Breeding your own Cornish X


6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
Kingsley, MI
I'm very interested in breeding my own Cornish Cross someday! I know the famous mix was a Cornish rooster over a White Plymouth Rock hen. Wikipedia told me that that wasn't what today's cross is (at least that's what I took from it)

What is the best mix to get fast growing, meaty birds? Obviously they won't be exactly like the ones you buy as chicks, but as long as there is lots of meat, I'm okay with that!

Thanks in advance!
the modern cross is a 4 way hybrid bred from about 60 years of selection. (from the best research i can find). this same question gets asked probably 10-15 times a week, i have never found a direct answer. the breeders who developed these strains guard their secrets closely.

you can breed cornish to fast growing plymouth rocks and get a descent chicken, but chances are you wont get anywhere close to the feed to meat conversions of the cornish rocks. however you will get better livability. in my own experiments i found it best to use cornish hens with a plymouth rock rooster. cornish roosters can be a little ornery. after about 4 generations of very selective breeding i did come up with a barred rock over dark cornish cross that had excellent breast qualities. the growth rate was a little slower than the cornish rocks with about 15 weeks grow time. some were a touch faster, maybe 5.5 lbs dressed at 12 weeks, on high protein feed.

i encourage you to try it, but i will warn you; it is much cheaper to just go ahead and buy the crosses if you want meat birds. the expense in raising a fast growing plymouth rock breeding stock alone can quickly reach well into the thousands. i was lucky and found some locally that a local breeder/judge was working with. i still ended up with about $2,500 in the experiment including cages, feed, supplies, and breeders.
I kept some Freedom Rangers to adulthood and I hatch their eggs. The chicks grow as fast as the original adults. They don't grow as rapidly as cornish X, but that's ok with me.
So all you do is keep a male and a female? That's all you need? Where do you get your original ones from?
Wow cool! Do you have them in a separate coop or just in with your layers (if you have layers). I might be trying this in the spring! :D
They range free. I lock them up at night and let them loose in the daytime.

I don't have layers, I just have Marans and Freedom Rangers. Oh, I do have 1 speckled sussex (a pet), and one standard cochin (good broody).
Very cool! I'd probably just have to keep them all together since my other flock will be free range once they all get the hang of where to lay their eggs. They are just in the coop and attached run at the moment while the younger ones free range.

Are they brown eggs? I would suspect they'd be jumbo size?

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