watched a cornish rock die today at 4 1/2 weeks old

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by trunkman, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I've been raising chickens for 3 years now and know that sometimes a chicken passes with no warning or apparent reason which is what I witnessed this evening with one of my 4 1/2 week old cornish rock meat birds. When I got home from work the temp was around 70 degrees and decided to put the chicks out in the enclosed run so they can get some fresh air and sunshine. I opened their coop about a week ago so they could get out but they never did unless I push them out, they seem more interested in the food in the coop.
    Anyway I put them out and when the sun started going down I had to put them back in the coop. After that was done I went to the window to check up on them and noticed one was looking tired and laid his head down and started to stagger, it fell over and started flapping its wings like crazy and flipped over on its back, stretched its legs out and then its legs started to slowly relax, clench and then lower and stop. This all happened in less than a minute, I'm thinking it had a heart attack. Makes me wonder about how healthy these birds really are for us to eat. Is there really two breeds of birds that are crossed to produce a chicken that grows this fast naturally or are they mutated in some way to make them appealing to someone who wants to grow food fast, after all their breeding is a very guarded secret within the industry.
    I think I may just be paranoid, or is it just me? I'm still going to process them though, they look so tasty![​IMG]

  2. AgroUrica

    AgroUrica Songster

    Feb 20, 2013
    They've been bred for a high conversion rate of feed to meat, especially in the breast. Along with that comes some unwanted side effects such as leg problems due to their center of gravity being so far forward, and heart problems. Your bird probably had a heart attack. If he'd looked ill for several days, then some other malady would probably be the cause.

    I've bought about 1500 meat birds in the last few months with an average weight of about 2.3 kilos. These were all commercially-produced birds and almost all of them arrive with walking difficulties due to the crowded conditions in which they were raised. Once at my place for a week or two, they walk, look, and act like a typical chicken.

    The birds I've raised myself are in much less crowded conditions and seem to be healthier and prettier than those I've purchased from commercial producers. Having said that, with a bit of stress, especially heat-related, they can drop over in a minute's notice.
  3. Kjordanov

    Kjordanov Songster

    Jul 19, 2012
    That sounds so scary! I think I would have gotten emotional seeing it have a heart attack! Even though its a chicken that I would end up killing myself and eating at some point LOL!

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