1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

do you have to use cornish x?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lorihadams, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. lorihadams

    lorihadams Chillin' With My Peeps

    374
    1
    131
    Sep 17, 2008
    virginia
    For meat birds do you have to use cornish x or is it just more economical to use them? Is there an all purpose breed that you could use if you were wanting to let the birds free range? I know it will take longer to let them fatten up but I've heard that there is a lot of mess associated with cornish x as well as leg problems and breast blisters. Just curious if anyone uses a different breed.
     
  2. Karlachix

    Karlachix Chillin' With My Peeps

    284
    0
    129
    Apr 21, 2008
    NorthEast
    Other breeds can be used. Cornish X are just super fast growers (which can lead to the problems you mentioned.)
     
  3. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:Yep - there's been a lot of dscussion on this in this section. If ya don't get many answers, do a search [​IMG]

    The heritage breeds were used as meat and egg before the hybrids were developed to their current state.

    I am currently trying 5 cornish cross this year (first time) so I can relate the size/feed/quality/mess of my dual purpose when I butcher them to what I can get from the Cornish X.

    I am doing Delawares and Brahmas (these are the two main dual purpose I have right now). Would be interested in adding in a Dark Cornish roo over one or the other of those, to see what sort of breast size I would get. But that'll probably wait until next year.

    The Delawares were meat birds before the Cornish Cross got so popular. They do not have the breast size or speed of the Cornish Cross, but for my purposes, I think they'll do nicely.

    After this year, my two remaining children (at home) will be moved out, and it will be myself and hubby - a dual purpose bird would be plenty for just us two.

    meri
     
  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    4,772
    372
    281
    Mar 19, 2009
    When I was little, my folks would buy straight run Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. We would butcher the cockerels and save the pullets for eggs. Before the development of the Cornish X, meat chickens were an offshoot of the egg industry. The farmers bought straight run chicks and the pullets went in the laying houses and the cockerels were fattened for market.
     
  5. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldn't say that Cornish X's are more economical, just that you get much more meat per bird, and in a shorter time. They eat a ton more though. The leg problems and breast blisters are EASILY avoided by giving them broiler feed and not giving them roosts. That being said, yes, you can use other breeds.
     
  6. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    You could always try the red or black broilers. They grow slightly slower than the Cornish X and don't tend to have the problems assiciated with them.
     
  7. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    449
    0
    129
    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    some hatcheries offer cockeral specials where you just get a bunch of roos for butcher for a real good price [​IMG]
     
  8. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    My next door neighbor has a Cornish X he bought at the feed store, he was unaware I guess until I told him that is what she was. He has not butchered her and she is several months old. He has had no health problems with her and she lays a egg a day. I have watched her running around his yard just not as fast as the rest of the flock. Must be because she free ranges.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by