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Cornish Rock broiler growth rate

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

OK - I'm new and slightly confused...

There's a FAQ here about "you, your chicks and the first 60 days"...  Then there is a list like this (http://www.welphatchery.com/cornish_rock.asp) and other places that says these Cornish Rock crosses are ready for processing in 8 weeks - which by my calendar is 60 days...

SO - I'm confused...

Can I really expect these guys to grow and be ready in 60 days?  If so - that changes all the timelines I thought I understood...  I was planning on making a tractor and moving them around in the pasture (pastured chickens)...

Here's the questions:

At how many weeks do they go from the chick pen to the pasture in the tractor?
Does the "decrease heat by 5 degrees a week" thing for chicks hold true - I would think not since at 3 weeks when it should be like 75-80 degrees - the critters are almost 2 pounds?
How many weeks are they in the tractor moving around?
How many weeks (days) before I process them?

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post #2 of 18

your broiler chicks will be ready to process at 6 to 7wks.anything longer than that an theyll get to big an start dieing on you.you can move them to a tractor at 2 to 3wks old.but youll have to keep a light on them for warmth.they gain about a lb a week more or less.

post #3 of 18

I raised the jumbo cornish last fall. Yes, they do grow that fast. You can literally see the growth from one day to the next. At 8 weeks they will be at market weight of 4 - 6 lbs. We went 10 - 12 weeks with ours (we could not process in the pouring rain). At 12 weeks they were 10 - 13 lbs each! Huge. None of mine died or had any physical problems. We ordered 25 and they shipped 27. We processed all 27. They are the best chickens we have ever eaten.

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post #4 of 18

Yep, those cornish rocks are going to be ready for the table at like 50 days. Any longer and they have a hard time living. Commercially, they go to the table at something like 42 days. They grow fast fast fast, but do keep them warm. I keep a light on them nearly their whole lives. And yes, a half feathered 4 lb bird will huddle up with their 4 lb neighbors under a heat lamp at about 5-6 weeks old.

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I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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post #5 of 18

They will huddle at 10lbs too. We did all roos and they were very gentle birds. Very laid back. But bring in the feed and they go in a frenzy to eat!

One more thing - I let mine eat all they wanted every day but at night I took away the feed and they only got water. They will lay down with their head in the feed and eat and sleep without getting up!

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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

Can I really expect these guys to grow and be ready in 60 days?


The chicken you buy in the stores is probably 42 days old.  Yes, broilers spend half their life in the brooder in some circumstances... although I've had mine on grass in two weeks with a heat lamp and mild night time temperatures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

At how many weeks do they go from the chick pen to the pasture in the tractor?


As soon as you can get away with it.  Don't let it be below 40 degrees at night.  If you push them out at 3 weeks, provide a lamp at night for another week.  The sooner the better for their health as brooders tend to harbor disease.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

Does the "decrease heat by 5 degrees a week" thing for chicks hold true - I would think not since at 3 weeks when it should be like 75-80 degrees - the critters are almost 2 pounds?


I have never managed the brooder that actively.  I just wean them by first turning the light off during the day, then finally at night.  You can tell by their behevior if they are too cold or too warm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

How many weeks are they in the tractor moving around?


All depends on how big you want your chickens!  My neighbor wants them to dress at 10 lbs.  I'm happier at 4-6 pounds dressed.  So, I usually do 9 weeks, of which 6 can be in the tractor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

How many weeks (days) before I process them?


It depends on how big you want them.  You can go as quickly as 42 days or as long as 12 weeks.  But at 12 weeks, Cornish Crosses will probably start dieing from heart attacks/strokes.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

So - for clarity - you can put these fast growing buggers "out to pasture" at 3 weeks - but need some way to have a 300' extension cord out to the tractor in the field for a heat lamp?  smile

I'm having a mental disconnect between their growth rate - the need for heat - and sticking them in a tractor where they are covered from rain but on a slightly damp ground and will get cold (I would think).

Am I making this more difficult that it needs to be?

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post #8 of 18

They grow so fast they do NOT feather out at the same rate . They will be naked and bald in places. Just because they weigh in by the pound in a just a couple weeks doesn't make them not baby chicks. They are JUMBO baby chicks and still require heat. If you throw them out in a tractor at 3 weeks or even 6 weeks they will probably die from exposure.

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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishpick 

So - for clarity - you can put these fast growing buggers "out to pasture" at 3 weeks - but need some way to have a 300' extension cord out to the tractor in the field for a heat lamp?  smile


That's what I usually do. I have some tractors that I run out a 100 foot extension cord to and put a light in. That way if they need, they can walk out into the run into the grass, or go inside to stay warm.

You can't see the cornish so well, but it's with the two turkeys. It weighs in at about 1.25 lbs and is 2.5 weeks old in this pic. Note the bald spots where the chick fluff just doesn't cover well anymore. Without the heat lamps in their coop, they'd chill fat. They are growing faster than the turkeys... and the turkeys are supposed to be broad breasted bronze.
http://students.washington.edu/dianage/2.5%20weeks%20old/cornish%20so%20fat%20Small%20800.jpg

Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

Reply
post #10 of 18

I find using extension cords to be far cheaper than other alternatives.  I usually keep them in my backyard when the tractor needs power, then can move out into the pasture once they're feathered out.

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