New to cornish X, week old chicks have very dirty bellies

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by brownlikewoah, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. brownlikewoah

    brownlikewoah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2009
    seattle
    I have 24 cornish X chicks that are almost a week old. Initially I was feeding them with the food & water on ground level, they'd eat themselves stupid, fall asleep in the food dish. Two days ago while cleaning out their brooder (they are in a plastic kiddie pool) I noticed that nearly all of them were filthy dirty on their stomachs & chests, caked with food. I soaked them all in warm water and washed off everything that was stuck on. I've since put the feeders up on a box, so they can't lay in it as easily. A few of them are getting the dirty bellies again... is this normal??? Should I continue to wash them? I'm worried that they will rot or something if the food stays on there, caked up.
     
  2. 1okChickm0m

    1okChickm0m New Egg

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    Aug 4, 2014
    NE Oklahoma
    Well, I'm new both to BYC and to chickens but I just raised a small flock of nine cornish x chicks last spring. I had the same problem. I did the best that I could with keeping them clean and then put them outside in a tractor over grass as soon as I could. They were 2-3 weeks at that point. Until they were completely feathered out, I brought them inside at night or if it was raining. Once they were out of the brooder, it was easier to keep them clean, but to a certain degree they were just very messy birds. In spite of the filth and being outside a bit earlier than my heritage breeds, they were all happy and healthy right up until we processed them.
     
  3. brownlikewoah

    brownlikewoah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2009
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    Thanks! I've read online that they seem to grow & not have any feathers on their chest & stomach from it always rubbing on the ground, so I wasn't sure if what's happening right now with them being dirty like that is the beginning of them not having feathers there? I'm trying to change their bedding every other day, which is straw. I researched them a bit before we got them, and I'm still shocked by the difference between these cornish X, and the chicks we have raised in the past. They're growing SO fast, and barely move. I moved their food to the other side of the brooder so they'd at least have to walk to it...
     
  4. brownlikewoah

    brownlikewoah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2009
    seattle
    Anyone else???? I'd really appreciate more input
     
  5. I raised some Cornish X. All they do is eat, poop and sleep. They grow so fast that their energy goes into the body growing instead of the feathers developing.
    Don't worry about them being dirty, it dries and falls off. Dirty is normal. My yard and coop for them is sand and I threw in some straw as well. They sleep on the ground, they're too heavy to roost, so a lot of times they are laying in dirt, poop, mud or whatever.
    It was my first time with this breed and having meat birds. Since they don't get their feathers like other breeds, I thought they were ugly when they were young.

    But come butcher time they dressed out at 9.5 to 10 pounds. I roasted one in a turkey roasting bag, (I always cook my birds upside down so the juices go to the breast BTW), and he was delicious.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. 1okChickm0m

    1okChickm0m New Egg

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    Aug 4, 2014
    NE Oklahoma
    Those are gorgeous! We started butchering at five weeks and finished at about eight weeks. Since we had never done it before either, we just processed a few at a time. The younger ones were 3-4# and the larger ones were more like 5-6.
     
  7. brownlikewoah

    brownlikewoah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2009
    seattle
    Thanks, I will keep doing what I've been doing then, and try to ignore how dirty they are :( That chicken is HUGE! Wow! 7 more weeks til the big day!
     
  8. LeeBrad

    LeeBrad Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2014
    Western NC
    Get them on grass as soon as they feather out. Keep fresh littler in their brooder. They grow quickly, so you need more space than you think. I tried the kidde pool when I first started, I'd recommend deep bedding and that you use something other than that.
     
  9. Baybrio

    Baybrio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    I bedded them deeply with pine shavings, stirred up the shavings twice a day. About every other day I replaced maybe half the bedding with new fresh bedding.

    They really need a lot of room to stay clean. Once I moved mine outside it was easier but I still had a lot of maintenance to keep the night pen clean. Fluffing up the bedding is very helpful in keeping it dryer. They are so heavy they mash the bedding down pretty fast.

    If they are too dirty and remain damp they may get sores on their chests and bellies which is going to impact your final product as well as being uncomfortable for the chickens.
     

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