What's your loss rate?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by homesteader, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. homesteader

    homesteader Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    I'm a little surprised that so far we've lost 5 out of 21 of our Cornish. The remaining ones seem healthy at almost 5 weeks of age, but that's almost 25% loss. 2 died at just a few days old, one was killed by a predator (our fault...we now have the dog sleeping by them at night), and 2 more developed leg problems.

    Is this normal? What is your loss rate typically? Maybe we should get them from a more well known hatchery like McMurray.
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I averaged 25% mortality on Cornish Crosses. My neighbor lost 75% this Summer in one crop of 100. I've been told by the old timers that 33% is typical, especially if you crop into the Spring/Fall when the weather cools and it becomes more damp.

    That is why I no longer raise Cornish Crosses from commercial hatcheries. I'm not in raising meat birds just to replicate the crappy conditions chickens are left in when raised intensively.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I only raise in spring/early summer when temps rarely go over 75. I also only keep them in batches of 4, at most 8 at one time. I've only lost 1 to heat out of maybe 50 I've had over the past 10 years. And that was within 2 hours of butcher time!!! I must be lucky but I think it's more that I don't keep many at once so I can give individual care, (waiting for the laughs), for the meat birds, and that I don't keep them during the heat of summer. Most of mine do develop leg problems though at about 4-5 week old, but I don't restrict feed either. I butcher at 8 weeks for 4-6 lb dressed birds with no skin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
  4. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2007
    Mine (26 total) are 4 weeks now and we have only lost 1 at a week old. Hopefully we can keep them all alive for another 4 weeks! I think we got them at about the right time. Mid summer would have been tough with the heat.
     
  5. mamaboyd

    mamaboyd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish crosses are prone to dying easily, they develope heart problems because of the fast growth, they get so fat that they cannot walk around and get exercise, and they don't tolerate certain weather conditions. We got a hardier type of meat bird which although take a little longer to grow, they tend to live much longer and don't pick up diseases as easily. We only lost 2 out of the 61 we got, and that was in the first week and a half when they were babies.
     
  6. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    MB, which type of bird did you get?
     
  7. EmsoffLambs

    EmsoffLambs Out Of The Brooder

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    Chilcoot, CA
    I haven't lost a single slow cornish from Privette in 8 weeks. Tastey too!
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sad thing is too with meat birds, the type we get still take about 8 weeks to get to table weight... commercial strains only take 5 weeks now...
     
  9. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah sad. Even more reason to keep growing our own! [​IMG]
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    42 days and into crates they go, to be hurtled down the highway for a breezey couple hours before being processed. What a crappy way to go. [​IMG]

    Once you grow your own meat birds, and realize what chicken tasted like to our grandparents, it's impossible to go back. That crap you get at safeway is the most insipid, flavorless, textureless garbage you can imagine. And people have become to expect that as what "tender chicken" is. Miserable times we live in.
     

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