and fat. I've read that a fatty liver can cause sudden death, or a slow and painful death. [​IMG]

    But I can't really tell you any more than that. But I'm pretty sure the fatty liver was a part of the whole problem.
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I doubt it was fatty liver syndrome as that is a disease primarily attributed to laying hens in full production mode. However here is a list of post mortem symptoms to see if it fits:

    Post-mortem lesions

    Headparts pale.
    Liver yellow, greasy and soft with numerous haemorrhages.
    Death by internal exsanguination after rupture of haematocyst

    I have heard about the liquid in the chest cavity before but not sure what it comes from, hopefully someone with more experience with CX's will jump in here . . . Al? Jeff? Steve?

    The drastically different sides is very interesting . . . didn't happen to take pics did you?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by