My first time plan for raising cornishx....comments please!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jjstroz, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. jjstroz

    jjstroz Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Feb 25, 2009
    Chillicothe, MO
    Right off the bat lets get this out there - We live in North Missouri, We are expecting our second child the first of June. I'm wanting to raise a batch of meat chickens before the baby gets here.
    Does the following sound like it would work?

    In order to get the birds to butchering weight on time I'd have to start the first week of March with mail order peeps. I'm pretty sure that I'd have to brood them to start with in the house in order to keep them warm enough. Not sure that I could get the temp high enough in the barn. So if I kept them in the house for two weeks and then moved them to the barn we have a 5X10' room out there that we would use as their permanent residence. The room has a concrete floor so I was thinking about putting a deep bed of pine shavings or straw down. We don't have time or materials for building an outdoor tractor or putting a run outside the barn room. We free range our laying hens without any confinement except for closing them in their coop every night. I would like to let the meat birds out of their room to free range as well. Would I be able to do that? Are they smart enough to go back in? At what age would you recommend trying it? If it isn't advisable to let them out to range, then is their room going to become rediculously filthy??

    How many birds would you try to raise in this manner and with this space?

    Thanks for whatever help you can give!
     
  2. KazAnder Farms

    KazAnder Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    2
    89
    Jan 17, 2011
    Machias, WA
    This is pretty interesting, I would think that ideally you would have at least 5 sqft per chicken body. Roosting bars would help a bit. We haven't raised cornish rock crosses, but i can only assume that they'll come back to a central location every evening. Good question [​IMG]
     
  3. KazAnder Farms

    KazAnder Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    2
    89
    Jan 17, 2011
    Machias, WA
    duplicate
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  4. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    I don't have nearly the experience raising modern CX as many others , but since they are not offering suggestions I'm assumung they figure you will do a search on here to look up the info you need .

    Here are my observations baed on my limited experience . I was raising mine on controlled diets to breed , so some of my experience is not going to be the same as those raising them for maximum or near maximum growth . My CX have never offered to scratch , leaving their waste on top of the bedding and quite content to sit in it . With 25 CX in a 5 x 10 , once they're 4 weeks or so , I believe you're going to have to add bedding daily to cover their poop , which is several times more than any standard breed ................... and its going to be a little tight in IMO if you do not let them out during the day . I ran my mixed with EE and straight Cornish ordered at the same time ; they did turn the bedding over by scratching which hepled me out a lot LOL . I built " ground roosts " : roosts that were only 6" high that the CX would use to a degree . In warm weather the CX would seek the cool earth to sleep on , and often led the others outside after dark to sleep out in the cooler air on the ground . [ You can avoid that problem by shutting them in at night if you want . ] I went from a brooder inside , to a tractor , then to a coop left open to a pen where they were fed outside , weather permitting , and they would return to the coop at dusk ....................... but as stated earlier the CX often returned to the cooler air right in front of the coop during the night . I basicly started my brooder temps at only 90 degrees immediately under the light because I observed they avoided that area when it was warmer , and weaned them off the heat lamp by the third week . I've since started them at 85 after the second day from hatch [ yours will be that old when they arrive ] and weaned CX crosses mixed with EE off a heat lamp at 14 days . Since I brood small batches inside in polytubs here in the winter , its 65 and draft free anyway . The other breeds used the CX or CX crosses for warmth LOL . I had no problems with them pileing on each other [ other than a " failure to thrive '" CX getting suffocated during a cold rain storm in the tractor , but it had never feathered and should have been culled earler anyway ] , but my brooder is never under 65 being it's indoors . If you can hang a lamp in that stall with out danger of it starting a fire , I think as long as its draft free you could start them right out there . Just use an appliance box , bales of straw , whatever , to keep them in a smaller area at first .
     
  5. ourflockof4

    ourflockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    0
    99
    Apr 9, 2010
    Northern Ohio
    How many you put in there would depend on how often you want to change/add bedding. SteveH was right about the poo. My smaller tractor is about 8'x8' (64 s.f.) and with 25 in there if I were to forget to move it for a day the ground would be covered in a layer of poo. They aren't that bad to start but get really smelly the last couple of weeks. I personally wouldn't want more then about 10 or so in there at the end at least. If you can let them out to free range during the day it would be that ba though and you could easily do more. Several people on here have free ranged their's without a problem. Do some searching on hear and you will see how they do it.

    Depending on your outside temps you may be able to brood inside for 2 weeks, them move to the barn stall with the heat lamps still on them. You may be able to let them start to free range around 3-4 weeks if you can keep a close eye on them. Hust like any other chicken, they may or may not always find their way back to the barn at night, you may need to carry them back. If it's too cold outside they may not want to leave the barn either. A 5+ week old CX can handle some fairly cold temps.

    But yes you can do it in the time frame that you stated. You may not be able to have huge birds, and if it's a cold ealy spring you may have to change the bedding a lot, but it can be done.
     
  6. jjstroz

    jjstroz Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Feb 25, 2009
    Chillicothe, MO
    Thank you a bunch for your replies. I had searched but was having trouble finding info about how the breed works in something beside a tractor and I didn't know if it was too early in the year to squeeze this in so I threw this out there. I appreciate the input! We will make something work [​IMG]
     
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by