Help: First Time Cornish Cross Dying at Week Old

wkyleporter

Hatching
Mar 26, 2018
5
5
9
I've raised lots of layers from chicks, but this is our first time with cornish cross. I got a shipment of 26 in last week (hatch date = 3/19/2018) and I've already lost 1 with another one on its way out.

The one that passed and the one that is about to seemed to start having leg problems and then just stopped getting up and then died. I've never experienced problems like this with other breeds. Some of the chicks are getting nice and plump already, and some are not so much.

Details:
  • In brooder with heat lamp on one end
  • Constant feed (organic chick starter)
  • Constant water (with ACV)
  • Pine shavings changed daily
Is this a normal rate of loss with these birds? Please help.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,175
27,904
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St. Louis, MO
Losing Cornish cross is common. As long as you don't lose multiples per day, don't worry.
These are not Leghorns. They grow too fast so they have leg and heart problems because of rapid growth.
You're doing OK. What is the protein percentage of the feed?
That is the key on meat birds (or actually any chick).
A heat lamp may not be the best approach because after a while you want to prevent them from eating 24/7, You want them to have a dark period so they don't keep eating.
In a small brooder I either us a ceramic heat emitter or heat plate brooder.
You can replace a heat lamp with a lower wattage ceramic heat emitter from a pet store or ebay(cheaper). That way you can give them an 8 hour dark period. Many people limit feed but I prefer to limit intake with a dark period. If there is light, they will eat something and that may be feces which may expose them to coccidia.
 

wkyleporter

Hatching
Mar 26, 2018
5
5
9
Feed is 18% protein.

I now have 3 lethargic chicks that just sit and kind of roll to the side. They'll walk a little if you pick them up and sit them back down, but other than that, they're stationary.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,175
27,904
1,077
St. Louis, MO
You could possibly be dealing with coccidiosis. Do you have Corid/amprolium on hand?
I would treat them for coccidiosis just to be on the safe side now that some are going down hill. Are you seeing any blood in the feces?
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,046
12,150
692
N. California
What hatchery and how long were that in the mail? My very first batch of CX, I ordered from some cheap hatchery and the birds were 3 nights/4 days in transit. Two were DOA, and I lost 6 more over the next few days. The stress of prolonged shipping can really take a toll and weaken chicks.
 

wkyleporter

Hatching
Mar 26, 2018
5
5
9
They actually came from Cackle.

I've heard great things about Cackle, but this was my first time ordering from them. Hope this isn't representative of their quality.

I've pulled the sick chicks and quarantined. Also, started them on Corid. The rest are very healthy and growing like weeds.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,046
12,150
692
N. California
That hatcher and shipping sounds pretty reasonable. You could have just gotten a bad batch -- it happens occasionally -- or they have contracted a disease like cocci. It sounds like you are doing the right thing in segregating and treating. Good luck!
 

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