I have 18 cornish Xs sharing the brooder with my 13 layer chicks. My layer chicks are almost 5 weeks old, the meaties are about the same. The cornish Xs were rescues and I intend to raise them as part of my free range layer flock. Before you say it can't be done, I have some very good reasons to believe that it can be done. I have no problem with anyone that only raises the cornish Xs for meat, I eat meat myself; including chicken. Nobody is starving in the brooder. Most of the layer chicks get in and out of the brooder at will and run around the porch all day. There's feeders and waterers available in the brooder and on the porch. Everyone gets a little free range time in the evenings. The layer chicks and several of the meaties do so willingly. I have to force a few of the meaties out the door, but they seem to enjoy it once out. Everyone is eating chick starter. The empty bag has been discarded, so I can't recall the protein %, but it's your run-of-the-mill chick starter. They'll all be eating 18% grower as of today. I can divide the meaties into three categories - there's the little ones, not much bigger than your average 2-3 wk. old chick. The middle ones, the same size as my EEs/turkens/speckled sussex chicks and very active. Then there's the big'uns. Four, all cockerels, two are very active, two are content to sit in the brooder all day. They are the size of the average 6 to 8 week old layer chicks. There's one of the middle ones that I am very attached to, but I'm not too worried about her. In size she is identical to my SS chicks and she loves to run and bug hunt, dustbathe, etc. If I was losing the big'uns I could understand it. However it's the small ones that are dying. I lost one the other day and another is going down now. Full crops at the end of the day, but it doesn't seem to be helping them to grow. They just stop eating, still drink water, but eventually just go to sleep and never wake up again. Any input would be appreciated. Do I just have to accept the fact that some of these commercial house culls were just not destined to grow and thrive?