Loosing a cornish x a day . . .

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RedCanoe, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. RedCanoe

    RedCanoe In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Hi everybody,

    I could use some help in figuring out what I'm doing wrong. We are loosing one or two birds a day out of our batch of 50 cx's.

    This is our 3rd year doing this and I have never had this trouble.

    All the chickens look healthy, they seem to be eating drinking and moving about normal for cx's. But when i check on them about one a day is belly up, literally. The only other thing i see is a slight trickle of blood at the vent. These birds are 71/2 weeks and are scheduled to go to the farmers market next Saturday, so slaughter is supposed to be next Friday. Also, I am starting to loose a couple from my follow up batch that is 2 weeks younger.

    The weather here was very hot last week, at least for Buffalo NY. It was 2 or 3 days near 90 and very humid. I spoke with our hatchery at the time and she said it sounded like heart attacks from the heat. But is has cooled off for several days and the problem persists. So i dont think it is just the heat, maybe the swing in temps?

    My theory is that I am over feeding. Can anyone tell me what it looks like when cx's eat themselves to death? I have a friend who split this batch with me. He took 12 and i kept 50. He has not lost any birds like this and I am close to 15 that i have lost this way. He gets his food from me, so we are feeding the exact same ration/grain. When i spoke with him the other day he said that he thought his birds were looking small and that he would not be ready to slaughter next week. My birds on the other hand are huge! They look much bigger to me then my batches in the past.

    I have about 30 birds left. I don't know how many pounds i food I give them but it would be the equivalent of 2 1/2 to 3 gallons. But now the big birds are not even finishing their food each day. I am feeding them a 22% ration from a local feed mill. It is the same ration I used in the past with no trouble.

    Other possibilities, I don't think these things have anything to do with it but i am just trying to come up with something:
    • Our well water here is very hard, any chance that is hurting them?
    • This pasture is not very robust, could they be eating something out there that is doing it?
    • I give them grit as baby chicks and never gave them new grit on pasture. Do they need some new grit?


    Thanks!
     
  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Songster

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    Your birds are dying from "flip"....congestive heart failure. This is usually caused from overfeeding. Do you notice any with purple combs and a squishy feeling in the chest cavity? This is caused from Ascites. If you open one up that has died you will more than likely encounter a yellow fluid in the cavity.

    I would drop the protein down to about 18% and make sure the feeders are up so they have to stand to eat and move the water as far away as possible.

    ETA: The added stress of the heat could be what is pushing them over the edge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  3. mi chicken

    mi chicken In the Brooder

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    May 7, 2012
    the thumb
    x2
     
  4. enel 1

    enel 1 Songster

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    I feed mine Purina flock raiser 20% one feeding every 12 hrs and havent had any probs with birds dieing or not making weight. sounds like "flip" to me too so...x3
     
  5. RedCanoe

    RedCanoe In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Thanks for the quick and decisive response . . . . so i will cut way back on the feed and see what other arrangements I can make. Should I expect to see a turn around this week or has the damage already been done for this batch?
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

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    Blood at the vent is probably coxydia.
     
  7. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Songster

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    Sorry to say that the damage has already been done but you may be able to cut your losses further by switching.

    I have heard that you can still eat the birds that show evidence of Ascites when you butcher.

    Hope everything goes well until the big day! :)
     
  8. RedCanoe

    RedCanoe In the Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Just in case anyone is searching the forum in the future and wondered what happened here:

    I ended up reducing the feed ration by a third. I also began mixing my 22% protein ration with my 17% ration for my layers. I mixed it at about 2 scoops of 22 for every 1 scoop of 17. I only lost 2 more birds from that batch and not a single bird yet from any of my follow up batches.

    Your diagnosis was spot on! Thanks!
     
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

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    I agree.
     
  10. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

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    It's probably not the amount you are feeding bit the percent of protein. I would not feed them layer rations due to they are babies. Mixing the two together will not change the %. I make my CX's work for their food and water. They have to walk to get it. My babies right now are 3 weeks old and I've been having them free range. They are actually going farther the 50 ft from their tractor.
     

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