Advice on Cornish rock chicks

backwoodsbirds

Hatching
May 19, 2015
6
0
7
Wisconsin
Hi, it's my first year raising chicks and I will be getting 30 meat birds(Cornish rocks) I've done some research and understand they grow very fast and can have health problems due to their fast growth. I am raising them organic feed so no medication. Can I feed them the layer chicken starter instead of the broiler mash so they don't grow so fast and can be healthier birds? My sister in law did not have much luck with their Cornish broilers and I'm hoping I can do better with mine. Any suggestions for a first year bird lady! :)
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
Do not feed any chicken not actively laying, layer feed. If you don't want to use medicated feed, be sure to have something on hand to treat for coccidia. It will kill chicks if not treated quickly. You can switch the feed to a grower or flock raiser ration after the first couple weeks.
 

backwoodsbirds

Hatching
May 19, 2015
6
0
7
Wisconsin
Can I feed the chicks the regular chick mash and not the broiler mash? I also will be mixing apple cider vinegar in with their water to help ward off infections.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
They can eat chick starter for the first two or three weeks. Definitely switch to a flock raiser type feed if they start getting too big, too fast. Apple cider vinegar will do nothing to prevent or heal coccidiosis. You need actual medicine to treat it. It will only take a few days after treatment for the thiamine blockers to clear your chicks systems. It's not something that will linger in their systems till slaughter. And treating them is better than losing all your chicks to something that is simple to treat for.
 

SoFFarm

Hatching
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
6
0
7
There are a lot of different opinions on raising the cornish x on a small scale, and I don't think one can screw it up too much lol. I fed chick starter (a locally milled non-gmo feed, 22% protein) for 4 weeks and now I mix that with the regular chicken 18% protein feed about 1/3 starter 2/3 regular. They are not quite 8 weeks yet and I slaughtered a few the other day and about 1/3 of the 40 or so are fully ready with most of the others not far behind. I feel like my feeding strategy worked out pretty well. They went the first 2-3 weeks with 24/7 feed & water (w/electrolytes & vitamins) then to mostly no feed at night (I would not fill up their feed in PM anymore so if they had any left they had access to it).
 

meowsandy

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
47
0
32
SoFFarm had some good suggestions. I would add that moving them out to pasture at about 3 weeks if possible will help with the fast growth. They won't forage much, but the exercise is good for them. Apple Cider Vinegar in the water does help, but won't prevent coccidia.
I don't feed medicated feed, and my Cornish cross always get Coccidia. They must be more succeptible to it as my general purpose and laying chicks never get it. I keep Corid on hand, and treat at the first sign of bloody stool. Mine usually get it at about 3 weeks, or shortly after moving them to pasture, so I'm not worried about residues in the meat since we don't butcher until 8-9 weeks.

I also add a bit of brewers yeast to their feed. I started doing this when I was raising ducks with them, and realized that we didn't get any of the joint issues that we've had in the past.
 

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