Cornish X--we made a big mistake


9 Years
May 6, 2010
SW Iowa
Ok, so we got our second batch of Cornish X last Sept. We free ranged them and planned on keeping them a month or so longer. Well we never got them butchered last fall and they wintered in a outside pen that they were protected from the elements all winter. We let them out everyday that the weather was nice enough, meaning not below zero or bitter cold or raining or snowing.

We will never try to do it this way again. It is still too cold here to butcher these chickens and I am not bringing that mess into the house to do it. I am seeing pressure sores on the breasts and some of the wings. I added bedding all winter to their pen. I am afraid these chickens are going to be too tough to eat. Now I am wondering if I can take the hens and put them in with my layers and at least get some eggs out of them? Will they still go in the layer coop and gorge themselves on the food that is out all the time or since they are this old will they just act like the layers?
I had one that lived with my layers. She lived to be 15 months old and gave us probably 3-4 eggs a week. The horrible heat and humidity finally got my big, sweet girl last summer. RIP Maude.
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Unfortunately they will lay a few eggs then probably develop laying problems from overweight, and end up with egg yolk peritonitis.

But they make superb mince for patties etc. Great to have in the deep freeze and useful in just about any dinner.
Thanks for the replys. They just look like their meat is going to be tough. Won't that make a difference.

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