Feeding cornish chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaketheeggman, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. jaketheeggman

    jaketheeggman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    Green Bay WI
    I am thinking about raising cornish x for butchering and wondering what i have to do for feeding.



    3 black stars, 3 red stars, 5 leghorns, 12 leghorn chicks, 2 bantams, 1 cohin
  2. NeilV

    NeilV Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    I would like to tag along here. I have read posts by people who say that you don't have leg problems with Cornish-X if you don't feed them all the time. What exactly are you doing when you "take away the feed," and how much feed are you providing?
  3. joanc

    joanc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    We raise the fast growing (8 weeks at butcher time)jumbo cornish. For the first 5 days we give them food 24 hrs/day. After the fifth day we take away the food about 7 pm and put the food back around 7 am (we have hanging feeders on chains and simply raise them up with carabiner-clips so they can't reach the food). This helps with the leg problems as well as the "flip" problems. Fast growing cornish are prone to heart attacks and strokes if they gain weight too fast.
    I recommend you research some of the hatcheries that carry the meat birds and see the tips for raising them. We have been getting our meaties from Welp www.welphatchery.com and they have a Poultry Care section in their catalog-it's probably on their website too. We've had much success following their care tips.

    Good luck with your birds.
  4. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    with cornish, it depends on where you buy them, what you feed them, how you house them, how fast you want them to grow.

    Sunnyside Hatchery, WI the best chicks that I've found (I've tried alot)
    Feed, my own recipe that the local coop mills for me, its the same feed I give my chicks & turkeys, I do not restrict feed ever
    Housing, Semi-free range, coop till 4 weeks then allowed to run the yard with the feed and water out side the building at least 50 ft apart, makes them move, and graze, also they can control how warm or cool they are by sunning or going under the trees
    my 8 weeks are usually 10 weeks because we want 5lb+ chickens

    I have never had leg problems, sudden death (flip) or any other problems that can occur with cornish, since I started to use this system
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. love2chicken

    love2chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2011
    yes where you get them is a big thing. i got some from a guy on C.L. and they are 6 weeks and very small and had 3 flip on me will have them shipped next time. good luck
  6. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    I have Cornish from Sunnyside also.

    So far I like theirs the best, as well as their prices.

    We feed ours free choice for a week.
    The next 8-12 weeks they free range.
    We feed them a little feed in the evenings to get them into the coops for night.
    We mix our own feed with a corn base all organic. It calculates to be about 18-20% protien.
    They only get enough feed to eat in about 10 min. in the evening.
    The rest is pasture forage.

    No heart or leg issues.
    I still have a few from last season that are 7 months old with no problems getting around.
    They will be gone soon.

    just my.02
  7. soap&eggs

    soap&eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    buy ours also from sunnyside...ususally 150 ...which means alot of space required. i raise in garage & fence in close to a 300 ft run that i move fencing when ground gets dirtied up.....i feed the commerial chick starter forbroilers but after day 5 i start feeding cracked corn also. take away food but NOT water for 12 hrs over night.water i use electrodes/ vitimin ..when i stitch them to finisher they get 1/2 cracked corn & 1/2 finisher broiler.. plus the whole time i give table scraps, fruits & veggies and cooked eggs. i avg 5# proceeded hens..meaning after everything is done weight of meat bird is 5#..more for live weight..figure 1/3 of live weight is lost thur butchering...i raise to 8wks..anything after that is actually losing you money in feed. but if you have room to free range birds have stronger birds..not so many leg problems. i have only loss one or two chicks within first day..else wise been lucky . if you prefer dark meat go with rooster, white meat stick with hens..roosters are larger giving you more thigh & dumsticks. if i recall correctly cost including cost of chicks is under $4 per bird to feed. but not including heat lamps /electricy..bedding, vitimins ..or processing....taste so much better then anything you can buy in stores. good luck.
  8. vtgirls

    vtgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    After reading many, many, many opinions over the last few days, my game plan is to follow the welp guide (as referenced in the link above) for feed restriction. The 26 I have came from McMurray (lost 4 -started with 30) and am splitting an order with a friend for 15 more from Welp. The first batch will go to 12 weeks, the second batch to 7 weeks. I plan to tractor them about the property - hope to move them twice a day, although once in a while may only get to move them once a day. I am interested to see how this plays out and appreciate everyone being so willing to share their own experiences. I am hoping my hens make it to date and are as happy and comfortable as possible until then.
  9. Dennis A

    Dennis A Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    Nichols Iowa
    Quote:Three months is a long time. At eight weeks we can be at 6-7 lbs easy, but most have enlarged hearts at that time. I would watch for flip and butcher as soon as you lose one.
    Just my 2 cents.
  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I'm pushing mine to 10 weeks, and would agree that 13+ weeks is really pushing it.

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