Ok-Give it to me Straight

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by coffeemama, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    I think I may have talked my dear friend into going in on raising some cornish x. She has a covered pole barn type thing with the front open with a fence-kinda like a horse stall. What would we need to do to make this a good space for raising cornish x? Would it be better to put together some sort of pasture set up?

    Does DE cut down the smell and flies to a reasonable amount? Should we wait until late Fall to avoid hot birds?

    I found a local hatchery that lists that they sell straight run or pullets, but not cockerels (dunno why) in the cornish x. Should we go with straight run? They are $1.37 each if I buy 25 and I can pick them up.

    Lots of questions, I know! I have longed to get my own chicken going, but I live in town. The idea that I may be able to do it has gotten me excited!
  2. jaku

    jaku Songster

    I've only done one batch, so keep that in mind.

    -I would absolutely go with a pastured pen over a barn. They poo A LOT. I move mine to fresh pasture twice a day. It would smell horrible in a barn and you'd constantly be cleaning. A lot of people do it in a barn, but I sure wouldn't.

    I'm getting my next batch in the fall. I had an order coming next week and I moved it to fall. I had a big 10 lb roo die last week in the heat and I was SO mad. Can't imagine what they would be like in the real heat that we haven't yet gotten. Even in 80 degree weather, they sit and pant all day.

    Straight run is probably the cheapest, but on my next batch, I'm getting all males. My roos in my current batch are ready to butcher at 8 weeks, while the hens I'm waiting till 9 weeks as they are smaller. I think I'll save more on a week's worth of food than the extra money I'll spend for cockerels.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I have to agree - I had Freedom Rangers, not Cornish X but I found the roos to be ready long before the hens.

    And they do poo and smell alot...ALOT.
  4. bluebirdfarm

    bluebirdfarm Songster

    we have ours in a covered pen on a concrete pad NEXt to the barn , with shvings on half of the pen, here is a piccy


    i have the waterers on the palin concrete , and it has to be scraped and cleaned everyday . i chose to do this instead of having to move them daily and haul food and water to them daily, plus we would have had to locate the tractors on level ground , which is scarce here and would be quite a distance from the barn !!!!

    we are hoping to process them in about a week.
    we have 98 and originally went into this with 2 partners and nonw have NO partners ( they went on a 3 week ??? something ) so i am trying to talk the local meat butcher into processing them for me , he is only 45 minutes away , ottherwise we will be doing them ourselves .
  5. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Good questions. I'm finishing up my first batch of them as well. Today its 75 degrees and they are laying in the shade panting. I don't think the big guys could handle a hot day and live. I'd wait until fall, it's just too much for them in the heat unless you could hook up some kind of fan system or A/C...but that's even more added cost.

    I used DE in the shavings and I think it did help with smell and flies.

    The boys are huge, the girls are big. I'm glad for the size differences, there are times when I won't want a huge chicken for dinner, and other times when I'm feeding more people that I will...so it all works out for us.

    Good luck!!
  6. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies! I think we'll wait till fall-who knows, maybe I'll even have my own land by then [​IMG] I think something that is not quite so close to their house may work-how big does tractor type thing need to be for 25 chickens? Maybe the price quotes I read skiped the cornish x roos-I don't see why they wouldn't sell them but would sell pullets [​IMG]
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:I put my broilers on grass simply for ethical reaons having worked in chicken farms when a teenager. You can certainly raise them in a barn.

    There are also some good alternatives to Cornish Crosses which you might enjoy raising more... but unti you've suffered through raising the Cornish X you may not understand what we are suggesting.


    Quote:Flies, yes.

    Broilers only 'smell' if you keep them in too small an area for too long. If you rotate them on pasture, they smell no more than any other livestock.

    Quote:In Texas, maybe. In Oregon, don't worry.

    Quote:There is no reason not to do a straight run. By the time they are ready, you can just barely tell the difference between males and females. The weights are equivelant. You gain nothing by getting all males.
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:This really surprises me. Mine all dress out within 2 pounds of eachother. It's good to have variety in weights and I can honestly hardly tell them apart that young.
  9. hdchic

    hdchic Songster

    Apr 12, 2008
    I'm processing 40 today, by myself! lol....

    **I will say they DO smell in a barn, and as they get bigger, as in, 2+ weeks, they poop so much you need to really clean almost everyday. Yes, they smell.

    **If I had it to do again (which I won't) I would do them in the really early spring, or late fall. I have a fan circulating the air (for the fly issue and the heat issue) and they still pant all day.

    I can't wait to get them processed so I can clean out my shed, dismantle the make-shift brooder they are in, and get the last of the poop out. I want my shed back! LOL [​IMG]
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    There is alot of info on this subject on the forum if you use the search feature. I did mine last fall and started a thread on them and the processing of them.

    I want to urge you to wait until fall to do this with cornish cross birds.

    With the temps of summer and the humidity you are going to have them dieing on you right and left as they start to get some weight to them. The stress of growing as quickly as they do already taxes their organs. Add in the summer heat, humidity, the stench that will be crazy in this weather, flies, the added need for LOTS of water and you have a recipe for failure.

    This past fall in those cool - cold temps I had 27 birds that drank 6+ gallons of water every day. In hot weather you would need to triple that or more just to get by on their basic need for water.

    Think about it, plan and prepare for it then wait until the cooler weather of fall comes to try and raise these on your own. Please.

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