Question about feeding Cornish Xs

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by suburbanhomesteader, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. I have two feeders for my Cornish Xs and 9 black broilers, and they completely mob it if the feeders ever go empty; I'm afraid someone will get trampled to death.

    Now that I've just lost a Cornish, I'm also concerned that I should be feeding them less these last 2-3 weeks (they hatched 9/25). But if I feed them less, they'll REALLY mob the feeder when I fill it!

    Any thoughts?
  2. Cornish cross will eat and eat and eat and eat its what they are bred to do I would seperate them from your other birds they need to be on a rationed diet so they do not overeat which results in thier hips going out and heart attacks. Right now they are going through thier growth stage they will really start to put on weight. As for the amount of food to give them what I do is fill up thier feeder and after about a half hour remove it if anything is left. I now have 9 cornishX that are about 5 months old very strong weighing a ton and they free range around my farm. Should start getting some really huge eggs from them soon. And if any of them ever start to show signs of becoming lame its off to the soup pot. The last batch I did the females weighed out at 10 1/2 lbs dressed.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
  3. How often do you put food in front of them?

    Would twice a day be enough? Or maybe 6am, 5pm, and 10pm?

    I work 10 hours a day; it would be easier if I could allow them free feed during daylight hours and then withdraw food at night. Do you think that would work? I had hoped to avoid separating the black broilers from the cornish; I have run out of tractors! But, if you think the black broilers or someone could get trampled in the rush to the food, I can see what I can do.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If they are trampling eachother then they are hungry. I'd leave the food out free choice. If you want to pick it up at night, that is an option. People on here swear by the 12 hour on / 12 hour off policy. I've always fred free choice and have never had issues related to food intake and mortality.

    Some of the little buggers are just programmed to eat themselves to death, die of strokes or heart attacks. It will make little difference if the food is in front of them 24 hours versus 12.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Let me add something here. I do not raise broilers in a climate which gets exceedingly hot. I believe some people feel that too much carbohydrate leads to over-heating of the birds which can cause premature death. I have no experience in those kinds of climates.
  6. Quote:I let mine feed once in the morning and then again around early evening no matter how much feed they get they will always want more so there really is no cure for them being in a rush to get to the feed. Mine still do it and they are on a diet of free feed and ranging all day now even stealing food from the cats. I never had them trample anyone but I had them seperated from the rest of the flock till they got past the big growth spurt. Just keep an eye on them are the others eating well or are they being pushed away by the cornish hogging everything? If so seperation may be in order if not then they should be ok.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I would try to space out the feeders more and just take it away at night if you want to do the feed restriction thing. I've never had a problem with my broilers... but I raise them in very small numbers, max 6-8, usually 4, and I don't have hot weather here to do battle with. Some birds just die, you didn't cause it since everyone else is fine. Mine get food 24/7 for 8 weeks.
  8. Sounds like you might need to incrase the feeder space you have, as in the number of feeders or the area they can feed in. I agree some birds just die anyway. Another thing that will help is if you make sure the feeder openings are at the back height of a standing chicken so they can't or don't try and go overtop of a bird already bent down to eat nor can they lay down and eat and have someone run over the top of them.

    I take feed away in the day if the weather is hot. Digestion is alot of work for the gut and work creates heat. These birds don't tolorate heat well at all so adding internal heat to the heat of the day makes for dead birds. Yes when you give them the feed back at night they swarm so for sure if your doing that you need to have way more feeders.
  9. Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

    One of the reason I waited to get them until 9/25 is that it is normally fairly cool here by the end of October. We started October with highs in the mid-90s, but now we're at highs in the mid-70s (although we only had a high of 64 this weekend), and lows in the mid-40's. There were enough warnings on this site about trying to raise Cornish Xs in the heat that I knew I'd have to wait.

    I have the feeders raised at the right height; it's more of a pushing/shoving match, but it only happens when they run out of food. I think the key to Simplicity's big birds is the food restriction, but I also think Greyfield has a point that some are just destined to die earlier than others.

    I do like the idea to get more feeding area; I'll have to move them to a larger tractor. I don't think I was as prepared as I thought I was, for how much space 30 chicks take up! Silkie, isn't it a pain to always be raising chicks? I find they are much more labor-intensive than my hens or my dogs. Also, with so few chicks, I would be afraid I would get attached to them; this bunch of chicks is just a big mass of meat on feet, and no one stands out as a personality. For me to process and eat them, that's probably the way it has to be. That's the same rationale that prevents me from shooting the "house deer"; I have to go scout out locations where deer I don't "know" hang out!

    Just to reiterate other people's comments, this is a wonderful site and I really appreciate ya'll. On evenings when I have no other time to spare, even to check email, I at least check this site!
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I offer my cornish x free choice all day. When I lock down at 6 pm I remove the food until I open up again the following morning around 7 am. They do have plenty of water around the clock.

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