Help with jumbo cx chicks

jbofky

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 22, 2014
22
0
25
I received 52 chicks on September 5th from cackle hatchery. Everything has been fine until a few days ago. I noticed one was having leg problems. It didn't seem to be in pain, just couldn't get around well. That's when I realized that I shouldn't be feeding them 24hrs a day. I thought I was supposed to take it from them at night when they were two weeks, but read after this that it should have been one week. In the last couple of days, 4 or 5 more have started having the same problem.

So, I called cackle to ask their opinion. They asked what percentage feed I was giving them. I told them it was 18% and I was giving it to them because it was locally grown non-gmo. I fed it to my dual purpose birds and red rangers with success. She said that they have to get 21%+ or they won't be strong enough. I was thinking that the lower protein would slow the growth, and help protect them.

Could I get some opinions on this and if you think they may grow out of this? Or do they need to be put down? Like I said, they don't appear to be in any pain. They just can't walk well at all.
 

KCMOLisa

Chirping
5 Years
Aug 17, 2014
115
9
53
Missouri
Any idea how much yours weigh now? I got 26 CX from Cackle from the same hatch (hatched 9/3). I haven't had any with any kind of leg problems. In fact, they love jumping and running around so much I am constantly worrying they are going to hurt their legs. But mine are a lot smaller than the Welp chart I found for Cornish Cross. According to that, they should be close to a pound at 2 weeks and mine are only about 8-10 ounces. Maybe if you are giving them too much food and they are growing faster than mine, that could be causing them leg problems. Also, I've been feeding Nutrena meat bird food, which is 22% protein.

I don't really know what to recommend as far as putting them down or not. I would probably give it a few days and see if they're still acting alright. Maybe switch to a higher protein feed, like game bird starter/grower. Nutridrench is a good product to use too to maybe give them a boost. Good luck! I hope they pull out of it!
 

Bossroo

Songster
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
1,450
28
171
The Cornish X is the most efficient converter of feed to meat of all chickens out there. The Cornish X reach processing weight at 6-8 weeks of age while the "dual purpose " do so in 3-5 times longer. That being the case they need the higher % protein feed that has a balanced ration but to limit the amount of feed that they consume in about 15 minutes 2-3 times per day instead of unlimited feed all day every day. Just because a feed may not contain GMO feed or that it is grown locally does not mean that it is properly balanced or contain enough protein for a fast growing chicken. I would suggest that you read the ingredient label of the feed that you are feeding as it may very well be lacking in needed nutrients for a well balanced diet in every bite. Also contact the hatchery as to the proper husbandry practices for growing this fast growing terminal crossbred bird as they are NOT your everyday backyard chicken. Remember the old Scottish proverb ... "The eye of the master fattens the cattle". Good luck !
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Mingming

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
239
5
93
NJ
I can't see that a few % less protein would cause leg problems - it would just slow their growth. How much do they weigh? Personally, I'd give them a bit of yogurt (or something along those lines for additional calcium) and pay attention to which ones go after it. If it's the ones that are having problems, you've got a good idea of what your culprit is.... and check the label of your feed.... make sure that has calcium too?
 

CrazyTalk

Songster
5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
1,384
336
148
Protein governs muscle growth - calories govern fat growth (as well as muscle growth). If you restrict an animal's protein, but allow it free access to calories - it will gain weight but not build muscle.

If you want to slow down growth, restrict their access to food as a whole, don't restrict their access to protein. When the body is protein deficient, it starts burning muscle to support the internal organs, exacerbating the problem. These aren't dual purpose birds, these are birds carefully bred to put on bulk as quickly as possible - they need the nutrition to stay healthy.
 
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Mingming

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
239
5
93
NJ
CrazyTalk - do you think 18% is restricting protein? as opposed to 21% I mean... just curious. Although I've raised a few batches of meat chickens, there's always more to learn :) thanks!
 

jbofky

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 22, 2014
22
0
25
I called another mill closer to home to see what kind of feeds they offered. In the conversation, I told him that I needed to have at least 22-23% protein and that I was going to be stuck with almost 300 pounds of the non GMO feed. We decided that I would bring my feed to him and he would mix in more soybean meal to raise the protein level to where it needs to be. That was Friday and today they are doing much better. A few still have issues getting around but I can obviously tell that they are better. Hopefully they will completely pull out of it. Thanks for the help.
 

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
884
341
Portland/Vancouver area
I called another mill closer to home to see what kind of feeds they offered. In the conversation, I told him that I needed to have at least 22-23% protein and that I was going to be stuck with almost 300 pounds of the non GMO feed. We decided that I would bring my feed to him and he would mix in more soybean meal to raise the protein level to where it needs to be. That was Friday and today they are doing much better. A few still have issues getting around but I can obviously tell that they are better. Hopefully they will completely pull out of it. Thanks for the help.

Great news, and
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