Darn - lost the biggest meat bird today

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by blueskylen, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    Only 1 day untill going to the processor, and the biggest Cornish was dead this morning! we didnt weigh it, but estimate it was about 10-12 lbs. None have died since they were little, and I am bummed. We have lost about 6 in all now - out of 53.

    Hoping that they don't have stress heart attacks when we load them into the crates and drive to the butcher! I am really worried about that.

    Has anybody had losses due to taking them for processing?
     
  2. Cason

    Cason Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are they? I process here, so I don't know ~ shipping (stress related)
     
  3. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    Hi Cason,

    they are just at 8 weeks yesterday. I am thinking that in the spring when I get more, that we will just take them in at about 6-7 weeks, as they would be big enough for us then.

    will see what tomorrow brings and let you know if any more die.
     
  4. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    Cornish being that weight at only 8 weeks means they were WAY over fed "in my opinion". If you let those large meat birds free feed, they will tend to eat themselves to death, even when young chicks.

    My first batch of Cornish I let free feed and they were too aggressive over the feed with my other hens so I segregated them. After I lost the first couple to heart failure, I decided to limit the feed.

    I order a dozen at a time and by the time they are 8 weeks old, they are only about 5 pounds. At 8 weeks, with a dozen hens, they share a standard (large) size canning jar full of food, twice a day.

    I'm sorry for your loss but these gals will eat too much.

    I also learned to do the butcher job myself as it's cheaper and easier on the girls. You can hang them upside down to bleed them out. When they are upside down, I have found that most of them will pass out so they do not even know you are cutting their jugular vein to bleed them. This seems to be about the most humane way I have found.

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  5. You really should not allow free feeding. You must keep up with the watering though. I took out my feeder for about 6-8 hours every other day. The reason i did not do it everyday is that they went absolutely bizzerk when i put the feeder back in. I ended up with broken wings and a few with disolcated ligaments in thier legs and a few were literally pecked to death by the rest. My God, these birds are a genetic mess. I figure that if you held one or two in a regular chicken barn, MADE them free range and get exercise they still would not fly or be able to run. I will never bring one home again. I have all I need in the freezer.
     
  6. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    we did feed for 12 hours on/12 hours off, but kept the feeders full the rest of the time. they just really put on the weight in the last 2 weeks. he was the biggest of them all,and always at the feeder -no wonder he probably had a heart attack.

    I know that this sounds wimpy, and I am a 50 year old ,raised on a farm, but I just get too attached ( yes, even to the Cornish's) that I cannot do it myself - and it's just too much for my husband alone. Yes, i find myself reaching in to pet one now and then - they squeeck, but seem to like it.

    Plus the bloody mess, area to do it in,plucking, etc.... easier on me to pay the 1.75 each for someone else, and they are set up to do it in about 4-5 hours.
     

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