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Cornish X Help

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jma6004, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. jma6004

    jma6004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been raising 8 buffs for almost two years now and I am ready to venture out. I want to try meat chickens but have some questions. I have been reading but still are unsure about a few things.

    I do not want to do this solely for monetary reasons but I also do not want to shell out tons and tons of money in comparison to buying at the store. If it is too expensive I will just expand my laying flock which I find to be fairly decent in regards to input money to egg production. Whats the average per pound of yield can I expect with all things considered once the bird is dressed? I am reading about the hundreds and hundreds of pounds of feed these birds eat in 8 weeks and it is worrying me.

    I have a barn with at least two 8 x8 stalls unused. I have a 8 week old baby so I do not want to brood in the house. Brooding is new to me as I purchased my buffs at about 3 months old. I would like to try to brood about 15 CX in a large plastic container in a stall and then once they outgrow this move them in to the stall that the box had been in. It is four sided so a cold drafts wont be an issue (we are in South Louisiana anyway). Security from animals also is not much of a concern either as I can secure the stall pretty well. Is an 8 x 8 stall big enough for 15 8 week old Cornish X? How big of an area will they require?

    I have reads tons on peoples thoughts on feeding but my questions are: Do you guys stick to one feed from from day 1 through the end? Do you believe in leaving feed 24/7 or when should food be taken away at night (what age)? What different size feeder/waterers did you use throughout the time you had your meat birds?

    Sorry for the length. I don't jump into things without knowing EVERYTHING I can and this is no exception for me.
     
  2. littlequail21

    littlequail21 Out Of The Brooder

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    i love it when i can order a pack of meat birds, One thing is they grow FAST...higher protein the more meat you get BUT i would Highly recommend once they are past 3 weeks do the 12 hours on off feeding system...Why? because they really grow fast...i mean over night fast...more feed means your at a higher risk for the "Am so fat cant walk problem".....which you might run into with a few birds even with trying your best...which isn't bad just butcher those birds first...It doesn't take a "Load" of feed... but Yes it does take a bit more then normal but the feed/price of chicken does work out for me when i did it. Feeders/waters all work the same...they get as much water as they want...just after 3 weeks i which to 12 hours feed....12 no feed. 8x8 is ok i think...but normally as soon as the birds feather out i boot them outside to eat as much grass as they can peck cuts down on the smell/poo since they grow fast your pen will be dirty much faster.
     
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    You can also go with Barred Rocks they lay about 5 eggs aweek if not more. You can butcher the males. They are meaty and lay well.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    In your area I wouldn't start them in a plastic pen, I'd just start them in the stall. Hang your light about 18 inches off the ground, the temp right under it should be around 95-100 degrees. With that many birds and that much space, you might set up two lights at different spots so everyone can get warm. Cornish cross seem to be way more tolerant of cooler temps than heat, so having enough space for them to move away from the heat is very important. If your stall is draft free, they should be fine.

    I'd have two feeders and waterers so everyone can get to them. Cornish cross don't bully each other too much, but you do want them to eat. And they drink a LOT of water.

    The one stall may be big enough for them. If they start looking too crowded, sounds like you could just split some into another stall. At that point they wouldn't need a heat lamp, so you'd just need to put feed and water and half the birds in the other stall.

    I usually buy starter (non medicated), use one bag then switch to broiler chick grower. I'm not sure on the protein levels right off, sorry. I also don't know how much the birds eat, cause I'm always feeding growing layers and my regular flock at the same time. I know there have been threads on here where folks tracked how much each bird ate to bring it to the 8 weeks butcher. I think some of the hatcheries have little worksheets showing how much feed you can expect to go through, maybe Meyer?

    One thing I always caution folks about is, do you have freezer space for 15 birds? They take up a fair amount of room and it sucks to process a bunch of birds then be scrambling to store them!
     
  5. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with the above posters. It isn't just about the cost vs store bought. Many times you can get store bought chicken cheaper but you have no idea how it was treated or what it was fed or how old it is. As long as I am able, I will be raising my own meat birds. Fresh is best. :clap
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised the Cornish Roasters 25 at a time in an 8'x8' tractor. Follow the feeding recommendations from Meyer hatchery. I found that with the birds being in a tractor, they ate less than what the chart said. When it was all said and done, the cost of the chicks and feed came out to $1.38 per pound of finished bird.

    By keeping them in a stall, you're going to use a lot of bedding material. These are messy birds.
     
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with 4-H chicken mom - it's not just about the money for me - it's about knowing how it was raised and butchered, and I think the taste is so much better. It's also such a great feeling of satisfaction to know that I did it.
     
  8. jma6004

    jma6004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. I did lose two birds. One on day 2 and one on day 3. I think they got to hot. Otherwise all is well. I had to switch from my small feeders to a larger one because they are eating so fast. They are one week old today. Due to increased size of the feeder I am thinking of just letting them Kellie in the enclosed barn stall. I think they will do fine.
     
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The CornishX may eat a lot of feed in 8 weeks time ... however they are the most efficient converter of feed to meat in all of chickendom. While the other so called meat/ dual purpose birds may seem like they are eating less, that less is spread out over many more weeks to a year ( depending on breed and environment) which translates to eating MORE feed over time. Also, don't forget that it takes much more labor for how ever number of weeks vs. for the 8 weeks time frame . Too, one can start to butcher the CornishX at 35 days of age for about a 2lb. " game hen" that is already cooked ... can be found at the local grocery store that is so popular .
     
  10. bHen

    bHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2!
     

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