I am looking to raise my own meat chickens for the first time this year. I have raised other breeds for eggs and pets. From what I've read, the ideal meat bird is a Cornish/Rock cross. I'm assuming they mean a Cornish crossed with a white Plymouth Rock. Remember, this is my first time doing it, so I'm learning. My first question is, could I cross a Cornish to a Barred Rock and still get a good meat bird, and would they mature relatively quickly? My second question is could I use a White Laced Red Cornish, or does it have to be a dark Cornish? My only reason for asking is actually silly. I simply don't like the looks of the routinely used birds. And I'd like to keep the Barred Rocks around a bit.