Cornish Rock issues

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Nessmuk53, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Nessmuk53

    Nessmuk53 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    In everyones experience what is an acceptable mortality rate for these birds? I have raised plenty of laying hens without a bit of trouble. I had the occasional DOA from the hatchery, but those that were alive all made it to adulthood. These genetic abominations are different it would seem. The first mistake I made was to get them at this time of year when the temps are at record levels. Keeping chicks cool is quite a bit harder than keeping them warm.

    I also see differing opinions on withholding feed. Is it best to remove it or leave it in 24/7. I do know that the next batch of meat chickens I get (these are my first meat birds) will be in the early spring and fall and they will be one of the slightly slower growing hardier birds. Anyone have any knowledge to pass along concerning the best alternative?

    Thanks for any and all info,

  2. weeders n feeders

    weeders n feeders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    I cannot help too much because I just had my first cornish crosses this spring- er part of one last night. They did seem to be more alert and active when food was limited. I don't think I want them in the spring again though. Too messy after just a few weeks to keep indoors but too cold to put out and then for our location it was really getting too warm to be butchering when the time came for that. Think on your average temps in all directions before you get them. As little chicks warm temps are ok. But they grow fast and mine were showing signs they were hot while it was still in the 80s. Plus i'd rather be butchering in cool temps. As far as other breeds i'll be reading your post with interest.
    In the mean time plenty of shade, I kept some damp sand in one part of the pen and they liked to lay on that some - it seemed to absorb some of the heat from them.
  3. GeeJay

    GeeJay Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2011
    Horton, MI
    I also am experiencing my first batch of Cornish X... got them June 14, so far lost one right away, then recently lost another-got stuck under the chicken tractor(that was our fault). So that leaves 23-5 week olds. We have them in the shade most of the day, but it is still so hot! We rigged a 3in PVC pipe 5 ft long with 2 1/2 in holes drilled in it, connected to a 18 gal far they haven't ran out of water, but it is not cool water until I refill. But it's water!

    I haven't taken the food away from them, but do let it run low so they clean up the ground under the feeder. I also have treated with cold watermelon rind, yogurt, and tried some different fruits-so far peach peels went the fastest next to the yogurt!

    Hopefully someone else with more experience will answer also! But so far it's going ok here, had them in the barn with a lamp for about 2 weeks, then no lamp for 1 week...then outside in the tractor. We move them about every two days (it is 8ft by 10 ft).
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I also had a Cornish X question. I was thinking of placing an order soon from McMurracy for 14 Cornish X plus some assorted egg laying chicks to round out my order of 25. I'll raise them all in the basement until they can be put out. What makes me wonder is the shipping in this heat. Has anyone experienced high mortality when ordering chicks in the super hot weather we are having?
  5. Nessmuk53

    Nessmuk53 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    Mine were delivered a week ago yesterday. Shipped on a Saturday and picked up Monday morning. I had one DOA and one at deaths door out of the 52 (50 ordered 2 sent free). Since then I have lost two more, one just this morning. I swear that they both died of heart attacks. The one this morning dropped while I was out with them changing water. I have had to run a window AC for them most afternoons (they sprawl out underneath it in the afternoon for relief). If I didn't my brooder shed would be well over 100. No more mid summer birds. Just too hot anymore at this time of year.

    I like the idea of the 8 weeks to butcher, but I am not impressed with the hardiness of these birds. As I mentioned when I started this thread I would love to hear of other options and experiences with a slower growing meat bird (say 12 weeks to butcher).
  6. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Cornish cross or Cornish rock? Don't want to hear anyone but people in AZ, or the south complain about raising them in the heat this summer. Those in OK and TX have it bad. I'm raising a small batch right now unintentionally and haven't had any heat related losses. Hottest day so far was 121 and we had two weeks over 115.
    Mine spend their days in the shade with a good part of the day spent wading/ sitting in the wading pools that I've made for them from rubbermaid lids and dog bowls. Plenty of wet rice hulls to lay in, too.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  7. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I received some laying chicks in AZ with 110 degree heat. It was easily 110 the day they arrived. They were shipped at night and I dint lose any. Lost two tiny, tiny chicks the first two days but they shipped three extras. The tiny ones were not Banties but almost as small as my OEGB chicks. Sicilian Buttercups and silver leghorns.
  8. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    The commercial chicken industry raises the commercial broiler (aka Cornish Cross or Cornish Rock) by the BILLIONS all year long primarily in the South. They don't have the mortality issues regularly lamented here on BYC, if fact if a grower for one of the commercial producers had that type of death loss their contract would be cancelled!

    The key is providing the appropriate environment, if you are losing Commercial Broiler then your environment is not acceptable.

    We use fans on all of our broilers much like the commercial operations, but our is positive air flow not negative.

  9. Nessmuk53

    Nessmuk53 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    I am talking about Jumbo Cornish X Rocks. I have fans pulling in air and pushing air out. As I mentioned I also have air conditioning available for the hottest part of the day.
    I am curious now as to what the commercial mortality rate is? I will admit that this is my first time raising them, but I have had no problems at all with RIR, BRs, Easter Eggers, Wyandottes and the like, not a single death when they arrive alive. I just don't get the feeling that these Jumbos are nearly as healthy a breed. The two that died on me were among the largest of the chicks. The one this morning was up and around with no issues apparent and then just up and dropped. Heart attack was the only thing I could figure would put them down that fast. They have plenty of room for running around and their water is about 6 feet from their feed.

    I still would like to find a bird that has the weight, but grows just a bit more slowly.
  10. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:I think it's around 4% and that includes birds with slipped tendons.

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