First time Cornish questions

jolenesdad

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 12, 2015
2,247
8,176
542
Montgomery, TX
I started one thread on DP birds, but I’m also going to try my hand at Cornish this spring to see what I like.


I’ve got a round of questions for those with experience....


Hatchery

Anyone have experience with ideal? I’ll call and find out what strain of Cornish they’re working with, but has anyone had meat birds from them in the past? They would be the best for me, I could just add a few to my feed stores order and don’t have to deal with minimums.


Brooding Outdoors

I’m planning on brooding outdoors with the MHP method. I’d like to brood them stationary for a few weeks in a stall that opens to the pasture they’ll be in. After that, I’d like to move the tractor on grass. Would it better to have them on grass with the MHP from the beginning? I could run an extension cord easily. I would like to encourage as much movement and forage as possible and limit feeding. Which brings me to...


Limiting feeding and slowing growth

Where’s the best threads for information on raising Cornish the slowest? I’m not looking to go past anything rational, but I have time and am not as concerned with cost specifically. I’m more interested in having a hand in the humane raising of my family’s food, and I would like to try and give them the absolute best quality of life while under my care.


Space

What’s a good average space per bird in a chicken tractor for Cornish that would be raised until, say, 11-12 weeks maximum?


Would these birds have a desire to even leave the tractor for more space if I allowed it when we are around to protect from predators?


Do the roost at all or congregate in one spot at night? I’m concerned with predators in a chicken tractor setup (raccoons mostly). I’m wondering how to get them to a space at night that could be more fortified and can’t be dug into.


Forage

Should I let my pasture grow until they’re on it or maintain it at a certain length? I have lots of Bermuda grass and native grasses in this 1/4 acre paddock I’ll keep them on that should all be going within the next week or so, and I’ll probably wait a little to get the birds so it’s not chilly at night.

Thanks to anyone with advice or guidance!
 

rlhagan56

Songster
7 Years
Mar 10, 2012
305
98
162
Out West
Cackle has a very good strain of Cornish X. I fed chick starter the first week, then gamebird or meatbird feed. We have to feed what we can find around here. They do not roost and they don't move any more than between the water and food after 2 weeks. They really make a poopy mess too since that's all they do and move between water and food. I started taking food away at night at 3 weeks, and at 5 weeks I only fed them 2X a day. Here I tried to slow growth because I live above 5000 feet. Too many problems at this altitude so I'm trying new breeds of meat birds from Cackle and Welp. They are usually butchered at 6 to 8 weeks, any longer and they could break down the legs. But I know people who have raised them past 8 weeks. I finally turned a stall into a meatbird coop with an attached covered run this year for the other types I'm trying. CornishX will not free range. Other meatbirds will. Lots of people pasture raise the other breeds. I can't because in this country there are too many stickers I can't control anymore. Cornish X are the best tasting in my opiinion.
 

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