Did I get meat hens!?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by Ghenri, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Ghenri

    Ghenri Out Of The Brooder

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    We bought five white hens a while back. They are just reaching the point now where they should be starting to lay. We have been noticing thing lately that don't seem right though. For one, our hens are huge! They eat like crazy and are really thick, almost like you could have one for dinner. They should be laying, but we have only gotten the odd egg or two, and they were tiny. Our brown hens look completely different, they are skinny, long and laying full sized eggs now. I love my white chickens and even if they are meat hens I would do anything. I would just really like to know. If anyone knows anything I would appreciate it so much! Thanks
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Can you post a photo? Can't tell from the description if you have Cornish X, or maybe just some white Rocks.

    If they are Cornish X, I would have expected some to randomly die on you or break their legs by now.
     
  3. Ghenri

    Ghenri Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's some pictures of one of them. Thank you for helping
     
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    They look to be either Cornish X or really heavy White Rocks. If they're Cornish X, then I'm surprised they've lived this long and are even laying eggs.
     
  5. Ghenri

    Ghenri Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply!

    The name white rocks sound familiar, does anyone have any ideas on how to keep their weight down? When I give them food they eat and eat until it's gone, I can't stop them. At this point I don't know what to do to keep their weight down because I don't know what I'm doing wrong. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them! Thanks so much!
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    X3, those look like Cornish X, they are crosses that are meant to be meat birds. If you want to try and manage their weight, the only thing you can really do is put them on a strict diet, they can't be free fed. You aren't doing anything wrong in that they are doing what they were bred to do, which is eat everything they can and put on a lot of weight really fast. They are meant to be processed at around 8-10 weeks. They tend to have leg and heart problems as they get older because their body is too big for their legs and heart to handle.
     
  7. Ghenri

    Ghenri Out Of The Brooder

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    When we bought them we were told that they were white laying hens. I'm not sure though. I am hoping that they are white rocks, but I have been noticing some of them are having problems whither their feet. I don't want to eat them, no matter what. I think my best bet would be to call the place we got them from. They have laid a couple of eggs, do meat hens do that? Thanks for the comments!
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Cornish X hens will lay eggs if they live long enough. Some do get a couple of years old, there have been threads on BYC about them and some did live that long, but most will succumb to health issues before they get that old. Would you try in trade them in to the place you got them from? If you don't mind them being processed but don't want to do it yourself, try placing a Craiglists ad, would guess they will go pretty fast.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They do look like cornish cross, meat birds. There have been threads here where folks have raised them as pets or bred them, but they seem to max out at around a year, even with limited feed and free ranging. It can be really hard when you've gotten so attached, but you should start deciding how to handle things if/when they start to fail (actually, everyone who owns chickens should have a contingency plan for putting an ill or injured bird down....). It's a far better gift to your pet to give it a humane death than a slow death by chf/suffocation, which seems to happen with these big girls a lot.
     
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with the rest, these are meat hens. And I also agree that they'll have a limited lifespan. I'm sorry it worked out this way for you. I'm in a minority opinion on this I know, but I think Cornish X are very cute.
     

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