Ordering my day old White rocks.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Minky, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    I'm going to be ordering my day old white rocks and had a few questions for those of you with past experience.

    The females or non-sexed are $2.30 and the males $2.50. I am thinking its worth the extra .20 per bird for a larger product, would you agree? Or is there really not much diffe

    How many weeks before they can free range outside? I would do them on a modified feeding schedule so they were a little more healthy and may take an extra couple of weeks.

    I'm in Ontario so, don't want them too early as we will still have some snow patches in April, and I think late May would be the first I'd want them outside all day. Trying to work backwards from late May free ranging. Do you think at 5 or 6 weeks they can free range?

    (under some sort of chicken tractor) since we have lots of predators here....

    I'd be interested in also raising some heritage meat birds, but the variety available in Canada is truly lacking. If anyone has info on Canadian Hatcheries that ship heritage meat birds, please join in the conversation!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    It would probably be worth the extra .20. Maybe the straight run will work since they may be 50:50 but if lots of people are buying them for meaties, the males may have been pulled out already.

    I raised white and partridge rocks in a large mixed flock that all started foraging outside after about 5 weeks and this was in winter. (mid October hatch)
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

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    You mean Cornish/rock right? Your post says White Rock then you go on to talk about limiting feed due to health issues...
     
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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I took him at his word and responded as though they will be white rocks.
    :idunno
     
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  5. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    shoot. My brain sort of thought White rock is the same.... do I have two breeds mixed up? Cornish X and White Rock? oh boy.:he

    Ok, this is whats confusing me.. here is the page from their website.
    http://www.freyshatchery.com/Chickens.shtml#HeavyMeatBreed

    Its called a White Rock Cornish X . ???? and if you scroll down it talks about inbreeding over the years, and poor health etc.... So I sort of thought they were the same breed?

    Can someone clarify?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Well, they are white.
    A white rock is a Plymouth rock in the white variety.
    A white rock of carefully selected genetics crossed with a white Cornish of equally carefully selected genetics yields Cornish/Rock crosses.
     
  7. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Ok, So does that mean these birds Im planning on buying should be able to forage at around 5 weeks/6 weeks? Or at that age do they still need a heat lamp etc....
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Cornish cross tend to be fairly sparsely feathered at that age. So depending on the weather, they can surely go outside but may need access to the building. Most other breeds are pretty well feathered by then. When do you plan on butchering them?
    I butcher some at 3.5 weeks as Cornish game hens. Then most of the rest by 7 weeks. Freedom rangers a bit older. If it is warm enough, it won't hurt them at all to be out on forage.
     
  9. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    I think we'd like them to be pretty big, since we'd feed our family of 5 from one of them. Probably stuff it, like a mini turkey sometimes.

    Do we need to bring meat birds in at night in the summer, or are they safe in a chicken tractor? Husband think we should put them in a tractor for safety(we have foxes, fisher, mink and coyote)I always assumed we would bring them in the barn, and they could hang with our laying hens while they are foraging..... or will the big hens bother them?
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I don't think the laying hens are your concern. If the tractor is tight enough to keep mink out it could be OK but I can envision the CornishX piling up against the side which will make them vulnerable from a predator reaching in and pulling parts of the bird through.
    Raccoons are handsy and can grab a bird in the dark. You won't recognize the bird when they get through pulling parts through the wire to eat it.
    Sadly, I have lots of experience with mink squeezing through tiny openings. Once they get in, they will kill every bird. Any opening approaching an inch will give them access.
     
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