no feathers on breast = whole flock of meaties

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jeraldt6, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. jeraldt6

    jeraldt6 In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2011
    This is my first time raising meat chickens. Cornish Rock cross. From the time they were 3 days old there breast and abdominal regions from under the wings down have been naked. The same for all 24 chicks. They seem super healthy. Drinking lots of water and eating lots of food. They are now 4weeks old and big. Still seem perfectly healthy. I want to put them outside in the tractor but not sure with no feathers. Is this normal for this type of chicken?

  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi jeraldt6, they often don't have complete feather coverage. It's usually nothing to worry about.

    Feathers take a lot of protein so a deficient feed will exacerbate feathering problems. However the Cornish x aren't like normal birds and never seem to feather up really well even on the best quality feed. You could always try a little protein treat daily if you remain concerned.

    As for putting them out that depends on the weather where you are. Here I regularly put growers out in the tractor with just a tarp, but it's not freezing and there's no danger of them piling up.

  3. LilyD

    LilyD Songster

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Another thing that I have been told about meaties is that they grow so fast that it takes the feathers a while to catch up we feed good amounts of protein but it takes a while for the feathers to come in.
  4. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Boy I was in the same spot the first time I saw meaties. I was like "OMG what's wrong with their stomachs?"

    Meaties don't get up and walk around like normal chicks. They just kind of sit and breathe until they feel like eating, then heave themselves over to the food. I think this excessive sitting rubs off the feathers underneath. Compound that with them growing too fast to cover themselves with feathers, and you have a half-naked chicken.

    Poor things look like a bunch of beached albino whales.

  5. jeraldt6

    jeraldt6 In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks so much. Good to know this is pretty normal. I have started the 12 hour food thing now. It shouldn't get below 45 at night here now so I think I will put the tractor out in the lawn and have a tarp handy. I can't wait to hear what the neighbors have to say when they see how I am going to fertilize and thatch my front lawn this year. I am going to build another tractor for some of my egg layers for the same reason. I have good neighbors and they seem to be into what I am doing. I hope some of them start with their own flocks.
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    It is a common and prefered trait amoung Regular standard Cornish, where the keel bone shows through uncovered by feathers. Since the Cornish X has allot of cornish breeding and cornish parent stock, it is common and one should expect the breast to look this way.

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