Help with my cornish x rocks...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ameador1, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    I posted the below yesterday, but not replies - so here it is again...

    I have 13 cornish x's and need some info on their feeding and habits.

    They are now 11 days old (hatched 2 Saturday's ago). They are growing much faster than the 13 egg-layers I got at the same time from MM (the egg layers are Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, and Black Austrakorps).

    The cornish x's have been drinking more from the beginning and have only yesterday, for the first time, surpassed the egg-layers in the amount of food they are eating.

    I have noticed over the last day or two that the cornish x's seem to be breathing a little hard. Their bodies are moving lick they are panting and they have their mouths open. They have always layed around quite a bit more than the others, but this heavier breathing, even when they are laying around, is new. Is this normal? Is this just because of their size/weight?

    Is there anything I should be doing special with their food and water? I have a supplement called Broiler Booster (from MM) that the cornish x's get in their water and I am feeding them Dumor Chick Starter (24%). Should I be taking their food away at night, or giving them limited quantities in some way, or...? They are going to be meat chickens at somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks from what I've read and thus planned, but I don't want them dieing before then.

    Please advise. Thanks!
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    ameadore1.....I have 9 cornish x....they are about 5 weeks old...and all they do is lay around...Ohhhh, they get up, and waddle to the feeder...but for the most part, they just lay there...make sure you have PLENTY pine shaveings under them, as they get older and heavier, they will develope sores on thier belly and chest area. Mine are about 4 pounds each now..and yes, they pant...they are FAT! LOL yours sound normal to me. Good luck with them!
  3. ccr

    ccr In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    ameador - mine are about the same age as yours now, they are 2 weeks old today. I worry a bit if they are panting at this age - although I have noticed a couple of mine are.

    This breed grows fast and eats a lot, so it is hard on their hearts and legs (which is one of the reasons they dont move much!). You will notice them panting is hotter weather and as they get bigger.

    I'm not sure where you are located, but by the time they are 2 weeks old they shouldnt need too much heat anymore depending on how warm it is. If you are still getting cold nights like we are - have the heat lamps on at night and off during the day.

    Yes, limit their feed intake from 3 weeks on!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  4. sherryberrybee

    sherryberrybee In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    My MM order of 10 cornish Xs and 15 layers came at the end of Feb. This was my first attempt at meat birds.

    At two weeks I put the Xs on pasture in a 4x8 enclosure. One promptly disappeared during the first day. No feathers, no blood, just gone, with the top netting inside of the enclosure instead of on top of it. I still don't know where that bird went. The yard is completely fenced in, about 1/4 acre. The birds were almost in the very center of the yard, and I was home, in & out there all day. [​IMG]

    At 5 weeks I slaughtered five of them, with dressed weights between 2 1/4 and 3 pounds. The other 4 were moved to a larger area. At night they're in a 5x5x2, 1/4" hardware cloth/wood frame tractor, and a much larger 6' fenced yard during the day -- I just open the door to the tractor and out they come. They are still waddling around (7 1/2 wks old now), spending a lot of time at the fenceline between the pasture areas. I guess they want to hang out with the layers...

    The size difference between the Xs and the layers is truly amazing! I also have two 2-yr old hens, and the Xs are now almost the same size.

    I've never taken up the feed, and have been feeding Purina Show Chow (22.5%) since the start. They panted more when they were younger, but they don't do it very much now. I also gave them Broiler Booster for the first two weeks. Maybe because they're eating so much grass/bugs that they don't overeat the feed? [​IMG]
  5. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    I wondered if the heat may have been bothering them since they are so much heavier than the egg chicks. I raised both heat lamps (one for each set of chicks - they are separated be a wall down the middle of the brooder) and they seem to be doing a better. Still some panting, but not as much.

    I am in the mid-eastern part of West Virginia (very close to Parsons, WV) and it has been cold this past week or two now - upper teens and low 20's last week - this week in the mid 30's during the night and 40's/50's in day.

    Anyway, I will try to have them outside some as soon as the weather allows it and as soon as I can get the coop ready [​IMG] I have to build the shed first, so the 'coop to be' can be cleared out and conversion finished!

    Also, we don't have a lot of flat yard for them - mostly a medium slope down the backside of the property. They may have a little trouble climbing back up if they go down that way. We'll see. There is also no grass for them - all forest are - plenty of leaves to dig through for bugs and stuff though [​IMG]

    I have them on broiler booster from MM, and will keep them on that until the recommended time frame. It's supposed to be mostly vitamins to keep them healthy and strong legged.

    As far as restricting their food - to what extent? How much and when? If they can get out messing around without trouble, should I still restrict feed? They will have very limited access to grass - we only have a little patch by the road and I don't want them hanging out there :eek:

    Anyway, thanks for the comments so far. I'll look forward to more [​IMG]
  6. ccr

    ccr In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    I reduce their feed intake at 3 weeks. They have free choice 20% starter until 3 weeks, then I go down to 18% and feed an ice cream bucket full for every 50 birds a.m. and p.m. (1 gallon/4 litres)

    Make sure you have ample feeders so they dont fight or overcrowd and everybody can get food. I feed them outside in the a.m. (weather permitting) and inside in the p.m.

    Then at 6 weeks they are on a 16% finisher which they get until slaughter at 8 weeks. They eat a full bag (again, per 50 birds) of the finisher per day (wow!) half in the a.m. and half in the p.m. Bags are 20kg (40lb) bags.

    My birds dress at eight weeks anywhere from 4-6 lbs. You will find in the middle stage (when they are 3-6 weeks old) the food you are feeding them seems to not be enough - they act as if they are starving to death (which they most certainly are not!). I add some hen scratch during the day to get the out and moving and they also have access to grass.

    They do love the grass, but if you dont have any, you dont!

    Have fun with them and good luck!

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