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What is wrong with my baby chicks? They all (25) have these rather large goiter like growths on their chests. At first they were water, some still are, but are becoming firm. I am new to chickens, but it looks gross, so it can't be right. Otherwise, the chicks seem healthy. They eat a lot, play, and are growing. Since these are Cornish birds intended for meat, can they be treated or or start over. Unfortunately, they are my daughter 4-H project.
I have no clue but some folks here are knowledgable on what ails chickens...so maybe someone can help you out.
I did want to say... to CC!
Thank you for the welcome.
Meldar, I think you are referring to their "crops". Thats where the chicks store food when they eat before it goes on down into their digestive systems.
When they eat a lot, their crops can get really big, even as chicks!
You are aware that cornish cross are meat birds I hope, you dont want your daughter brokenhearted as their very super short lives? Meat birds are bred to mainly eat and eat, and not much else, and usually only live til about 16 to 20 weeks old.
Just wanted to make sure you are aware of that. They get so huge they dont move around much, develop leg and heart problems. Its really a sad thing as they were really meant to be butchered around 10 to 14 weeks old. As long as you are aware of this and she is as well, that is ok.
Sounds like they are healthy and eating up a storm!
We really do need a high-quality photo of a chick with a full crop on this website that Steve can add to the information page. If I had some chicks at the moment, I would have taken one to show melder, something to use as a comparison.
To add to thndrdancr's reply:
Remove the feed tonight and take a good look at the chest area....then, look again first thing in the morning before putting the feed back in the brooder. If the chest is smaller in the morning, then all is normal and the bulge you saw is the crop.
Cornish Xs LOVE to eat more than anything from what I've read and been told. Not allowing them to have free access to feed all the time will keep them from growing as quickly to the point that the heart can't keep up with the body's growth. Never restrict water, though.
Last edited by Hencackle (06-29-2009 07:00:09)
First off, thank you all for the replies and the welcomes!
Now, after posting, my husband and I did much more search, and finally came across a blog that said basically what thndrdancr said in that they their crops become distended because they eat so darn much!
And yes, we know these birds are for eatting, they are a "broiler project" for 4-H, so every knows at the end of 8 weeks, they will become residents of our freezer, and for the most part, we are all ok with this.
We have also (husband and I at least) that we may not raise these types of chickens again. They just aren't, for a lack of a better word, natural. They've grown at an amazing rate, and just don't look happy, not like the other chicks that we got. we are planning on building a little run to get them outside a bit more, it's just amazing to see the difference emotionally if you want to call it that.
Anyway, thank you all for the help there, it's certainly helped to calm our fears down a bit!
wow 25! We have 7 and feel like I can never keep the feed can full! I do limit there food to one feeding a day. Or else they would sit and eat all day. They also exercise all day and get bugs etc. Last year it took more then 8 weeks to butcher, and to be honest, mine are coming up on 8 weeks now and still not ready to process, ill probably process them late July early august, I think I got them late April early may.
They are eating and POOPing machines!!!
But ohhh so yummy!
Mine are really friendly and happy looking. I think they almost act happier then the other birds? They're always following me around and meeting me at the door of there pen, nearly crawling into my lap in the yard and they love my Crocs!! LOL
Its hard not to get attached, but I just tell myself they're food, and don't let myself get attached. When the time comes I get a little sad, but I buck up and get the job done. Id rather them be processed before they can't walk and start having health problems!
Anyway I am rambling, your question was the crop, its been answered well, and good luck!
BCM, id take pics of my other chicks but my camera got broke this weekend, need to find my other Digital camera, doesn't take as good pictures