As you recall, I hatched the following on Easter Sunday: These were all crosses using my Dark Cornish rooster on four different dames; two Black Sex Links and two Freedom Ranger (gourmet blacks). Here was the breeding pen: So as of today, the chicks are 30 days old. I also have 50 Gold Rangers which they are sharing a pen with. They were hatched April 2nd, so are 20 days old today. Here are my Greyfields Broilers along with one of the Gold Rangers. The Gold Ranger is the 2nd from the right: http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm1/lordo59/allfivebetter.jpg As you could probably tell from the chick photos, I have 10 broilers which have 10 diferent apperances. This is why you should never breed hybrids as the results are not predicatable like when you cross purebreeds. However, if you are just doing this in the backyard, and don't have to worry about mixing-up birds, then you can certainly breed hybrids. These are from left to right, yellow, golden ranger and barred. I assume that the left one is Dark Cornish X Freedom Ranger. The one on the right could be either (at least I think) since both the Black Sex Links and Freedom Rangers carry a gene for barring. The weights, from left to right are 0.8 lbs, 0.6 lbs and 0.8 lbs. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm1/lordo59/barred-gold-yellow.jpg This is mottled, black and Gold Ranger. I have no idea which cross the mottled came out of, but there are 3 like it. I'm assuming the black one is the Dark Crornish X Black Sex Link and it's a pullet (as a cockrel would get the barring gene, where a pullet wouldn't ? right?? any PhD's out there?). The weights form left to right are: 0.8 lbs, 0.8 lbs and 0.6 lbs. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm1/lordo59/mottled-black-gold.jpg Closer look at the Black & White 'Barred' One: http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm1/lordo59/barred.jpg Closer look at the mottled one, aren't they gorgeous? Of course, this could be a giant screw-up and it's really a Golden Ranger; but I dont' think so based on the weight: http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm1/lordo59/mottled.jpg I picked an average sized gold ranger for weighing and photos. There are some which probably exceed the 0.8 lbs already, even though they are 10 days younger. And of course, with all this said, I'm guessing these are the chicks which I hatched. Some of the Gold Rangers look awfully close to these.. and some have barring as well. I guess leg bands may have made sense. I had previously crossed Dark Cornish with Barred Rock and Speckled Sussex and similarly lost track of who was who. So this is standard around here.... disorganized, two weeks behind schedule and farming from one crisis to the next. So, I guess here is what we can learn from it: a) Yes, you can do backyard crosses for broilers and you will benefit from heterosis. A purebred of any breed at 30 days would probably be only around 0.4 lbs. b) My broilers are keeping up with the Freedom Rangers; but as you can see the Freedom Rangers have closed the gap being 10 days younger. I bet the gold will be heavier at the same age when I process. But, that will be another thread when it happens. c) Your backyard 'Cornish Crosses' will generally have a good upright stance, long and wide breast. From processing my own in the past the finished breast was slightly narrower and thinner than an industrial Cornish Cross. I do not offer my own meat birds to the public, yet, as I want them to be visually as similar to the Freedom Ranger chicken as I can (which I still proudly raise). But, we'll see how this group turns out in the end! At the very least, I saved myself at least $20 + shipping by hatching my own 10 broilers. Knowing the margins on pastured meat chickens, that's very significant.