meatbirds can't walk

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kakayona, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. kakayona

    kakayona Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
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    3 of my 33 birds can hardly walk. Hip/leg problems with this bread i am aware of. What can I do at this stage? They have 3-4 weeks till harvest and how or what can i do to get them there? Gonna have to separate them. What are the odds of bringing them bcak to walking or getting them to harvest?
     
  2. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guessing you have Cornish X...we've had one in the last couple of years with a leg issue but it was within a week or so of freezer camp so wasn't too tough to keep him comfortable until the road trip, and he was able to get around, it was more a malformed joint issue I think.

    With you being at the halfway point (in my opinion) I'd plan on separating the problem children, bedding them deeply and doing the best you can to keep them comfortable for maybe another 1-1 1/2 weeks max. With the rate of growth they are and will be experiencing there's no humane way to keep them around another 3-4 weeks--not a nice way to spend the last half of ones short life. As messy as they are, they will be content to sit and eat and drink and poop for a month, but unless you are able to keep them moving and clean up constantly they'll get raw on their keel/breastbone, and no physical movement will make it uncomfortable...not to mention whether they are experiencing discomfort or pain to begin with. I'd cut my loss and plan on an earlier butcher date for them...maybe your own personal "Cornish Game Hens" so to speak!
    Good luck whatever you do...
     
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  3. kakayona

    kakayona Out Of The Brooder

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    any way to tape their legs? read a post a long time ago but i think they were very young chicks. feeding 23% but only once a day. not 24/7. they are not huge or growing like crazy.
     
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are these Cornish cross chickens (Cornish Rocks)?

    I have read that this can happen with this hybrid when feed is provided 24 hours a day. It is recommended that feed be provided during the day, but do not allow feed in the coop at night. This helps prevent the chickens from getting too big and not being able to walk.

    Another way to avoid this is in the future to get White Plymouth Rocks. They will take a little longer to get to the butchering stage, but you won't have chickens not being able to walk.
     
  5. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the leg-taping works well with very young chicks, not so sure when they are older. Might want to do a search on BYC for addtl. info.

    My personal experience with the Cornish X chicks has been feeding them 24/7, but keep in mind they are off lights from about 3 weeks on (we do this July-Sept) and they do not eat in the dark. When they have consumed all their feed and it is refilled it's almost scary how they 'attack' the feed like they have been starved for weeks....THAT worries me more than over consumption. I'm afraid they're going to choke to death thru gorging. I have not had serious issues with legs or heart attacks, but two with gimpiness in the last couple of weeks.
    Placing the feed and water at opposite ends of the pen encourages them to move around, and it does work.
    We have no choice as these are my daughters fair projects, they all come from the same hatchery/same day--this ensures all of the 4-H members are on a level playing field, and is also pretty interesting to check them all out 8 weeks later. They certainly don't all look the same.
    Although there are inherent issue with the Cornish X's due to the rapid feed to meat conversion, we have been pretty fortunate with the ones we've raised the last three years. Once dd is done with 4-H I may venture out and try to Freedom Rangers just to compare cost vs. end product taste and quality...in the meantime we'll stick with them!

    How long does it take to grow the White Plymouth Rock out? And what is the optimal size/age to butcher? I haven't heard of them for primary meat production--might have to look into that for a future alternate too!
     
  6. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found this website about raisding Cornish cross chickens: http://animals.pawnation.com/raise-cornish-cross-chickens-2179.html


    "Feed and water every day. Do not leave feed out for 24 hours. Instead, feed 12 hours on and 12 hours off to slow the growth rate and ensure that the chicks do not suffer from heart attacks and other growth-related diseases."
     
  7. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info..although not really pertinent to the OP's questions, I believe they said they were NOT feeding 24/7.
    I'm fine with how we've been raising meaties over the last four years--I was simply sharing with the OP my experiences so far.

    PS...I also have googled the topic and there are other websites that recommend free choice feeding due to the high demands of their rapidly growing bodies so I think it really is a personal decision made by each individual based on what they feel is best and what their own personal experiences are...there are sights that also recommend the deep litter method for bedding rather than cleaning daily..again, individual decision.
     
  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was responding to you, DelcoChix.

    Yes, everyone can take the information provided and use it as they please.

    Feeding for 12 hours will reduce the chances of Cornish Cross from not being able to walk or having heart attacks.

    Here is the advice about Cornish Cross from Cackle Hatchery.
    "They grow so fast that their legs may give out from their weight and it is not recommended that they be kept for breeding. You can take away the chicken feed at night to restrict the feed intake to slow the growth of the chicken. This will allow the bones and tendons to catch up with the rapid growth of the Cornish boiler. However, do not use small particle bedding (like saw dust or small shavings) because when restricting their feed they will eat too much of their bedding material and cause sickness and death."
     
  9. kakayona

    kakayona Out Of The Brooder

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    Thing is that the food is out for like 6 hours a day. cut back on protein% from last batch of chicks i had. they are significantly smaller and i have MORE leg problems. i got these from a different hatchery tho. Is it possible i got some "not so good genetic" birds? 4 of my 35 can't walk. 2 died the night i got them. I only had 2 that had leg issues the last batch and I clearly over fed them.

    Frustrated!!!!!
     
  10. Tlammy

    Tlammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    12 hours on, 12 hours off ;)
     

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