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Cornish Cross


Pros: Fast growth, big meaty birds, pullets mature into reliable egg layers, GREAT cold tolerance

Cons: FLIP in cockerels, hens are short-lived due to heart problems, heat intolerant, and huge amounts of POOP!!!

We've been raising these birds for years.  Aside from a tendency to heat intolerance, the biggest downside to this breed is the HUGE amount of poop they produce - think turds the size of golf balls, from every bird, all day long! Other than that, they are relatively trouble-free birds, as long as you don't overfeed them.
A little known side benefit of this breed are their eggs - I usually order all roosters and the few that turn out to be pullets get added to our laying flock. The pullets lay enormous eggs with huge yolks on an almost daily basis. They begin laying at about 20 weeks of age, provided they are hatched early enough in the spring to allow them to mature by late summer (pullets from late summer or autumn hatchings often never begin laying at all); unfortunately, most Cornish cross hens only live to about 18 months of age, due to a tendency toward heart problems.


Pros: Voracious foragers, tough as nails, develop quickly and have the deepest muscling.

Cons: They come from the hatchery needing some probiotics in their systems.

I've raised two batches of the CX and are incredibly impressed with their foraging abilities, their activity levels and their tough nature.  These birds can get an injury and brush it off like it never happened.  Heal up so fast and well that you can't tell who was injured, even when doing the processing later. 


They have a great feed conversion and I've never lost one to unexplained death.  They will range farther and forage longer than any breed of chicken I've ever raised..sunup to sundown out on pasture and in the woodland. 


They do well on fermented feed and full free range.  Grew them slow, used fermented layer mash and whole grains.  Healthy chickens that fill the freezer like no other breed.  Can't say enough positive things about this breed. 


Pros: Fast growth, easy to fence, good feed/growth ratio, lots of tender white meat, easy to pluck, sweet friendly birds

Cons: Need to be managed properly to avoid problems such as leg problems or early death

We have raised several batches of Cornish cross from different hatcheries and have had great success. I love that they are ready to process in 6-8 weeks and then they are done, as opposed to other meat breeds or dual purpose breeds that take much longer to finish. They have so much meat on them and it is tender, delicious, mostly white meat. They do much better raised on pasture with room to roam or in tractors moved frequently to give them plenty of greens to eat and to keep them clean. They have a tendency to over eat if allowed so we restrict feed to only 12 hours a day, and take the food away for the other 12 hours a day. They also require a lot of fresh water to drink but if managed properly are very easy to raise.


Pros: Friendly, easy to handle bird. Great feed/meat conversion ratiodue to fast growth. Good forager, great tasting.

Cons: Can eat alot if penned all day.

Raised four CX from day1, after learning about Fermented feed and feeding this to them, they ate less but kept growing, they didn't have the disgusting liquid poop that most people describe here. They had tender great tasting meat, better than the store bought ones.


Pros: none

Cons: not very healthy to eat,they produces too fast.

Cornish cross are one of the least healthy chickens to eat all they do is eat!


Pros: Good egg production, friendly and docile.

Cons: Leg weaknesses, eats a lot, poops a lot.

My Cornish Rock Cross hen has been very friendly towards people and other chickens and has laid more eggs than any other breed I have (Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, Americana, and Red Cross). She will follow us around the yard and will come when called. The downside to this breed is the vast quantity of poop produced as well as leg weaknesses (bumble-foot is a real issue with this breed).    


Pros: Very friendly birds, rapid growth, adorable babies, very good meat, easy to care for

Cons: Need more probiotics from hatcheries, can be a constant upkeep because of droppings!, eat A LOT

This was my first year doing Cornish Cross chickens. I haven't had any personal problems with my chickens regarding their health. I decided to keep one as a pet even though they are very short lived (being females). They are in fact very friendly birds, they grow way too fast, adorable when they are babies, easy to care for like a regular chicken, and they have very good meat. However, when you get them from a hatchery they need more probiotics and vitamins, they can be very dirty birds when it comes to their bathroom habits, and they can be an expensive feed because they eat a lot.


