Rumors or Real? Cornish Rocks and all the stuff I hear on the Internet

Connie White

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
Cedar Bluff, Alabama
Ok - I might be setting myself up to get flamed by showing this video - BUT I am constantly reading information all over the internet about Cornish Rocks and to date - none of it has been true. Here are my 6 week old chicks defying all I hear! I'm wanting to breed the gals - and it's so overwhelmingly consistent ...what I read on these suckers - but according to the masses - there's no way. So, here are my chicks from a video I made this morning -

Please provide feedback because I know we all have different experiences and I want to make the best decision. Thank any of you who contribute - This is my first group of meat chicks - time will tell I guess but I feel I need to harvest them in 2 weeks! according to the info on the Internet posted by others.

Connie -
You are on the right track. What you mostly hear may be true or NOT... depending on the education, or lack there of (as in monkey hear, monkey do), lazyness ( if my barnyard chickens do OK, then the CornishX will too mentality ), and adhering to following correct protocalls of raising / breeding the CornishX. ( my computer doesn't show the video ).
You might want to watch this video. It’s about how one company breeds the parents of the broilers, Cornish X, Cornish Cross, meat birds, whatever you want to call them. It won’t answer all your questions but if you are going to try it, you might pick out something helpful. Good luck. The second one is a continuation of the first.

Broiler Chicken Videos

Hey Ridgerunner! thank you for the information - btw, I used to live in Rusellville, Ark - one beautiful state and sunset paradise. I watched all of the first part and half of the second and while I agree that getting a 'correct' breeding pair to produce meat birds- nothing could be further from how I raise my fowl. Other than providing the chicks with heat - nothing is artificial - I don't feed mine all the time, and have actually reduced their feed to half since moving them to an outside pen where they can free range. I understand that these Cornish Rock/x are hybrids and what would be best is if I would get the White something rooster along with the Cornish something hens - or I'll look into other alternatives too very soon.

It’s not white something rooster with Cornish something hens. Those chickens have been selectively bred for decades to produce a chicken that reaches butchering age really young and are really efficient in converting feed to meat, very similar to the commercial egg laying hens.

The original stock they were developed from probably did include the Cornish for the breast meat and the White Rock for other characteristics, including the white feathers so you get a pretty carcass when they are plucked, but they long ago ceased to bear much resemblance to either Cornish or Rock. They actually have four different distinct flocks. Each flock produces a specific grandparent to the meat bird. For example, one flock produces the mother of the father of the bird used for meat. Another flock produces the father of the father of the bird actually eaten. The other two flocks produce the parents of the mother of the meat bird. Then you have two flocks that produce the parents of the actual meat bird, with a seventh flock that lays the eggs that are hatched to produce the meat birds. It’s really specialized.

There have been several threads on here about people trying to do what you are talking about. Most are unsuccessful. You have to carefully control how much they eat or they just eat themselves to death. That’s what they have been bred for, to be very efficient at converting feed to meat and to want to eat a lot. They have not been bred to live longer than 8 weeks or so.

Another potential problem is that they may get too big to be able to mate. You may have to learn artificial insemination.

I’m not sure you appreciate the challenge you’ve set yourself. It can be done but I think you will have a steep learning curve. I do wish you the best.
you know - I am beginning to wonder if I don't have Cornish Rocks. I bought these from Tractor Supply and I hear they are notorious for mislabeling birds. I'm pretty sure any white boiler that comes in is called a Cornish Rock - maybe I have one of the breeder groups who - along with the other kind, produces the Cornish rock. wishful thinking?
Well, except for the dna stuff - what you're telling me is what I keep hearing. I don't want any crazy challenge and I don't want to waste meat. I have read a lot of the posts here on the subject - the consequences sound horrifying. The genetics are just unreal - and specialized - thanks for that info - incredible. I guess my next step is to join the 'Kill My Chickens for Food' support group forum.

Thanks so much!
If they are 6 weeks old, and not Cornish X, it will be noticeable in the size difference.
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I was thinking this again both last night and this morning. Yesterday evening I decided to feed them more anticipating they only had two weeks left to be fattened up before heart attacks, broken legs, and all the other things I continue to read. They didn't even get up for the food - they were sitting all over the field - so this morning, I went to let them out of their pen to free range and because I DIDN"T have the camera on them - they came running like airplanes out the area. One actually flew up in the air a couple of feet on his way out - again, they don't run to me for food but go right out and start their free ranging. When they were younger and I'd come up (pre free ranging), they chirp like hell and gather up under my feet - I couldn't even walk, but now - nope - they go out and start eating bugs. MUCH better than my laying hens and Muscovys...who follow me for treats :) So, here are the pictures requested - I don't have anything up against them though to measure how big they are - hopefully the pics will help though. I'm putting a girl and a boy up - I'm not sure what the terminology is for younger meat chicks - pullets? anyway - I hope someone can confirm- with great accuracy - what breed this is so that I can make the best decision. I don't want to lose a bird (early death) that I could eat and I don't want to eat a bird that I could breed for more meat birds.

They look like Cornish X to me, although much much better feathering than mine. Maybe that has to do with your feeding and free ranging habits allowing for a slower growth rate.
Here is one of mine at 7 weeks. They can't seem to keep their skin fully feathered. 20 of them eat about 25-30 cups of fermented feed a day.


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