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Sudden Death in Broiler Chicks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been so frustrated with the CX chicks I've tried to raise. After having really great luck with egg layer chicks of multiple varieties (not loosing any except for a few during shipping) or Red Rangers (ditto) or Freedom Rangers (lost NONE ofa 35 order) I seem to have a high mortality rate with my CX chicks.

    They will be running around looking healthy as can be when I check on them before bed and then wake up to find one lying on its back, dead the next morning. I lost 3 out of 10 of my first batch, about one a week during wees 2,3 and 4. This batch I ordered 18 and 9 arrived dead. Of those 9 that arrived alive I've also lost 3 but they were all about 48 hours appart when they were between 1 and 2 weeks of age.

    In all my frantic questioning of what might be happening and what I could do differently, I never got much of an answer on this forum. However, this weekend while shopping for kitchen appliances I picked up this book at Lowes on chicken breeds and started flipping through. I was tickled to find Freedom Rangers listed and was reading through the breed description when my attention was caught by the phrase "while heartier than the CX, Freedom Rangers are still prone to Sudden Death Syndrom or 'Flip-over Disease'".

    I came home and did a Google Search for the terms and found this article.

    It is too late for my poor lost broiler chicks, but might be helpful for others:

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...udden_death_syndrome_of_broiler_chickens.html

    I think that this is exactly what I was seeing.
     
  2. ladycat

    ladycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, that's common in cornish X.
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish I had known with my first batch of CX becuase I definately would have restricted their feed and the feed of my second batch. I figure living at high altitude doesn't help much either if it is a heart condition. I guess it is only going to be Freedom Rangers in my future.
     
  4. Owingsia

    Owingsia Out Of The Brooder

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    Saluda VA
    When I started by CX I was instructed by an old farmer to start them off with meat bird feed and after 3 weeks to put them on a lower protein feed for 2 weeks and then 1-2 more weeks back on the high protein feed and finally to finish them off with corn mixed with low protein food. He said he sometimes finishes week 8-10 depending on when he processes with dog or cat food. He said they grow so fast that you got to get them going but then let their body catch up. He said he never raises them when its hot because they drop like flies in the heat.

    Just advice that was given to me.
     
  5. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cleveland OH
    CX's are not recommended for high altitudes and it's always suggested you restrict feed to 12 hours a day after the first week. As for the nine arriving dead you make also just have a not-very-good supplier?
     
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered them from Meyer Hatchery. I don't know if anyone has had similarly poor results from their shipments, but I'm guessing that the chicks were packed for hot summer weather (August 5th shipping date) and we had a big thunderstorm and unseasonably cold weather the night before they arrived. I was actually waiting at the Post Office for them to be unloaded from the truck the day they arrived and opened to peek inside and was pretty saddened by what I found.

    I started restricting their feed at about 3 weeks, not realizing that I needed to start much earlier. Anyway, I think having raised 1 batch of Freedom Rangers, 1 batch of CX, 1 batch of Red Rangers and now half way through a 2nd batch of CX, it will only be Freedom Rangers for me in the future.

    I mostly posted that article in case there was information there that others would find helpful, since I doubt I'll try CX again.
     
  7. Tara80

    Tara80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Uh oh, I just ordered 10 Broilers from Meyer's and they will be coming around September 26th.
    I will take some pics and add an update here for you on their condition when they arrive.
    Honestly, I have heard only good things about Meyer Hatchery; in consideration for it being a hatchery.
     
  8. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is all together possible that this wasn't a reflection on Meyer Hatchery, simply bad luck on my part as to a strange and turbulent summer we've been having in the Colorado mountains. Last year we were evacuated from our property for 9 or 10 days due to the Waldo Canyon Fire and this year we've had a record cool and wet summer...which is great as far as the fire threat is concerened but horrible with the flooding we've had and the crazy hail storms.
     
  9. rick54

    rick54 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yup, we started out with 25 of those birds and ended with only 7. I was told it was because they grow so fast, that they actually succumb to heart attacks. We did remove the feed at 5 p.m. and return it to them at 7 a.m.
    Frankly, these birds are way more trouble than they're worth. Especially since there are so many other breeds out there that are equal if not better as a meat bird.

    Years ago we had the Cornish Roaster from Murray McMurray and they did fine. In the future I'll stay away from the Jumbo Cornish X Rock chickens. I heard the Freedom birds do okay. I will have to search this forum to find out the consensus as to which bird is the best meat bird. If its a matter of taking a few extra weeks to get to my desired slaughter weight, that's fine.
     
  10. Bill Matthews

    Bill Matthews Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raising Cornish Rock Broilers are more trouble than they are worth in terms of the feed efficiency to growth rate ratio compared to traditional multi-purpose breeds....Make it easy on yourself: Order one of the faster growing breeds such as New Hampshires, White Plymouth Rocks, White Wyandottes, or a Cross Breed such as Deleware Hamps, or Sex Links , Black or Red....New Hampshires are really good smaller broilers and are easily found...Cackle Hatchery has Deleware Hamps...If money is an issue, look for cheap non-traditional feed sources...Or put up with the aggravation of raising nasty birds that die before you can eat them...Of course eating them alive would not appeal to most of us!
     

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