Do chickens explode?

Vanessa Guerrero

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
4
2
11
I was in tractor supply picking out chicks and I pointed at chicks that were missing some hair and asked if they were bred that way and she replied that if I don’t eat them their hearts will explode and they will die??! I’ve never heard anything like ? I don’t personally eat any of my animals chickens included.
 

MillersFarm

Easily distracted by Chickens
5 Years
Jun 3, 2016
4,905
14,999
707
Lewiston NY
Were they large yellow chicks? If so than i'm guessing they were Cornish cross chicks. I've never heard of chicken's hearts exploding but a cornish cross is a very large meat bird that grows un-naturally fast and gets very large, So much so that they can't support themselves and will develop health problems, If you can't butcher your birds i'd suggest not buying any (If you didn't already) and if you did i'd start looking now for someone who can butcher them at around 4 months of age.
 

Vanessa Guerrero

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
4
2
11
Thank you for the reply! I didn’t buy any because of what she said. I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to do so I stayed away but yes I believe that is what she said, I didn’t know that about them thank you!
 

Kessel23

Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
2,523
68,012
1,182
Wisconsin
They were probably cornish cross, like MillersFarm said, they grow really fast and have lots of health issues.
My dad used to get cornish cross birds to butcher, I remember 1 year 3 of them somehow survived, they were past the butcher date so my dad decided to just let them grow. He was unaware of the health issues at that time... 1 of them was unable to walk after a few months, another's back literally split open and it died, and the other one somehow had no health issues for over a year, it was then killed by a coyote who was probably well fed for the next week! I would definitely not recommend these birds for anyone who wants a pet or an egg layer, they are strictly for meat. Hens might be able to live a little more normally than roosters, there is a big size gap between the two. I definitely agree with Millers about the exploding thing too, most of the health issues are related to their extreme growth rate and their size, none of that would cause exploding organs.
 

tuesdaylove

Songster
8 Years
Mar 3, 2012
376
289
216
Georgia
Yeah, sounds like they were Cornish crosses. My local Tractor Supply sells them too. The breed has just been made to grow extremely fast, through selective breeding for bigger and bigger birds. They often end up having heart attacks, organ failure, become crippled... The list goes on. CCs are typically slaughtered at around six weeks. Most of them cannot live full, natural lives.

My first ever chicken was a CC, and she was a rescue. I got all my other chickens because of her, to keep her company. She (Darcy) was such a sweetheart. To this day, that meat-breed bird is one of the nicest hens I've ever had. She was about six or seven months old when she had a heart attack and died. I'd known she was gaining weight and beginning to have trouble moving, so I put her on a diet and encouraged her to exercise, but she just kept gaining.

And I don't blame you for not eating your chickens. I went vegetarian because I love my chickens so much. (I have no problem with non-vegetarians, and I have no problem with people who raise their own meat animals and treat/kill them humanely.)
 

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