Cornish X and layers in the same brooder?


9 Years
Feb 19, 2010
We've got 6 Cornish X and 6 layers - barred rocks and Ameraucanas. They are all the same age and we got them the same day. Holy Cow! The Cornish X are scary, they are growing so fast. They are easily twice the size of the others. My concern is that they seem to be overheating a little, but the other chicks are just fine. Am I going to need to build another brooder, or can I just keep trying to set the lamp so it's somewhere in the middle, with the Cornish X a little warm and the others a little cool? It almost seems like the Cornish X are panting from time to time. We moved the light as far as we could without freezing out the other little guys.

Also, do the Cornish X really ever get out of the brooder? if they are ready to butcher in 6 - 8 weeks, then that's when they normally would be going outside to the coop with the others, right? It's pretty much straight from the brooder to freezer camp.

These poor, gigantic chickens. I feel sorry for them. I know that they were pretty much bred for this, but geesh. They waddle over to the food and collapse and eat, then waddle over to the water and collapse and drink, then waddle off and take a nap. All the other chickens are very active, running about, exploring the brooder, pecking at interesting things, etc. I really think we'll probably pick another, slower growing breed for meat next time. We're not trying to save money - we were just looking for a healthier, more animal friendly alternative to the factory raised chickens.
I usually move mine (regular layers) out of the brooder when they are fully feathered and have some 'fat' on them. And of course the temps are moderated. Good rule of thumb is start your chicks at 95 degrees then drop it 5 degrees every week until the outside temp matches the brooder temp.

I would think about brooding them seperately if you do it again. This time, you can sort of wing it like you are now.

Good luck!
Thanks for the reply!

hah! "Wing it". I see what you did there.

I don't have a thermometer in the brooder - I'm sort of going by chicken activity. they are spread out throughout the brooder and seem pretty active, so I figure they are ok. the Cornish X - it's hard to tell with them. I think I have it regulated to where everyone is doing ok. If I ever do Cornish X again, I'll use a separate brooder. They are 2 weeks old and I need both hands to pick them up! They aren't feathering out to near the degree that the layers are, but that may be because I think they are mostly cockerels and the layers are pullets. (at least I hope that's the case.
I am a vegetarian farm worker, and several months ago rescued a Cornish X after she fell off or jumped (haha) from the slaughter truck going to town. That was November and now in March she has her own seperate room, cuz the rest of the flock would canabalize the poor girl. She is soo meek. Now she weighs 13 pounds and waddles everywhere with us. She has begun laying little brown eggs, and the roosters have a good time trying to mount her. She is sooo much bigger than them. They kind of fall off and then hop back on her and eventually just stand on her a second and feel like they are done. She is happy though. I am hoping she will be our brooder chicken and I can stick some of he other girls eggs under her. I have read she will not produce eggs true to breed since she is a mix. But she is so sweet and fun, we don't care. She is our star attraction around here. Even the farmer who lost her off the truck, stops by in amazement as to how big she is.

She does get over worked pretty fast. But we make her do her exercise routine walking from one barn to another. She is such a diva. Good luck.
I got 25 Cornish X Rocks and 5 layers on 02/07. They've been together. The layers just nestle up under the meaties and stay warm. They are 3.5 weeks old and outside now. We are in Vegas, so it's high 60s and 40s at night. Those layers love their meaties. They are going to miss them when they are gone. When I was moving all of them out of the shed to the coop, I took the layers last and they were peeping their heads off until they got back with their big, big, big, big brothers. They boss the meaties around and in return the meaties let them get right up under their wings and nestle them.
Oh, just wanted to add that I lost two of my meaties to flip disease. I was overfeeding them. I lost the two right at 3 weeks old. The men over on the meat bird forum told me to take the feed away at night if I had a light on 24/7. They also told me the meaties need exercise, thus my push to get them out of the shed. They are completely different birds now that they can walk around. They are actually running now and I have not lost another one. Once they got in the daylight and could roam around, they started acting like birds.

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