My Cornish X Rocks are dropping over dead

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
Okay, chicken gurus. What am I doing wrong? I know next to nothing about chickens. Possibly less than nothing. They were doing fine and I was bragging about it, now they are dying. Had two die in the last two days. Found them on their backs, stiff as a board. I need to correct this problem, or I'll never hear the end of it from my husband until I'm 97 years old. I'm growing them with two other guys in the neighborhood. Now they are giving me sh*t as well. How much should I be feeding them? Am I overfeeding them and giving them heart attacks? Tell me what to do so I can save face or I'll have to leave my husband and relocate. HEEEELLLLPPP!
 

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
They have water all day long. I am feeding them Flockraiser. I don't know how much. I've just been filling up their tray thingy about 2 or three times a day. They are in a Tuff-shed. It's been in the 60s here and they are 3weeks2days old. They have a warming light. We were thinking of letting them out this week because for once ever, Vegas got a ton of rain this winter and we have lots of green stuff coming up in the rocks to forage on and they got almost all their feathers now.
 

Brunty_Farms

Songster
12 Years
Apr 29, 2007
2,305
35
221
Ohio
Oh great, I'm never going to hear the end of this one either! Well good news is, your in the right place for information. Bad news is... I need some more information.

Feed? How much are you feeding and what is the age of these birds? Are they in a brooder? Are you feeding them 24/7?


Simple questions... but for a simply answer... if your not already doing this.... you need to start.

1) 24/7 feed for the first two weeks. Especially important if you do not plan to put them on pasture.

2) At two weeks they need to be put on pasture or fed a restricted diet. You have to remember, your cornish x rock chicks are equivalent to a 4 week old DP and it will not be long before they start resemble a full mature bird (weight wise). So best thing to do is to turn the lights off at night, let them rest. However if it's not warm enough your going to want to leave the lights on. If this is the case simply just take the feed away and give them water 24/7. Put the feeders back in the morning. You want to resemble a 12 hour feeding schedule... 12 hours full feed... 12 hours no feed. I find the best way to accomplish this, without any extra work, is to put them on the suns schedule. They eat when the sun comes up... and sleep when the sun goes down.

This is not a unnatural cycle... it's unnatural to feed any chicken 24/7. Even week old DP breeds should sleep at night and if reared by a hen, that's exactly what they do... all you have to do is mimic nature... the rest will fall into place.

3) If you don't have them out on pasture... make sure they have plenty of room. Keep the feeder on one end of the barn and the water on the other... Make them exercise. When they are outside they naturally will do this by chasing bugs and foraging for various vegetation. Their ability to forage depends on how quick you put them out on pasture, the younger the better.

4) Cross your fingers... these are the horror stories that people always talk about. The unfortunate thing is that obviously your birds were pushed too hard.... (not your fault!).... their little hearts are having a hard time keeping up which will cause them to "flip" The only way now to help them... is to slow their growth weight down...

5) Do you have any pictures? This would help determine also what could be wrong. I can tell a lot by just looking at the bird... So snap a couple quick photos....

Good luck... keep us updated...
 

CARS

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
1,670
28
181
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
Quote:
I agree. "A warming light" doesn't sound too precise. At 3 weeks the temp under the lamp should be around 80 degrees. From day one I start them at 95 degrees and lower it 5 degrees every week till the outside temp is the same as the brooder.

Jeff has the rest of my suggestions covered.

Don't worry, you're new and bound to loose a few. Hang in there!
 
Last edited:

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
So do you think they are dying from the temperature, because that would be the men's fault and not mine and I can blame them and all will continue to be correct in the world. I have never actually taken the temperature in the shed. The light is on 24/7. We get down in the 40s at night and mid to upper sixties during the day. In the daytime, we open the door and they do not stay under the light at all. They prefer to sun themselves. I honestly think I was overfeeding them though. I would fill them up again at 7pm and I should have been taking the feed away. With the light on 24/7, I'm sure they just kept feeding all night. OOPS???!!!!!

But I'm going to try to blame the men anyway.
smile.png
I'm just hoping that the rest make it to our big neighborhood barbecue at the end of March.
 

CARS

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
1,670
28
181
Saint James/ Comfrey MN
Ya, it sounds like temp and over feeding may be the problem.

However, you can't take away the light AND have heat. They need heat (around 80 degrees under the lamp) and let them move around. They will lay under it when they need it and away from it when they don't.

Tonight, pull the feed but leave plenty of water. Did you use a "broiler booster" type of additive to the water? Alot do/don't so it's not an issue now, but it may/may not have helped.
 

Michele S

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
96
1
39
No, I'm not using a booster. Okay, guys, thanks so much for your help. This is definitely my fault, but I've got to spin it to a more favorable analysis for the greater good of my future quality of life. I would not blame the breed though. I just don't know what I'm doing and I hope my learning curve isn't 25 chickens.
 

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