DIY cornish x breeding

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hiltonizer, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After much searching, the consensus is that commercial and hatchery Cornish X broilers are actually a secret 4 way breed which no DIY breeder is going to achieve by any method other then an accident.

    Historically, Red Laced Cornish Cocks and White Rocks Hens were crossed as a solid meat bird and likely very close to the original industrial CX, but documented results are absent 50+ years of breeding and feed enhancement. I'm looking for, and failing to find, any results someone may have on crossing these from hatchery stock today.

    I'm interested in integrating eating eggs, hatching eggs, and meat chicks into our homestead income stream out of a single flock. The White Rocks hens would seem to fit their end of the equation for this well, but I'd like to hear how their chicks would fair for meat production when crossed with the Cornish. If the meat bird experiment fails, my exit strategy would be to unload the Cornish cocks and replace them with New Hampshires in order to sell Comets, forgoing the meat aspect.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can chime in with experience of references.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  2. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have a ball, you will learn a lot about breeding. It will most likely end up being frustrating unless you have a lot of money to throw at the project.

    I'd recommend just developing a fast growing line of Red laced Cornish if you want a great DIY meat bird. Don't let me discourage you though.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you want to replicate the present day Cornish X on your farm, it will likely take you another 50 years if you have a geneticist on staff.

    If it took the commercial industry that long to get a broiler from 2.5 lbs. to 6 lbs. in from 15 weeks to 7 weeks, then imagine how long it would take you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  4. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And you have to have a huge breeding stock to produce a crop of your own Cornish X Rock. Just be aware of the costs involved.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot of people say they are going to do the cross but then don't post anything. It's been done but have never seen or read of the results. People say it would be a nice meat bird but what does that mean in dressed lbs and weeks of growth? Can you get 4lbs in 14 weeks and double breasted? That wouldn't be bad at all. The Cornish will be good for meat at 20 weeks. Extra Plymouth Rock cockerels will be about 3 lbs closer to 16 weeks with thin breast.

    Start with pure stock from breeders. Hatchery stock don't have the size of heritage stock Cornish or Plymouth Rock.

    I hope you do it and keep this thread alive posting weigh ins and feed consumption. I've been searching for real data on this off and on for a few years now.

    Keeping two quality flocks of birds on the farm line breeding will not be a waste of time nor a ton of money to obtain. Look for breeding pairs or trios and hatch, hatch, hatch to select the best breeders for next year and cross back to dams and cocks.
     
  6. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not trying to replicate them, but determine if crossing readily available birds would be sufficient for my purpose. A bird that dressed 4.5lbs at 10 weeks with a feed ratio under 3 would be just dandy if I could produce the chicks myself.
     
  7. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm finding much of the same, a lot of people talk about trying it but no results to be had. As proposed, I may just try it unless I can find a reason not too.... as if it doesn't work out I'll just re-purpose the white rock hens.
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    To keep sustainable you'd have to keep two flocks. But hey with a farm the space dilemma isn't an issue.

    Very few are making real money with chickens but there is a market for SOP conforming birds. There will be a market for Pure Cornish-Rock meat birds too. Depending on your local demographic you may want to go Organic on the meaties.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A few years ago someone posted an ad from the 1930’s where they claimed their Delaware line would reach 4 pounds in 10 weeks. This is back when Delaware were one of the main meat birds, not the dual purpose birds they are today. The ad did not mention feed conversion ratio. If you can hit 4.5 pounds in ten weeks you’ll be doing better than the breeders back in the 30’s that concentrated on meat birds. Maybe use this for reference and maybe more realistic expectations.

    You‘ve hit on the key. It’s not just how big they get but how fast they get big and at what feed to meat ratio.

    Hatchery birds are not bred to put on weight fast. That’s not why the hatcheries we buy from exist. If you can find a breeder that is breeding at least somewhat for your goals you will be at a much better starting point.

    I wish you luck on your adventure.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's doable. You'll need a flock and separate lines of both Cornish and Rocks.


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    Keep us informed.
     

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