Life span of my Cornish X

hotmessJess

Chirping
May 16, 2015
146
3
51
Western NC
I've gotten myself in a little bit of a hippie pickle here, as I've got these cross chickens. They were sold to me by a young man that wouldn't know his rump from a hole in the ground as layer pullets, and my experience with chickens is limited to two non-white breeds. So I didn't know my arse from that hole, either. He told me they were likely leghorn, so I took them.

Three days in, I realized they were sweet, giant, cornish mutants.

Now, I know that their lot in life is to be food, but I just don't have it in me to eat that what I raised from a babe (I know, hippie). But I know in some cases it's also cruel to let them live as they get too big to support themselves and suffer.

So my question is, at what point do I need to do the humane thing and process them? Is there an age, or some physical sign that says times up? Can they live decent lives with the layers?

They free range and get around, but they are getting bigger by the day, and the days are getting hot...



This is Wii at nearly 12 weeks (the kids named them)
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LouBlue95

In the Brooder
May 16, 2015
40
6
24
You can keep him on a strict diet
Maybe cut protein and limit their feeding times. Let them free range
Keep an eye on them for the leg problems other then that they may be fine.
 

TXchickenchick

Chirping
May 7, 2015
277
41
93
Floresville, TX
Honestly, right now is a good age to process them if you plan to. Sometimes they do alright being kept but still have very short lives. I bought 6 planning to eat them. I only managed to butcher one. I gave most away and kept my favorite rooster, Big Mean Meatie. He was a sweetheart, btw. He died at just over a year old. He honestly had a very happy, though brief, life. He was in love with my brown leghorn hen and spent every day by her side. :) So, I guess what I am saying is, do what you feel is best for you and the birds you love.
 

hotmessJess

Chirping
May 16, 2015
146
3
51
Western NC
Thanks for the feedback! Wii, Soap, and Stool (yes, they are quite unfortunate names given by a lazy 5 year old who looked around the room for inspiration) get around just fine now, and they free range from sun up to sundown. I don't think I have the heart to process them. They seem happy to run and scratch, though Wii takes more breaks throughout the day.

I will keep an eye out for leg issues, but until then I think they'll stick around.

Sorry about your Meatie, TX. I've been known to get overly attached to livestock, like pets, so I don't know how I'm going to handle the time when they go on their own that early, either!
 

4xcharmd

In the Brooder
May 13, 2015
29
0
24
I have the SAME problem. Got 4 Cobbs, not knowing they're meat industry birds. Mine are only 7 weeks but are pretty big already and I'm struggling with deciding if I should put them out if their misery before they start to suffer or what. I have no interest in eating them and thouht maybe i should give them to someone who would eat them, but I can't do it. They're too funny and pet-like t think about eating.

Your names make me LOL
My 9 year old named hers rick and sally. I asked how she got those names and she said "from the dating website ad on YouTube. The profiles they show in the ad are for rick and sally" LOL OK then!
The other 2 are Bella and Jacob.
 

hotmessJess

Chirping
May 16, 2015
146
3
51
Western NC
Do your birds get around okay?

I love the hilarity of letting the kids pick the names! The 5 year old named the mixed pullets (the ones the meatis came in) Wii (Cornish X), Stool (Cornish X), Soap (cornish mutt of some kind), Water (australorp), Lamp (production red), and Door (production red, deceased). Our welsummer have marginally better names!

My biggest hangup about keeping Wii going is that the feathers on her (we were told she was a hen, despite my suspicions otherwise - her comb is quite large compared to the others) underside are pretty much gone or caked in gross, though I've been careful to give her an extra low roosting pole and they have plenty of dry dirt for baths. Is there something else I can do for her to improve that?
 

TXchickenchick

Chirping
May 7, 2015
277
41
93
Floresville, TX
Thanks. :) I really do miss the big guy. I was shocked at how attached I got since I bought him fully intending to eat him. Here is a pic of him with his girlfriend, Summer, and her barred rock 'sister' Winter maybe a month before he died. Even though he took a lot of breaks he was fairly active all the was up to his death. When it would storm or there was a stranger in the yard he would get in this huge dog house we have (he always stayed out of the chicken house) and it was about a 2 1/2' jump into it. He died in his sleep in there.
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hotmessJess

Chirping
May 16, 2015
146
3
51
Western NC
That's so cute! And he is a handsome guy! My birds could give a hoot about storms! Lightening was coming out of the sky all around us and thunder so loud it shook the house, yesterday, but it took all I had to convince my guys it was best to be inside! I know I looked like a mad woman chasing them to the coop!

Wii is pretty active despite all the sit downs, so your experience gives me hope!

This is them finding something tasty just now in the yard (probably the quinoa I tossed out there, yesterday, and Water giving me the evil eye for taking the picture.
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TXchickenchick

Chirping
May 7, 2015
277
41
93
Floresville, TX
Lol I am so glad mine get out of storms or I would be out there doing the same thing! :) Since he stayed away from the chicken house he would sleep on the deck every night, right against the sliding glass door into my sunroom. I was always afraid a predator would get him but he never was bothered. It seems to me that as long as they are not getting to just sit and eat all day and have a reason to move around and get some exercise they do alright. :) Yours sre so pretty! :)
 

Sunflower

Songster
12 Years
Apr 10, 2007
128
0
139
Berryton, KS
We got three Cornish x's too. A friend gave them to us to process. That was over a month ago. We only got one hen done so far and that didn't go too well, so I am out on the next ones. Over this last month, I've come to love these guys. I never realized how sweet they are. They will follow me all over the yard and practically come when you call them, like a dog. My little tiny leghorn mix thinks she is a billy-bad arse and will ninja chop the cornish rooster. It's so funny to see a tiny 8 year old skinny leghorn ninja chopping a huge cornish rooster.
 

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