To Cull or Not

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HidingInTheHenHouse, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    In the past 2 days, 2 of my Cornish x have lost the ability to stand. This is my first experience with this type of problem, even though this is my 3rd batch of Cornish. Right now I have them in a large rabbit cage with food and water in easy reach. One is alert and eating, scooting some, etc. The other is lethargic, eats very little, only drinks if I dip his beak. Should I go ahead and cull them? Is there any likelihood of them regaining the use of their legs? I don't want to lose the meat because I waiting too long, but I want to still give them a chance to grow as long as possible. They will be 6 weeks on Wednesday.
  2. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    If you're wanting to use them as breeders...they're already overweight.

    6 weeks is generally the time that they go ahead and process the cornish crosses anyway. So they are right on schedule. They probably just ate too much, or had too much exercise. They are bred to gain weight fast and to be processed fast. So you did it right!

    If you want to wait a bit longer, their feed conversion will decrease, but your bird will get bigger.

    Are they in a cage with a metal cage floor? Or on the ground?
  3. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    No, I had no plans to breed them, just eat them. They aren't quite as big as I would like before processing, so I was hoping to wait a couple more weeks. However, I don't want them to die on their own because they can't walk or I might not get to them in time to save the meat.

    The cage has a wire floor. I put a folded up towel under the breast to pad it some.

    Why would too much exercise give them leg problems? I withhold feed 12 hours a day and have done so since they were 5 days old (not saying they didn't eat too much though [​IMG])
  4. mamarosa

    mamarosa In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2008
    i am new what does cull mean?
  5. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    mamarosa, cull can mean sell, get rid of, but in this case, it means go ahead and kill for meat purposes.

    The wire could have something to do with it. The birds really need a flatter and more sturdy surface. I mean, they have ALOT of weight on those legs and they are designed to be raised on the ground. Mainly because walking on wire causes extra stress on the muscles and tendons. Making it harder and harder for them to get up each time and walk around.

    Next time try on the ground. I mean...they can't fly after about their 3rd of 4th week.

    Too much exercise (running around, flapping wings without reason) can cause the tendons to get too much exercise. That, coupled with the weight of the bird, can cause "slipped tendon" or even dislocation of the hock.

    It doesn't sound like they had too much to eat then.
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    mama, to cull means to remove from the flock. This can be done in very different ways depending on the intent of the breeder/keeper, the type of bird, and the reason for culling.

    Culling a color or type of bird a breeder is not interested in might mean selling off stock. Culling extra roosters might mean giving them away ~ or sending them to the stew pot. Culling a sick or seriously injured bird might mean a quick, merciful kill.

    Hope that helps. . . And welcome to the forum!

  7. Cason

    Cason Songster

    I would cull them. Today.
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    To be straight with you. I don't keep anything around that can't walk and lays in/or has to scoot about in it's own excrement. Not an end I'd wish on any life.
  9. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    yup cull ,,or they will die soon anyways, and thats a BIG waste.
  10. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    cull asap and enjoy.

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