Cornish X - Why 8 weeks?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jamesrm, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. jamesrm

    jamesrm Featherbrained, at best!

    Mar 26, 2008
    White House, TN
    Mine are probably around 9 weeks and still growing strong. Why is it recommeneded to butcher at 8 weeks? I have ate several, and think they would do fine (and continue growth) for several more weeks.
  2. WrenAli

    WrenAli Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    After 8 weeks they tend to start becoming prone to heart attacks and breaking down in the legs. Though there are people who raise them past 8 weeks all the time.
  3. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    What about a dark cornish who I've been raising with my newest layers? Just got her cause she was so darn good looking, really, and smart. Not intending meat, I mean.

    So She's only had the feed - and lots of food scraps - that the layers-to-be have had. I mean, she hasnt been fed up like some of you feed your real meat birds. Would you keep her to lay, or just eat her up? She's twelve weeks today.

    Thanks, all!
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    A dark cornish isn't a cornish x so treat it like a regular bird.

    The butcher at 8 week is just a "standard" sized bird for the table that many use for the hybrids that grow like mad.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    8 weeks for non-intensive raising is considered the standard for a few reasons:

    1) After that age/size the FCR starts going up very rapidly, so they become less and less economical to raise.

    2) When you look at how much feed you pump into a 15 lb cornish cross, you'll realize on a cost/lb basis you are better off buying organic, free range chickesn than growing them yourself.

    Indoor operations whic are heated and intensive get to their '8 week mark' in only 42 days. It takes us in the backyard longer as we give our birds more room and they are more exposed to the elements and temperature fluctuations.

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