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URGENT: Need help with a Cornish Cross

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sppwalker, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Sppwalker

    Sppwalker In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2017
    Hi! My high school got 60 chicks near the end of September. We ordered 15 Rhode Island Reds, 15 Anconas, 15 Delawares, and 15 Australorps. Or so we thought. The hatchery accidentally sent us a Cornish Cross in place of one of the Delawares. We decided to keep her with our flock of now 55 birds, but she's having A LOT of problems. She's had sour crop 4 times in the past 3 months and every time it gets really bad (size of an apple, stretched skin, visible gas bubbles, so huge she kicks it when she walks) and no matter how many times we treat it (apple cider vinegar treatment continues for a day or two after it goes away just to be sure) it always comes back. It's gotten to the point where we're considering mixing apple cider vinegar with the water supply in the coop. Our hens live in a giant coop/run enclosure, they get fed fresh vegetables and food scraps from our garden, and they always have clean water. The hen looks awful. All of the other hens are healthy and our two roosters are gorgeous. The meat hen looks like someone dumped her in dirty water. All her feathers are dirty and stuck together. She has NO feathers on her underside (from her vent down, under her wings, under her crop), she has trouble jumping into their coop (like 2 feet off the ground) and she can't fly or run at all. She also doesn't perch and sits in the poop. What do I do? I don't want to kill her because we all love her, but I'm not sure she'll live a good life. I've attached some pics, one of her in the coop (with the other birds roosting above), a picture of our coop/run area, a picture of some of our other birds and our rooster (to show that we have a healthy flock), a picture of the cuddle puddle with the entrance of the coop behind them, and a picture of our hens crowding the gate when I brought them food (for size comparison. Please help!





  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. That can be a common occurrence to accidentally get a meat chicken, but it happens more often at feed stores. They are only meant to live about 7 weeks before butchering, and then can suffer from broken leg bones or heart failure. The unkempt missing feather look, and large crop is fairly common in them. Some people have fair luck keeping their meat birds longer by limiting their feed and letting them free range. They will usually hog most of the feed from the others. Are you also feeding them a balanced grower feed besides the veggies and scraps? Chicken feed should make up 90% of their feed. You may try to place several tree stumps of various heights to use as steps to make it easier to get into the coop, and the others will also use them. There are some good threads about impacted and sour crop by Two Crows. If the crop is empty upon awakening in early morning, it is not impacted or sour. You may not want to hear this, but I would be looking for someone to butcher the meat bird when the time comes. You can think of it as what the purpose of meat birds is, and know that she has lived a comfortable life.

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