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Crossing Cochin & Ross...?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Janie, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Janie

    Janie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2008
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    My Dad has just oredered 30 Ross pullets and I'm wondering what would happen if I put my Cochin cockreal to one of them. I am hoping to breed a decent size table bird that doesn't go off its legs like the Ross do.

    Does anyone have any experience of this or similar?
     
  2. Janie

    Janie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2008
    UK
    Bumpity Bumpity Bump... [​IMG]
     
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Janie, I haven't tried that cross, we don't have Ross Cobbs in the U.S., that I know of. We have Cornish-Plymouth Rock X's (sometimes called Cornish-Rocks, Cornish X, Rock X, or just X's) which sound very similar. I haven't crossed them with other breeds, being hybrids, who knows which set of genes they'd get.

    Instead, I've been looking into crossing purebred Cornish roo over Dorking hen, (and maybe a few other breeds) as they were the preferred meat bird on your side of the pond for a long time. I've never talked to anybody who has tried it, though. The Cornish have very big breasts, which is why they're part of the mix.

    Do you know if Dorkings are easy to find where you are? They're difficult to get, here. Not many breeders, and some won't sell to you unless you swear you intend to show them. (which I don't)

    My reason for wanting to try a different cross is the same as yours, the Cornish-Rock X's here sound very much like your Ross Cobbs. Do the RC's tend to die of CHF if you try to keep them longer? The CR-X's do, but if you restrict feed some you can keep them going quite awhile.

    I'd like to raise a healthier bird for the table.
     
  4. Janie

    Janie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2008
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    Hi Dancing, thanks for your reply.

    I had to search CHF to find out what it was and saw another of your posts explaining it! The last batch of 30 Ross we raised we lost 5, I have no idea to what tho and I don't know enough about them to know if that is a breed deficiency. The abnormal growth rate of these birds actually sickens me, but he does keep them in quite confined conditions. They do get some outside space but not anough IMO.

    What I am hoping to do this time is take one or two of his birds and keep them free range with mine. It will be interesting having birds of the same age growing up in different situations and we'll see if it is nature or nurture!!

    We personally don't have any Dorkings but after a quick google I see that they are pretty easy to get hold of in the UK. Want me to send you some eggs??! [​IMG]

    EDIT: We have just ordered them and I have (oops) put in an order for 5 [​IMG] Any boys will be raised for the table and the females will be introduced to Handsome Harry.... [​IMG]
     
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Central KY
    Thanks for the offer, Janie, but I found a couple of sources for eggs on this side of the pond! I'd hoped to find a local breeder I could go to and buy eggs, to avoid shipping. But, I never found anyone close, so shipped eggs it will be. Shipped eggs are such a gamble, they may or may not hatch, depending on just how badly the package is abused in transit.

    When a bird has CHF, (I meant to go back and change that to Congestive Heart Failure, but forgot, sorry!) one of the easiest things to see if that when they're at rest on their keels, the comb will get very dark, nearly purple. When they stand up and move around, it returns to normal color. They also start to get labored breathing, and may even sound bubbly or wheezy. When bird shows those symptoms, butcher it quick, or you'll likely lose it.

    I've found that hanging feeders, right from the start, just high enough that they have to stand up to eat, and taking away the feed every evening, maybe an hour or so before dark, leaving only plenty of fresh water to drink, helps a lot. I have often taken the time to pick them up and take them outside the coop and put them on the grass. That way they eat a little green stuff, on their way back in to the feeder, and they at least have a little walk. That reduced leg problems and CHF quite a lot. I did lose some of my last batch to heat, when the temps spiked up above 100F for a few days. They don't deal with excess heat very well.

    I was told by a lady at one of the hatcheries that when she finds one just laying near a feeder, she'll isolate it from the others for awhile, with no food, only water, and after about a day and a half, they're back on their feet again. They can gorge until they literally can't move.

    All that's the CR X's, but I bet it would help with the RC's as well.

    I did raise some CR X hens to maturity, a long time ago. They laid enormous brown eggs, many were double yolked. They all eventually succumbed to CHF, but the last one, Bertha, I finally realized what was happening, and we went ahead and butchered her. dressed out to around 15 lbs., she was huge. Like a small turkey. I don't know if they would do well hatching their own eggs, they're so big they might break them all, or the hens may not survive brooding a clutch, sitting on a nest for 3 weeks, due to the breathing and circulation problems they get, but you could certainly incubate the eggs, or let a smaller hen hatch them for you.

    I hope you'll post your results, I love to hear how these different projects turn out.
     

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