New here with Cornish X

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PNW_Smoker, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. PNW_Smoker

    PNW_Smoker New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2009
    Hello All,

    I've been lurking around here getting good info that has helped me out on my miniature farm.

    I'm posting in the meat bird section because this year is the first time I've ever raised Cornish X. I bought 50 of them and have been raising them in a stall in my horse barn. I have a buddy that rose up 100 earlier this year and just couldn't pass it up after eating one of his.

    OK so here goes. I've had my birds for about 7-8 weeks. I thought they were putting on good weight but just yesterday I decided to weigh a few and to my surprise they are all right around 5 to 5.5 pounds. For some reason I expected them to be more. I kept them on food 24 hours a day for probably the first 4 weeks but then cut them back to a once and evening feeding. That's probably the problem with the weight I'm guessing. I'm just not sure how everyone can keep them on food for 12 hours a day. I would go broke with the feed cost. Right now with only feeding them once a day they eat around 100lbs every 6 days. Does that sound right? Any suggestions or should I just go with what it is?

    Here are some pictures to for viewing pleasure.... everyone like pictures right. Sorry for the quality they are from my phone

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    My wife getting friendly with future BBQ
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    Move from brooder to barn stall
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    Latest photo where they weighed around 5.5 lbs.
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  2. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    The key to not going broke is to buy your feed in bulk from the mill. It cuts the cost in half. Leaving them without food can cause them stress. I don't necessarily think a full 12 hours of feed is crucial, but I'd give them more than once in the evening. As you know, these birds LIVE to eat. Heck, I can't even imagine myself eating once per day, let alone these little monsters!
     
  3. chicken nanny

    chicken nanny Out Of The Brooder

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    we did a batch of meaties start them sept1 and let them go 7 weeks the biggest was around 9 lbs and we have a few runts only around 4.5 lbs, I would say that we had of avg of 6.5 are so. They were the best chicken i have ever eaten.



    thanks
     
  4. fitzy

    fitzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
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    well, as luck would have it i just finished with my cornish X and i also had 50....must be the magic number around here. anyway, i spoke to the guy i got them from (Dr from the university that was doing studies) and here's what he said about food:

    As for feed. First, I'd feed them all they want. Don't use corn unless you are just trying to carry some birds thru a period of time at the same body weight. Corn will only add energy and the birds will lay down an excessive amount of fat with no muscle growth.

    These broilers will get HUGE if you let them. But be cautious - they also start having leg problems, will die suddenly, etc, and then you will lose money. Another thing that happens is that after about 8 lbs in live weight, they start losing feed conversion sharply. Instead of 2.2 lbs of feed per pound of gain, they will start using 3, then maybe 4 lbs per pound of gain meaning that additional bird weight costs you more money.

    So what to feed them. Orshelns and TS sell good mixed feed, but it can be pricey. These birds, after the starter phase, should do well on grower diets with 18% protein or more. But what counts is your cost per gain, I don't care what the label is on the feed. You can figure 2.5 lbs of feed per pound of growth when the birds are about 6-7 weeks old. So if you bought a sack of 50 lbs for $10, then that's 20 cents per pound, or 50 cents to add one pound of weight to your birds (2.5 x .20). At $10/sack, that's about $400 per ton. You can very often buy feed at the coop much cheaper, so long as they don't make you buy a minimum. Some will even mix your own formula, or they will have one.

    Don't worry about the label. If you can get turkey starter, or gamebird grower cheaper then that might make you the best money. Sure, the diets will be off a bit, but what matters on a small scale is how much it costs you and how big your birds grow. I have found that prices at coops and stores vary a lot, and often times a good gamebird starter is cheaper than a grower that contains fewer nutrients. Oh, and don't worry if you get starter or grower. If you feed a starter to older birds, who cares. They will get more nutrients, eat a bit more feed, or they may excrete a bit of undigested nutrients. What matters is money in your pocket.



    I followed this advice and it worked great for me. Also, I was going through a 40 lb bag of food about every two days. So, based on my (only ) experience i'd say to give them some more food if you can afford it. I also butchered in batches of around 5-6 for the first 25 birds....my rule was that if they were big enough to fight to make it to the front of the cage (feed bucket) then they were big enough to cut up that day. it gave the slightly smaller ones another week or two to put on some more weight.
     
  5. PNW_Smoker

    PNW_Smoker New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2009
    Good info everyone. I'll start feeding them up for the next 2 weeks hopfully that will do the trick.
     
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    The reason these things grow so fast is they convert feed to chicken. But to do that they need feed to convert. Lots of it. And high quality. We feed ours turkey feed and all they will eat of it for 12 hours. At ten to twelve weeks they dress out in the 11 1/2 to 13 1/2 pound range. If you can't put full feed out in front of them for 12 hours you are really wasting your money and their potential.
     
  7. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2009
    I forgot to say that the reason you are kinda wating your money is because when you limit the feed too much, the feed they do get goes to body maintenence rather than to gain.
     
  8. PNW_Smoker

    PNW_Smoker New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2009
    Quote:I'm pouring the feed to them now. I also have turkey's and right now they are on average 26lbs. I don't know what dressed weight will be but soon I will. :)
     

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