Cornish Broiler

Noah Way Farm

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
113
150
91
South Carolina
Thanks for all that great info and insight! I don't really have a plan for these birds if they hatch, but I hope you're right about the cross - if I can get these birds to lay, I might just cross them to something else, to achieve a better sustainable meat bird. If not, we will just eat them.

I'd put money on it that the large hatchery is breeding for CX, not breeding CX to CX. I've raised only a few hundred so far and I've experimented with rationing and come to some hard conclusions. I think it's possible, but a lot more work than it's worth, to slow down an actual CX's growth. There have been lots of folks who have, over the years tried to find a more perfect, better balance between speed of growth and longevity and well being. It is not my experience that it it is worth trying to grow them out as pets or for eggs, they are a genetic wonder as a meat bird. there are many propriatary variations of the cross. the best one, IMHO, is the COBB 500, it stays pretty plucky, has a decent life and has a great grain to meat conversion rate, about 2.5 lbs of grain to a lb of meat. I use a sort of industrial grade mother heating pad to grow them out, no heat lamp, they are forced to sleep at night, so they take a natural break from eating. I grow them out in the fall, the days get shorter and nights longer, as they get older, which I find to be a great balance, I don't see leg problems and I get nice 7 to 9 lb birds at 9 weeks. I've concluded that they have something like 10X the metabolism of the typical heritage breed bird, that they produce so much of their own growth hormone that it's best to just give them the food they need and aim for a 9 week harvest. after 9 weeks they tend to get pretty burdened by their biology and I just don't see a way to give them an enjoyable life. there appetite is so intense that I think you could make an argument that restricting their diet too much actually leads to suffering. I try and find a balance, give them a good life with good health up to harvest time, at which point I kind of feel that they have reached their natural end due to their extreme genetics. I grow about 35-70 out a year, produce hundreds of lbs of organic meat, almost all the meat for my family of 4, it all gets vacuum sealed and frozen and I find the ability to show my kids a way to be somewhat self sufficient with growing our own meat in a human way, even in the suburbs and it feels kind of glorious, though the last few weeks can be trying.
 

Noah Way Farm

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
113
150
91
South Carolina
Oh, and this corporation is big enough that I think they have their own strains of birds. I have tried looking into it, but they appear to be very close mouthed about the whole thing.


Thanks for all that great info and insight! I don't really have a plan for these birds if they hatch, but I hope you're right about the cross - if I can get these birds to lay, I might just cross them to something else, to achieve a better sustainable meat bird. If not, we will just eat them.
 

Noah Way Farm

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
113
150
91
South Carolina
I have read a couple different methods of feeding. The one you listed below I have heard about, but seems really impractical for the average person, as there is the problem of making certain all spilled food is up.
Then there is the 12 hour fast method, depriving them of food for half the day.
Then there is modifying the diet itself, reducing the protein content.
All methods advise free feed for at least the first 5 days.
I am pretty certain I am just going to go with a lower protein food, if any actually hatch. I expect them to pip today or tomorrow. Friday is day 21.

The parents and grandparents are feed a restricted feed...if I remember right Cobb has it listed... I think they don't feed them one or two days a week along with low feed on the days they get fed
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
keep in mind the genetics of crosses is super duper complicated, involving punnet squares, genotypes and phenotypes and the reason people are hush about what they achieve is because millions of dollars and countless hours of research can go into creating a winning line. The folks who sell cobb 500 chicks for instance, have to pay royalties in order to breed them and they generally won't even let the eggs be sold. just as with crosses of plants, when you breed a cross to a cross, you don't generally get any of the previous generation. so a cornish cross to a cornish cross will give you throw backs, not blended birds so much but pure single birds of previous generations. In my book, CX are practically a mutant strain, a genetic anomaly, a bit of a freak of nature that is on a super spead up aging schedule that tends to quickly spin off within a few months into a state of deterioration. it is tempting to think that you can simply blend different traits into the cross line, they are typically very sweet birds, but it doesn't work that way, at least not in any kind of reasonable time and investment (do a search for "Toads" and you'll find a thread by a guy who has come about as close as anyone I've seen to breeding in traits and ending up with something he felt was, after much work, a clean and stable line that could be bread continuously. by all means have fun experimenting, just don't be disappointed with the initial randomness of the outcome. if you make it through the tedium, who knows, maybe you'll get inspired to create something new and interesting and share it with the rest of us :~).
 

Molpet

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
7,884
29,729
872
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
keep in mind the genetics of crosses is super duper complicated, involving punnet squares, genotypes and phenotypes and the reason people are hush about what they achieve is because millions of dollars and countless hours of research can go into creating a winning line. The folks who sell cobb 500 chicks for instance, have to pay royalties in order to breed them and they generally won't even let the eggs be sold. just as with crosses of plants, when you breed a cross to a cross, you don't generally get any of the previous generation. so a cornish cross to a cornish cross will give you throw backs, not blended birds so much but pure single birds of previous generations. In my book, CX are practically a mutant strain, a genetic anomaly, a bit of a freak of nature that is on a super spead up aging schedule that tends to quickly spin off within a few months into a state of deterioration. it is tempting to think that you can simply blend different traits into the cross line, they are typically very sweet birds, but it doesn't work that way, at least not in any kind of reasonable time and investment (do a search for "Toads" and you'll find a thread by a guy who has come about as close as anyone I've seen to breeding in traits and ending up with something he felt was, after much work, a clean and stable line that could be bread continuously. by all means have fun experimenting, just don't be disappointed with the initial randomness of the outcome. if you make it through the tedium, who knows, maybe you'll get inspired to create something new and interesting and share it with the rest of us :~).
Duluthralphie has had longevity issues with his toads this last generation. He was trying to add new blood.
I kept a CX and bred her to a mix heritage roo. Cockerels from this breeding I had used and I am on the 3rd generation. ... Cockerels dress out at 16wks 5-7lbs
 

Noah Way Farm

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
113
150
91
South Carolina
Toads is a perfect thing to call these! I have had 3 hatch already today, just in the last couple hours, with most of the others pipped. I have only viewed them through the incubator window so far, but these are the widest, fattest chicks in the history of ever. Not a one has really "unzipped" as much as they take a chunk from the shell, then just muscle themselves out in about two minutes. I have several that have pipped on the wrong end - my guess is they are SO big that this is where they're heads actually are. Their legs are very thick!

20191226_112115.jpg



Duluthralphie has had longevity issues with his toads this last generation. He was trying to add new blood.
I kept a CX and bred her to a mix heritage roo. Cockerels from this breeding I had used and I am on the 3rd generation. ... Cockerels dress out at 16wks 5-7lbs
 

Noah Way Farm

Chirping
Apr 29, 2019
113
150
91
South Carolina
When I get a chance, I will check that out!
I have both Brahmas and Giants, so was thinking about a cross between them, if I can get these birds to maturity. I expect no miracles!
 
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