Cornish X - how do they get those chicks??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mcf3kids, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a co-worker who keeps asking me how the hatcheries get Cornish X chicks if the birds don't live long enough to actually make chicks the old fashioned way. I honestly have no idea how this works - do any of you know? If they die from their own superfast growth before sexual maturity how do they do it? Are these test tube eggs that are hatched? [​IMG]
     
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is a hybrid 4 way cross. The parrent stocks will reproduce and the crossed hybrids have the desired growth rate. Even If cornish X are mated you don't end up with cornish X. Hatcheries love it as they lock in customers.
     
  3. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had read that on other threads that you cannot mate your own but it still left me baffled - lol - but what you say makes sense I guess. It amazes me how they can figure out what they will end up with in the end - gotta love genetics - dominate gene, right?
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Somewhat similar to a sex link. It is a first generation cross.

    Hatcheries have to have the parent stock, which when combined, nick to form the desired bird. That's what the big X means in the name.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    This video will answer a whole lot of your questions. I highly recommend it. It's one video broken into two pieces.

    Broiler Chicken Videos





    They do breed naturally, but feed is restricted so they don't grow too big to breed or have a lot of those medical problems.

    One part that confuses me is that they are not first generation crosses but second generation crosses. There are four separate flocks, each of which produce a specific paternal or maternal grandparent of the broilers. With genetics, first generation offspring is very controlled if the parents are pure. You know exactly what you are going to get. But with the second generation, where you are mating crosses, you generally don't know what you are going to get. You just don't know what genes they are going to inherit. But obviously it works.
     
  6. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    read my BYC page, then get on a avigen website, and see their products. lastly, check out their management guides.
     
  7. Goldenseal

    Goldenseal Out Of The Brooder

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    I dont know how they do it, but a year and a half ago, we were catching up
    our butcher roosters for butcher and one escaped. I figured if he was gutsy
    enough to fight his way free, he deserved his freedom.

    He got HUGE this year, didnt weigh him, but my guess is over 20 lbs.
    people thought he was a turkey. he free ranged and jumped hens.
    ive had cornish cross hens that got big and laid eggs daily.

    anyway, this years crop of roo's went to freezer camp the other day,
    I sent this huge guy with them, figured he would make some good
    soup and if he tastes horrible, the dog will enjoy it.
     
  8. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all the responses - I have been educated a lot today! Love the story of the Cornish roo that escaped freezer camp for a while! Ours will be heading to camp this weekend as the nights are getting really cold for these guys and their growth rate is def. slowing down from it. I have enjoyed raising our first couple of batches of Cornish along with a batch of dual purpose so that I could compare and contrast. Hubby and I like the fast growth of the Cornish and how we can quickly fill the freezer but have also enjoyed the rich taste of a 24 week Buff Orp so we will probably continue to do both and have the best of both worlds! [​IMG]
     
  9. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we will probably continue to do both and have the best of both worlds!

    Agree totally, each have their own place. To try to get something to do two different things well you pretty much always end up with something that does neither really well.​
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    [[[[[........With genetics, first generation offspring is very controlled if the parents are pure. You know exactly what you are going to get. But with the second generation, where you are mating crosses, you generally don't know what you are going to get.......]]]]

    The stock has been carefully bred for decades now. The genes are very concentrated, so that the grandparent birds all of them homozygous for the desired traits. They aren't going to pass on anything else. The company that breeds them knows exactly how the genes are going to nick. They know what is dominant and what is recessive and they know what flock contains what gene and how it will cross with the second flock. Perhaps some of the traits are color linked so they can cull the wrongly colored ones. They are not breeding willy-nilly.

    These are not backyard chickens with unknowns back a few generations in the pedigrees.

    Simplified. Maybe flock A and Flock B are both homozygous for dominant white. All of their offspring in Flock C will be homozygous for white (and whatever traits they are bred for, perhaps fast growth) and Flock C can only pass on 2 Dominant white genes.

    Then flock D is red but has genes for huge breast meat, and flock E is black and has the genes for huge breast meat (and whatever else, perhaps large leg bones). Flock F will have chicks that are either black or red and have huge breasts, but when they are bred to Flock C with Homozygous white genes, all the offspring (that you are buying for your home) will be white and also have the genes for huge breast meat which are concentrated in flock F. (but they will carry a hidden gene for either black or red)

    You do the same at home on a very small scale if you are breeding purebreds that are all a specific color. The color genes are concentrated and only that color can be passed down to the next generation. If you have purebred RIR's all your chicks will hatch out red.

    Now, because the Cornish Cross get some genes from one side of their family and other genes from the other side, you are the one who could get all sorts of different things if you breed them together.

    It's very common in plant breeding. One rose has concentrated genes for red and another has concentrated genes for fragrance and you breed them together and you get red fragrant roses every time. You can't get those concentrated genes in the parents of Cornish Cross unless you are controlling the genes of their parents, ie: the grandparents of your Cornish Cross. There are decades of controlled breeding and the concentrating of genes behind the Cornish Cross that you purchase.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

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