My meat birds are dieing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by steveo, May 11, 2009.

  1. steveo

    steveo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2007
    Poland, Maine
    My cornish x are a little over 5 weeks old and everything has been going good so far. I started out with 26 and had a couple die early. I have had the last 24 up until now. I went out this morning to move their tractor and noticed one of the birds was dead and two more were on the way to being dead. One of the two that were dieing could not get up and it was the bird that had been lame for a while. The other one was just kind of shaking and would not open its eyes. I culled the two birds and threw all three out back for the coyotes or whatever else is back there. The birds were about 3.5 to 4 pounds except for the small one.

    So now I am down to 21 birds. I expected a few to die but I am up to 5 dead now. The rest of the birds look good but who knows. We did have some lightning and wind the other day. I am not sure what else to do now except wait and see how the rest do. I have been feeding 12 on and 12 off up until I realized that they do not eat once it gets dark. I am feeding Blue Seal Chick N Game Bird starter/grower crumbles 22%.
  2. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison County, Iowa
    steve-o, I have the same problem. I've lost 4 of 16 in the last 5 days. I have seen the "shaking the head" symptom, and saw one expel some clearish liquid from it's mouth during the shaking.
    My meaties have a good life. I feed a 22% starter/grower on the 12on/12off schedule. They constantly have fresh water, a nice home, plenty of grass to free range (enclosed pen). My birds are 7 weeks old today.

    I also find mine dead in the yard, feet up, no other signs of trauma.

    My birds are vaccinated for cocci and Mareks.
  3. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    Are you putting a vitamin supplement in the water? MM has something they call Broiler Booster, and Welp Hatchery sells a vitamin pack for their Corniss X. I use the Broiler Booster and it really seems to help.
  4. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    I started with 26 also. I lost 2 at about 2 weeks and one just the other day. They are almost 5 weeks now. I just assume that I will just loose about 10% of my Cornish Xs. I would rather loose 10% then to feed them meds. I made the mistake of not culling the last bird sooner as I think it recovered from a heart attack earlier.
  5. tnchicken

    tnchicken Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2009
    I am feeling your pain. I started out with 50 and at about4-5 weeks started loosing them one by one till I am down to about 30. I have never had this problem before and am perplexed. They seem perfectly healthy and then suddenly I will find one down and dead within hours. Odd things is, it is the smaller brids that seem to be doing this. If you find any particular reason, sharing it would be appreciated as the hatchery has been no help and say they have had no other issues.
  6. Big George

    Big George Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2009
    Sorry to hear your troubles. I wonder if they are warm enough at night and dry? I just finished processing 20 of 20 but I had them In my garage, they went to 10 weeks.
  7. sesa

    sesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Thurmont, Md
    This thread has me worried, I have 22 cornish x that will be a month old wednesday, so far all is good but I've noticed in the last couple of days some of the birds are kind of lying on their sides with one of their legs sticking straight out, they can get right up and run off if startled, is this normal for chickens to lay like this or is this a sign of trouble?
  8. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Quote:Totally normal, they are just relaxing.

    saw one expel some clearish liquid from it's mouth during the shaking.

    Not sure but this makes me think of crop impaction, my cornish girl was dribbling clearish liquid when her crop was impacted. Maybe your birds are eating lots of grass and need a little grit, since you mentioned they are on grass? It could be harder to tell because you'd expect their crops to be big and full all the time. If a crop becomes impacted enough it can restrict breathing, and cornish could get to that state quickly enough gorging on food and grass all day.
    Just don't free choice grit, they will eat enough of it to impact their crops.​
  9. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have 4 Cornish Rocks that are 8 weeks old today. I'm not raising them for meat and hope to keep them alive for at least 6 months [​IMG] so I started them 15% grower/finisher at 3 weeks and started restricting the amount they're fed as well. They're all healthy, strong and BIG. But their legs seem sturdy and they still run and even try to fly once in a while. [​IMG]
  10. steveo

    steveo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2007
    Poland, Maine
    Quote:This is normal, all my chickens do that when they are sunning themselves. My guineas do it too.

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