Cornish can't climb well?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Carolyn227, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Carolyn227

    Carolyn227 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2011
    I got a bunch of chicks including two cornish, but one of them didn't make it. Anyway, the other one is about 4 or 5 weeks old now and has a rather large breast area (which is obviously why it is a meat bird!). Anyway, I put the chicks outside today, and all of the chicks can climb up the ramp. Except the cornish. Is that normal? I had the food and water at the top, but I moved them since the cornish can't get up there to eat/drink. It was eating some grass but it didn't look comfortable like the other chicks.

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I've not attempted cornishx before, but the ramp doesn't surprise me. Few people with cornish even offer roosts a few inches off the ground. Guess their bulk to leg ratio just isn't comfortable climbing or hopping even a few inches [​IMG] Put the feed a bit out of the way at least, so that the little thing has to walk a ways to get to it. The more exercise the better.
    So will you process this chick? They don't often live more than a year or so if not, although I've heard of some that lived to two years of age, and laid decently.
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Meat birds do not like to move around much, I raise them every year and one year we gave them the opportunity to go outside if the wanted to. They didn't, they wanted to stay inside where the had soft bedding to lay on. They are lazy birds. :th
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    They stay where the food is at...move it outside and you will see some very un-lazy birds. These are 2 wk old CX that are fed twice a day. They are constantly on the move looking for more food...and they are quite successful at finding it! When one finds a worm, the chase is ON and the whole pack chases, takes it, passes it back and forth until the poor bug/worm/etc is torn to bits and consumed.


    My last batch of CX went up their ramp into the coop each day, twice a day, clear up to 11 wks when they were processed~average finished weight was 10 lbs, average dressed out weight was 6 lbs. Your CX will turn out to be what you help them become...want them strong and agile? Feed less, provide more opportunities to move and forage. Want them healthy right up until processing? Then treat them like normal birds and provide a healthy feed regimen and environment.

  5. DeerRunFarm

    DeerRunFarm In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2012
    Yeah... Cornish crosses can become serious couch potatoes when overfed and not given exercise from day one. I hate to say it, but at 5 weeks, it may be too late. Try restricting feed, but be careful about forcing them to travel to reach their water. I've heard stories from several different quarters about birds who just sat there and died of dehydration or heat exhaustion rather than try to reach the waterer. :-(
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I LOVE your way of doing meat birds!!! I'm a pet chicken person w/my layers and ornamentals, so I'm sure we don't see eye-to-eye there, but I'm definitely a believer of keeping meat birds in an 'as natural as possible' environment. I love that your birds have space to be chickens...hate to see meaties crammed inside tiny little tractors...

  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Me too! I got to see it first hand when I visited Salatin's farm and I was horrified that he called that "pastured" poultry....the area under their feet was trampled and poopy. No chicken could have derived any good from what few pieces of green they could have ingested. At that time I concluded his "pastured" was merely a marketing gimmick. Too many birds crammed into too little space and fed continuous grains....his claims of them actually eating the forage are highly questionable. As anyone here can attest, if given the choice between easy to reach feed or having to dig and scratch or forage for anything on pasture, the CX will always hit the feeder first.

    Anyone watching chickens foraging can tell you that, if they find something, they usually have to run from the others to actually keep it and eat it. How far can they run in a 10x10 box full of other birds as big as they are? I got to see Salatin move the tractor and all I witnessed was grass that had been trampled and burned with high nitrogen was flat and yellow but I saw no evidence of it actually being grazed in any way.

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