hurry need to know, do you order bonus chicks too?


11 Years
Apr 23, 2008
I am getting ready to place an order for more cornish rock cross from Mt. Healthy and noticed a "Bonus Chick" section. It says will send 25 free chicks (not cornish rock). Have any of you gotten these? Can I still process them and eat them? I don't want them if we can't eat them. I know I probably wont sale these 25 but my family can eat them right?

I don't know about this hatchery but would expect they'll send you cockerels from laying breeds like sex links or leghorns. What folks also refer to as "packing peanuts." These would probably grow much more slowly & have much less meat than the CXs you'll be getting. I'm sure they'll be edible, but they may not be worth the trouble to feed and raise unless you've got a setup and source of feed that makes it really easy and cheap for you, along with a processing station that minimizes the effort you'll put into scrawny birds.

Just my conjecture,

i made this order and rejected the freebies because they would be scrawny and not very good converters of other words in my opinion if i were to go to the trouble to process them i would not take the bouns and order more of the cornish-x ...but to answer your ? they will eat very well and some say taste better??? i have processed some white rocks and couldnt tell the taste difference but for the same amount of feed i got 1/2 as much dressed meat...
A friend of mine got the free chicks and it was 25 cockerels from various laying breeds. Most were leghorns and comets and they were a real pain. They crowed and fought all the time after about 8 weeks and only produced about a 2.5 pound dressed carcass by the time they were slaughtered. She felt that it was a pretty bad deal and jokes that they would have to pay her money to take them next time.
It will be all roo's, but if your prepared to process in about 10-14 weeks, I would get them. Its a luck of the draw on breed/size. My order 2 yrs ago a neighbor and I got lots of large breed roo's. Tasty and tasty! Worth it for free!
I'll note that here we've seen "Luck of the draw..." combined with "jokes that they would have to pay her money to take them next time."

I'd think that if you want to raise meat birds then paying a buck and a half each for 25 Barred Rock or Australorp cockerels or just going ahead and paying $2 each for more CXs would be the way to go if you're going to put the effort and feed into raising & processing them.

If you've got all the time in the world & really cheap feed maybe you won't spend too much on the "free" birds.

I'm sure they'll be tasty but it sounds like they could be a lot of trouble too.

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If they're free and absolutely no cost to you, I would certainly do it. You could sell the ones of smaller breeds on Craigs List as soon as you can figure out what they are. The larger ones, keep, feed and process.
For me, my only hesitation would be the crowing because I'm only allowed on rooster. I'd have to process early. But, I have dogs that eat RAW so they'd be worth it for the dogs, the stock pot or little fryers. Especially if you can free range them and get some relatively inexpensive feed. I'd separate them from your Cornish X as they may get shoved away from the feeders and stomped on.
I wouldn't mess with them. They are going to require different brooding than the CX and IMHO would turn into a pain. The chicks may be free but feeding them will not be. You could possibly be sticking a bunch of feed in something that won't produce much meat unless you keep then for 5-6 months. That means you will be feeding them now thru the cold Winter months when most of what they eat will be needed to keep warm not put on meat. Now had this opportunity came early in the Spring then it may have been a different.

I wouldn't do it.
X2................................ and if I had to pay shipping on them they wouldn't be free. I don't know it to be a fact, but would think even the shipping charges are based on the addition of a small profit for the hatchery, and offering these free chicks to be a way of converting unsaleable chicks to a profit.

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