Very Strange Problem With Cornish x Chicks/Advice Anyone?


Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
Southern New Mexico
I recently got two orders of chicks in, there is about a week difference in their ages. They are about 3 and 4 weeks old.

All told there are about 50 BO's, 50 EE'ers, 18 Buttercups, 12 Cuckoo Marans and 26 cornish crosses.

I had them all in individual brooders for a while, but for the past week have been putting them in a pen all together during the day. And bringing them in at night.

We live in southern New Mexico and the weather has been wonderful-not too hot and not at all cold.

Next week is spring break and my DH, a teacher, is off. Our project for the week is building a new and improved chicken coop.

Tonight when I went out to bring in the babies, I found two dead cornishes and 2 who were very hurt and later died. There were also 4 more who were injured.

The thing was they were all injured on and around the vent!

The other chicks were pecking the bloody spots. I took the injured babies out and sprayed wound-kote all over their injuries and isolated them.

There is plenty of room in this outdoor pen for the babies and I do not believe it originated with the chicks themselves.

The pen is not covered so one or two of the older hens has gone in and eaten the chick starter. I did not witness any pecking by the older hens at all and they (who have all the food they want in their own yard) do not peck each other. I did shoo them off each time.

Could pigeons have done this???? One of the reasons we are building a new coop is so we can have covered runs, because we get tired of feeding the pigeons.

I feel totally irresponsible and pretty ticked off at myself. I love my baby birds, even the meaties!, and cannot believe that I let something like this happen.

Why were the cornishes the only ones who were pecked?

I'd love to hear some of your ideas, but please no telling me how stupid I am, I already know.


12 Years
Feb 1, 2009
Lexington, KY
I know that Cornish X tend to get picked on more because they're so sedentary. They don't move out of the way fast enough and it makes the others mad. Good luck!!


14 Years
May 3, 2007
North Central MS
It's not pigeons. We raise pigeons. They and the chickens share coops. My bet would be on the older hens. But you can't rule out the other chicks either. You'll most likely have to keep them seperate. I always try to combine all my chicks as young as possible to avoid situations like this.

buckeye chickens

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 27, 2008
About 4 years ago we ordered our CornishX and mixed brown egg laying pullets at the same time. By day three the pullets were picking at the Cornish.
Since then we have not had any meat birds with layers. I think they should be rasied without any other breeds, they start out fat and lazy.


Mosquito Beach Poultry
11 Years
May 24, 2008
Southeast Arkansas
I had a bunch of batams, ee's cornishx and rir running together with no problem..When I opened the gates between them and my red stars, the red stars started picking the cornish crosses the same way. They didn't bother anybody else, just the cornishx


Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
Southern New Mexico
Wow. I had no idea the other chicks would pick at the meaties. I guess it does make sense, that area of the cornishes behinds is kind of bare and vulnerable. And, yes, they are just kind of slow physically and apparently in their little bird brains.

I really don't think the two hens that went into the pen had time or inclination, so it has to be the other chicks.

It was just strange how it all happened in one afternoon-a matte of an hour or two at the most!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share-I appreciate it so much.

Can I put the baby cornishes into the same pen with the slightly older cornishes I am raising?

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