Alternatives to Cornish X; and, alternatives to commercial feed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chad, May 29, 2008.

  1. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    I'm beginning to hate Cornish X. They eat only commercial feed, at an alarming (and expensive) rate, and despite our good care, die with depressing frequency. (Our layers thrive under our care.)

    Might there be a regular breed that we could raise on grass as well as some feed, say, from early May, and have them big enough to slaughter by Labor Day or so?

    Plus, what grains or other feeds might we plant ourselves to feed our birds that would be good for them and also maybe less expensive?
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Do a search for 'freedom rangers' They are a more traditional slower growing meat bird.

    The company that sold them is no longer shipping birds, but there are similar breeds out there. Greyfields has had some luck breeding a similar bird.

    At any rate, good luck! I am wanting to try raising a few meat birds myself, but the cornish X don't seem that appealing to me either.
     
  3. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    We had 8 chicks hatched by one of our layers this spring. We just left them with Mom, who kept them warm, showed them the ropes and taught them to come into the coop and get on the roost at nightfall! They are healthy, lively and bright. Since observing them we've become a great deal less patient with those fat, stupid, fragile mutants, the Cornish X.
     
  4. [​IMG]

    I'm paying attention to this thread...

    I just ordered 25 Jumbo Cornish from Ideal and they will be my first time raising meat birds (well, first time raising meat anything!).
    I am excited to raise my own meat but I am NOT looking forward to dealing with the Cornish X birds after all the negative things I have read about them being ugly, smelly, dirty, etc. Doesn't sound very appetizing to me to be honest.
    But they are my trial run, if they are like what I've read I will probably be looking for a different breed as well once they are all butchered.
     
  5. SimplyAbundantFarm

    SimplyAbundantFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2008
    There are lots of very recent threads under this area on the Red Bro Broilers, too. I am 4 1/2 weeks into raising mine and I am very happy with them. I know that Greyfields has just received his order and many others are getting started with theirs. I posted some photos and info on mine just a few days ago under the title "my red bro broilers". I'm not in any race to get them to processing weight, as I have some other personal obligations to work around this summer, so I am pacing mine to be read to process at about 10-11 weeks.

    Best of luck with your new venture! This is a great group who is always ready and willing to help and I have been impressed with the kindness and civility of the people here, so you've come to the right place for information.

    Mary
     
  6. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2008
    WV
    Hi,
    I ve posted before that we got our meat birds from Ideal - the Red Broiler mix - and are very pleased with them.
    at 8 weeks - only lost 2 the first 2 days - all 27 are active,healthy, and looking very good. They are supposed to go to the processor at 10 weeks - and look to be about 6+ lbs dressed - as long as they keep eating well. just posted the other day about them not eating as much, but got several great replies and have added cracked corn and calf manna to their food, and this morning they had it all gone!

    very pleased with them, and had been going to try the cornish X next, but now don't think so, as I would hate to have many of them die on me. Plus they are really nice birds and have a bit of personality to them.
    Have a great day!
     
  7. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The the current commercial broiler which are sold as "Cornish Crosses" are the most efficient animal in modern agriculture. Their conversion rate of 2:1 is a gold standard that other meat animals are compared to daily, so while the eat a lot of feed, they are converting the feed very efficiently which results in a very economical meat. If you use a high retail price of $500/ton for broiler feed you can raise broilers for a $0.50/lb gain.

    The use of "dual purpose" breeds of chickens to produce meat will not acheive the same economic responses or the same meat yield. The line of chickens developed by Hubbard and sold as "Freedom Rangers" until recently have the potential to achieve economics close to the commercial broilers.

    Jim
     
  8. SimplyAbundantFarm

    SimplyAbundantFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2008
    I agree with Jim completely and I am certainly not a Cornish Cross fan...but he is right on their feed efficiency.

    Most people (and I know that there will be those who will disagree with me on this, but that's ok...that's why we have a forum...to share opinions) will not be pleased with the results they will get from growing out a dual purpose bird for meat. It will take forever to get them to the weight you need and the FCR will be abysmal.
     
  9. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    Jim and Mary, thanks for your points of view. Food (pun intended) for thought.

    What's FCR?
     
  10. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    ...but, Mary, what about this from your web site?

    "Why we do not raise Cornish crosses...

    The Cornish cross was developed with a single purpose in mind: To grow big-breasted chickens as quickly as possible. Period.

    Cornish crosses are 'eating machines' who will 'eat themselves to death' if allowed to do so. They are prone to leg problems, heart attacks and other health problems, such as congestive heart failure, poor heat tolerance and poor foraging ability -- due to the fact that their internal and structural systems are unable to keep up with their unnaturally fast rate of growth..."
     

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