I am new and I ordered cornis cross

tamelroy

Songster
11 Years
Jan 19, 2009
458
0
152
Mass
This is what I ordered http://www.martipoultry.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CORNCRX&Category_Code=SB

Could
anyone tell me more about them.

Like: Do you have to cull at 4-4 1/2 weeks for the best taste?

What is Vit. Pax ?

What do I feed them?

Anything would be helpful, I never ordered these before. We have done roos, or a not so nice hen, but those are layers. I know they are different.

I have asked some questions from a friend of mine but he is not too sure he has never done them. He is only going by what he heard. Thank you so much!
 

chickenwhisperer

Songster
12 Years
May 29, 2007
927
2
159
Chicken Country, U S A
Feed em broiler feed.

If you want the small "cornish game hens" then butcher at the 4 week mark.
If you want a "chicken", let em go till 8-10 weeks.

Plenty of water, lotsa food, 85 degrees, you can read thru pages here for any details you need . . .

Mine just went outside this weekend cause they STINK
sickbyc.gif
 

the simple life

Songster
11 Years
May 2, 2008
1,561
7
181
Weymouth, Massachusetts
How many did you get?
I am not sure where you are in Mass or what is available at your local feedstore but its best to get at least 20 percent protein in their feed.
The stores around here carry broiler feed, flock raiser etc. but if you can get to a mill its cheaper, you can get it milled to your specs, its fresher and I think the food is superior.
However, there are some decent foods out there. I usually start them on a higher protein feed for the first few weeks and then just put the on the broiler feed but you can just feed the broiler all the way through.
The vitamin packs they sell, they don't hurt and can be beneficial since they grow so quickly its hard for them to keep up.
Anything that helps them with their bone support is good.
Most hatcheries sell that gro-gel as well, you mix it with water and feed it to them as soon as they arrive.
It helps hydrate them and give them a little boost.
I never heard of the hatchery you ordered from so I am not familiar with what they sell in terms of the vitamins you asked about.
You need to make sure they have plenty of food available during the day so they do not run out, it puts stress on them.
You can take the food away at night after the first week, its the 12 hours on and 12 hours off method of feeding so it slows down their growth.
That is a personal decision though, some people prefer to leave the food out 24 hours a day.
Personally I have never even seen mine eat at night when I check on them so I don't know if its just more work for nothing.
You can research that and decide.
You need to make sure that they never run out of water, its very important since they are very large, the hot weather will be coming and they are already prone to heart attacks and I could see them getting heatstroke easily.
You can get a 5 gallon waterer or a couple of smaller ones.
I use an aluminum gutter screwed to the wall for my feeder. It works well for me, its sturdy, holds alot and I can put it at a level that they have to stand up to eat and they can't kick shavings into it or poop in it.

Cornish X do not like it warm like the layers do, they need a cooler temperature or they will overheat when they get into a huddle.
You need to give them plenty of room in the brooder so they do not pile on top of each other or you will have dead chicks under the pile.
If you keep it too cold they will want to pile under the heat lamp but if you keep it too hot they will try to get away from the lamp and they will either crush each other or they will get overheated and die from that.

As for housing, I will not get into a battle with the previous poster but you can absolutely do stationary housing if you do not want to tractor them and not have any problem with the smell.
Do not let that deter you.

I have been raising them in batches of anywhere from 50-100 and I have NEVER had a problem with smell.
I also refuse to brood cornish x in my house longer than 24-48 hours, they are there long enough for me to evaluate them, make sure they are eating and drinking and then I move them into the pen outside with lots of thick shavings and heat lamps.
I rake out the top layer of shavings and add more as needed.
My neighbors told me that had absolutely no idea that I had meatbirds and their backyard is literally feet from my pen.
If you have a big problem with stench you are either not keeping up with the cleaning, there is not enough ventilation or they shavings are wet.
I can't smell the pen when I walk by, even when I go in you have to be on top of them to smell anything and its usually when they are all huddling in one big sweaty pile.
My birds have alot of room though too which helps, if they are crowded they are going to stink.

Make sure whatever you house them in is roomy enough and if you are not tractoring them, its preferable if you can give them access to the outdoors. I open the doors to the pen when I open the doors to the layer coop.
They may not be like regular chickens and free range all over the place but they can be active, especially if you start them early.

Ventilation is important no matter what the housing is you choose, especially with the warmer/hot weather coming.
Keeping them dry and off wet, muddy ground is also important.
A wet chicken is a dead chicken if they can't get to a dry area. My layers free range and like to run around in the rain but they can go back into their coop if they choose and get dry. The cornish are different all together and I don't think they are nearly as hearty as layers.

If you go with tractors then there are plenty of pictures here of them for you too check out.
If you go with a stationary coop, you can do a couple of the sides with chicken wire for the ventilation and tarps that can be put up or down depending on the weather.
I have the roof as chicken wire as well, again there is a tarp if needed but the fresh air is crucial to raising healthy birds and keeping it from smelling.
These birds are prone to heart attacks and they can get heatstroke and drop dead on a hot day.

If you keep your pen nice and clean your birds will be nice and clean as well. I have never taken a filthy bird in for processing and I always get comments about how great my birds look so this method is working well for me.

As for when to process them. Its up to you what size bird you want. I prefer at least a 6 lb bird, thats the minimum or its not worth raising them to me.
I keep mine for 9-10 weeks, they are always tender and there isn't any fat on them. If you go longer than 10 weeks you may get some fat.
If you are looking for the fat like one of our members here does, she renders it so she wants a layer of fat, she feeds them corn the last couple of weeks before processing.
I don't know where in Mass you are but if you need anything you can contact me by pm or e-mail.
If you are not processing them yourself there is a processor that is in Bridgewater, I started a list of processors by state on this forum but you can let me know if you need the info as well.
It seems overwhelming at first but its not complicated and there are plenty of folks on here willling to help you out.
You will want to get your housing situation settle right away because you do not brood cornish x like you do reguars layers.
They are out of the brooder pretty fast so you need to have the housing set up.
Good luck and don't worry too much, its pretty simple once you get the housing and feed figured out.
 

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