Cornish x as a pet

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lityleyella14, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. lityleyella14

    lityleyella14 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2014
    Hi, I have learnt a lot in the last 24hours about my little popcorn.
    A friend found her on the road and gave her to me at about 1week old.
    She is currently 11weeks old.
    I was worried she would be a boy and I'd have to find him a new home when the time came.
    But unfortunately have discovered she/he is a Cornish x.
    My concerns now:
    Is she going to suffer?
    What signs do I look out for?
    If she does break a leg/wing, I couldn't kill her myself, I'd have to go to the vet, hoping they are opened at the right time.
    Because she has been fed normal food- layer crunch/pellets from young and had food available day and night almost constantly, will restrict feeding her make her upset? And hungry all the time?
    Would it be a mistake/mean to change her diet at 11/12weeks old?
    She has always acted like my other two chickens- dust baths, scratching for food, eating grass, bugs etc,
    When she walks, she has a waddle, and her legs, although seem strong, are quite far apart.
    She sits a lot. Like she is worn out.
    Will she ever fit in with the other chickens?
    Should I find somewhere for her to be butchered and live her purpose?
    Should I just let her live her short, possibly painful life with us?
    How old are non-meat chicks when they are normally big enough to move in with older chickens? I feel popcorn isn't 'mature' enough to be with the older girls yet.
    When she talks, he voice has changed from the little chirp, to a deeper/ voice change, that sounds like a duck, is this her voice changing to older girl, or into a rooster?
    What would you do in my situation?
    She is very much my little pet, comes when called, loves to sleep in the cat carrier in the back room at night, and will wait by the toor to come inside to go to bed when she is ready!
    She loves to sit up on my shoulder (still!) and have a cuddle, or on my lap, or just under my chair.
    She wants to be with the others, but only when there is fence between and they can't scare/peck her.
    How long do you think she will live?
    What do you do with chicken bodies when they die?
    Is there anyone who has been in this position? And what did you do, and what would you do differently?
    So many questions!
  2. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Oh, darn.

    If you feed her only 14 or so hours on a regular feed (no layer until/unless she starts laying - the calcium can destroy her kidneys) and keep her in the dark otherwise, she'll adapt to the smaller amount of food. She will be sort of like a person who is perpetually dieting; you could ask a poultry science professor for advice.

    The layers might pound the snot out of her, no matter how large she gets. More than one Cornish X has lived a brief, comparatively happy life with their social life limited to talking with the layers through a fence and socializing in person with the people. Many Cornish X die young of heart disease.

    The decision is yours, and I don't envy you having to make it.

    If it is any consolation, most laying hens die around the age of only three, so a Cornish that makes it to a year or eighteen months is a happy bird.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Hello again! We met on New Member introductions. I know by now you've heard all about the problems with Cornish crosses from a number of BYC members. If not butchered at a young age, they typically will live somewhere between three and eighteen months. If you want more infomation outside of BYC on Cornish crosses, there are a lot of articles on them on the internet. A couple that summarize the problems with Cornish cross and are found at and If you do decide to keep her, you need to restrict her food intake, keeping her on a severe diet for as long as she lives. I can really agonize with you over this as I know how much I love my chickens.
  4. lityleyella14

    lityleyella14 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2014
    Thankyou for the info,
    I will check out the links in the morning.
    I haven't given her dinner tonight :(
    She usually goes to bed with a dish of food and water,
    Just water tonight!
    Because we have been informed about her now,
    The more we see struggle in her
    But I do know she is still a happy girl!
    And I am going to keep the other girls away from her so she doesn't
    Harm herself running away!
    I am sure they already have their beaks out of joint because she gets more time in the full yard than they do!
  5. lityleyella14

    lityleyella14 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2014
    Oh and knowing layers only live that long anyway, it a bit more encouraging.
    I know when Henny Penny arrived I researched a lot, but forgot how long they lived normally, we have had her for approx 20 months, and she was already laying her 3rd day here ( my dad was very impressed with her!)
    And noodles is about 18months now.
    One of my first questions when I got noodles was how do they die!
    I was quite relieved that I was told they will probably just drop with no warning, just not wake up one day?

    My poor popcorn :(
  6. The Yakima Kid

    The Yakima Kid Cirque des Poulets

    Popcorn has you. You keep her company, you love her, and you care for her. You can look up information on Cornish X, and perhaps giving her greens for bulk might help. Weighing her at least once a week and feeding her so she doesn't get obese is one solution. I don't know how much her strain should weigh.
    1 person likes this.
  7. lityleyella14

    lityleyella14 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2014
    Hi, so popcorn is going fine!
    I have restricted her diet a little, basically just giving her longer intervals between topping up her little bowl. And she doesn't scoff it all down straight away anymore :)
    She forages in the grass a lot and is quite content!
    She has still been sleeping inside at night, but I am going to venture this weekend to get the 3girls socialised in the hope they will live together!
    I don't have high hopes, but will give them a chance! Popcorn really wants to be with the others, so I will give her a chance to be accepted!
    Oh and it is amazing how heavy popcorn is!

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