Supplementing Cornish X Feed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by antiqsolo, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. antiqsolo

    antiqsolo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2016
    Hi all,

    What I mean by my title is this: considering the requirements of the Cornish Cross breed, is there a general rule of thumb about what percentage grain their food intake must be? I'm planning an "animal garden" this year, to supplement the pig's feed as well as to treat my laying flock. I was wondering, though, if flock of Cornish Cross (finished up around August) could be supplemented with fresh veggies, fruits and bread? And if so, how much of their feed can I replace with these things, without drastically messing with the amount of protein/ nutrients etc. that they need to take in, or slowing down their growth?

    If you know of another thread where this is discussed, please redirect me; I just haven't been able to find any information on the subject that was clear enough.
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    No more than 10%. You have to remember, they are very young birds, with ridiculously fast growth rates. Without a properly balanced diet, they can suffer horrific effects. Bread is basically empty calories. Fruits and veggies are good, but need to be kept limited. The best thing for them is plenty of space and getting them moving. Once they are over 4 weeks old, limiting their feedings to just twice a day, and allowing them access to forage can greatly reduce the risks of bone and cardiovascular issues. Make them get up and work for their calories.
  3. antiqsolo

    antiqsolo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2016
    Thank you so much [​IMG] This is my first year raising chickens in general, and I don't have anyone to ask about these things besides the feed companies (who say not to supplement with anything extra...) and the internet. It's crazy how much information is out there about Cornish Cross, but every time I have a question, Google never seems to know the answer [​IMG]
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The thing to keep in mind is protein. These young birds put on a tremendous amount of muscle in a very short time. Muscle is made of protein. Our brains say "fruits and veggies are good"....and they are, but they're low protein. So, feeding a lot of them basically dilutes the overall amount of protein your birds take in in a day. They may still be perfectly healthy, but they're not going to have as much muscle mass gained as fast.

    If you feed a higher protein feed, like turkey starter, you can offset the percentage you lose by feeding more fruits and veggies.

    or, if you want to have your birds grow a bit slower, you can feed more fruits and veggies. Some folks are okay with that, some want to get them weight sooner. That's your choice.

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