Meaty illness question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by allyn71, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. allyn71

    allyn71 New Egg

    Jun 6, 2009
    I am not sure if this belongs in the illness section but as this relates to meaty's I thought I would try it here.

    I searched the forums, but couldn't find a clear answer.

    I have a batch of 25 (23 now) Cornish X's that are 5 1/2 weeks old.

    About a week ago I had one that seemed lethargic in the morning and wasn't interested in food. It's eyes had a dull, droopy appereance. I left it overnight and it was dead in the morning.

    I figured it was just one of those things and didn't think to much about it. Yesterday morning when I went to feed the birds, I noticed another one with the same appereance and attitude. It wasn't interested in food and stood in the back of the tractor and was listless with its eyes closed half the time. The same bird was part of the mass that attacked the feeder the day before like they were starving to death. Next day, no interest in food.

    I removed it from the flock and put it in my dog kennel with food, water, and a heat lamp. It was dead this morning. I have no idea what is going on. The only thing that seems like an illness in the flock is a few birds sneezing once in awhile, but they have been doing that since I put them outside at 2 weeks.

    The birds are housed in an 8'X8' tractor half covered and half open. I move it every morning to fresh grass.

    Any ideas or things to look for? I am at a loss. The crop wasn't impacted and I can't tell about the poo as it is a pen full of meaty's and well you know. These two did seem a little bit smaller than the others but that is the only distinguishing feature different about them. And by smaller I mean only a little bit. They didn't stand out as smaller until inspection after the illness showed them maybe 10% smaller.

    Anyways, any help or ideas would be appreciated. I don't want to start losing my flock.

  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    Do a search for Coccidiosis. Have you checked their poop? The other symptoms you describe sound like cocci. Sorry for your losses and hope it's better soon. [​IMG]
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    sounds like cocci, but not enough info.
    How big are your chicks & what are you feeding & what do they look like dead (on their backs?)
  4. allyn71

    allyn71 New Egg

    Jun 6, 2009
    Feed comes from local mill. Used it last year and it is used by many in the area with no problems.

    The birds are 5 1/2 weeks old.

    I don't believe it is flip from over feeding/growth. They are lethargic when alive. I went through flip last year so know about that and this doesn't seem the same.

    They are seem fine one day and are indistinguishable from the rest. The next they are lethargic and don't care for food. Next day they are on their side dead.

    Checked the droppings and didn't see any sign of cocci but that doesn't mean it isn't there. No bloody stool to be seen on the ground where the tractor was the day before or in the kennel after isolation although there weren't many droppings in there.

    Don't know if that helps, but that is about it really. Only other thing is they seem a little on the small side compared to average.

    Is an 8'X8' pen big enough for 25 Cornish cross? Last year I raised a batch in it, but to be honest flip killed 10 of them so only finished 15.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    is their head drooping? It could be soemthing from the feed. Are they getting enought water (NEVER running out?)?
  6. Jelliss

    Jelliss New Egg

    Mar 20, 2011
    Check them for lice. I lost a bunch of birds to them, totally sucked. If you've never had to deal with lice before look near the vent and around and under the wings. It is unlikely that you'll get to see the litle bugs but you should be able to find their nests. The nests look like little clumps of the downy feathers with little white specks in them. If that is what it turns out to be buy some food grade DE (Diatimatious Earth // I appologize for any incorrect spelling) and dust ALL your birds, also crush up a bunch of iron pills and add it to their feed ( I have found that this plus medicated feed helps them bounce back faster, since they are meat birds and almost ready for "the block" I would skip the medicated feed; but the iron should help). I hope this helps.
  7. Rex Mom

    Rex Mom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Castro Valley,CA
    You said these two were the smaller of the bunch... since Cornish X are notorious for having heart trouble from accelerated growth it may be the lethargy you saw was from heart issues. What protien % is you feed? Sometimes too high of % of protien will cause a problem past a certain age (3 weeks) with the X's. I've heard after 3 weeks they need to be on 22%. Unless one of the "normal" sized ones has the same problem I would take the wait and see approach. Is it warm where you are? Sometimes the heat will affect them too.

    Not sure if I helped any.. LOL.. but I hope the others do well.

  8. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    CHF. Heart failure.

    Listless, not eating, head down?

    Comb was probably purplish, not bright red when alive, correct?

    Looked bruised when dead, and when you opened it, a lot of clear yellow fluid?

    If the answers to most or all of those symptoms is yes, it probably that.

    If you see another one like that, cull immediately. Pluck & clean, let rest, etc.

    I would also cut the amount of feed you give them and go to a 12 on-12 off feed schedule if you aren't already doing that. You will likely have a few more deaths until you butcher, but if you makes those changes, they should slow down and stop.
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    The symptoms sound like the birds I have lost to cocci. I did see evidence in their poop though.
  10. allyn71

    allyn71 New Egg

    Jun 6, 2009
    I will try and get all the questions answered.

    They are on a 22% protein feed, 12 on 12 off schedule of food. The head was down and it was listless, but the comb was not irregular in color and didn't turn purple after death.

    They have on a couple of occasions ran totally out of water for a few hours, but not in at least a week. Watering 3 times a day and now that kids are out of school they can cover the afternoon period that they ran out the couple of times before.

    I will check for mites again, but didn't see any sign at first glance.

    I have added ACV to their water and will see what happens.

    I know you usually lose a few X's in a batch, but I am hoping to learn from last year and do better. When the symptoms seemed similiar I was afraid of some type of disease outbreak.

    Thanks again. Will let you know if anything new comes up.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011

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