Cornish cross gasping with swollen abdomens. Dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by goldfinches, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got the Meyer special overstock on Cornish cross this past week. I put the chicks outside in my tractor with 2 heat lamps. I'm feeding outing start and grow medicated. Their water has some
    chick electrolytes mixed in it. I'm losing multiple chicks a day. Today, we lost 12. They're sitting instead of walking around. Gasping for breaths. Their abdomens are filling up with fluid. I moved them inside my garage just I'm case it's partially due to the cold. But, I just have a feeling this is a disease. I have researched as cant figure out what it could be. Anyone know?
     
  2. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish cross are very susceptible to heart disease but usually you don't see it until they are older than yours. We always keep ours in a brooder for the first three weeks and feed regular starter, not medicated. You might post this on the meat bird forum. Someone who's raised a lot more cornish cross than I have might know what else it could be. We've never lost any but we've always bought from McMurray.
     
  3. garden62

    garden62 Out Of The Brooder

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    We've raised several batches of Cornish cross & have always kept them in the brooder room for the 1st 2 weeks. They need to be kept @ 90 degrees for at least the first few days & just slightly cooler (I think 5 degrees per day lower) after that. McMurray has detailed instructions on how to feed the Cornish cross. They need 21% protein. They also have info on how warm the chicks need to be at each stage.

    We don't feed medicated feed but do give the chick starter from McMurray & have never lost more than 1 or 2 (out of 100) at that early age.
     
  4. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. Hopefully keeping them indoors will fix the problem. I kept cc last fall and lost a bunch even in the garage because they piled high and squished each other. I'll put them back out when they're 3 weeks old.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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  6. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Debi, that sounds like what was going on. One actually had a fluid prolapse of some sort too. So far, since I've moved them inside I've only lost the two who were already sickly. Maybe I've fixed the problem.
     
  7. Homestead Style

    Homestead Style New Egg

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    You guys seem like you might be able to help me out on this. I am thinking of buying some Cornish Cross hens and breeding them with a Barred Rock rooster to produce fast growing meat chickens for my freezer. I know that a lot of hatcheries recommend not breeding the crosses because they are hybrids. However, my only goal is to fill my freezer and maybe a friend or two's freezer. How successful is breeding crosses? Have any of you tried?
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    CC are prone to a great many health issues and aren't generally kept past butchering age. You can get white Cornish (not crosses) and cross those with Rocks if you like. They won't be like the commercial strains but they'd still be suitable for meat. I've also been hearing good things about Freedom Rangers which would be another option.
     
  9. Homestead Style

    Homestead Style New Egg

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    Thanks for the great info. Will regular cornish hens still reach broiler weight in 8 weeks like crosses? My attraction is like most I guess, the 6 to 8 week growth weight. It has been over 20 years since I raised any chickens and I am no longer up to date with breeds and stats.
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    No. The growth rate of the commercial strains of CC is not in the least bit normal. This is why they have so many health issues and relatively high mortality rates -- the flesh grows faster than the organs and bones can accommodate. If you want sustainability, you may find that a slightly smaller and more flavorful bird ready in 12 weeks is a reasonable tradeoff. You might enjoy this article:

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/cornish-cross.html
     

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