Need info on Heritage breed X Dark Cornish

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JediJinx, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sure there are others who have crossed Cornish with their heritage birds. I just ordered some Dark Cornish chicks to add to our flock. (They will come in march) My flock rooster is a Dominique. The idea is to keep a sustainable group that produces table birds. I plan to keep about 4-5 Cornish hens and a rooster to hatch out both crosses and pure Cornish to keep the group going. I also have three buckeye x leghorn hens that I think might make a good cross with a Cornish roo, although I mainly have them for laying - they lay a large white egg every day.

    Does anyone have info or pics of their Cornish crosses (not hatchery Cornish-Rocks but your own cross)?? How long did it take for them to finish out? I would love to have meat chickens that don't HAVE to all go to the butcher at 8 weeks, but that I can process over a few weeks on my own.
     
  2. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My understanding is that Dark Cornish are actually pretty slow growers - the cornish ancestry in commercial broilers is mostly for the shape/large breast/legs. I don't think you're going to run into any 'have to slaughter or they'll keel over' issue with your crosses.

    Commercial broilers are a different thing all together - their lines have been selectively bred for size/etc for decades.

    The big thing about trying to breed for meat is that you need to keep the birds you want to eat - the fastest growing healthiest biggest birds are the ones you keep out of the freezer.
     
  3. JediJinx

    JediJinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will just have to keep the husband away from the chicken run! He would pick the biggest boys for the rotisserie.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm doing this very thing this year. I'd ordered Dark Cornish pullets to be broody mommas, and got an Oops rooster. I'm just so taken with how meaty he looks, and how docile he is, he's a keeper and I'll put him over the Dark Cornish hens next year, plus some assorted other hatchery hens. I have a Wyandotte/Rock hen who is meatier than my other hens...I'll be interested to see how their chicks turn out.

    I never weighed my cockerel, but from the first few weeks he was quite a bit larger than my hens, and noticably heavier than EE cockerels of roughly the same age. I'm sure I could have butchered him at 4 months and been happy with the carcass.
     
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two 18 week old dark cornish pullets from Meyer Hatchery. They feel pretty hefty and have that Cornish X shape and "feel" to them when I pick them up - just on a much less extreme scale. They're the only pullets I've ever had at that age that I've felt would be great to process. They're in with my very hefty Black Copper Marans male and I'm looking forward to hatching from that cross.
     
  6. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    What hatchery did you get the DCs from?
     
  7. ijon

    ijon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you want a cheap scale, get a fish scale from Walmart.
     

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