I'm assuming it's the standard size cornish rooster (not bantam), and I'm also assuming it's the dark cornish. I'm also wondering, realistically, how fast a dark cornish roo/white rock hen cross would grow. I know they won't grow as fast as a cross you would buy from a hatchery, so when would they be ready to eat???? I need to know if I should add some roos to my chick order. Thanks!!!
what kind of cornish rooster should be used to breed meat birds????
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So if I breed my own how long will they take to grow????
- Staff PhD
Hard to say, but my guess would be that you'd want to eat them at 12-14 weeks or so, just like the standard "dual" purpose type of bird. You can try the 8 week time point, but the parent strains of the males and females in commercial house's have 50 years of selective breeding or so, making the parents also fast growers. If you browse though the meat bird section, you can see what others have tried, are trying, for their own meat birds.
It will depend on the parent strains you end up with, and I would assume the "kids" would develop just about as fast as they do, maybe a tiny bit faster, but not like the store birds.
It's one of the try it and report back things.
Thanks!!!!!! I guess I'll add a roo or two to my order!!!
You know, I would say no more than 10 weeks. I currently have Dark Cornish x Black Sex Link and Dark Cornish x Freedom Ranger in my brooder. They are very much keeping up with the Freedom Rangers in there which are two weeks younger. My own crosses are still larger and growing every bit as quickly as you'd hope a broiler to.
The ideal bird to use would be a White Cornish but you will never find one. I use a Dark Cornish and it simply affects plumage color. I don't care about plumage color and I think no-white broilers are the most handsome.
I have family in England who leave a Dark Cornish (called Indian Game) in with their hens. Whenever they fancy a crop of meat birds, they simply collect the eggs and incubate. They keep Marans, Dorkings and Light Sussex. So essentially a Cornish X Anything will conceivably work.
Now, what I find with my home crosses are the breasts aren't as thick as the industrial broilers. I eat them, but haven't sold any yet. I may try to slip a few in this year to see if anyone notices. If you don't want to wait for your own breeding program to take shape, I love Freedom Rangers:
I have 50 Gold Rangers in the brooder right now, alongside 10 of my own broilers. I plan to get 50 Grey Rangers once this batch leaves the brooder and hits the grass.