Cornish Rock can't stand?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by aspica, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. aspica

    aspica New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    Long story short, I only wanted to raise layers but ended up with one Cornish Rock that I didn't particularly want. My very first flock of 6 were all Cornish Rocks because I didn't know there was a difference in breeds for laying...anyway, this one's a giant at 6 weeks and is far bigger than the others were at that age. She has really thick legs and big feet, and has trouble standing/walking for any longer than a minute or so. I'm confident that it's not an issue of splay leg.

    I'm hoping someone can help me. I didn't have any intentions of slaughtering her, but I also don't feel like she's going to be very healthy or happy as she continues to grow. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? Does this happen to meat birds and I just happened to have 6 that didn't have the issue? Is there anything that can be done?
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she is from a feedstore she is a definite meat bird, meant to be slaughtered at about that age I am pretty sure. I am pretty sure they dont have quality of life, I heard that at a certain weight and age their heart can't keep up and they just kinda die. I would do some research into meat birds and see if there is a good ending for her. or a better one at least.
     
  3. aspica

    aspica New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    I was afraid of that. She is from Tractor Supply, so it's looking bleak. I'll head off to Google and see what I can find. Thank you!
     
  4. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read that people have raised broilers and kept them for long periods of time with seemingly no problems. If I remember correctly some even get eggs from pullet broilers. I think they can be raised the same as layers and lead good quality lives but they have to be raised as such and of course if you hatch eggs from them I'd assume the offspring won't be the same as the parent in the case of Cornish Crosses. If you raise them as broilers on the other hand, and feed them per the broiler schedule I believe their lifespan is limited since they're programmed to eat and will grow to unhealthy sizes that their organs can't keep up with much past 12 weeks. It sounds like your particular bird has the common leg issues that affect Cornish Crosses. I have one like that now that's smaller than the rest so I'll keep him around as long as possible so he gets about as big as possible before culling. Personally I wouldn't keep broilers past 12 weeks since they don't have the qualities you'd want in a laying hen but I believe it's very possible to keep them around for a long time.
     
  5. aspica

    aspica New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    That must be what happened with that original bunch of Cornish Rocks. Four of the 6 died pretty young but the two that lived the longest would lay about an egg per day, sometimes skipping a day here and there.

    I've fed this one like the rest of the chicks. They all get starter feed. Since I've never raised broilers, I didn't even realize they had a different feed schedule! I have noticed though that Big Bertha is always hungry and gobbles food down like she's starving. That must be why...she's not bred to live long, poor girl. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cornish Rocks are a hybrid that are bred for weight gain and putting on muscle, and in reading your post...you already know this fact.

    This tremendous growth rate is sometimes completed at the expense of the chicken's Bone Structure; if this occurs then the pullet/cockerel will start having issues standing and walking; there might be the development of breast blisters, crooked legs, etc. The body is growing so fast that the skeletal frame cannot keep up with the growth. And with an animal that has virtually unlimited access to a feed trough, this is going to be a problem.

    I would reduce feed as a treatment for this animal so that it looses excess weight and fat, while at the same time the skeletal frame is able to adjust and strengthen to bare the burden of such a well-nourished animal. It will have to be separated from the rest of the flock, during this time, until things are stable. It's easier to do when working with a single breed and all members of the flock have the same or similar issues, thus are being treated the same.

    This is the surest way that I know of to reduce an animal's weight so that the skeletal frame can play catch-up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  7. chickiezar

    chickiezar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was broken hearted ti learn my first set of chicks are the kind you slaughter.
    1. I dont have the heart.
    2. They are my babies.

    At four weeks they are huge, yet they fly, and
    Get exercise. I just wanted to share[​IMG]
    They are funny and look out for one another and they think the Bantams are their babies.
     
  8. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gosh, mine are just the opposite. I have to use two separate feeders; one for most of the birds which is a 10 lb feeder that I put about 4 lbs of feed in twice a day, and a separate smaller trough feeder for the lower pecking order birds and one that has leg troubles and isn't keeping up with the rest. If I didn't do this the lesser birds probably wouldn't make it. I bought these birds strictly for BBQ so I knew what I was getting into from the get go. Normally I get very attached to animals like my dogs and I'm the biggest baby when they're sick and/or getting old, but I've never viewed chickens the same way since for me they're more of an asset like crops in the field. I know others view their birds more as pets and that's totally fine since they are smart and easy to get attached to. Don't get me wrong, I take the best care of my birds but the layers keep me and the vegetable gardens going by providing eggs and manure, two valuable products, and the broilers will provide many good diners. Cornish Crosses are specialized hybrids that generally wouldn't make good pets or lead happy lives into old age in my opinion so I don't have a problem butchering them. Not only that but these broilers I have which are all cockerels, are tough to take care of - they're very demanding for feed and I have to clean their pen about every other day, so to tell you the truth I'm kinda looking forward to processing day.
     
  9. chickiezar

    chickiezar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure if they are all cornish.
    I am just learning about chickens.
    I have some that are beautiful.
    Then I have the poor babies with missing fluff.
    I will not let them live miserable lives. I will find someone willing to take them when it's time.
    I don't know if they are Roos or Pullets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    How many can you fit in a box.
    They pile themselves in there until no room is left.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. aspica

    aspica New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2016
    After reading everyone's replies and suggestions, I decided to find a new home for my one Cornish Rock. I found a small local farm where they raise and butcher chickens, and she'll be going there this weekend. I also learned a valuable lesson...when it's chick time again, I won't let anyone talk me into broiler breeds again!
     

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