overweight chicken can't walk well?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ken3, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Ken3

    Ken3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Folks -

    This is my first time raising chickens, so like any other first-timer it's kinda hard to know what is normal variation and what is actually abnormal. One of the 7 chickens we are raising from chicks purchased at TSC is a lot bigger than the others. We've been wondering if it was just normally bigger or if it had problems because it never seemed to walk around as much as the others. But, up to the last few days when I finished the coop and got them outside, the chicks had been living in a big carton, so we weren't sure if it was just that there wasn't as much room as a big chicken might want. Now, though, it really seems that this big girl can't walk properly. She does get up and down, but where the others are running around their run, she just waddles a few steps and plops down. Also, she doesn't seem to be able to get up or down the ramp to the chicken door - it's a 2 x 12 plank, the others trot up and down happily.

    So - do chickens get walking problems from being overweight, like people do? Do chickens even get overweight? I'm afraid I do not know what breed she is, but she is differently colored from all of the others we got at TSC. (4 of them are golden-brown all over, two are white with black around the neck and with feathers on their feet. The big one is just all white)

    I appreciate thoughts and suggestions -

    Ken
     
  2. andalusn

    andalusn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens come in many colors by breed. Do you know what breeds you bought? Did you by chance get a production breed that is usually for meat? Many meat breeds mature faster to get to optimum growth in a small time frame for processing. These types of breeds are not intended for long term flocks as they are old before their time so to speak. Sometimes large breeds of chickens (Jersey Giant) can have issues with growing too fast for their frame to catch up and may seem to have leg issues but grow out of it with a little time. Does this hen spend most of her time just eating and no moving around as chickens do for exercise an exploring their world? Pictures of this bird with your other flock members would help too.
     
  3. flnatv

    flnatv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you got a meat chicken in the mix.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Can't say for sure without seeing it, but it sounds like you got a Cornish x, which is intended as a meat bird. They usually develop leg problems because they grow and fatten really fast. I've never raised meat birds, because I don't eat chickens. But hopefully someone will come along to advise you.
     
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    It is possible that she is a meat bird breed that is bred to grow very fast with a really big breast and they actually do have trouble getting around. Sadly these breeds do not typically live as long as egg laying or dual purpose breeds. Meet breeds often are all white.

    You will be able to post pics after you have 10 posts if you want us to take a look.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  6. andalusn

    andalusn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In our area the large more box like feed store has a period of time where they offer 4 "free" chicks when you buy a 50# sack of feed. Sadly they are almost always a meat bird which is bad because many of the buyers are first time owners and they think they are saving a chick from a bad future which it then suffers. It this bird is a meat bird and you are not intending to process it then it should sell quickly on Craig's List to someone who can use it. I had a Russian family take all 6 of my Sexlink roosters for their freezer and they were thrilled to be getting them. My phone rang like mad for folks wanting home raised meat birds.
     
  7. Ken3

    Ken3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replies. I googled cornish x, and the pictures that came up look exactly like this chicken (my daughter named her Sunshine, this is not going to go over well with her). Is there anything else even close to that appearance, or is it pretty certain that if it matches the pix, it's a cornish x.

    The chicks at TSC weren't really labeled with a specific breed. The bins were just labeled "pullets" and "red pullets". At the time, it was a bit early in my "chicken education" and I wasn't really thinking about breed type. And, it never occurred to me to ask whether they were egg vs meat chickens. Dumb of me, but it just didn't even enter my brain. It's not really the point, but I'm wondering if anyone knows how you get another breed mixed in like that?

    I'm kinda far away from the 10-post mark, but if any of you kind folks who have responded would permit me to send you a pic via email, I'd be grateful. I'd like to nail this down so I know what to do with the poor critter. Her ability to walk seems even worse tonight than this morning, it seems that she has to struggle to get her feet under her and stand up.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Sad Ken, it does sound like one of the poor meat birds. They really need to eat less and get exercise in order to do alright, at least for awhile..... Does this bird seem especially eager to eat?
    JJ
     
  9. Ken3

    Ken3 Out Of The Brooder

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    JJ, this bird ate like there was no tomorrow. She was actually pretty funny, as she liked to eat from the large center opening of the plastic feeder we have - it's the type with openings around the perimeter, and you fill it in the large center hole. We had put an old plastic container upside down in that center hole to keep the chickens from roosting on it and pooping in their food. As soon as I reached in and pulled the blocking plastic thingie off, she'd be up and waddling in to stick her face in that center hole. As I was filling it up, I'd have to keep moving her back so I could pour the food in. She never minded me pulling her away, just kept trying to push her head back it. Really a very docile creature. I hate to have to get rid of her, but I'm not sure what else to do. I think her eating days are behind her - she didn't seem able to waddle over when I filled the feeder tonight.

    Ken
     
  10. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    I have the same breed of chicken that acts the same. It is all white and very large. it gets hot very easily too. dont be worried about it, that just had to do with the breed it is!
     

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