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Give me the crash course on meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bryan8, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. bryan8

    bryan8 Songster

    May 21, 2009
    New york
    Well I ordered some ducks from Ideal and just for giggles, I added 4 Cornish X to my order.

    They will be here on the 2nd im hopeing.

    I set up a 2nd brooder, and picked up a bag of broiler feed at the feed store.

    Do I raise them like regular chicks?

    Whats this about restricting feed?

    And how long do they need a lamp? Can 4 meat birds live in a 3x4 area untill I butcher?

    And how old shoud I wait for butchering?


    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2009

  2. maplesky7

    maplesky7 Flock Mistress

    Jun 14, 2008
    N. IL.
    everyones different but for me... I do raise them like any other chick.

    They'll grow out so fast that you won't have to worry about them needing a lot of a space or wondering away once they get fat. ha ha. They'll take like 3 steps and sit down and eat and eat and eat and eat.

    the rest of your q's I've seen on here if you want to do a search to find them.

    a lamp is needed as it relates to the temp outside and how well they are feathered out... it's 90* for a couple of weeks and then decreased by 5* each week until it reaches the outside temp.

    some people restrict the food... I never knew of that on my first few batches of chicks and they were all good...really fat but good. ha ha.

    and cornish x dress out at what is it like 6-8 weeks depending on the size you want them. I've had them weigh up to 10 lbs. dressed...and 6 lbs being the lightest. My mom always comments how the drums are like turkey legs...they are so big.
  3. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I started my cornish cross on 21% chick starter. After 6-7 weeks I'm now moving them over to a broiler finisher. It's also 21% but doesn't have some of the trace minerals etc that the starter does. It's also in a crumble form so there is less waste. I'd keep feed in there 24 hours a day for the first week or two then you can restrict to 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

    I didn't restrict this batch though. I just raised the feeder so they really had to stretch to get the food. They could get all they wanted, but they couldn't just lay down and eat like little Jabba the Hut's. Once they don't need the heat lamp anymore, they will naturally slow down their eating at night.

    Is your 3x4 space a brooder? I wasn't clear on that part. I started mine off in a 4x4 brooder in our basement. It won't take but 3-4 weeks before you'll want them outside. They have a very distinct odor about them. Prior to cornish crosses, my only point of reference were wyandottes and I was amazed at the growth rate of the cornish cross. I was also amazed at how slovenly they are. If you have a way to get them outside in a pastured pen, I'd highly suggest that, even though you only have 4. You'll see why as they grow [​IMG] The space is fine for them. I have 25 in a 12x5 tractor and there is ample room. I can prolly push it to 50 in there but I'll be moving the tractor several times a day at that density.

    Most any question you'll have about cornish crosses is answered very well here at BYC. When you have a hour or so, just start searching and reading. You'll find it won't take that long to get the info you need.

  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
  5. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    Go to www.welphatchery.com. They have really good instructions for raising meaties on their web page.

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