Closest "homemade" cross to CornishX ?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pascopol, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

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    Hi all meat chicken breeders and experts. Is it possible to cross 2 common breeds for the purpose of emulating big chicken broiler companies F1 meat hybrids?

    I do not care about all white featered breed, or record fast growth and all the problems connected with. I want to raise a meat bird in 8 to 12 weeks. I found out common "double purpose" breeds like RI reds, Barred Rocks produced young rooster friers with tough meat good only for stew.

    My wife almost kicked me out of the house with my chickens LOL.

    The only exception were Light Sussex younger roos, even at older age their meat was tender, meaty and juicy dressed with nice white skin.

    I understand one can not exactly duplicate meat chicken big chicken companies grow, but I guess it is possible to come close.

    Since I have already Light Sussex hens (unfortunately I lost the roo) would a Cornish rooster be suitable to cross with them?

    I know some people crosses Delaware hens with cornish roosters, but I think Light Sussex is close to Delawares as far as meat qualities.
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Hi pascopol,

    Cornish x sussex were one of the most prized meat birds back in the 1940s in England (not sure what they were using commercially in the US, sorry). I would think they'd be a great cross, but you may see a few problems with the following:

    - cornish roosters may not be able to tread the hens properly (long years of show breeding have shortened the legs in purebred cornish, at least over here in Australia.
    - sussex roosters would tread cornish hens but you won't get many eggs, therefore won't have many offspring to raise.
    - growth will be better in the hybrid generation than either parent, but still won't be anywhere near as fast as commercial meaties.

    It's a tough project given the above, but plenty do it. However I would get a sire from crossing cornish to malay or something with longer legs, then put that over the sussex. You could have a brilliant flock if you weren't a meat-perfectionist, i.e. you accepted lower weights in return for breedability.

    I haven't done any of this myself (not with cornish anyhow, though I've done it with malay games), partly because I can't find birds that are free of MG (the germ that can cause chronic respiratory disease). Thus I'm currently working with commercial meat hybrids crossed to leghorns. The next generation (crossed to leghorn again) gives me a very good dual purpose meat-favoring bird that grows quick but forages well. However it's not comparable to straight meat hybrids; nothing would be.

    best wishes
    Erica
     
  3. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

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    Thanks Erica, I see you are ahead in this game, I am not too deep into this thing as to go through couple of generations to achieve breedable stock. I want simple solution, the worst case scenario I will get another Sussex roo and just breed them pure Sussex, cause I was totally satisfied with meat quality of Light Sussex.

    By the way how the commercials breed broilers? You say Cornish roos have too short legs to breed Sussex hens, I believe commercial crosses are based on White Rock hen and Cornish roo correct?

    Obviously F1 cross is better than straight pure breed mating due to "hybrid vigor", so I will try to breed Cornish roo to my Sussex hens, if the eggs fertility shows low, who cares? I am backyard guy trying to breed me tasty and delicious birds.
    I couldn't care less for "fertility rate," "efficiency" and other buzzwords/factors as long as I get few birds I want for my table.
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Quote: Hi pascopol,

    I'm not sure, but I think cornish and rocks are only part of the process of breeding meat hybrids commercially. The great grandparents and grandparents and parents are all highly selected for particular traits. It's not just a matter of which breeds are involved but those particular strains of those breeds, if that makes sense.

    All I know is I really struggled to find cornish that could do the job. Bantam cornish tend to be better for this purpose than full size (which can take ages to mature). A jaunty and slightly leggy bantam cornish over some placid hens would probably make great meat birds.

    cheers
    Erica
     
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

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    Bantam Cornish? That,s really unorthodox and unexpected. Not to object this, but how do you explain bantam's rooster over standard hen is going to grow them faster, bigger or whatever, than using standard roo over standard hen?

    You really got me curious and confused.
     
  6. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Not bigger pascopol, but quicker to mature. Full sized purebred cornish tend to take a long time to mature, hence the bantam. The reason to use cornish at all is the width of the body, the extra muscle and especially for most people breast meat.

    If you compare crosses to purebreds you'll usually find the crosses do better and mature faster. So that's why commercial birds are always hybrids (in case you were wondering). But as for using purebreds to maintain a breed or going for crossbreeding that's up to the individual.

    Does all that make sense? Sorry it's a bit of a ramble.

    cheers
    Erica
     
  7. Barred Rocks forever

    Barred Rocks forever Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    maryland
    Ericas right i have seen bantam cornishes there very solid birds and i know of one person who used them for a duel purpose cross but cannot remember the name of them lol sorry i will try to remember
     
  8. kfacres

    kfacres Songster

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    I have bantam Cornish, LF Cornish, and a meat bird project going on... Read my BYC page for details of it.

    I don't think that Erica, in using a shot of leghorn-- or two shots of it-- will get anywhere with a meat bird project.. Leghorn will be the first thing to take the meat out of one... Just maybe my 2 cents though.
     

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