Cornish Cross - Meat Birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CaitlinxxInsane, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. CaitlinxxInsane

    CaitlinxxInsane New Egg

    Apr 1, 2011
    I bought 2 Cornish Crosses at my local tractor supply almost 4 weeks ago as chicks, & I was reading online that they can have leg problems/heart attacks? Is there a way to prevent this? We didn't buy them for eating, only as pets.
  2. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    CX are eating birds and that alone. I guess you could try keeping them with careful feeding, but they are messy, smelly chickens so not a good choice.

    However, home raised CX - while maybe not as good as DP meat - is superior to what is in the store.
    1 person likes this.
  3. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    I have also bought some Cornish Crosses from TSC, and so far they do not show any signs of leg problems. Yes if they overeat on high protein foods, they can suddenly die from heart attacks due to rapid growth, as well as a myriad of other problems associated with that strain of chicken.

    If they are for pets, you can raise them on a limited diet of 20% grower/starter feed. That's what I am currently using momentarily, and they seem fine and mobile. However if they haven't been vaccinated for marek's disease, then they could exihibit the symptoms regardless.

    EGGTASKTIC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    If you cut the protein and go slow you should be ok. Free range them if you can . They will still have a shorter life expectancy that a non cornish x bird.
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    We were just discussing this on another thread earlier this morning. I would like to throw in my 2 cents if I may. You will hear many people tell you to do this and do that. Well I am speaking from experience and if others who have actually raised Cornish beyond their life expectancy, please chime in at any time.

    I will copy and paste my comments from the other thread. Sorry for the repeat.

    Someone who has absolutely no knowledge about chickens "gifted" me with what they thought were "white chickens" 4 years ago. This person was so excited that they had purchased these "white chickens" for me. I asked this person what breed these chickens were and they didn't know. Sooooooooo, as the days went on, I noticed that these little buggars were kinda big and "looked" different". After doing research and calling the feed store where this person purchased these chickens, I was in shock to know that I was caring for Cornish. I was speechless. I knew what they were bred for and I knew that I could not follow through with feeding them to eat them in 6 - 8 weeks.

    Raising Cornish as pets is not for everyone. It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. My girls lay double yolks eggs. I let them free range every day and they eat the same food as the other chickens. I place the feeder a few feet away from them so they have to exercise and walk to get their feed. When I open the chicken yard gates, they come running, like horses at the race track. It is so fun to see them running around like the other chickens.....eating bugs and scratching.

    My girls are too big to fly on the roost. I sometimes put them on the roosts, if at coop closing time, their eyes are sparkling with envy to get on the roost. I lift them up and place them on the roost. I have to take them off and place them on the ground the next morning. Sometimes, they just choose to sleep on the ground in their chicken house. I make their ground sleeping arrangements as comfy as possible.

    I personally would be very slow at recommending this breed as a "pet". The reason is because it is a careful process that one has to be dedicated to when raising these birds beyond the butcher age. I took my time and studied the breed to find out how I could keep them around longer. Of course there was very little information to no information out there because no one really keeps this breed around a long time. There are a few other people on this forum who have raised Cornish as pets and I am one of them. My girls have an excellent chicken life. Anyone who knows me know that my animals have 5 star status in terms of health, nutrition and living arrangements. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    This is what I did.
    1. Do not overfeed.
    2. Free range as often as possible (daily if you can). Free ranging also promotes exercise. They have to walk and run to get those juicy bugs.
    3. Place feeder several feet away from them, so that they have to walk (exercise) to get their food.
    4. Feed healthy snacks (fruits & vegetables)
    5. Make sure that their living arrangements are functional for their needs. Some cannot fly on roosts at night. They may have to sleep on the floor.
    6. Do not place them with roosters. Roosters will try to mate with them. Their legs cannot take the extra rooster weight on them and neither can their stress level.

    I can give this information because I have experience in raising Cornish as pets. Please see pic below:

    4 year old Cornish (after a very dirty dust bath)
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  6. eastercreek

    eastercreek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2011
    Benton, LA
    Im glad you posted this because we ended up with 2 Cornish x from least we are pretty sure that is what they are now at 5 weeks. may be getting rehomed anyway because he looks like a roo....much more developed and red comb and wattles at 5 weeks then the other one. We would like to keep them as pets for this was music to my ears. You are right about not a lot of folks having info on them past 8 weeks. I have been searching and searching.
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Congrats on your new Cornish. I hope that this information can help you with your new birds. Keep me posted on how it's going with them. If I can help you in any way, I am more than willing. If I can remember anything else about how I care for my Cornish, I will let you know. [​IMG]
  8. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    I feed them 12 hours on, 12 off. They'll eat 24-7 if you let them!
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Quote:Most people don't have info past 8 weeks, because they are produced for meat. they eat a lot and poo a lot they stink up a coop. Why rehome him. Eat him. If you've never had one that you raised, then you are missing a lot. You have 3 weeks left eat him, he's yummy [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  10. Homegrown Cornich X's are soooo good to eat. If you want to keep em as pets best wishes to you. Mine get so huge by 8 to 9 weeks that I can't resist eating them. I've haven't kept any past 11 weeks, so I can't give any advice on keeping them as pets.

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