HELP! First batch of Cornish X not doing so well

ka0ttic

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
13
10
23
Hey everyone,

We just started our first batch of Cornish X (Ross strain) a couple weeks ago and we have already lost 12 out of the 51 we started with. I will try and give as much information as possible so that hopefully it is easier for you guys to help out.

They hatched Nov 16th (so about 17 days old) and we picked them up from the hatchery the same day. The brooder is approx 8ft x 4ft with 2 heat lamps with 250W infrared bulbs. For feed, we used a 50lb bag of 20% organic chick starter which lasted the first 14 days and then switched to 22% organic broiler which they have been on the last 3 days.

Out of the 12 we have lost so far, 2-3 seemed to be possibly hurt by being trampled on by the others and I had to put down. The rest have been just been found dead. Almost all of them have been ones that looked otherwise healthy. The only real sign of anything wrong that we have seen has been some diarrhea which I had been just chocking up to heat or cold stress. We are in Central FL so this time of year it is not really hot or really cold but we do get some large temperature swings. I will post a screenshot of our ambient brooder temp/humidity over the past 3 weeks if that helps at all.

Most of the losses have been one here and one there but today was the worst day with 5 dead and 1 not looking too great when I got home from work. We did just get our coldest weather so far over the last couple days but they seemed to come through it fine. Yesterday morning was the coldest it had been in the brooder at 45F but it warmed up to mid 60s during the day and today was in the 70s. Since it was warming up, I turned off both heat lamps this morning. I had been in the process of weening them off of heat when we got the cold weather and so they had the lamps on the last two days.

Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated. I was expecting maybe 10-15% loss but after today we are at 23% and am super frustrated not knowing what is going on or how to find out.

The picture of the lone chick below is the one that didn't look like it was doing too well.

20201203_211650.jpg


20201203_204911.jpg


20201203_204846.jpg
 

HappyChickens101

Chirping
Oct 5, 2020
66
47
51
Tennessee
I really wish I could help because when I got my chicks some randomly die out of nowhere but it happens a lot when you get chicks. One time we had a power outage and the heat lamp went off of course so we held them for a while but the next two days showed us what happens when the temps change drastically. I really hope no more get sick and they all look very cute. :)
 

TheMother

Songster
May 17, 2020
191
290
131
Washington
I really wish I could help because when I got my chicks some randomly die out of nowhere but it happens a lot when you get chicks. One time we had a power outage and the heat lamp went off of course so we held them for a while but the next two days showed us what happens when the temps change drastically. I really hope no more get sick and they all look very cute. :)
Oh no! Can I ask what happens when the temp fluctuates rapidly? We have chicks under a heat lamp and have been having some winds, so I'm a bit paranoid even though we do have a generator we can fire up.
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
478
797
181
Maine
A couple things:

-Your brooder temp is swinging a huge amount. I would try and get that stabilized asap.
-Where are the heat lamps located? I don't see any in your picture.
-20% is a little too low to start with IMO with cornish cross. I use 22% for the first four weeks. then 18% for 2 weeks then 16% for two weeks.
-I would put plywood along the inside of your brooder to close off access to the stud areas, where they can smother each other. I would also add some eased corners so you don't have any 90 degree corners in your brooder.

Just based on my initial reaction to the birds in your picture, they look hot.
 
Last edited:

HappyChickens101

Chirping
Oct 5, 2020
66
47
51
Tennessee
One of my chicks died because we found her in the morning by the waterer and realized the heat lamp was maybe too close. When the power went out with us, we did use a generator as well so glad you have one.
 

aliciaplus3

Free Ranging
Oct 24, 2016
2,901
10,395
542
Colorado
coccidiosis? I cant tell but it looks like neither of the feeds you have used are medicated(like the medicated chick starter?) I just discovered yesterday that a batch of mine have coccidiosis and have started treating with corid but not before losing 8 very rapidly(like you) and finding others looking just droopy
 

ka0ttic

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
13
10
23
A couple things:

-Your brooder temp is swinging a huge amount. I would try and get that stabilized asap.
-Where are the heat lamps located? I don't see any in your picture.
-20% is a little too low to start with IMO with cornish cross. I use 22% for the first four weeks. then 18% for 2 weeks then 16% for two weeks.
-I would put plywood along the inside of your brooder to close off access to the stud areas, where they can smother each other. I would also add some eased corners so you don't have any 90 degree corners in your brooder.

Just based on my initial reaction to the birds in your picture, they look hot.
I'm not sure what I can do about the swing temps. I've been trying to open the window when it is warm and close the window on cold nights.

The lamps were hanging just outside where you see the waterers hanging. I removed them last night once it warmed up a little.

I'm thinking it is cocci. I just ran and got some corid so going to add that to their water tonight and then I am probably going to move them out to the tractor tomorrow. There's not really any way to deep clean that brooder since it is all wood.
 

ka0ttic

In the Brooder
Apr 14, 2020
13
10
23
coccidiosis? I cant tell but it looks like neither of the feeds you have used are medicated(like the medicated chick starter?) I just discovered yesterday that a batch of mine have coccidiosis and have started treating with corid but not before losing 8 very rapidly(like you) and finding others looking just droopy
Yeah I am thinking that is what it is going to end up being.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom