Getting my first cornish! What do I do to raise them right?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RHRanch, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Okay, getting 5 Cornish X birds to try this out.

    1. What feed, and how do I know I am feeding them enough/too much. I want to let them graze in my yard, also.
    2. How old should they be at slaughter (weight)?
    3, Anything else that is essential I know/do?
  2. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    I was just getting ready to ask this, I hatched a few and the poor little buggars are lazy compared to the other breed that hatched. I'm just feeding them chick starter. I did some research and it turns out most people say they don't really free range well. I saw one blog post that said they put them out with food and water and they were so lady at 4 weeks that they died because they didn't want to waddle over to the water. If you do put them out make sure they are next to the water.
  3. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chirping

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    BigRedFeather's article is great. I have a short list of additions/highlights:

    -Understand there are variables.
    -You can't control all the variables.
    -Not all CX are the same...even from the same hatchery. Variables again.
    -A constant supply of fresh, clean water is a must. Clean your waterers regularly.
    -Spend time observing the birds daily and keep a log book for future reference. Learn to "read" the flock.
    -Some loss is expected but if you lose more than 5% in the first week you need to evaluate your management.
    -These are biological, not mechinical, constructs. A chicken is not simply a function of food, water and time. Management of biological processes is like artwork and you will get better with practice, observation and reflection.

    Have fun.
  4. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
  5. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Ive raised 2 batches of them, and Ive never regulated their feed. Ive always kept it in front of them 24/7. That being said, they dont have light on them 24 hours a day, so they only eat during the light of day, which is approx. 12-13 hours right now. So it works out fine. I also get them used to running around a bit, and when I put them in the barn in the kennel, I open the door several hours a day to let them run and scratch and pick. They wont run like a layer, but they will scratch and pick thru the grass looking for stuff.

    They do drink a LOT of water.

    I try and pretty much just treat them like chickens, and its worked out for me.
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    Agree on bigredfeather's article. It's a solid basis to start from.

    There are always variables as one poster said - like halo, I don't restrict feed, but I only feed a 20% nonmedicated grower feed from my mill. I personally believe - and this is just an opinion - that the higher the feed percentage, the more necessary it would be to restrict feed. Just go with what feed you have available - I really like to support local mills because the feed is usually cheaper and as good or better quality than branded feed. My mill only has three chicken feeds available - layer mash, layer crumble (16%) and 20% grower. I can pay more and drive father for a higher percentage protein feed, but I don't want to :)

    They drink a lot and poop a LOT. I have layers, and have raised layer chicks, and CornishX take in WAY more water and poo WAY more than layers. I do deep litter with my layers - a total of 5 bags of shavings in their 10x10 coop for 14 of them lasts all year. With the meaties, I put in about 10+ bags for the same size area for 40 of them, at then end, I'm putting an inch of shavings or more every day to two days to keep them from laying in their muck.
  7. Thanks for all the advice, and the link to the article - it was really helpful. I have raised a lot of layer and bantams, but these are my family's first meaties. My younger brother (25) is very interested in animal welfare and is enthusiastic about growing his own meat birds. We are starting with 5, and if this goes well we will try a larger quantity in the future. I will keep you all posted, my chicks arrive next Wednesday.

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