Mixing Cornish X with Red Broilers and "packing peanuts"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Tracydr, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just wanted to give my experience so far, I'll update as I go along. I have some 5 week old and 3 week old Cornish X, along with 5 week old red broilers, and a bunch of packing peanuts (3 and 5 weeks). 29 chicks total. Also have three production red Pullets, 5 weeks old. Chicks were raised for one week indoors in a rubber maid tote brooder, then placed in a 2x8 tractor. About two weeks ago, I opened the tractor and started letting them out into a larger area, about 10x10. After another week, let them "free-range" in my garden side of my yard, along with my older chickens which are around 20-22 weeks of age.
    All the chicks, including the Cornish-X are very, very active. They actually run! No laying at the feeders for these guys! I've noticed that they spend they're days grazing and looking for bugs. Most of their actual grain consumption seems to be after I round them up into their tractor right before dark and in the morning before I let them out at 7AM.
    They are much cleaner then my last batch ( raised over summer, not active partly due to heat), no poop on their undersides or breasts. I move the tractor each evening before round-up.
    Not sure if the red broilers and packing peanuts are keeping them more active, if it's just the cooler weather or simply that I let them out at a younger age then I did the last batch that I raised. These guys have good strong legs, don't seem to waddle nearly as badly as my last batch, either.
    I realize they may take longer to get to weight. If they do, that's ok. I'm happy to have active, healthy broilers that aren't laying in their poop and are acting like chickens.
    The red broilers were keeping up size-wise until about 3 weeks. They are now significantly smaller but still twice the size of packing peanuts. Good looking chicks. I'm curious to see how they do.
    All chicks are from Ideal Hatchery.
    Oh, haven't had any trouble with the adult chickens pestering them except for one 2 week old chick got a gash under his chin. Not sure if he was pecked or hurt himself on some wire around my tomatoes. He's inside with my granddaughter's 3 silky chicks for now.
     
  2. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Do you know what breeds your packing peanuts are?
     
  3. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not yet. They're all red. Guessing production reds, maybe some red broilers because of the size of some of the feet/ legs. Looks like I may have gotten lucky with an extra pullet or three.
     
  4. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Boy, even those fat Cornish X can run fast when it's bedtime! Nobody ever wants to go to bed. I have to put them to bed a little early because I have a feral cat problem and it's a wild/crazy chicken round-up every night trying to catch the little ones and put them back in the tractor. I have to set up little fences and funnel them in like the African antelope on the Wild Kingdom![​IMG]
     
  5. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Tracy, I was wondering if you were weighing your colored broilers from Ideal? I got 4 , two reds and 2 blacks from them and i have been mixing their food with half game bird starter and half chick starter and just started adding some cracked corn to thier diet last week. At 4 weeks they are weighing about 19 oz.I have them in a tractor that i move to fresh grass everyday and they have 24/7 food and water.
     
  6. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote:We solved that problem by not using feeders. Instead we'd go out a few times a day and dump the food on a tray for them. They figured we meant food. They're last feeding was at night in their pen...They hightailed it in, no herding needed. [​IMG] Glad to hear you're letting them out during the day. I always wonder if their bad reputation isn't due more to how they're raised rather then anything inherent. We free-ranged ours and they were very active guys, running around and foraging for much of the day.
     

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