Is 6 Weeks to early to harvest cornish cross chickens?

cottontail farm

Songster
5 Years
Dec 26, 2014
808
1,172
241
Rural NW Pa
In my (learned the hard way) opinion it sounds like you have a fox out hunting. This spring I lost 18 birds in one day, IN THE PEN to a fox. Absolutely process what you can now because it will be back unless you trap it. (
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,302
12,592
707
Southeast Louisiana
In my (learned the hard way) opinion it sounds like you have a fox out hunting. This spring I lost 18 birds in one day, IN THE PEN to a fox. Absolutely process what you can now because it will be back unless you trap it. (
Just to show how different they can be my experience was one a day every morning from a free ranging flock until the fox was shot. Took Dad two mornings to figure out the pattern and shoot him on the third morning.
 

Phunktacular

Songster
Oct 29, 2016
173
167
121
Fulton, NY
With the birds live weight being less than 5 pounds, I would have guessed that they processed size would have been just over 3 pounds. expect about 70% of their live weight. That's a little over weight to be considered a "game hen" however, a little light for a chicken. I imagine it'll still be decent eating. I've considered processing some Cornish Crosses at 6 weeks but, it was because they were at their targeted weight, already. I chose not to but, wish I had. I like about a 5 pound carcass but, some of those were over 8 pounds. It's a really tough sell at $4/pound for an 8 pound bird. I ended up letting them go for $20 each because, I couldn't move them. Ate a bunch of them, too. Great rotisserie birds.
 

Hens Solo

Chirping
Nov 6, 2019
69
300
78
LaFayette Georgia
In my (learned the hard way) opinion it sounds like you have a fox out hunting. This spring I lost 18 birds in one day, IN THE PEN to a fox. Absolutely process what you can now because it will be back unless you trap it. (
I had to harvest the birds early due to predation. I am still stymied as to what predator took them. The birds weighed about 4 lbs. Whatever took them had to grab them, climb, or jump over the fence and leave no outside evidence. The top perimeter of the pen had bloody catlike tracks along it. All that was left was small piles of blood on the pen floor. In my early days I trapped extensively so I generally know animals. I lean towards a bobcat, although a fox, coyote, or raccoon could be the culprit. I do know I have to put a top on my pen before I leave another batch of chickens in it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,658
76,615
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
The top perimeter of the pen had bloody catlike tracks along it.
Pretty good clue.

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upload_2019-12-22_9-45-32.png
 

aliciaplus3

Crowing
Oct 24, 2016
2,367
7,684
462
Colorado
I had to harvest the birds early due to predation. I am still stymied as to what predator took them. The birds weighed about 4 lbs. Whatever took them had to grab them, climb, or jump over the fence and leave no outside evidence. The top perimeter of the pen had bloody catlike tracks along it. All that was left was small piles of blood on the pen floor. In my early days I trapped extensively so I generally know animals. I lean towards a bobcat, although a fox, coyote, or raccoon could be the culprit. I do know I have to put a top on my pen before I leave another batch of chickens in it.
I have tops on all my coops. But I live right on a natural water way and have birds of prey that like to check out our backyard daily so?:barnie best of luck with your next go !
 

MROO

Crossing the Road
Feb 26, 2018
3,362
11,744
787
The North-Eastern Corner of Maryland
I had to harvest the birds early due to predation. I am still stymied as to what predator took them. The birds weighed about 4 lbs. Whatever took them had to grab them, climb, or jump over the fence and leave no outside evidence. The top perimeter of the pen had bloody catlike tracks along it. All that was left was small piles of blood on the pen floor. In my early days I trapped extensively so I generally know animals. I lean towards a bobcat, although a fox, coyote, or raccoon could be the culprit. I do know I have to put a top on my pen before I leave another batch of chickens in it.
Even with the birds gone, a trail cam might be a good idea. The predator will likely be back until it figures out that there won'r be any more free meals on the smorgasbord...
 

Hens Solo

Chirping
Nov 6, 2019
69
300
78
LaFayette Georgia
Pretty good clue.

Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
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View attachment 1986188
Located in NW Georgia in a semi-suburban type environment. Lots of brush behind house. Just bought a chicken predator book and all the evidence points to a bobcat. ie killed only one chicken at a time left little evidence catlike tracks on 1" perimeter fence top. Neighbor lost 5 chickens the other night and swears it was raccoon. Book says raccoon usually leave a mess and don't consume whole chicken. just bought a trail cam. This is my Don Quixote moment! I WILL find this predator!
 

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