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Is there something wrong with my CXs?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by doubleatraining, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Songster

    Jul 25, 2011
    Franklinton, NC
    I got them last week from a local guy. They are 5 weeks old and are missing some feathers. I said something about pecking and I was told they don't grow all their feathers because they grow too fast. I hadn't heard that before.....is that right?

    Another thing I observed is they are dirty. Everyone's pictures on here they have white feathers...mine are dingy looking. I have them in a tractor now out on grass and I am limiting their intake so they don't grow too fast......

    They are GROSS!! I know that chickens in general aren't really the cleanest of birds but YUK. They smell....they poop EVERYWHERE all the time. I don't think I'll have a problem killing them but I don't know if I want to eat them after seeing what they are like. I'm having to move the tractor multiple times a day because of the poop.....they aren't really eating THAT much grass.

  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Sounds about normal. Their feathers are in pin-feather stage until about 6 or 7 weeks, and they usually have bare breasts because of how much they lay down. They are not your usual birds, and you will figure them out. Sounds like you are doing right by them, so they should look a little better as their feathers come in.
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    What is the chick population density and tractor size that your birds occupy ? What type of grass and how lush is it ? Yes, they are pooping machines, however consider the amount of feed that they are consuming to reach their genetic growth potential in the very short amount of compressed time. The CornishX is the most efficient converter of feed to meat in all of chickendom. Mine consume 2.2lb of feed / pound of gain. while my DPs consumed 2-4x ( depending BR, RIR, NH or x-bred male or female)that when I did a grow out comparison about 3 years ago, then switched to the CornishX. CornishX = 6-8 weeks for 4.5-7lb carcass vs. DP = 16-24 weeks for 3.5-6 lb. carcass . They taste FABULOUS and I SAVE TIME and $$$ not to mention NO crowing roosters at 3am !!!
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    We have 30 around that age in a stall in an old barn. This is the first time we have raised them although we have a hen house with 2500 organically raised layer hens. I started our CX on a bale of pine shavings in a brooder ring and since then have used old hay. Some are feathered better than others. They aren't dirty and I don't notice that they poop more than the laying hens. Every now and again I break up some caked litter near the waterer.

    I've always wondered why folks say they are dirty and stinky. I guess keeping them on non-absorbent grass is a lot different than keeping them on absorbent litter. I suppose that on grass they are slip-sliding around after a day of eating and pooping. I'm not seeing any problems keeping them on litter. The manure isn't caking much, is drying out rapidly and they are doing well.
  5. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Songster

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    Mine aren't stinky or dirty. They are also on grass and the tractor is moved once a day. I have my one little naughty chicken that sleeps in the coop at night but during the day he is out foraging with the girls. He's really white and pretty but not nearly as big. And they taste AWESOME!!!! [​IMG]
  6. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Songster

    Mar 24, 2011
    Mine have been pretty stinky since around 5 weeks or so. They are eating and pooping machines and I keep telling DH that if these were my first chickens I would have not wanted to have more! I will raise cornish X again but they are just soooo different to me than my layers. As you state they are much dirtier because they plunk down into dirt on poop and grass. We move the tractor daily, change water and feed out (12 hrs with feed 12 without) but they are very different than my hens and the dual purpose I am raising. The volume of poop is huge. I am very impressed at how they grow - the food conversion rate - etc.... I will raise this breed again and will not raise dual purpose for meat birds again. The cornish are what they are - heavy eating machines who grow fast and chill out all day. Mine are active in the tractor and seem happy even sunning themselves by stretching out their wings and legs. BUT they are eating, pooping, smelly birds - IMHO
  7. Mine are pretty clean. They have fresh pine straw for bedding but they sleep in the grass at night. They have free run of the garden pathways and hang out under the lemon and pine trees during the day, where I add the pine straw, go out on the grass in the evenings, and graze in the early morning hours.
    They also "wade" in big rubber made container lids many times a day. I spray out the wading pools twice a day and clean with a soap/bleach solution weekly.
    They poop a lot because they eat a lot. If the grass is getting too poopy, they probably need to be moved more or need a bigger pen.
    Since they don't have feathering on their breasts, I wonder if your grass is thin? Maybe, you'd be better off in a pen with deep bedding, like shavings. They don't eat that much grass, especially if it's covered in poop. End of summer grass, unless it's clover or alfalfa, lacks protein and nutrients, anyway.

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