Cornish meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by neffchick, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. neffchick

    neffchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    San Diego
    Well, I have wanted to get some chickens for meat for a will and I found a local farmer that has so e cornish chicks. I just was wondering if it o better to leave them in the coop or should I let the run free like my egg layers? I heard the get fatter and plumper if they are not free range. What if I let them out once a week? The whole purpose of raising our own chickens is to be healthier , so I do not want to add any thing to their diet that will harm my kids or give the chickens a life style that will make their meat less healthy fir the kids.
     
  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you keep them cooped up, be prepared to clean the coop A LOT!!! I have mine in a tractor and I have to say, they aren't as big as the last batch that was in the coop most of the time but they are a lot cleaner.
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:We have 30 in a stall in the barn that are six weeks old. I haven't cleaned it yet. I take a fork and break up any cake around the waterers and throw down some fresh straw every now and again. They aren't dirty and are doing well in there.
     
  4. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote:I heard a LOT of things about the Cornish X's when we got ours this past spring. Thankfully I didn't listen. I just took our first chicken out of the oven and had a taste (they were processed yesterday) and it's fantastic. We took our to 10 weeks and they were 6-8 lbs dressed. The one I cooked tonight was 6 1/2 lbs. They were also free-ranged.

    What I did:

    Kept them in a brooder for 3 week. Turned off the heat lamp in the day at about 2 weeks. Threw in fresh chunks of sod for them to scratch at from the time they were one week.

    At 3 weeks they went outside for the day into a dog run. At four weeks they stayed outside at night as well. We simply tarped up the dog run and leaned some plywood against it to protect from wind and rain. At about 5 weeks we got lazy and began letting them out. From then on they free-ranged from about 7 am to 7 pm. They scoured our lawn for slugs and bugs and only really rested in the hottest part of the day and after we fed them, which became a several time a day thing rather then 12 hours of food in the feeder. They were fit, happy, active, sweet-tempered birds.

    By processing time there were some roosters that must have been around 12 lbs. As I wrote before they went into our freezer at 6-8 lbs.

    I have discovered that lots of folks are ready to tell you things about the Cornish X's, what their drawbacks are and how they *must* be raised. I have also discovered that much of that wisdom is questionable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  5. neffchick

    neffchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    San Diego
    Thanks.
    I would rather let them be free and enjoy their short lived lives. I just want to make sure we get a lot to eat as well. If you got that much out of them and they were free range then that works for me. I love my egg layers and have found out that they are so much more then just a food source, so I want them to be happy. Sounds funny, but I just want best of both worlds, happy animals and a good, healthy amount of food for my family.
     
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    My Coop
    I got a half dozen chicks this past spring, and I let them free range with the chicks I hatched. They did just fine. Towards the end they didnt want to do much free ranging, but they did a lot the first month or so. They got enormous.
     
  7. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Same here. [​IMG] I found our meat chickens were a lot of fun too. They came running when ever we came outside (people=food!!!) and would follow us around. They'd let us pet them as well. We got a lot of joy out of them before we sent them off for processing and they had a great, if short, life.
     
  8. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We have 30 in a stall in the barn that are six weeks old. I haven't cleaned it yet. I take a fork and break up any cake around the waterers and throw down some fresh straw every now and again. They aren't dirty and are doing well in there.

    Well, I must say that your barn has to have more air movement than my coop therefore keeping the bedding somewhat drier than mine was. I cleaned my coop out about twice a week but stirred it on a daily basis and still could not get it to dry out. I even resorted to using Sweet PDZ to help a little bit. My birds must have been extra messy because there was no way they could stay nice and white with that much poop on a daily basis. Maybe it's the difference in straw as opposed to pine shavings. [​IMG]

    This is just my personal experience, which is all I can base my comment on. [​IMG]
     
  9. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Quote:If they're Cornish chicks, they're a completely different animal than what most of the people are talking about.
    If they're what is most commonly [but erroneously] called CX or Cornish/Rock, they can still indeed be raised free run. While I do not buy in to some peoples claims that commercially raised white broilers are fed anything that would endanger consumer's health, I do believe there may be some advantages both to health and flavor when raised out a bit slower. They probably will not move far from the feed and water as long as the feeder is kept full; and if they are forced to range for part of their diet they will take longer to get to processing weights. Here's some commercial white broiler pullets intentionally being held down in size. At 9 weeks they are only averageing 4 pounds live [3.5 to 4.5 lbs], but are they quite healthy and well muscled but lean.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011

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