Cornish Pigs er.... Cross

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SuperK, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. SuperK

    SuperK Chillin' With My Peeps

    What a ride!

    We recently bought 12 Cornish Cross chicks to start our foray into raising our own meat birds. With the average fryer going for $15 -$18 here we thought we might be able to get close to at least breaking even. After the cost, we like the idea we knew what they were fed. Our area has very temperate weather, neither too hot nor cold in any season, so the brooder for us is more a segregation tool. We have had the Chicks since September 1st, just at 24 days as of today. I weighed three of them just to see how these guys were packing on the weight as they are taller than the Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock chicks we got August 13th.
    I originally made a Mini CoopR for the chicks but they outgrew it in just three days. I expected to move them out in a week or so, but they grew too fast!
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    I then made a 16 sq ft wire pen (4' x 4') that they are in now that is 16" tall that they are growing out of as I type. We let them out to "exercise" when we do the daily care, food water poop patrol, etc, and they are hilarious. They stand quiet-like then in a burst of Super Chicken Speed, they'll fluster off to a totally random destination then chest bump any other chick that follows.
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    We have purchased a hexagonal dog kennel w/ roof and I plan on modifying it for these and future chicks to grow out to adolescent size suitable for introducing into the flock. We are trying to keep the pecking order pecking to a minimum by waiting till they are big enough to stand up for themselves. We have already had a broody hen kill two of the CC's when they wiggled through the wire of their brooder and got out into the coop one night.
    [​IMG]

    Back to the Cornish Pigs-
    Wow. They really are little piglets. The RIR / Rocks weigh in at about 340-360 grams where the CC weighed 650, 635 and 590 grams! An average of 625 grams! that is 1 pound 6 ounces at 24 days. To compare, we got a Barred Rock rooster on the 9th or 15 days ago and he weighs just 45 grams.
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    We are feeding chick starter 24 hr access, fresh water 24 access though the last two days they have knocked it over and its been empty at 6 am when we go out to check on them. I will be getting a larger container and securing it so that doesn't happen again.

    We are thinking of slowing this growth rate down a bit by taking out the feeder at night. Since the little roo is also in with the CC's, we still have the red heat lamp (60 watt 85 degrees at 2" ) on so we think they are snacking during the night. Night temps are in the solid 75-80 range and the roo snuggles with the CC outside the lamp perimeter most nights. Though just a quarter of their size, the little guy Lightening, [Well, how he got a name when the other don't is a different story] fends well in the group and doesn't really think he's smaller. I am sure we'll need to rename him Napoléon !

    Any experienced CC raisers wishing to help out some newbie farmers whether this is a normal growth rate, too much or not enough, we'd appreciate the advice.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, Cornish Cross can certainly be little piggish eating machines! Some folks ration their food to a 12 hours on/12 hours off rotation in order to slow down their growth. Others keep them on full feed til processing time. My family prefers roast chicken to fried so we go for a slower growth rate. The folks that raise them for frying might prefer to raise them up to weight as soon as possible and keep them on full feed. You might post in the Meat Birds forum...some of the folks there have it down to a science when it comes to growth rate and feed intake. Here's the link https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/21/meat-birds-etc
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. SuperK

    SuperK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you!
     

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