Dorking X Cornish??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Wolf-Kim, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read someone mentioning a Dorking Cornish cross a while back so I was curious about making your own Cornish Crosses.

    I think someone said that this is/was a popular meat bird cross for Europe. I could be mistaken. Could I get more information on this? Why would they use Dorkings? Why would this be a popular cross?

    I'm fairly new to meatbirds in general. I've eaten my extra dual purpose roosters, but that's about it. I've been in and out of this section reading up on the subject.

    I have Dorking hens. To create some Cornish cross, is it as simple as buying a Cornish rooster and turning him loose with the hens?

    Does it matter what kind of Cornish I use?(I have friends with Dark Cornish)

    Am I on the right track or am I way off and lost in the woods? LOL

    I appreciate any information on this, we've been getting more and more interested in raising some Broilers for the freezer.

    Thanks!
    -Kim
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:The Dorkings are plump and have been around since Roman times; and they're probably still around because there's someting good about them. Being one of hte older breeds, the ammount of heterosis you get is better than in closer related breeds.

    Quote:Any crossbreed, regardless of how questionable it may look in paper, is going to outperform any purebred bird. Dual purpose roosters take 15+ weeks to flesh out enough for processing, and even then they are skinny little buggers with poor body conformation.

    Quote:You make a Cornish Cross per se by doing just that. But, since you don't have 50 years of selective breeding under your belt, your results will not compare to a commercial bred broiler. Your crosses will do better than any purebred you can raise/buy, but they still will be relatively skinny and not as plump as the commercial broiler.

    If you look in the catalogs, you will notice the "Cornish" and "Rock" they show as sire and dame look very little like the birds we get from hatcheries.

    Quote:I've crossed my Dark Cornish on Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, Freedom Rangers and Black Sex Links. I ate two Cornish X Dorkings in England 2 summers ago as well. I enjoy breeding and eating them, but I wouldn't sell them. They just don't compare to the quality size & shape you get from raising a freedom ranger, red bro or cornish cross.

    Quote:Do it, it's fun. It's science that ends on good chicken. [​IMG]
     
  3. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. We only plan on doing it for ourselves, so no worries about dissapointing any customers.

    I didn't imagine them performing right along with the commercial birds. LOL. Knew better than that.

    I really appreciate it Greyfields. I'll have to give it a try. I just didn't want to buy a Dark Cornish roo and then end up being way off. Figured it best to run it by the wisdom of others first.

    I have had people ask, why I enjoy playing with breeding chickens. I like it because you can play with and experiment with genetics and you will always know it will still taste like chicken.

    Thanks
    -Kim
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Honestly my Cornish X BSL and X Freedom Ranger are keeping right up with my last batch of 50 Gold Rangers. My Greyfields broilers are 1 week older and probably within 0.5 to 1.0 lb lighter than the broilers. They just aren't nearly as wide and are much more erect than the broilers are. I will get photos prior to processing and after. So, as far as performance and FCR goes, your own cross won't be awful. It's just the body shape I haven't mastered.
     
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The cross with a dorking may not grow as fast as the commercial counterpart but it still produces a good home broiler for personal use.

    I wish I could find freedom rangers up here. Wanted to select a cornish x Dorking Rooster and breed it back to the FR to see what happens.
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'll play with it and see what I can get. I just hatched out almost 20 more Dorking chicks this year, so I will have plenty of Dorking stock to play with.

    What should I look for in a Cornish sire? I have never dealt with Cornish before, just saw my first one at the last sale.

    I was thinking about it this morning and last night, *shakes head* us chicken people can't get our critters out of our head. Well, I remember reading that some people like black-skinned chickens for eating, a delicacy I suppose, what if you crossed a Cornish to a black-skinned breed? LOL Would/could you get a black-skinned Cornish cross? Or is black skin recessive(or complicated..LOL)

    -Kim
     
  7. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Would you be able to breed a Cornish Dorking? I guess they wouldn't get nearly the size of the Cornish Rocks, so maybe they would mature with less leg problems?

    What would happen if you bred a Cornish X back to a Cornish? I know this is unlikely with the commercial Cornish Rock because of the fragile state of their health, with heart and leg issues and all, but perhaps with the smaller home crosses. I guess this is similar to what you are talking about with breeding the Cornish Dorking to a FR. LOL

    -Kim
     
  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Just a few more questions..

    What if I were to feed my Cornish Dorkings 30% instead of the usual 20%? Would it make a difference(other than the feed bill?) I can get gamebird(30%) feed for $14 and regular chick starter(19-20%) from TSC for $13.

    Would it be better to attempt my Cornish Dorking in fall instead of summer? I think it would be easier for me to fight the cold instead of fighting the heat. I'm thinking of raising this experiment in a horse stall. Right now our barn is sweltering, it's just an oven right now. I know heat seems to be a large issue with broilers, but is that all broilers or just the commercial Cornish Rocks?

    -Kim
     
  9. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:*giggles* Cornish Silkies.... [​IMG]

    -Kim
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You will have diminishing returns feeding the 30% protein over the normal 20-22% range. It really isn't necessary with chickens.
     

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