- Breed Purpose:
- Meat Bird
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Calm, Bears confinement well
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
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.
Cornish X egg (white)
Cornish X chicks
Cornish X Juvenile
Cornish X hen
Cornish X rooster
For more information on Cornish X and their owners' experiences with them, see the Meat Birds ETC forum section for discussions.
- Average User Rating:
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Meat Bird
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Low
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Brown
Calm,Bears confinement well
Breed Colors / Varieties:
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!!!!
Recent User Reviews
Pros - Grow fast, very friendly, fun to watch, more hardy than you would expect, and they taste good.
Cons - Leg problems and other growth related issues have been the main problem for me with this breed.
I got 53 of these guys this year, they are very awesome birds and are way more hardy than most people claim. I was expecting to get a weak bird that has a high death rate because of what I read. Out of 53 birds I only had around 5 die, all of them were from leg or other growing issues, 2 of them had to be culled earl because of this. Other than the leg stuff they are great birds. I kept a few of these guys to cross breed with my egyptian fayoumi, golden campines, and leghorns.
"What a treat"
Pros - Good natured, fast growing, and delicious.
Cons - Be ready for the "throughput".
I just ate the first of my Cornish Cross broilers. At 8 weeks he dressed out to 6 pounds 8oz not counting the heart, liver, gizzards, etc.
I bought a dozen through a local guy who does an egg business and raises a bit of meat birds. One was lost due to carelessness (people who were watching them) week one, and one died for no apparent reason week 7. I'll be eating them as they grow over the next few weeks.
These birds were everything they advertise. Fast growing, voracious eaters, and tender juicy meat.
Mine were pretty lazy, not wandering far from their food, but they did stroll around and forage a little. Definitely good natured birds, calm and pretty friendly with each other and people, even though I try to not get too friendly with them knowing that I'll have to give them all the axe eventually.
In retrospect I'll probably put my next batch in tractors. These just didn't really care to explore much and their steady flow of food---poo through them gets to be a bit abundant in a permanent coop.... unlike my laying hens that travel a lot during the day to scatter their droppings, it really piles up around these broilers.
Did I mention how delicious these are? Easy plucking and made a big meaty dinner + plenty of leftoverrs. And all things considered not that much money into them buying chicks local and 15$ a bag for starter/grower feed. I don't think I'll look any farther for a meat bird for next year and having such good results I'll likely look to get many more.
Lastly, keep an eye on their water. They drink almost as fast as they eat and compared to other birds I have around they'll really surprise you how fast they can guzzle your waterer dry.
"Great Meat Birds!"
Pros - Delicious, Calm, CURIOUS, Great Foragers, & Fast Growers
Cons - Must be Butchered at the Correct Time (can't holf off or leg problems/heart problems will occur), Eat like Crazy, Poop OFTEN
I've had Cornish Cross's as my meat birds for years now and LOVE those sweethearts! They are evil! They make you fall in love, then you have to butcher them soon after!! They wonder and forage GREAT but trust me, they can eat! Lovely birds with rapid growth. Just watch out for health problems as a result.