If you want to keep some as hens or just regular pets, make sure you give them enough vitamins and probiotics and limit their feeding if you don't want them to grow rapidly because they eat so much.


Pros: Fast growing, easy to raise, Confine themselves in small spaces

Cons: Can be messy, develop more problems than normal chickens, get so big that they can't hold themselves up

Developed to produce a bigger carcass compared to the slightly skinnier chicken that was being produced the Cornish Cross is a result of mating a double breasted cornish male and a tall large boned Plymouth Rock female according to Wikipedia. They are the main commercial meat bird because conveniently they can grow in 7 weeks or 14 weeks depending on the strain. Cornish Cross do not make the best backyard birds since they do tend to tear up the property more plus the fact that they were designed only to eat, drink, and poop you'll be better off picking a Barred Rock or Silkie as a backyard chicken. Those who want to make a small profit can raise these for meat just watch the feed price as these monster birds do eat more because of a quicker metabolism. Ever since the Cornish Cross developed new clinical conditions have been discovered or re-looked into. The most common might be slipped tendon, Breast Blisters, and other more serious diseases sweep through a flock. Good management of weight would be suggested as they get can get overweight and develop undesirable fat. 


Pros: Friendly as chicks, easy to get attached. Produce a LOT of meat.

Cons: Grow too fast, all they do is poop/eat/sleep/pant.

We had two and it was hard not to grow heaps attached to them because they had very sweet and friendly personalities as chicks. But as they grew they just became a pain. We were cleaning up after them every day and it was hard to watch them struggle to walk. When they weren't struggling to walk and panting, they were shooting out poop and stuffing their faces or sleeping. Even had a prolapse in one chick. They only ever got up to eat. If I wanted to raise chickens for meat, I would choose a different breed.


Cornish Cross

Cornish Cross (Cornish X) chickens are the standard meat chicken for the American market. Sometimes called broilers or Cornish/Rocks. Although it is NOT a breed of chicken, it is a cross or hybrid of some very secret breed lines for the sole purpose of gaining weight as rapidly as possible. The first attempts at "Hybrid" meat birds was in the 1930's and was the dominant commercial bird by the 1960's. Modern broilers are typically a third generation offspring (an F2 hybrid). The broiler's four grandparents come from four different strains, two of which produce the male parent line and two of which provide the female parent line, which are in turn mated to provide the broilers. The double cross protects the developer's unique genetics as strains cannot be reproduced from the broiler offspring. In 2003, approximately 42 billion broilers were produced, 80% of which were produced by four companies: Aviagen, Cobb-Vantress, Hubbard Farms, and Hybro making them arguably, the most popular chicken to raise.

Breed PurposeMeat Bird
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityLow
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorBrown
Breed TemperamentCalm,Bears confinement well
Breed Colors/VarietiesWhite
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Meat Bird
Comb: Pea
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Low
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Brown

Breed Temperament:

Calm,Bears confinement well

Breed Colors / Varieties:


Breed Details:

A Cornish X will weigh about 3 times that of a Buff Orpington (dual purpose breed) at 5 weeks! From hatch to slaughter weight in 6 to 8 weeks, some hatcheries claim 9 1/2 pounds in 10.5 weeks! Processing is much easier with Cornish X's than a dual-purpose bird because they have very little feathering at slaughter age. Probably the only other reason why this bird is used so much by the processing/packing industry. Cornish X's are not self-sufficient. The best results after brooding seem to come from those who raise in a chicken tractor, moved daily (sometimes more), and a ration of high protein feed. Rationing the feed 12 on, 12 off, seems to encourage the Cornish X to forage and get some exercise. If not, they tend to stay right by the feeder making a very concentrated mess. Some problems that may occur if pushed (or even just because of their genetics) are heart attacks, broken legs, and FLIP. The reason for the main image is because that is their intended purpose... FOOD!! Yummy!!!!


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