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Cornish Rocks ; Seeking Tips for 7(~) Month old Female and New Chicks

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Around 5 Months ago I acquired a fully grown female Cornish Rock by jumping out of a truck to get her out of traffic-


Why did the chicken cross the road?


To prove I have a bleeding heart syndrome and a couple of death wishes evidently!

Needless to say I was shocked to find a 15+ LBS Chicken foraging in the middle of nowhere next to a busy road but nonetheless I went down a hill, collected her, and was picked up moments later by my mother.



This resulted in the horridly wonderful mistake that was falling head over heels for this breed as my female has always been fat, healthy, sassy, and active. I house her with a mutt of a rooster, who has a bum leg and no interest in attempting to breed such a large hen, about three more do nothing hens, and a 2 or 3 year old female goat.



I was confused to be gentle about it. Looking online I saw all these guides on raising for meat, people saying they die fast, and all this other information...


The family flock contains Rhode Island Reds and some black breed I can't re-call and a bunch of game hens that wandered on property on day. They switch between penned and loose pardoning my girl who just sits around screeching if the pen gate is open-. Needless to say they're all 'mutts'; or we just say they're Americana. So this hen roosts with the others but is highly independent, she's with the goat more then the other chickens. If I wanted to I could likely assure you that this hen would follow me anywhere, she's a healthy weight and lays 1-2 eggs a day. Sometimes there's pauses for about 48 Hours but ever since I added the rooster to the coop? Egg Galore. He's about half her size and has a bum leg so he has nearly no interest in breeding since he has two other small hens so I've had no reason to fret about her having unneeded weight.




I accidentally mentioned wanting to raise my own Cornish Rocks for laying and pet purposes within Tractor Supply. So my dad instantly said 'That's the breed you have? Get 'em; worth the shot.'


And thus the conversation started as normal with the worker;

"You're the one getting chickens?"

"Yup; 6 Cornish Rocks."


The man paused and looked... a bit concerned. Now I'm a bit younger, so the request might have seemed odd given he's viewing them as Meat Chickens and just saw me near giddy about buying chickens. Nonetheless we clarified that yes; I wanted 6 Large Cornish Rocks. Needless to say this guy thought I didn't understand what these chicken were until I told him I owned one already, showed pictures, and even rambled a bit about my sisters darling Serama girls that we got two years ago and head reared and about my difficulties getting any chicks to hatch this year; I use my sisters serama's to brood normally for the eggs I get from my mothers hens but after a possum went in their pen I can't get the girls to brood on the eggs any longer like they use to.

A female manager walked up, paused, clarified that I wanted Cornish Rocks...


And said if I bought ten she'd only charge .75 Cents a chick instead of 1.00$ a piece for six. I left with a bag of starter feed, bedding, electrolytes (etc-) and 10 Cornish Rocks. 5 younger, 5 older. About the size of my hand for the older ones. Got home, broke out the old raising gear, and now here I am.



Does anybody have little tricks or anything to both help with my new chicks and... to help with my older girl?


I'm planning to keep them as low stress as possible, a fairly decent pen size, and I feed twice a day to all of our chickens; we make them forage from old hay/stirred dirt, clean the pens out and then repeat.


and I think my most important questions are;


Monitoring Heat and Monitoring Feed.


Do I restrict feed with younger ones? Should I keep things at or above room temperature or just keep the heating lamp constantly on?


Why do people insist on restricting feed with them? They forage in their bedding and run along their food and water dishes more then anything? I mean I've raised chicks before and I've never seen them this active; I'm constantly hearing them trying to 'bathe' in the bedding or running around the pen trying to catch my other animals who particularly enjoy this strange new bundle of activity within the home and peer into the cage often.

post #2 of 4
I will be honest these are not my favorite birds. It sound like you got lucky with your girl, but not ever bird you get is going to be so healthy. They restrict the food because these birds will eat until they are so heavy their legs break, or they have a heart attack. There are many who do manage to keep Cornish Cross until laying age and longer. They do this by restricting their food and forcing the birds to forage. The more active you keep this breed the more likely you are to have survivors.
I will look for a couple of other members here who can give you tips for raising these birds to adulthood. Until then give them all the heat you would any chick, but the slower you can get them to grow the healthier your birds will be.
post #3 of 4

Both of these members can give you great advice on the Cornish Cross
Edited by OrganicFarmWife - 3/26/16 at 8:52pm
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm fairly well aware of the health issues so there's no worries there; I live in farm country and I have no issue having ones that begin to show severe heart or weight issues readied for consumption (In case anybody was concern that I'd keep them living unhappily!)


. So far the plan is to monitor feeding in small bursts, and let them forage about within their pen given the seemingly love to wander around and dig. If anything I'm encouraging this by hiding small piles of grain within the bedding; they become near ecstatic and will dig all day looking for more. When they reach 4-5 Weeks they'll be moved to a pen where they don't need to jump much to roost/will likely have ground nests and just have the pressure on their legs kept to a low amount while requiring them to forage and remain at lower weights.



I'll have to return to my tractor supply and glance at what they had one more time but out of 10 chicks one is clearly not a Cornish Rock; over-all it reminds me more of my sisters old Buff Orpingtons actually and I know my local feed store stocks them. I'm not going to take it in or complain about it if this was a mishap as it seems to be. Cornish or Buff it'll get a chance to earn a spot within the flock.






So far it's nearing 24 Hours since purchase; we had one scare with a chick that seemed to be in a bit of worse shock then the others, it has now recovered seemingly. They were given 5 Hours to freely eat as they wished before having the food taken away at 10 PM. Around 1-2 AM they stirred and were given a light amount scattered about the pen; they spent their time seeking it out before 'dust' bathing in their bedding before going back to sleep. It's now 10 AM and they'll be given a meal here soon but it seems like once they realized every cry for feed wasn't going to be answered they settled and only chirped when playing or when they were out of water. They seemingly do poop more often then other chicken but then again they also like to eat much more then other chicks and given its not disgusting like a lot of people claim I'm not to concerned.

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