2 Questions concerning Cornish X meaties


Senora Pollo Loco
13 Years
Sep 4, 2009
First, I have one of the male CX who is 4 weeks old and hardly has a feather on him except for his tail and wings. He is nearly bare everywhere else. I am moving them out of the garage tomorrow and I am a little concerned for him to be out without his feathers. Any input regarding him would be helpful.

Second, I have one little (Nugget is his name, and I don't name my meatied, usually) from the same batch, he is actually no bigger than the purebreds I received in the same order and he is still covered in downy feathers except for some on his wings and a few in his tail. Is this just one of those runt-type things and when should I butcher him? By the way, he does NOT act like the runt of anything, he is quite cocky. No pun intended.
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I noticed that my meatie cockerel was soooo slow to get his feathers. A lot of due to the fact that until the feathers ALL came in completely... there just wasn't enough there to cover up that ginormous body of his
Everyone says that you need not worry about the cold as much with meaties because they metabolize so much food so often that their bodies produce more heat than other breeds.

And all I can think is that maybe Nugget got mixed in by accident and is really a Leghorn or something. Maybe a pic would be helpful. Good luck with your meaties
Your having the same proplems that every other producer does...

Slow growing and slow feathering. This never used to be a problem about 6 years ago when I first started getting cornish x rocks... they were very consistent in sizes, feathering... ect.

Honestly I think it's from too much inbreeding. This may be a problem in the upcoming years... but who am I to tell big companies that this may be their problem.

I get 200 every two weeks and out of those two hundred I get 10 on average that are "nuggets" I'm going to to steal your word as this is a great description of these runts. Feed them like normal and they are ready to process at about 9-10 weeks sometimes longer... all of that time for a 3 lb bird. Lately I have been processing the nuggets with the females as it gives them an extra week. What ever they are in 8 weeks... they are... a lot of times they look like cornish game hens but they are fine to eat... they just didn't get the meat gene I believe...

As far as the one with no feathers... I get a couple / 200 like this... they grow just as big just as fast but with no feathers... except for where you explained. I don't worry about them as they snuggle inbetween their siblings just fine to stay warm. However They are a pain to pluck as they have hundreds of little pin feathers and even my machine has a hard time plucking them clean.

Good luck...
Jeff and Guitarartist,
Thank you both for your input. I guess I was just trying to figure out if I should go ahead and have Nugget butchered with the rest or keep growing him until he is worth eating. I will send him off with the second batch of chickens when they go. He is growing meat, just not like the other freak birds ( as I call them ).
I am going to try crossing some other dark colored breeds in the spring. I know the food to weight ratio is better with the Cornish Crosses, but I am more into the preserving of the breeds we have than creating freaks. That is the only way I can describe the behavior I see with the CXRs. I will still try crossing with the Cornish, But I don't mind having mine around for a couple weeks longer, especially if I am going to tractor them and give them something beside just their crumbles.
Besides, isn't it fun to experiment with other things than just what the hatcheries are giving you? I have rabbits too and it is a blast watching the results of your breeding selections. And it is a great way to show our kids how that all works.
Thanks gain.
Best to you in your feathered lives too.

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