Please tutor me to raise Cornish X for my freezer

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kathyinmo, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    My husband wants a pen of meaties. We decided on Cornish X so they we could be done with them in less than 2 months.

    I have read about feeding them 7AM - 7PM only. Is this how you do it? I also read about, "move them frequently." Why? We would like about 50 of them. Would this require alot of space? Do I raise them just like other chicks? Can they free range? What about feed.... same as others?

    Sorry this is so elementary, but I know nothing about Corinsh X.
    Thanks, kathy
     
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    hi Kathy welcome to the meat thread! . . . got tired of hanging out on the breed thread huh? lol

    some people try to control the growth of the birds by feeding 12 on 12 off; this is what I do and it has worked well. The hatcheries feed 24 hours with lights on to maximize growth and shorten the time, however they don't take the same note with borken legs that most of us on here do.

    If you get real cornish x's they will free range a bit, but they prefer sitting with thier heads in the food dish.

    The reason for moving them DAILY is that they don't really move themselves that much aan spend the entire day eating and POOPING and it is a much stinkier poop than that of an active bird.

    I have 25 in a 10 x 10 tractor, more would be a mistake.

    They are a hot bird lots of ventilation is very important as is shade. My 25 drink 5 gallons of water a day.

    more???? [​IMG]
     
  3. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Oh, thank you, Katy! I was thinking of just putting them in an open air coop. Do they roost at all? I will also let them free range daily. They still need heat lights like other chicks, right? For how long though?
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    they roost a bit but can hurt themselves as they get bigger. a 2X4 on the ground seems to work best.
    Mine are open air and have been out with out a light since about ten days old . . . I'm no expert though so you may want to get other opinions on that. I would say if you do give them a heat light give them plenty of space to get away from it.
    I'll go take a pic of the coop they are in for you. we are about a week and a half from butcher age and I only lost four in the beginning (pile ups).
     
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    [​IMG]
     
  6. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    PERFECT!!! Yes, that is what I want to do! Thank you!
     
  7. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    These are on restricted diets to grow them for a breeding project and pictured at 5 weeks , 1 day with the same age straight Cornish .
    [​IMG]
    Hot , humid weather can be hard on them in case nobody warned you . Many people schedule them so they don't have them at their largest and most vulnerable [ starting around their 7th week ] during the dog days of summer . They need high protein grower [ 21% or so ] for optimum growth .
    ETA : I said 7th week , but mine are turning 6 weeks tomorrow and even on restricted diets I'm gestimating several would process out close to 3 pounds . I'm guessing they would all be a pound or so heavier on full feed . The largest were panting a little when the temps bounced against 90 last week , but not too bad . This week about half finally started useing the low roost at night , until now its only been used during the day . Here's where I ordered from , 88 cents straight run : http://www.schlechthatchery.com/chickens.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  8. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    There are some divergent themes here. You can free range cornish x's but don't expect them to be ready to process in 8 weeks. Feeding the 12on-12off method will allow them to get big enough for slaughter in 8 weeks. The chicken tractor is a compromise between the two. These buggers are like no other chicken in the backyard flock. I think they should be an entirely different species, myself. So you need to decide what's more important to you...Quick turnaround time or free ranged meaties. Actually, if you want free ranged meaties, I'd go for the freedom (colored) rangers. They take longer but will forage for a higher portion of their diet.

    I second the water consumption....They drink LOTS! They eat LOTS!....and they poop even more than they eat and drink! Poop is the reason why you want to move them at least once a day, if not more. It's easy to move the chicken tractor if it's got wheels. This way they get a fresh patch of grass to eat supplementing the store bought food.

    At 8 weeks, my Cornish X's struggle to hop over the 2x4 cross members of the tractor. These members are in contact with the ground so you can imagine how obese these guys are if they struggle to keep their balance when they go over the 2x4. during the day, some of mine will sit on top of the 2x4's but at night, they just huddle up on the ground under the covered portion of the tractor. That's the other reason to keep moving the tractor. It's won't take long at all with 50 birds to cover every last bit of ground with poop. They lay down so much that they end up laying in their own poop. By moving, you're getting them off their poop and onto clean ground...temporarily, anyways.

    A great benefit of this is the grass will really grow like mad next year! We started raising Cornish x's last year and we didn't have very much grass at all. The previous owners of our house sold in the middle of landscaping and we had bare dirt. Not even topsoil, just dirt. Every place the tractor was last year is thriving and we have multiple varieties of grass that are about 2'tall now. (I need to trim it) Everywhere we didn't have the tractor is the same dirt. It's night and day. Once I get coverage over all the bare dirt, I'll be moving the tractor over the tall grass and let them tear into it.

    Dan
     
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    hey kathy I woke up thinking that I told you my tractor was 10 X 10, but it's not it's 10 X 7 (took 10 pieces of 1", 10' pvc to make) and holds 25 birds very comfortably. I move it by myself with no wheels with no trouble.
     
  10. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Maryland
    Last year I free-ranged my cornish X. They went into a pen at night only, and during the day had free range of my whole property. They did very well free-ranging. I didn't lose a single one from a heart attack and didn't have a single go lame on me at all. They were still running (yes, actually running) around when they were processed (at 9 weeks). They had feed available pretty much 24/7. This year I'm thinking about putting them in a tractor simply because I don't want my laying hens eating the broiler feed. I'm still undecided on that though.
     

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