kyleighs farmery

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Jul 14, 2021
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I had gotten 2 Cornish Rock chicks back in the beginning of April. Unfortunately a week later, one of them died of what I think was heart failure. I only had one baby chick left, so I bought 4 more baby chicks so it wouldn’t be lonely. Now that the chicks are around 14 weeks old, they have moved to the outside coop with the big chickens. I don’t want to feed my Cornish rock a lot of food, because I heard that it could lower their survival chances and cause them to be very heavy. Which will cause pain while walking. My Cornish rock (she) already wobbles when she walks or runs. I don’t want to feed her a lot, which causes the other 4 baby chicks to get a smaller amount of food. I fell bad because I know that they should have an unlimited amount, but I don’t want to cause my Cornish rock more pain. Now that the baby chicks live outside, everyday they get ahold of the big layer hens layer blend left over food. Feeding baby chicks layer food is bad, which I know. The layer food is in the coop where the baby chicks sleep and I leave the door to the coop open during the day. That allows them to go in there and cool down or get out of the rain when need. Please give me your guy’s best advice!!!!! What do I do!!!??????!!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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I had gotten 2 Cornish Rock chicks back in the beginning of April. Unfortunately a week later, one of them died of what I think was heart failure. I only had one baby chick left, so I bought 4 more baby chicks so it wouldn’t be lonely. Now that the chicks are around 14 weeks old, they have moved to the outside coop with the big chickens. I don’t want to feed my Cornish rock a lot of food, because I heard that it could lower their survival chances and cause them to be very heavy. Which will cause pain while walking. My Cornish rock (she) already wobbles when she walks or runs. I don’t want to feed her a lot, which causes the other 4 baby chicks to get a smaller amount of food. I fell bad because I know that they should have an unlimited amount, but I don’t want to cause my Cornish rock more pain. Now that the baby chicks live outside, everyday they get ahold of the big layer hens layer blend left over food. Feeding baby chicks layer food is bad, which I know. The layer food is in the coop where the baby chicks sleep and I leave the door to the coop open during the day. That allows them to go in there and cool down or get out of the rain when need. Please give me your guy’s best advice!!!!! What do I do!!!??????!!
Put the entire flock on Flock Raiser or chick starter with a container of oyster shell for the laying hens. Done.
As for the Cornish Cross (she's not a Rock), it will be VERY difficult to keep her with your laying flock. You can't limit feed for the laying flock because you have a meat chicken in when them. People have kept meat birds alive for as long as 2 years but they need to be out on pasture and moving around as much as possible.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
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^^^ Dobie has the right of it. CX are brittle birds in the best of conditions, purpose bred to rapidly put a clean, breast heavy carcass on the table at very young age. They were not, and are not, designed for longevity.

You CAN go to an "All Flock" type feed with free choice oyster shell for the whole flock (and should - its the easiest feed management for a mixed flock in the typical backyard.) What you can't do is offer it "ad libitum" (as much or as often as necessary or desired). The CX will happily lay in front of the food trough and attempt to eat itself to bliss, meaning death.

Instead, you will have to restrict feed to all birds and force them to free range for the rest. The CX will, eventually, join in - the restricted feed and forced exercise will help with longevity, but the long term prognosis remains poor, and it will always "run" like a peg-legged duck, can't fly, will remain predator ignorant, and will likely be the first bird you lose to predation if something does get inside your pasture. I just culled the last of my female CX, whom I had been using as a breeder, age 15 months - live weight 10.14#. She was suffering a hard molt, and our summer heat, and I had the genetics I wanted from her in some of her offspring. Two of her cockerel siblings were processed around 9 months and 10 months, both in good health at the time, weights 13.4# (live) and over 14# (again, live weight).

Looked like small turkeys, but quite tough - best as sausage or long braised stew.
 

NatJ

Crossing the Road
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Mar 20, 2017
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As for the Cornish Cross (she's not a Rock)

They are sometimes called Cornish Rocks, because they began as a cross of Cornish (big breast) with Rock (fast growth). I would guess they have more Rock than Cornish in their ancestry by now, although of course selective breeding has taken them a long way from either original breed.
 

NatJ

Crossing the Road
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Mar 20, 2017
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I don’t want to feed my Cornish rock a lot of food...

Is the Cornish Rock much bigger than the other chicks?
You might be able to make a small pen to hold the feed, with openings for the little chicks but too small for the Cornish Rock to go through. Then you would give her the right amount of food once or twice a day.

Even when you integrate them with the rest of the flock, there is a chance the Cornish Rock might be so much bigger that you could use a similar system to allow the adult layers to also get food.

Or you might be able to put food for most of the flock on a raised surface (like a table), because a big heavy meat bird cannot fly as well as most other chickens.

For chicks eating layer food, I agree with other posters that you can just serve all of them a food suitable for chicks, and provide oyster shell separately so the layers can eat it. Hens are usually good at eating the right amount of oyster shell if they have a choice, and calcium is the only special thing about layer feed. The chicks will probably try a few bites of oyster shell too, just to learn what it is, but you can trust that they won't eat enough to hurt themselves.
 
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U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
8,170
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776
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Or you might be able to put food for most of the flock on a raised surface (like a table), because a big heavy meat bird cannot fly as well as most other chickens.


Good point. If I had placed food on a short table - maybe 2' off the ground - I doubt any of my grown cornishX could have jumped/flapped that high. Food is a strong motivator for them - maybe they'd have surprised me, but I don't think it would have taken much more height than that, if 2' didn't do it.
 

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