Cull or Cure? 4 week old Cornish X sitting with legs splayed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CurlyLindsay, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. CurlyLindsay

    CurlyLindsay In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2009
    So this morning when I checked on my 30+ meaties one was sitting weird and when I dragged the tractor it became obvious that walking was very hard for him, involving a lot of flapping to move a foot or two. He sits with legs splayed out in front of him.

    I pulled him out, thinking I'd have to immediately cull, but he's very alert (which makes it so much harder!) and I felt all up both legs and feel no break or deformity BUT his underbelly (don't know the name for that part? The part they rest their body weight on) is inflamed and swollen and all the feathers are gone.

    I put him on shavings in a little cage in the barn with food and water within reach. Any ideas what causes these symptoms (sitting with legs spayed out front, discomfort walking) without obvious deformity? Is there a chance getting the swelling down may help, or is that likely a symptom rather than a cause?

    It stinks to lose them this far along! Not enough there to process, but already so much $ into him in feed!
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Songster

    Aug 4, 2013
    They have a lot more meat then you would think at that size. I would cull because it would be too big to correct. Restricting feed will help prevent others from getting this problem. Meat birds are at risk of getting ascities because of the rapid growth and higher protein feed. The belly area would feel like a water balloon or air sack if that is the case. You could drain the area if that is what is happening but it does come back after a while.
  3. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    We had that happen to one and put him in a cage by himself to get bigger. In the end he ended up having unusable breast meat from all of his weight laying on it. He also became a very tame "project", which made it more difficult to process him.

    So, if I'd vote for processing now. I agree with the previous poster - they have quite a bit of meat on them at 4 weeks. You'll be surprised!
  4. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    I had one that splayed pretty early and I did the same thing. I think I processed at 4 weeks, and ended up with a Cornish hen, but with an atrophied leg.

    I agree, processing is the way to go at this point.

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