light and feed questions for Cornish Cross

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by featheredfamily, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. featheredfamily

    featheredfamily New Egg

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    I have a few questions about my Cornish Cross chicks.

    • At what age should I begin withholding feed?

    • How many hours a day should I withhold the feed?

    • When I remove the heat lamp how many hours of light should they get?

    • How many hours of light should they be getting now @ 2 weeks of age under the heat lamp?

    • Do I need to "finish" them with corn or high carbohydrate feed?

    • Do I need to clean their butts even if their vents are not clogged?

    • How many sq feet does each bird need as chick and as adult?

    • What % protein is best for the chicks and adults?

    • Is there any additive that will speed growth and or improve health or taste? Probiotic, ACV, Electrolytes Etc.


    I know this information is all over the Internet but I think we should have it in one spot for a "one stop shop" of the most common questions, a 101 for raising a Cornish Cross.

    Thanks, Alex
     
  2. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good gosh Alex, you are making this waaaay to difficult <lol>

    Feed them around 20% protein. Feed them 24/7 up until the night you butcher them. They don't move around a lot so they don't need a lot of space. I can't say exactly how much space per bird but I'm sure others can. Don't worry about additives and all the other stuff. Just feed and water them and they'll grow like the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk. Why in world would you want to clean their butts?

    KISS = Keep It Seriously Simple
     
  3. TamTurkey

    TamTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    • At what age should I begin withholding feed?
    Why would you want to withhold feed? You want them to eat until you go to slaughter

    • How many hours a day should I withhold the feed?
    See above

    • When I remove the heat lamp how many hours of light should they get?
    matters how cold it is Chicks need around 90 until a week old 2 weeks down to 85-80 3 weeks 80-75 by 4 weeks to slaughter their fat butts need it to be cool!!! 70 is best

    • How many hours of light should they be getting now @ 2 weeks of age under the heat lamp?
    Light 24/7 the more they are awake the more they eat. (some prefer to give them a night off here and there)

    • Do I need to "finish" them with corn or high carbohydrate feed?
    Yes when you finish them the last 2 weeks should be a high crude fat diet lower protien
    • Do I need to clean their butts even if their vents are not clogged?
    Not sure when or why you'd need to clean their butts Mines gross me out but I'm not about to try to clean them! Keep their coop clean! Don't worry about the chickens
    • How many sq feet does each bird need as chick and as adult?

    Texas A & M says 2 sqft per broiler no use trying to make less space for the chicks moving them and moving things makes them spend more time exploring their surroundings and less time eating

    • What % protein is best for the chicks and adults?
    chicks need a higher protein then it goes down from there. To at the end you want more crude fat.
    • Is there any additive that will speed growth and or improve health or taste? Probiotic, ACV, Electrolytes Etc.
    There are a ton of additives on the market for chickens. Who knows which ones are better. Probiotics are good (some use yogurt to help with digestion same thing though. Most chick feed is medicated and that should be enough. Electrolights should be aded in times of stress or when you've handled them a lot or temperature changes. But for the most part they just need fresh clean water once if not twice a day.

    Here's a good website for information other than reading every post in here (which I think I am about 10% in lol) http://gallus.tamu.edu/extensionprograms/publications/index_publications.htm
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I leave feed out 24 hours a day. They don't eat at night, so they self-limit. I withhold feed the night before butchering.

    My experience is that the more space they have, the better they grow and the healthier they are.

    Mine never have nasty butts. If your (generic you, not talking to a specific person) birds have diarrhea, you really should do something about it instead of just complaining about the nasty poop

    Heat lamp is going to depend upon your weather. They don't have good feather covering. Use some common sense.
     
  5. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many people on these forums do hold back feed and free range as well to keep the chickens healthy and moving (and not tipping over) so it seems that his question has some basis.
     
  6. daddykirbs

    daddykirbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just started a batch of Cornish Cross. One of my little chicks didn't make it past day 2. I called the hatchery to make sure I was doing things correctly (and to get credit for the lost chick).

    They told me to not leave food in there at night time past day 10. They claim that this breed will sit at the feed bowl and eat all night long.

    This is only my second time with meat chickens and my first time with Jumbos... so, I'm just passing along what they said :)
     
  7. TamTurkey

    TamTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh Please understand I was not implying that these are not valid questions. I ask some of the craziest questions! The stupid thing is to assume and not ask. Since I have been reading this site for every opinion in here there is someone who does the opposite. As long as your animals are being taken care of I think everyone is correct. I am different from most as we raise & show Market Broilers. Which means we are trying to get them as big as we can in 6 weeks. We don't have the luxury of a slow process and free ranging. My culls get to free range and I slow them down and process them at 8-10 weeks but the ones for show we just push them as far as we can. I normally clarify my intentions on my post I apologize for not saying this in advance.
     
  8. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    6 weeks huh!? yowza!!
    that's awesome.

    do they move about or do they lay and eat?
    do you loose many to 'tipping'?
    i'd love to have mine ready in 6 weeks,. do you tractor them?
     
  9. TamTurkey

    TamTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lol I wish we had more time but that what is allotted for the show birds sometimes we get 7 weeks depending on shipment. This time no leg problems. By 5 weeks all the feeders and waters are basically on the ground they get too fat and lazy to walk around. But yes we do lose some to leg breakage here and there. Try to bulk up on the calcium at the young age but they don't get much sunlight at that age so the calcium doesn't get absorbed as well as it should. No tractoring. No free range expect once a week when we clean the coop. They are in a climate controlled coop and they only get commercial feed. except about once a week as a treat i give meal worms or crickets.
     
  10. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i wish one could do both... fast growth and fresh grass.
    i only have 22 to deal with so i put them in a tractor on grass all day in the sun. they love the freedom. they are only 10 days old and already fattys.
    at night of course they are put away.

    how many are your raising?
     

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