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Time To Cull?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by machoman, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a situation that's just breaking my heart. We have some cornish cross babies, about 4.5 weeks old ( fully feathered ) and 2 are not doing well. To be honest, I'm kind if disappointed with the breed and will probably not get them again. It seems unnatural to me how they act, not very chicken like. Of my 13, two died within the first week. I have another with spraddle legs that I wasn't able to fix. It's significantly smaller than the others, it does eat and drink, but can't stand in it's legs, it's usually in a sideways splits position and basically drags itself everywhere. My husband says cull, I say keep alive as long as it's eating and drinking. Another chick is also smaller, but was doing fine until a couple of days ago. It's basically just lethargic. It doesn't want to eat or drink and just sits there, wings kind of hanging down. It doesn't chirp when I pick it up. I expected it to be dead this morning, but there it was, maybe a little more awake.

    I process my own chickens, and these are to be raised for food, but I really, really don't want to cull baby chicks. I have no idea what to do. Any ideas on caring for the lethargic one? My friend and I split an order of 26 and she's lost all of her except 2, so I consider myself fortunate. Someone suggested feeding cooked eggs to them? Thought? Right now, they're separated from the others and back under the brooder light and that may be what's helping. They went outdoors ( screened in porch )in their big brooder 4 days ago, and spent two lights with the top covered, no light and one day in their outside pen, feet on the grass. Could it have been too soon for my smaller guy?
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    I would cull them. I would also recommend that you buy your chicks else where next time. You can try feeding them egg, but that isn't going to fix heart failure. CornishX's are such freaks of engineered chickendom. You could also look into Freedom Rangers, they do grow slower, and have fewer problems than the Cxs. So you will have more invested in the meat, but from what I have read about them, it is claimed that the flavor alone is worth it.
     
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    You may also want to re-post this under Meat Birds. There are many more members with more experience than I have.
     
  4. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think we got them from Meyer Hatchery. They replaced my friends's 13 at no charge. I don't think I'll do cornish cross again. This was just to be something to get food in the freezer until our Heritage Meat Birds start breeding. I read a little about cornish cross and the information available says they're not genetically modified, but just a cross between two breeds, but boy they sure act very differently than all chicks I've seen. My guys are on the ground during the day ( because I can't raise something in a cage off the ground just for meat ) and they don't peck at the grass or anything. No scratching toe ground, nothing. I've got 7 one week old black star rooster chicks in another breeder and they're much more active and chicken-like.
     
  5. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are 4-5 weeks old it is really just selective harvest not culling.

    Even though losses can be significant with broilers when compared to traditional breeds the feed bill and end product does play heavily in their favor.

    A broiler will eat about 2 lb of feed for ever 1 lb of bird produced, a traditional breed will eat closer to 5 lb of feed for every lb of bird. Also the cleaning goes much easier with the broilers and they do produce a much nicer carcase with far more white meat. 2 months vs 6 months brooder to table also is a huge difference. Simply if the objective is producing food for the table the broilers are the way to go, granted their efficiency in food production does have a downside in their resiliency and chickenness... but if they are raised for food not pets.
     
  6. machoman

    machoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did cull the lethargic one a couple of hours ago. I tried feeding it with a dropper and it just was getting work. It was disappointing and very sad, but it had to be done. I think it was starving to death. I'm going to try and make another brace ( this time larger ) for spraddle legs and see if that helps.
     

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