Crossing Cornish to....

6Happiness

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
166
1
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I am curious about Cornish and Cornish crosses...

Are Bantam Cornish also eaten, or are those just for show?

I know the popular commercial cross has health problems (heart, legs etc from growing too fast) BUT... If you do the same cross but using Bantam birds do the same health problems appear? Do those health problems happen no matter what breed the Cornish is bred to or are there crosses that are safer?

If you have crossed Cornish (Large Fowl or Bantam) to any breeds other than Rocks, I would love to know what breed(s), why you chose to make that cross (unless an accident), and how it turned out (size, rate of growth, taste, egg laying, feather colour, health, etc.; pics would be great)
 
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,261
23,464
907
Southeast Louisiana
First, I suggest you take the time and watch this clip. It cleared up a lot of my misconceptions about the commercial broilers.

Broiler Chicken Videos


You can eat any chicken. Bantams don't have as much meat as large fowl, but that is the only difference.

If you watch that video, you will see that the broilers are not the type of crosses you envision. They have been developed by many generations of selective breeding to grow the way they do. Crossing a regular Cornish to another breed is not going to create a freak. It is going to create a chicken that probably has more breast meat than you would get with many other crosses or breeds, but it will not have the health problems, the growth rate, or the size of the carefully developed commercial broilers.

I really do recommend the video. It helped me.
 

6Happiness

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
166
1
103
I scrolled through the clip and am not sure what you are pointing out in it. I cannot watch it through as I cannot hear it.

I know you *could* eat bantams... I was wondering if this breed in bantam form was more commonly eaten or marketed for meat than other bantam breeds (eg: for a specialty/gourmet or ethnic meat market)
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,261
23,464
907
Southeast Louisiana
It helps to hear it. I am trying to point out that the commercial broiler with the health problems is not a first generation cross between a Cornish and a Rock. I imagine that cross is in the ancestry of the broilers, hence the name, but you will not get a freak by crossing a Cornish with a Rock, whether they are bantam or regular size.

I have no idea if bantams are sold to some specialty market. That has not been an area of interest for me. Good luck with that question.
 

6Happiness

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
166
1
103
Quote:
IOW... the lines with the problems were crossbred followed by generations of inbreeding for size/growth and that's when the health problems come in? So if you like the CX, it is more ethical to breed your own 1st gen, then getting from commercial sources? Is that about right?

ETA: still curious about what other crosses people have done; my originally asking was more genetic interest than looking for alternatives (also, I have no rocks in my flock)
 
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Mac in Wisco

Antagonist
14 Years
May 25, 2007
3,479
81
336
SW Wisconsin
Quote:
Health problems can occur because they are bred to grow so fast. Many of the lines that are used are decades old, many going back to the 1940's and 1950's. The grow-out times get shorter every decade. They can be managed to avoid the health problems though, mainly by feed restriction (don't feed them so much).

So if you like the CX, it is more ethical to breed your own 1st gen, then getting from commercial sources? Is that about right?

That really depends upon your point of view. You are growing the birds for meat, which this cross provides very well, and they can be managed to avoid the health problems. Most hatcheries also provide slower growing broilers or you can use dual-purpose breeds. Although some may consider it unnatural for a bird to grow that fast, I would hardly consider it unethical to use these strains.

ETA: still curious about what other crosses people have done; my originally asking was more genetic interest than looking for alternatives (also, I have no rocks in my flock)

I remember a few conversations here in the past about people working on different projects, a few just working backwards to undo some of traits of the commercial broilers. Unless you are truly interested in something unique for yourself (what that would be, I don't know), I think there are plenty of meat varieties available that run from dual-purpose birds, slower growing black or red broilers, to "Freedom Rangers", or the fastest growing commercial broilers.​
 

6Happiness

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
166
1
103
Quote:
That really depends upon your point of view. You are growing the birds for meat, which this cross provides very well, and they can be managed to avoid the health problems. Most hatcheries also provide slower growing broilers or you can use dual-purpose breeds. Although some may consider it unnatural for a bird to grow that fast, I would hardly consider it unethical to use these strains.

*nods* Okay. There is still a point where I would draw the line for myself, but I don't wish to debate that here.

I remember a few conversations here in the past about people working on different projects, a few just working backwards to undo some of traits of the commercial broilers. Unless you are truly interested in something unique for yourself (what that would be, I don't know), I think there are plenty of meat varieties available that run from dual-purpose birds, slower growing black or red broilers, to "Freedom Rangers", or the fastest growing commercial broilers.

I'm just truly interested in genetics.
smile.png
I've no particular projects in mind, as I have only just bought our first house which gives me the space to consider a breeding project. I'm still exploring breeds, topics, what others have done, etc. Hence all the questions.​
 

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