Feeding Cornish Xs???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RubysMomFP, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. RubysMomFP

    RubysMomFP Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    I just got my first batch of chicks in the mail today. 13 of my order are Cornish Xs. I understand that they are hybrids, bred to put on lots of weight in a short amount of time. Because of this, I know some choose to feed them a certain way to avoid suffication and/or leg/tendon problems. My question is how do you feed your Cornish Xs and why?

    Right now I have feed scattered on newspaper and in a trough.

    Thanks!
    Lauren
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I free range mine and feed a low corn ration(laying mash, oats, sunflower seeds and minimal cracked corn) to encourage a slower growth and a healthier bird.

    I feed once a day in the evening to encourage foraging and to avoid high core temps in the hot part of the day by increased food metabolism. They get fed after the sun has gone down and before settling in for the night, so any heat created by digestion is dispersed into the cool night air.

    My meaties seem to be comparable in weight,for their age, to other's posted on the forum and fed 24 hour free choice broiler rations.
     
  3. tagra123

    tagra123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Lima, Ohio
    Some say to give them light, water & food 24/7 to maximize growth. Many 4H advisers recommend this too -- I guess if they are for meat pens then you want as much weight as possible.

    We use the method below to raise ours without any losses -- 47 out of 47 lived.

    Natural light during the day -- no extra.

    Clean/Add straw daily in mini coop to keep clean.

    First 1/2 hour or in morning no food -- Made them graze in the yard -- It worked.

    From 7:30AM to 8:00PM I let them have as much feed as they could eat.

    At night they were only offered water.

    RESULTS:
    Averaged 4.5 to 5 lbs dressed weight at 8 weeks: lean meat, very little fat and -- no broken legs -- no sudden deaths.

    Personally, I prefer to cull our white extra rock cockerels at 16 to 20 weeks -- decent weight, tender -- not mushy and (I think) more flavorful meat


    Have fun with them.


    EDITED: 6/15/10 @ 9:56AM EST
    20% Protein Feed (To save money, buy ground feed from a local mill about $7.00 per 50 lbs where we live) Fish Meal/Corn, GM 36/Corn or Roasted Soybean Meal/Corn
    As much clean water as they will drink.
    Booster isn't necessary -- most feeds have enough vitamins and minerals already.

    To clarify -- about 12 hours of light and food per day.

    IF it's above 80 I'd remove the brooder lamp at about 2 weeks. These chicks make plenty of their own heat.

    Note:
    Somewhere I read that each chick should eat about 10 pounds in the first 6 weeks and 10 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I didn't keep that close of eye on the feed -- I fed them when the feeders were empty.

    Our chicks came from Mt Healthy Hatchery in and were pretty good at foraging for themselves in the grass between the "main meals"
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  4. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    I don't know if I did mine right or not, but they seem happy, healthy and FAT (and lots of POO).... 20% layer/broiler feed at 10am each morning and then I check the food dish at 9-10pm and if it's still got a little bit in it then I know they've had enough for the day. If it's completely empty they get a little more the next day. They are in a tractor/coop and I throw about 1/3 of their feed in the grass to get em up and moving, the rest in their feeder. I weighed one today and she was 5.9lbs at three days over 7 weeks old.
     
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Quote:That is a good way to kill them. I checked with our local large broiler producer Foster Farms and they don't have light on theirs 24/7 either. I think the above regimen was formulated before the Cornish X meat chickens became available to make the dual purpose breeds put on maximum weight. The main problems you have with CornishX come from them putting on too much weight too fast and outgrowing the ability of their hearts and legs to keep up.

    We feed ours turkey feed. I used to take it away for 12 hours and offer it for 12, but in the winter when there isn't that much daylight I just leave it out. They don't eat when it is dark. We also put Broiler Booster, available from Murray McMurray, in the water. It seems to help prevent the leg problems.
     
  6. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Quote:That is a good way to kill them. I checked with our local large broiler producer Foster Farms and they don't have light on theirs 24/7 either. I think the above regimen was formulated before the Cornish X meat chickens became available to make the dual purpose breeds put on maximum weight. The main problems you have with CornishX come from them putting on too much weight too fast and outgrowing the ability of their hearts and legs to keep up.

    We feed ours turkey feed. I used to take it away for 12 hours and offer it for 12, but in the winter when there isn't that much daylight I just leave it out. They don't eat when it is dark. We also put Broiler Booster, available from Murray McMurray, in the water. It seems to help prevent the leg problems.

    I don't know if the light will kill them as mine have light for about 20 hours right now and dusk for the other 4. They are in a tarped pen, but it's not DARK in there. It's Alaska and natural light, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

    However, the constant feed IS bad... they eat too much and it takes a toll on legs, heart and other organs to keep up with the growth.
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2009
    The light by itself won't kill them unless they start picking on each other. Light and access to feed 24/7 will kill them. I guess I should have been more clear. When I have meaties and the days are getting longer, I do remove the feed for 12 hours. During the darker months I do not because they don't eat in the dark.
     
  8. RubysMomFP

    RubysMomFP Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Thank you everybody for your help. This is my first attempt at raising chickens. Just a few more questions, if that's okay.

    *My chicks hatched on June 11th. How old should they be when I start the 12hrs on/12hrs off feeding regime?

    *Somebody mentioned Broiler Booster. Did you put it in the water from the time they were chicks to the date of slaughter?

    *What % protein are you feeding them?

    Thanks!
    ~Lauren
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  9. tagra123

    tagra123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Lima, Ohio
    Quote:I added some info in the original post:

    20% protein, Booster not really necessary -- doesn't hurt them -- just extra money to the hatchery, depending on the weather the 12 hrs of feeding can begin when the brooder light is turned off. If its about 80-85 Degrees you could do this by the end of the second week. If the chicks look or act hot then the light can go out sooner. These chicks put off a lot of heat by themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  10. patimekiller

    patimekiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2010
    Nw pennsylvania
    I feed 20% local ground feed in grazing pens w 30 lb hanging feeders for 50+ cxrocks. I don't remove it during the day. There is no feeding frenzy
    a guy I work with fed turkey starter from day one till the end w24 hr light. Letme just say bad idea. He claims 12+ lb chickens but lost a bunch. His wife made him get the dead ones checked out before she would eat any of them for bird flu. Turns out they had major heart attacks.
     

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