Self-sustaining meaties question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Kezzie, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Hi, all!

    I am getting my first chicks early next week. I have ordered mostly layers but have filled out the order with Cornish X's. The more I read, the more I'm leaning towards getting Dark Cornish instead and perhaps maintaining a self-sustaining meat flock.

    I would love to hear from those who have raised one or the other (or both) as to the differences in growth, taste etc.

    Also, if I did want to breed, do you think they should be pure Dark Cornish or should I cross with another breed for a better meat bird? The only other English bird I'm getting is a Red Cap, which is supposed to be a good dual-purpose bird. What do you think about that cross?

    Thanks for your patience with all the newbie questions! [​IMG]

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Your Cornish X will eat the house down from the time you get them until ready for dispatch. They are usually ready by 8 weeks old and should be 5 - 7 pounds each by that time. They don't often live very long as they grow so fast their internal organs give out or their legs can't hold their weight any longer and they become crippled. Breeding them won't give you the same chicks as the parent stock as they are a cross bred hydrid. Very few birds you create in your own backyard will grow and be what you see in the cornish X and the commercial chickens in your grocery store. These birds have been selected over decades of selective breeding to be the hulking meat birds we know of today as the lowly plump chicken int he grocery store meat case.

    One issue with the birds you need to be aware of - the poop level is over the top. You won't believe the amount of poop you will be shoveling out weekly and sometimes daily. Get some hipboots and be ready with plenty of clean bedding.
  3. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Well, I ended up switching my order at the last minute. I swapped out the 7 Cornish X's for Dark Cornish. They only had males which is fine for this order as I'm not sure if I want to breed them yet or not.

    I have read several threads on the Dark Cornish but am still interested in others' opinions on the breed and on crossing with other breeds.
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We have raised Cornish Cross and Dark Cornish.... We no longer do the cross. The cross are the way to go if you want to fill your freezer no doubt. Taste wise the cross was better than store bought but the DC's are much better.

    We haven't mixed ours with any other breeds, they are just fine for us the way they are.

    Steve in NC

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by