Life Span in Cornish White Cross

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hucklekree, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Hucklekree

    Hucklekree Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    Enumclaw
    At the beginning of July our first ever broody hen started hatching her eggs. Well I should say egg because that is all that hatched out of five. How's that for a natural hatching percentage? :eek:) Anywho I felt bad for the lonely little roo and I went to the feed store to buy him a buddy. I was in luck because they had just one lonely two day old hanging around. I snapped him (also a roo) up and headed home without even bothering to ask what kind of chicken I had just purchased. Mama was more than happy to mother another chickee and off they went. Well it's become quite apparent that the purchased roo is a Cornish X and we've all become so attatched. He has personality! He rides around on our shoulders and comes running up to us whenever we're in the backyard. I'm so disheartened that he has a shortened life span riddled with very possible health issues. He forages just like his adopted mother taught him and he has no problem keeping up with his adopted sibling or flockmates.

    So down to the actual inquiries:
    How old can cornish x get?
    Is it a good idea to let them get older or should they be processed?
    Is is worth it to let them breed?
    Are they even interested in breeding?

    Thanks for your time!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  2. eatmorechicken

    eatmorechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say, from what other people are experiencing, it is common for roosters to live to a year and a half or two years. I had one hen live to be 3 years old. She died during the coldest week of a wyoming winter. The other pullet I had with her died before 6 months. I let her eat from a "bottomless" feeder. She got huge..probably 12 lbs. I know commercial farms experience an increased mortality after 8 weeks due to health issues. I'm not sure why white broilers are short lived. perhaps their hearts are not strong enough to support the mass of an adult bird..or something. I have not raised roosters past slaughter age before, but this year I have one at 5 months. I restricted his feed and gave him more treats and grains to slow his growth. I will see how long he will live. He is very active and acts like any other chicken, and has a little waddle in his step, but I have seen worse. If you like him enough, just keep him around and share your experience. And yes he will be interested in breeding if he lives long enough... I feel sorry for the hen that he will be under [​IMG]
     
  3. Hucklekree

    Hucklekree Out Of The Brooder

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    Enumclaw
    Thanks for the quick reply! Thanks for the age range as well. I feel bad for the hen too Lol! I've been treating him just like any other chicken around our farm. He gets his daily chick starter and all the kitchen scraps he can eat in addition to free ranging on ten acres. I haven't noticed any problems with his legs yet. I had already planned on documenting his lifespan and endevours perhaps I should share it. This is such a great and supportive community.
     
  4. eatmorechicken

    eatmorechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My cockerel. I'm not one to have chickens for pets, but it saddens me to think that I might have to give him up someday.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Hucklekree

    Hucklekree Out Of The Brooder

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    Enumclaw
    Thanks for the picture this gives me hope! I will take some pictures of his development and update his development for anyone interested. Thanks!
     
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have had some that lived to be a little older 4 years old.

    The girls were dust bathing on this day.
    [​IMG]

    My girls were too big to fly on the roost. I sometimes would put them on the roosts, if at coop closing time, their eyes were sparkling with envy to get on the roost. I would lift them up and place them on the roost. I had to take them off and place them on the ground the next morning. Sometimes, they just chose to sleep on the ground in their chicken house. I made their ground sleeping arrangements as comfy as possible.

    I took my time and studied the breed to find out how I could keep them around longer. Of course there was very little information to no information out there because no one really keeps this breed around a long time. There are a few other people on this forum who have raised Cornish as pets and I am one of them. My girls had an excellent chicken life. Anyone who knows me know that my animals have 5 star status in terms of health, nutrition and living arrangements. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    This is what I did that allowed them to live so long.
    1. Do not overfeed.
    2. Free range as often as possible (daily if you can). Free ranging also promotes exercise. They have to walk and run to get those juicy bugs.
    3. Place feeder several feet away from them, so that they have to walk (exercise) to get their food.
    4. Feed healthy snacks (fruits & vegetables)
    5. Make sure that their living arrangements are functional for their needs. Some cannot fly on roosts at night. They may have to sleep on the floor.
    6. Do not place FEMALES with roosters. Roosters will try to mate with them. Their legs cannot take the extra rooster weight on them and neither can their stress level.

    I can give this information because I have experience in raising Cornish as pets.

    To answer your questions:

    Hucklekree wrote:
    So down to the actual inquiries:
    How old can cornish x get? Mine lived past 4 years old

    Is it a good idea to let them get older or should they be processed? That is a personal choice. If they are not having any problems or not suffering from any leg problems, you can let them live to be older.

    Is is worth it to let them breed? I don't know because I didn't let mine breed. The extra weight on them to breed would be too much for them to carry on a daily basis (in my opinion). Possible leg problems could arise.

    Are they even interested in breeding? If I were a Cornish hen, I probably wouldn't be interesting in breeding. [​IMG] I would probably want to live my life out in peace and harmony without a rooster putting his extra weight on me to breed all the time.

    Good luck with yours. Keep us posted.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  7. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:1. I would guess they could live as long as any other chicken breed, if kept healthy but do to their large size I would gess somewhat less than a healthy leghorn...

    2.if you are plaining in eating them or to earn cash out of them, the sooner you preocess them the less money you will invest..

    3. No.. seeing how cheap day old chicks go for, seting up allof the required infrastructure its more expencive...

    4. Yes they are.... I had one 14 pound 6 month old chasing the girls but was not able to mount them due to him being too huge and not as experienced as older roosters...

    I for one if I had the time I would test the Intermitent Diet to see if one can have healthy broilers to breed from them...
     
  8. Hucklekree

    Hucklekree Out Of The Brooder

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    Enumclaw
    As promised an update on our Cornish X. We've (DH and myself) have talked it over and decided to keep the little guy on a strict diet and give him the most comfortable life possible. So the next step was to give him a name: Calvin and of course his best bud his "hatchmate" is named Hobbes. [​IMG]. Pictures are going to follow sometime soon. Haven't weighed him yet but he's a biggun about four times bigger than Hobbes. It's hard to believe that they are the same age. Calvin and Hobbes are allowed to free range and only get chicken feed at night right before dark and in the morning right before they go out to free range. Both come when you call them and Calvin (this is how we know that he is a keeper) likes to ride around on my shoulder. He hasn't got the "waddle" yet but I'm keeping an eye on it. And he still likes to fly up to roost. More will follow.
     
  9. Hucklekree

    Hucklekree Out Of The Brooder

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    Enumclaw
    So I'm reviving this old post to give a pictureless update on Calvin. Calvin is now known as the mouthful Calvin the hen who used to be a rooster [​IMG] It never fails to amaze me how after years and years the hen rooster thing catches me off guard now and then. She is doing really well and still can fly up to roost. She has the waddle but considering she can still fly short distances I'm pleased. She forages quite well for herself but would plop herself down right in front of the feeder if I didn't kick her out everyday. Hobbes her dear little buddy met his untimely demise during a meeting with a chicken hawk. Said hawk has claimed three chicks this summer. Soooo that's it just wanted to update if anyone cares besides myself! [​IMG]
     
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Sorry to hear about Hobbes. Sounds like Calvin is enjoying life. Good job. Thanks for keeping us posted.
     

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