thinking about Cornish X.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by vtsarahb, May 14, 2009.

  1. vtsarahb

    vtsarahb Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    I started thinking about raising my own meaties recently... I think I would start out with 25 Cornish X (McMurray Jumbo Cornish X, to be specific). I've read on here that they are messy and nasty up until butchering time..... but just how gross are they? Do they burn through feed? Anybody have any experience with these particular birds?

    I just want to make sure I'm not getting in over my head here. Thanks! [​IMG]

  2. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    I bought a dozen Cornish Cross chicks a few days ago. Typically, when I get chicks they stay in a pen in the house for 3-4 weeks before they go outside. These guys smelled so bad that they went outside 3 days after I got them. They smelled worse than the ~20 chicks we hatched last year ever smelled in their 3-4 weeks inside.

    This is my first experience with meat birds. I had sort of dismissed the stink factor -- how much smelly substance can 12 chicks who are less than a week old produce? -- which seems to have been a mistake on my part. They may not be producing larger volumes, but what they do produce seems much more potent!

    I'm guessing it must have something to do with their rate of food intake and conversion. But, it's just a guess.
  3. vtsarahb

    vtsarahb Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    hmm... that doesn't sound too good [​IMG]

    I was thinking that if I got some cornish chicks during the summer, I could raise them out in my shed... hopefully the smell would not be so overpowering that it would stink up the whole yard. Any other reasons I should think twice about this? Thanks [​IMG]
  4. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Quote:I know people that raise them in their barns, and just keep adding straw. Personally, I can't even imagine how smelly that would be. I put mine (50-75 birds) in a movable pen that I move once or twice a day, and even then, I occasionally consider how stinky things get.

    I don't want to talk you out of raising them, but keeping them clean and dry in total confinement can take a lot of work. Plus, if your shed gets too hot, it could kill them as they get older (6+ weeks).

    My solution was to somehow move them outside. Then I read "Pastured Poultry Profit$" and learned even more. I don't want to sound preachy, but I don't think I could ever raise meat chickens indoors. My layers spend the whole winter indoors, but they are not meat chickens.
  5. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Once you have the meat, you'll learn to put up with the stink. I'm totally put off by store chicken now.
  6. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    I totally agree with Max. Once you have a meal of your home raised meat chickens, store bought is a thing of the past. Use pine shavings and change daily (at least partially) and get them outdoors as soon as temps permit. Maybe start with 5 instead of 25, see how it goes.[​IMG]
  7. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    I keep reading about how stinky the Cornish X are and I have no idea what people are talking about. I've never started them in the house either. I buy my meaties in batches of 25. I put them in a twelve foot square box stall bedded with pine shavings. I start them inside a cardboard circle about five feet in diameter and 18 inches high. I hang a heat lamp over the middle and adjust the height as needed. The cardboard ring is removed in two or three weeks or so. More shavings are added as needed when the bedding starts to get damp or looks dirty. The stall is not cleaned until after the chickens are processed. Our chickens produce very little odor with this system. If your chickens stink, my guess is that there are too many chickens in the pen and/or the bedding is wet and/or dirty.

  8. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    We did our first 6 cornish X today, and the stink was totally worth it! In 8 weeks, the biggest was 5 pounds dressed. I kept them in the house for about 3 weeks, and just changed their wood shavings daily. It wasn't bad, but next time I'll start them out in the small building where these guys grew out. The next order comes the week of June 29, and I'm ready to do it all again!

    They're definitely worth it!
  9. mxpres

    mxpres Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    I did my first three cornish yesterday,they do eat more.and poop more,and grow faster then any other meat bird,I have three more to do saturday,use pine shavings and when they get stinky or dirty just add an inch or so over what you have down,it does make a difference when you add fresh shavings.I will raise more next time,I started with eight.lost two early in the game,I started low to get the feel of it and enjoyed problem mxpres
  10. jaku

    jaku Songster

    They are only bad when you compare them to other chickens, which have little smell, and pretty much raise themselves. They do eat a TON of food, but it's well worth raising them!

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