Cornish X Rocks . . . I know, I know, it's all been covered before!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by glassparman, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    OK, I know that this has been covered in one form or another on this site but I'm still a little unclear.

    What roo and what hen can I use to get a good Jumbo Cornish X Rock like we can get from the hatcheries?

    Also, if the Cornish is of the bantam size, can they breed naturally or do they have to be artificially inseminated?

    I'm really tired of ordering my broilers each year and want the parent stock to breed my own.

    Sorry for being redundant.

    Michael
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You cannot recreate a broiler like you get from the hatcheries. Depending on which company your retail hatchery is getting it's breeders or hatching stock from, they use a varying array of different sires/dames to create the broilers. All the broilers are hybrids and therefore do not 'breed true', meaning Cornish Crosses mated do not give you additional Cornish Crosses.

    The term "Cornish Cross" is simply an allusion to when broilers were first being created in the 1950's, where they used certain strains of Cornish sires on Plymouth Rock hens. Those days are far long behind us and each company holds their own proprietary strains of rooster/hen they use to create broilers. If you look at their catalogs, you'll find a dizzying array of options available, all with alphanumeric designations. For simplicities sake, the retail hatchery you buy your broilers from calls them generically "Cornish Crosses".

    So, I know your next question... can you make them yourself? Sorta, but not really. The 'Cornish' sire and 'Rock' dame look utterly nothing like the purebred chicks you get from hatcheries. The hatcheries themselves simply get them as hatching eggs from 3rd party sources...so regardless of which retail hatchery you use, you could very well be getting the same birds as any other.

    There are lots of threads on here about people making their own broiler hybrids. They don't stack up against a custom bred broiler; but they're not too terrible either.
     
  3. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    greyfields,

    So if I was going to purchase parent stock, what would you recommend for Roo and Hen?

    I do understand what you said and I've seen where you have said it before to some degree but it's all so confusing to me.

    Michael
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You can't get the parent strains for broilers. Minimum orders are in the thousands of birds.

    So, if you watned to clunk around with your own broiler crosses, my best results have been crossing a Dark Cornish rooster on held-back Freedom Ranger hens. I held back a Freedom Ranger (Colored Range Broiler) stud this year, too, and plan to see what he'll give me crossed on different hens.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You are probably best off thinking of "Cornish X Rock" as bearing the same resemblance to crossing a Cornish and a Rock as, say, Lipton's Instant Chicken Noodle Soup mix bears to your grandmother's homemade chicken soup. That is to say, only the names are similar -- the actual articles are pretty totally unrelated [​IMG]

    You can cross a Cornish and a Plymouth Rock, of course, but it will not bear much resemblance to a CornishX broiler like you buy in the supermarket.

    Either resign yourself to chickens with a much less "breasty" less meaty carcass and a lower feed conversion efficiency (at least in confinement); or resign yourself to buying commercially-produced broiler chicks.

    [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  6. MyraNC

    MyraNC Out Of The Brooder

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    If they let us know what it took to make the chicks we buy from them they wouldn't sell as many. Like it was said if you want a meaty chicken you could raise a heavy breed and butcher it at 6 months or you can buy hatchery chicks and butcher at 6 - 8 weeks.

    Do some research to see what heavy meat chickens grow the fastest. This is the first time I have ever gotten the cornish rock and they are not normal. Man has crossed and screwed with the genes so much that they are not natural and I don't know if that is good for us to be eatting. They grow so fast that they can have heart attacks and weaken organs. Poor things. After this I don't know if I will ever buy them again. I say - go natural, buy heavy chicks and butcher them at 6 months. You aren't selling them so they will have a fine full breast.
     
  7. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Quote:Why put more feed an energy into a bird that won't be nearly as efficient? Just my thinking there...

    Cornish cross is a misleading term. The broilers that we see are a production of four different lines. The lines are crossed to give Hybrid Vigor. Well, it's confusing...LOL. The Great-Great Grandparent Stock are the actual breeder birds that carry the best genetic potential for the entire line. And EACH of the four lines has a GGP.

    Anyway...Cornish X Jersy Giant could be a good mix...but again, it would take quite awhile.

    I WILL tell you....the Light Brahma x Black Australorp was the BEST cross we've done. Males were SOOO good and the females lay SO well!
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You can certainly buy the parent lineages for making your own meat broilers... it's just that the minimum orders are beyond any of us here. And also, why buy a laying flock to make your broilers when you can help out other farmers doing the breeding work? I use Colored Range Broilers from JM Hatchery. I'm glad to help him out and he took over the Freedom Ranger laying flocks. I'm completely satisfied with the CRBs and I do meat bird breeding simply for my own consumption, not for customers.

    As far as "not telling us what goes into them" they kinda do tell you. You can broiler catalogs. All the different sires and dames have alphanumeric designations. So, they could tell you exactly what you needed, except a J47 rooster isn't something you go out and find at an auction. [​IMG]
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    p.s. no genetic modification has gone into the creation of modern broiler lines. it's all simply selective breeding over thousands of generation, with a nice big dash of heterosis at the end. [​IMG]
     
  10. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart may help - it'll tell you which ones are dual purpose, which ones mature early, etc... it is only a starting place, but good reference to look further into the breeds that appeal to you.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    I have a Delaware roo I'm trying on a few different hens, we'll see what comes of them, I guess.

    meri
     

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