Cornish Cross Sick, Sitting Back on Hocks, Safe to Eat?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hansonmcbride, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. hansonmcbride

    hansonmcbride New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Anyone know fairly definitively what is wrong with this 5 wk-ish old chicken? He has been butchered and frozen and I would like to eat him, but don't want to risk making people sick.

    His General Story
    Within about 3-4 days he progressed from seemingly normal to not wanting to move around much, to not eating or drinking unless it was placed in front of him (and he didn't really drink much even then). Based on the breed, and the fact that his insides looked superficially normal, my first guess would be a leg problem. However, the posture in the image below isn't something I have seen on this forum or elsewhere. I have seen the legs going out to the side, I have seen the legs going out to the back, I have seen legs bent unnaturally to the side, but not this peculiar posture. You could set this chicken up in a normal position, and he would immediately rotate back to this position.

    Other tidbits that might help:
    - This is the second chicken in this group that did this "sitting back" thing.
    - We have lost two other broilers from this batch during a hot spell to CHF (yellow fluid when butchered).
    - He had the tiniest amount of fluid in his pericardial (heart) cavity (like 1/4 tsp). I am not sure if this is normal or not, as I haven't paid attention to this on a normal chicken. He didn't have any fluid in his peritoneal (abdominal) cavity.
    - We had to treat this entire second batch for coccidosis at about five weeks. They had bloody droppings. The treatment was effective
    - I did not cut open his "drumstick" bone ends for irregular tissue formation.
    - This second round of chickens were in the brooder for three weeks. The last week in less than ideal conditions. A leaky waterer led to high moisture, which led to the addition of lots of bedding, which led to them running out of head space for a few days.
    - After three weeks this chicken was kept in a Salatin style pasture tractor.

    This is our second round of CornishX broilers. The first round of 25 from the hatchery only resulted in the "flip" of one chicken. We felt like rockstars! This second round of 30 broilers has been troublesome, and frankly discouraging, but we will be more careful about heat next time and will never repeat those conditions in the brooder.

    Thanks in advance to any of you experienced chicken people willing to help!

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  3. hansonmcbride

    hansonmcbride New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Thanks for your fast reply and ideas.

    I am fairly certain that we aren't looking at a riboflavin deficiency. I actually read about it on a few vet websites and kinda already ruled it out. First off, their feed has it added (I checked). Second, neither of my birds with this condition had any "toe curling" as described in the symptom list. Third, I would think I would see a flock-wide issue if their diet was deficient. Do you think that I am ok to rule it out?

    I guess what I am hoping for is just someone who has done this before, had a chicken sitting on it's hocks, butchered and ate it without dying. Any chances you fit into that profile? =)

    I am an animal lover, but definitely not a vegetarian. I could toss him "just in case," but I don't want any of these critters to die without serving a purpose.

    Again, thank you for your response and ideas.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    You might try posting on the meat bird thread, since I don't butcher my chickens. I doubt if there would be a problem, but I don't feel qualified to tell you one way or another. Here is a link to the meat bird thread, and you could also post another thread here just titled "Would you eat this meat bird?" Here is the link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/threads/add/forumId/21
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  5. hansonmcbride

    hansonmcbride New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Thanks, I did exactly what you suggested.
     

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