Dark Cornish 1 week update with pics.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by beebiz, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For those who have expressed an interest in how they are developing, I thought I'd try to post a weekly update on my Dark Cornish. Yesterday, 10/19 marked my having them one week.

    When I first got them, I weighed each one of them. They averaged weighing 1.5 ounces. And, each chick was so close to that weight that the difference wasn't even worth discussing. Yesterday, I again weighed each individual chick. This time they averaged weighing 3.2 ounces each. That is a 156% increase in average weight. There was one that weighed 2 ounces and one that only weighed just a shade over 2 ounces. But, there were 4 that weighed a solid 4 ounces and one that weighed just a shade over 4 ounces. Those 5 chicks have increased their weight by 220% in just one week. Most of the rest of the chicks are so close to the average weight of 3.2 ounces that the variation doesn't merrit discussing.

    I don't think that's bad for a meat bird that is not a Cornish X! And, I'm hoping that the two smallest ones are females that Ideal mistakenly sexed as males! Only time will tell.

    Here are my 5 "heavy-weights;" the ones who are in the 4 ounce class. And, as you can see when they are not balled up, they are a "hand full."

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here are a few pics of them all together in their brooder box. Please note that the yellow liquid in the one jar is water with vitamins and electrolytes added. And, for size comparison, please note that the jars that I am using are not typical quart canning jars. They are 1.5 quart jars that I got from my mother. And, one more thing.... these guys can EAT AND DRINK!!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In that last pic, check out that chick's stance... nice and wide. That's one of the traits that greyfields said to look for in a good meat bird sire.

    Hope you've enjoyed the pics. If anyone is interested, I'll try to post another updated report when they are two weeks old.

    Robert
     
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Those are really good pictures. I hope you will continue to update us as time goes by.[​IMG]
     
  3. EmsoffLambs

    EmsoffLambs Out Of The Brooder

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    I got a group of 6 dark cornish from Ideal five months ago, then later got 16 slow cornish from Privett. The slow cornish grew about twice as fast as the dark cornish. I did have one "runty" dark cornish roo that never got very big. I finally just butchered him. The dark cornish had fine carcasses, as thick and meaty as the slow cornish.

    I kept the biggest, fastest growing dark cornish roo and also the biggest, fastest growing slow cornish. The dark cornish is a very handsome, solid bird. But at three months old, the slow cornish is MUCH bigger than the five month old dark cornish.

    Overall, the dark cornish had very good meat qualities, but they grew very slowly compared to Privett's slow cornish. And their fast cornish are supposed to grow even faster.

    I had the same original goal as you did, to cross my dark cornish with heavies (light brahmas in my case) to make my own broiler. But they grew so slowly, I just don't think it will be worth it.

    I am keeping one of the slow cornish roos to see if he'll make it to breeding. I know they say that the cornish X don't breed true. I've had a few genetics classes, so I understand cross breeding pretty well. As long as I don't breed him back to a cornish or rock or another cornish X, I won't loose any of his good growth or muscling hybrid vigor. Being a slow cornish, I'm hoping he'll have a better shot at survival than the standard cornish X. He's big and heavy already, but so far so good. He free ranges and only has access to the feeder at night and early morning, so I think that's helping him out. We'll just have to see how it goes. :|
     
  4. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for sharing that information with me, EmsoffLambs. Do you know what Privett uses as to get their slow growing cornish?? I hope you will keep me posted as to how things go with your slow growing cornish rooster.

    Robert
     
  5. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
    Covington, GA
    Do you know if the dark cornish have similar problems that the x's do? Like the leg problem and the dropping dead problem?

    I was considering dark cornish for a meat bird but also wanted to keep a pair to breed to keep a supply of meat birds going. Is this a good idea?

    (I'm not interested in feed conversion and all that jazz, so I am ok with a slower growing bird.)
     
  6. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I understand from greyfields, the Dark Cornish have absolutely none of the health problems that the Cornish X have. That was one of the reasons that I chose them as sires for my Buff hens to produce a good quality meat bird. One of the drawbacks of the Dark Cornish is the fact that they do grow slower than the Cornish X do. But, it is my considered opinion that the fact that I won't have to expect to loose 50% (more or less) of them to health problems, far outweighs the slower growth rate.

    The Dark Cornish may not grow as quick as some of the Cornish X or even the "slow cornish." But one, they grow a lot faster than my Buffs did. And two, they are a pure bred bird whose offspring will be true to breed. So, someone who wants to keep a hen and a roo to produce more can certainly do so.

    I won't have had my Dark Cornish 2 weeks until Friday. But, from what I've seen so far, it seems they are going to make a good "pure bred" meat bird alternative to the cross breeds (Cornish X, and so on). JMO!!

    Robert
     
  7. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Covington, GA
    What age are you, or would you recommend butchering them? Or are you just going to play it by ear?

    When did you process your darks EmsoffLambs?
     
  8. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know for sure at what age I will be butchering them. When greyfields and I began talking about this, he suggested that I butcher them at 3 lb. live weight and eat them as "Cornish Game Hens." He said that he had nothing against the Dark Cornish. But, he said that ANY purebreed would be disapointing (in size) if butchered and compaired to the Cornsh X's that most of us have become accustomed to.

    Initially, I had thought that I would do that. And, I may very well still do that with some of them. But, I would definately like to see what they are like after they reach a live weight of about 6 lbs. As I told greyfields, I grew up in the country on "home grown" chicken. I don't think a 6 lb. live weight Dark Cornish's size will disappoint me after the RIR's, Black Sex Link, Leghorns, and others that I've eaten. And, I don't say that to slight any of those breeds!! I preferr to eat any of those breeds over the "grocery store birds" most any time!!! To me, the "grocery store birds" don't have much flavor and the meat is usually down right mushy...... yyyyuuuuuuucccckkkkk!!!!! :eek:

    Robert
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I think the Cornish will certainly flesh out better than a Leghorn. It may be comparable to the RIR or BSL.

    I have the plague from hell at the moment. I've been getting chicken & dumplings nightly from the wifey. It's a great way to use our "stewing roosters".
     
  10. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    W. Tennessee
    Quote:I would think that to be the case. I intend to take the ones that I will slaughter and do what my mother did with the roosters before she would kill them..... pen them up and fatten them up a bit!!

    Quote:I'm sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Getting sick seems to be an inherent part of this time of the year that I do NOT look forward to!! I hope you get to feeling better real soon!

    As for using the stewing roosters for chicken and dumplings, I whole heartedly agree with you. My wife and I fixed a big pot of them a few nights ago. And, man, were they forevermore good!! Chicken soup is another good way to use those overaged, oversized, rubberized roos. And, my grandmother used to say that her chicken soup was good for fighting the snotts, sniffles, and prickly throat that are brought on by a cold or the flu.

    As I said, I hope you feel better real soon!!

    Robert
     

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