info request from Cornish Rock raisers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by belibutn, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. belibutn

    belibutn Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    My wife and I are planning on getting a straight run of cornish rocks from Welp Hatchery. What kind of space requirement should we expect per chick by 8 weeks, 12 weeks?

    We currently have plans for 12x6 - 72sqft total. I am trying to figure out how many we can get, and how many will have to be harvested and at what times to leave more room for the others.

  2. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    my cornish coop is about that size. I have 26-- 5 week olds, and they are pretty happy. They also have free run of about 1/2 acre (they didn't read the cornish x manual that says they don't like to free range;)). They would be pretty content for a while-- I think they'd make it pretty happy to 8 weeks in just the coop. It's still much less crowded than factory kept chickens.
  3. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Crowing Premium Member

    It's all about what you want of course so here goes.

    At 4 weeks you can process hens for cornish game hens if you want those. By 3 weeks I have still have 100 of them in a 6 x 12 stall they need to be moved out (in my opinion, but I give more space than some) but sometimes have to wait till 4 weeks if the weather is bad.

    At 6 weeks is the age that some commercial birds are processed for parts. Breasts and legs are very tender and juicy but not big. Costs are low at that time so economy is high. You would see these as specials in stores mostly but as smaller portions of meat gets more of a 'healthy' look it seems more common now here.

    At 7 weeks birds are done for parts common size and smaller wholes. By then I have 100 in a 40 x 12 at least if not outside (hopefully, I like to free range but last year it did nothing but rain sideways)

    At 8 weeks the costs per pound are higher and sold whole as roasters at premium prices.

    After 8 weeks your costs go way up and so do your losses from sudden death. If you decide to try to get some to to go really big be sure that you process early any that show any leg defects or fast/heavy growth rates. Pick to keep the ones that emulate more the heritage breeds. Know that your custs will be disproportionatly high, you will have lots of fat to trim out, and they will no longer be really easy to dress like the Cornish Rocks normally are.
  4. belibutn

    belibutn Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    Great info both of you, thanks. I should have also said that we will have a 12x12 run off of the coop, as well. In order to prevent coop potatoes, I plan on at the very least picking the darned things up and moving them to the far end of the run at least once a day [​IMG]

    I would prefer to harvest them all early on, because everything that I have heard is that it is a lot better at 8 weeks than at 12, not to mention the costs.... but I really don't think we could clean them all at once. So we figured that if we stretched it out, we could have different sized birds in the freezer (not to mention that I have no idea how big of a chest freezer we would need to hold 25 6-8pound birds), and still make sure that we don't use too much feed or over crowd them at all.

    Thanks again. It makes me feel a lot better about our current plans.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If you provide 2 SF per bird, you are giving them double the space they would have gotten under an intensively operated factory farm.
  6. crazychickens

    crazychickens Songster

    Jan 19, 2008
    Belleville, Wisconsin
    Last year was the first time I raised Meat birds. (with out my parents) I ordered str. run and got mostly female, then the 6 or so males grew faster than the females. I think, they should have been butchered a week or two before the females. They got so big they started have trouble standing up. This year I want to raise all the same sex, so I dont have that problem again. The place that butchers our chickens is over an hour drive away and with gas prices, I only want one trip.

    Just something I learned.
  7. lynxpilot

    lynxpilot In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2008
    We did our first ever batch at 13 weeks and they were monstrous. They were also somewhat tough. Took them to an amish fellow to process and he called them "almost turkeys".

    All since then have been done in the 8-10 week range. I currently have about 50 in a 10 x 12 pasture coop and another 30 in a 8 x 10 coop. They are just drag coops, about 2' high, covered over one full half with blue tarp, the rest chicken wire, and we scoot them once or twice daily. They seem quite content.
  8. zayniegirl04

    zayniegirl04 Hatching

    Apr 28, 2008
    Are you going to raise them to eat....that's what I want to do. and my other question is ...when they free range, how do they keep from being eaten by predators?,
  9. swiftfoot

    swiftfoot Songster

    Dec 23, 2007
    Blountville , TN
    ill probably get some of these to try
    sounds ineteresting
  10. belibutn

    belibutn Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    Quote:yes, we are going to be raising these to eat...As for protecting them from predators while free ranging, I personally have no idea. We will be having ours in a permanent coop with attached run, that will be covered top to bottom, and well protected from the local predators. Personally, I don't see how the fat things could get away from anything hell bent on eating them while free ranging them.

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