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Cornish vs Cornish Rock

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ebonys_shadow, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. ebonys_shadow

    ebonys_shadow In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2008
    What is the difference between a Cornish & a Cornish Rock? Is this the same as a Cornish Cross?
    Also, should they be free range or should they be in a smaller area without much running room? Our Egg layers have an acre to run but I was told that we can't let our meat birds have much running room or the meat will be tough...


  2. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    A Cornish is the standard breed. A Cornish Rock is a hybrid between a Cornish and a Plymouth Rock (any of the various varities). Many people use the term "Cornish Rock" interchangeably with the term "Cornish Cross". Some may simply refer to the hybrid as a "Cornish", but a true Cornish is vastly different. In this forum, unless someone states that they are specifically talking about a true Cornish breed chicken, it's generally understood that they are referring to one of the many commercially sold Cornish Cross varieties.

    The commerical chicken meat industry has refined the Cornish Cross to the point that is an extremely fast-growing hybrid chicken. Trying to produce a cornish/rock hybrid on your own will yield disappointing results, although the offspring should be larger and faster growing than their true breed parents.

    Hope that clears it up a bit.
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Meat breeds are butchered young, between 6 and 12 weeks, depending on whether you have the fastest growers or the slower ones such as the colored Rangers. At those ages, you don't need to worry about free ranging making them tough. They'll still be tender. The fastest growers, the white Cornish X, won't move around much anyway.

    I let all of mine free range. The ones that get processed young are tender. Older ones are not. Older, extremely active birds, are probably tougher than a confined bird the same age. But older birds I cook in the crock pot anyway, so I just let them all run around.

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