HELP - My Cornish X are dying!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hunting4chicks, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. hunting4chicks

    hunting4chicks New Egg

    Apr 6, 2017
    I picked up my 25 Cornish X chicks yesterday from the local farm store. Within 8 hours 2 were dead, within 24 hours 5 are dead and now about 36 hours into it, 5 more are dying.

    This is not our first time raising chicks, but it IS our first time with meat birds/Cornish X.

    We've never lost chicks like this, we are doing all of the same things as we've done with our other chicks, what could be going on?
  2. gholmomma

    gholmomma Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2017
    OMG, so sorry. They are definitely a less-hardy bird than layers, but it sounds like something else may be going on. I had Cocci go thru our babies, resulting in 1 death and plenty "sickly" for a few days. Are you feeding medicated chick starter? The reddish, mucky poo is the sign that I used for id'ing the problem. I switched them to medicated chick starter and they seem to have made it.

    Marek's, pasty butt and just generally too cold are the Usual Suspects. I don't have any real way to help - - - - except to say to keep these guys away from any other birds that you have. And once this is all over with - - Bleach and sun out all feeders, tubs and waterers.

    Good Luck!
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    They're too young for it to be a disease or parasite.

    Chicks this young, they're dying from shipping stress or plain failure to thrive, or some form of mis-management. Since you've raised chicks before, probably not management, but to be sure can you post pics of your set up?

    CX this young are not too different from layer breeds. As they get older they have a greater cold tolerance, so if they were say 4 weeks I'd be thinking they might be too warm. But not as littles, since you just got them. Feed requirement is also the same, they can have feed 24/7 this young with no ill effects.

    I hate to say it, but you may have just got a bad batch of chicks. I'd let the feed store/hatchery know and see about refunds. Most places do a 48 hour guarantee.
  4. hunting4chicks

    hunting4chicks New Egg

    Apr 6, 2017
    I have 6 other chicks in the mix that are not meat birds, they are all doing fine. Lost 5 more over night, we are now up to 13. more than 1/2 of the Cornish are dead in less than 48 hours. No signs of poopy butts or anything like that. One had a black and blue foot, other than that, all appear to be fine.

    Our brooder set up is a wooden box, with 2 heat lamps, 3 waterers, a feed trough and a thermometer showing a temp around 95. Pine shavings.

    Like I said, we've raised many other breeds of chicks in this exact same set up and have never had this happen. I will be calling the store today.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  5. hunting4chicks

    hunting4chicks New Egg

    Apr 6, 2017
    I ended up losing 14 of the 25, all in less than 48 hours. The store ended up refunding my money.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Sorry for your loss! It is still stressful even if they're meaties.

    I agree it was shipping stress. But also, 2 heat lamps might be too much. They need a place to cool off as well as be warm. 95 is the max it should be where they can all fit in that area... not the temp it should be in the whole brooder... just in case you didn't know that even though you have prior experience.

    Just fyi, I have lost 2 whole shipments of chicks (USPS delayed shipping both times). But feed stores get their chicks shipped as well. 1 of my LFS won't even let chicks go out until the several days after arrival so they can try to absorb the loss before customers receive theirs. Both use Sav A Chick in their water... but I think Poultry Nutridrench *might* work better. I haven't used either and only homemade electrolyes, so that's just what my research says. I will be getting the nutridrench before having more shipped chicks as the evidence seems strong enough to warrant the use of my $.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. hunting4chicks

    hunting4chicks New Egg

    Apr 6, 2017
    Thank you for that information. They do have plenty of room to escape the heat from the heat lamps if they so desire. The thermometer is placed in the same corner where the lamps are and that is what is reading the 95 degrees. So only the area around the lamps is 95 degrees, not the entire brooder.

    I haven't heard of or seen the Nutridrench in our area, I'll check that out for next time.

    To date, all of the survivors are alive and doing well. I agree that it was shipping stress (and a little stress added to me as well!)

    Thank you!!
  8. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    very sorry to hear about your troubles, but glad to hear you are getting your money back

    can you post a picture of your set up?
    how many chicks are in there?
    what is the square footage? or dimensions

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by