Cornish X or something else?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by LindaN, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This juvenile bird was dumped in the alley behind my house. It had been enclosed in a flimsy box, got out, and then hid between my neighbor's garage and garbage cans. I'm assuming the people who dumped the bird were trying to rid themselves of a chick from a school hatching project that grew past the cute stage into the "what are we going to do with it?" stage. Since everyone in my neighborhood knows I have laying hens, I'm sure their intentions were that I would take it in and raise it.

    This does not look like a laying hen to me, nor does it feel like one when I pick it up. It looks and feels more like a meat bird such as the famous Cornish X we all buy in the supermarket. If it is a meat bird, I'll take it to the live poultry butcher because I understand they are not particularly long-lived birds anyway. But I'm not sure yet if is a meat bird or one of the heavier dual purpose breeds. I'm hoping someone here can help me figure out the breed.

    I posted these photos on my local (Chicago) chicken group and it was suggested by a farmer that it *could* be a Plymouth Rock. She suggested measuring the length of the legs since Cornish X have been bred to have shorter legs. I measured from as close to the body as possible to the hock. Leg length from body to hock on this bird was about 3 inches; on my mature New Hampshire and Speckled Sussex laying hens, leg length from body to hock is about 5 inches.

    The chicken has been held in my quarantine coop away from my own birds for 13 days now. It is losing its juvenile feathers and growing into its adult feathers, but its eyes are still the hazel of a juvenile bird and not the tawny gold of an adult. It is still making chick sounds. Poops look normal and there were no mites on the bird.

    I weighed it and it is 4.75 pounds. The breast is very broad and full, and the feathers are abraded away in that area, suggested that it sat on it's breast a lot. That could be because it was confined to a too small cage, perhaps. It's feathers were soiled and it had a lot of poop stuck in the feathers around it's vent, so I'm thinking that was the case.

    Even now it seems to sit down on it's breast a lot, although that could be because is has nothing to do most of the day since it is in a quarantine coop with lots of food and water and no need to forage. While it as plenty of room to stretch, scratch, and dust bathe, it doesn't seem very inclined to do any of that. I noticed it panting in the higher humidity days we had earlier this week, although my own flock wasn't bothered at all.

    While cleaning it up a bit today, I listened to it's breathing which sounded pretty heavy. I'm not sure if that's because it was afraid of me or if it suggests a potential respiratory problem. We're pretty sure it is a pullet, and if it is a heritage breed I'm tempted to try adding it to my flock of New Hampshire Reds and Speckled Sussex.

    Please help me ID this breed. Thanks!

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  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    That looks like a Cornish Cross pullet to me. Butchering would be the better idea, as they do not usually live very long, and can experience leg problems.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, that is a Cornish X.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Cornish cross. How nice of someone to dump you a free dinner!
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Definite Cornish X broiler pullet.

    You CAN keep broilers past 10 weeks or so if you've very carefully watched their diets and withheld feed to keep them from growing too fast. If you do that, then you might be able to get one to laying age and beyond. However, as you have no idea what she's been eating and she's showing signs of respiratory problems already, then you should butcher her or give her to someone else who will. That's kinder than letting her have a heart attack or break her legs or go into respiratory distress.

    And she'll be really, really tasty.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I know, right? Why do people just drop stray cats and dogs at my property and not free dinners? [​IMG]
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So true! Since she's not quite 5 pounds yet, I'm going to wait another week and weigh her again.

    I'm sure this pullet came from a school hatching project or something similar. In April and May our local chicken group gets all sorts of messages from schools who are looking to home baby chicks they've hatched. I think that's pretty sad; they should realize that they need care beyond hatching day!
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I use the school projects to my advantage. I sell them hatching eggs with the promise that I'll take back any chicks they can't place. The kids are unlikely to harbor poultry diseases, the school pays the cost for the incubator and the electricity and often for the feed for a week or so... Better than free chicks!
     
  10. ClucksAndPeeps

    ClucksAndPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In case you need another verification......... Cornish X
     

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