meat birds dying

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ABstormyirefarm, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. ABstormyirefarm

    ABstormyirefarm New Egg

    May 10, 2008
    This is my 2nd year with cornish X's. Last year went well but this batch has me stumped. They will be 8 wks 5/12 but in the last 2 days have found 3 dead for no apparent reason. Anyone else having problems or suggestions to do? They are fed all stock sweet which is what we fed last year & had no problems along with table scraps. This worked really well last year & produced some very tasty, tender meat. They didn't show signs of being weak or anything so I'm stumped.
    1 person likes this.
  2. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Cornish Xs are usually butchered around 6 weeks. If they get too big their legs and/or hearts will give out. That's most likely what happened to yours.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
  3. ABstormyirefarm

    ABstormyirefarm New Egg

    May 10, 2008
    Thanks for that reply but one odd thing about that, compared to last years birds these ones aren't even 1/2 the size of last years yet & we've gone through 80 lbs of feed in just under 2 weeks. our daughter does them as her project in FFA at school as well as us doing them for meat & some egg laying breeds as well. They don't have the weight yet that we saw last year when their legs would give out. I'll keep the info you gave in mind though & just go from here on it.
  4. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Slidell, LA
    Heat can affect them also. Maybe they got too hot.
  5. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sometimes that just happens with the Cornish X's. Not necessarily anything you're doing wrong.
  6. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    My 30 Cornish are 6 weeks old today. They get fed 12 on and 12 off. We're planning on processing the first batch on 5/16 and the rest of them on 5/23. Did the same thing with our last batch (processed on 2/7 and 2/14 at 8 and 9 weeks respectively) and we had no deaths once they passed the 2 week old point. With this batch we had one DOA upon delivery and one that had to be killed at about a week as we think it broke it's neck.

    There are probably a lot of factors that could contribute to an early death. Every day I do a head-count and double check the coop/run to make sure we still have 30 live birds running around!
  7. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Is the feed you are feeding made for poultry? Never heard of what you are feeding, also what kind of table scraps are you giving your birds? Just because you feed it last year, doesn't mean it is OK for this year. These are different birds. So you might need to look into that. Here in northern Ohio we were in the 40's-50's then jumped to 80's for a few days, now back to 50. So maybe the weather could have played a factor in causing stress. Stress on a meat bird in not a good factor. Good luck with the rest.
  8. Motel Chix

    Motel Chix Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 19, 2007
    Central Indiana
    Give them 18-20% protien Poultry feed, withhold feed for 8 hours at nights. Plenty of shade and fresh water.
    Good luck!
  9. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Haha, I try to count mine, but it makes me nuts! I just hope that there's 52 in the pen and I'll confirm on processing day.
  10. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    So far we have had two die on use, one showed no signs of stress, the other showed signs of something wrong the day before.

    A couple of days ago we started butchering our cornish cross, I notice that some of them had a smaller hearts then others. Also the llivers were of different sizes. The only noticable difference between them was some had a darker red comb then others. But that did not translate to the size of there hearts. We had started out feeding them 12 on 12 off. but the last 2 weeks there have had feed available 24 hrs.

    I am guesing that one of there internal organs just did not develop as they should have. But very seldom is there any sign that this has happened.

    A small heart leads to heart attacks, the results is they just fall down and die. Small livers don't filter out normal toxins, they are slowly posiond by there own bodies, they will get lathargic and not move much, there eyes will looked glassed over.

    But you will never know why they die unless you preform a necropsy, or butcher them after the died and check there organs. But then again most people are not going to do a necropsy or have one done.

    So don't do like we did and have fed available 24 hrs a day, use there 12 on, 12 off method to slow there growth so the internal organs can keep up with there body growth.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by