CX and Pioneer side-by-side

Hoffy

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 12, 2012
24
18
87
NY
I wanted to try two meat birds this year, typical CX and Pioneers (which seem to be the same as Dixie). I got 15 of each (straight run) to do a side-by-side comparison. I will do a second round later in the summer for another sample. At any rate, since I was doing the comparison, I thought others might be interested in it as well.

Each week I plan to weigh every bird when their crops are mostly empty to get a true weight. I'll also get images of a representative bird to share. Since questions of feed may come up, they are being raised on a mix for turkey starter, chicken starter, and a local starter mix for about 22% protein (crumble and mash). The first week was free choice, after that is 12 hour on, 12 hour off. I am not monitoring feed conversion of each breed since they are intermingled.

My chicks arrived on March 31, which was a cold week in upstate NY. Three were DOA and two more were lost within 12 hours. After that, all have survived well so far.


All chicks after 1 week.




An average Cx after 1 week.



An average Pioneer after 1 week.



An average CX after 2 weeks.




A slightly below average Pioneer after 2 weeks.



Almost all chicks at 2 weeks (I felt bad putting them all in squished conditions, so this is missing a few).




All chicks at 12 days out enjoying the sun.



Growth data for the CX (blue) and Pioneer (red). They are clearly in two separate populations and growth trajectories. After two weeks, mean weight of the Cx is 13.0 oz (SD=1.2) and mean weight of the Pioneer is 6.7 oz (SD=1.0 oz).

Aside from the obvious difference of weight, they both act like meat birds. I thought the Pioneer would be substantially more active than the CX, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Both are active when given a reason to be, like outside chasing worms thrown into the pen. Both sleep hard after a good feeding. Both have largely swollen crops after feeding, but CX crops are noticeably larger. However, the crop seems to be fully deflated after about the same period of time. My plan is to put these birds on range after about 4 weeks, so no chicken tractors will be used for either breed.

I'll update each week!
 

Hoffy

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 12, 2012
24
18
87
NY
Week three. A beautiful Easter day allowed me to move the chicks from the brooder to the coop. They spent all day outside today. At the same time, I weighed them and took a few photos.


A slightly above average weight Pioneer.


A slightly above average weight Cx.


All chicks enjoying the sun on Easter Sunday.



Cx packing their crops by foraging.



Growth trajectory for three weeks (empty crops). Mean weight for the Cx is 25.9 oz. (SD=2.2) and mean weight for the Pioneer is 11.3 oz. (SD=2.1 oz). Meyer Hatchery notes that by week 3, Cx should average 24.6 oz., so I seem to be right on track. This week has been the most drastic so far in comparing the two breeds. While the Pioneer are a bit more active, I find that keeping the Cx moving is easy if food is restricted to twice daily feedings and scattering crumble in between meals. I lost a Pioneer this week. We had a very cold night on Monday and I think the bird was trampled by the much larger Cx that had few feathers and hoarded the heat lights.

Will update again in a week if people are still interested!
 

Esmiralda33

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
6
0
6
PA
I'm doing a much less scientific comparison. I have 30Cx going with 6 Dixies just to see how they work out. Last year we did 15 Cx and 15 red broilers and they turned out to be prettier versions of the Cx. We also have a few astrolorps, Sussex, and buckeye crosses around the same age for comparison, with some buckeye/Cx eggs in the incubator. I'd love to see how yours progress!
 

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
881
341
Portland/Vancouver area
Week three. A beautiful Easter day allowed me to move the chicks from the brooder to the coop. They spent all day outside today. At the same time, I weighed them and took a few photos.


A slightly above average weight Pioneer.


A slightly above average weight Cx.


All chicks enjoying the sun on Easter Sunday.



Cx packing their crops by foraging.



Growth trajectory for three weeks (empty crops). Mean weight for the Cx is 25.9 oz. (SD=2.2) and mean weight for the Pioneer is 11.3 oz. (SD=2.1 oz). Meyer Hatchery notes that by week 3, Cx should average 24.6 oz., so I seem to be right on track. This week has been the most drastic so far in comparing the two breeds. While the Pioneer are a bit more active, I find that keeping the Cx moving is easy if food is restricted to twice daily feedings and scattering crumble in between meals. I lost a Pioneer this week. We had a very cold night on Monday and I think the bird was trampled by the much larger Cx that had few feathers and hoarded the heat lights.

Will update again in a week if people are still interested!
Holly, great going!!!
Keep posting. This is fascinating stuff.
 

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
881
341
Portland/Vancouver area
I'm doing a much less scientific comparison. I have 30Cx going with 6 Dixies just to see how they work out. Last year we did 15 Cx and 15 red broilers and they turned out to be prettier versions of the Cx. We also have a few astrolorps, Sussex, and buckeye crosses around the same age for comparison, with some buckeye/Cx eggs in the incubator. I'd love to see how yours progress!
esmiralda,
Also, doing great on your endeavors. How are your Sussex. White? Speckled? Love them. I wondered about the Dixies. Keep posting your results.
 

Esmiralda33

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
6
0
6
PA
So far the speckled Sussex are the smallest of the lot, in fact the buckeye crosses (Maran, rock, sex link, CX) are as big and 2 weeks younger... I think the Dixie's and pioneers are supposed to be the same bird, different hatchery. It will be interesting to compare. I believe we got ours on the same day even.
 
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