Thinking about keeping CornishX past "expiration date"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by doubleatraining, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Franklinton, NC
    I have 2 small CornishX that survived from my last batch. They are 11 weeks old next week and not nearly butchering size. I MIGHT get 2.5-3lbs dressed out of them. They are very healthy, active, love to forage, love to run around, and aren't disgusting eaters like past batches have been. I'm wondering if this means I should try to keep them. I have a harem that is short a few hens and I could put them in there with a Barnevelder rooster.

    I understand the risks. I understand that they might start doing poorly....if that is the case I will process them.

    I also have read some interesting stories on here about CornishX doing really well past the expiration date and even laying eggs.

    I would just like to hear your thoughts/opinions/feelings on the subject. I do plan on processing/culling if they look uncomfortable or aren't doing well anymore.
  2. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    What is it gonna hurt? If they stop being happy and healthy, eat them.
    That is what I would do.

  3. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    I think you've thought it out well enough and touched all the bases! If you're willing to cull them if necessary, I don't see anything wrong with it, although it may make it more difficult for you emotionally once you get more attached to them.

    I had a batch of Red Broilers that grow slower/don't get as big as the Cornish X, but they're still meat birds. I pardoned the smallest girl, who was much smaller than the others but is still much larger than my other chickens, and put her in with my laying flock. She's the most needy, vocal, friendly, willing to be mated with (thinks we're the roosters) out of all of the chickens and she's doing well so far. If she has any complications, like you mentioned - I'll cull her. It would be very difficult as we've come to love Big Bertha and she's now best friends with the lowest chicken on our pecking order, little Milly (Mille Fleur d'Uccle bantam) and she finally has a big friend to keep her warm at night! Milly was almost killed by the rest of the flock and isn't allowed to sleep in the coop anymore. We're in the process of building these two their own little coop. [​IMG]

    To top it off - Bertha laid her first egg yesterday - a beautiful light coffee colored egg, which was delicious!

    Good luck to you and let us know how everything goes!

    Click on the thumbnail to see the larger image:

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  4. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Quote:I totally agree - it's not that they have an expiration date so much as specific handling instructions - which include not letting them get so big they fall over dead from the heft of their own chubby bodies [​IMG] If yours are still small and active, as long as they are healthy, why not? The only downside I could see is that they would get possibly tougher with age as any chicken does...but hey...I'm always game for experimentation done humanely...if you do keep them, keep us posted [​IMG]
  5. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Well, lets think about this...

    you had a batch of birds to raise for human consumption.

    you butchered the fast growing, heavy muscled ones already.

    you now have two runts, who are just a few weeks away from living potentially twice as long as they should have...

    which means, they are twice as slow growing, or half as muscular...

    do you think, they should be allowed to reproduce? I mean, the whole goal of making meat birds, is to make them meaty, fast growing, or atleast faster than normal...

    Genetic selection usually works the opposite, keep the best-- eat the rest...

    you have two rests....

    but then again, it still might be neat.. you might accidentally have a parent stock bird there???
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Or maybe these two just aren't CX? Could you post pics of your two survivors? They just don't sound like CX to me...they sound more like White Rocks.
  7. doubleatraining

    doubleatraining Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2011
    Franklinton, NC
    Kfacres, actually these 2 survivors are the BEST of the batch....they are the only ones that made it past 4 weeks without keeling over for no reason. I have tons of posts about it. I ended up putting them with some other chicks I had and I think that kept them SUPER active instead of sitting around like they normally would. Now they stand to eat, forage, have full healthy coats, waddle quickly where ever they go, and are super friendly.

    I'll take some pictures of them tomorrow. I put them in the coup with their new group tonight. They waddled to the corner and are sleeping. LOL

    Even if they aren't your normal CX it would still be neat to try to ad some genetic diversity to my DP stock.
  8. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    I had several from one batch that were really small when it was time to butcher. I kept 12 8 week olds out of the batch. Six were bigger and were kept two weeks then given to a customer. The rest were kept until I butchered the next batch, they grew much larger, but not huge. Those six dressed out at around 4.75 to 5 lbs. and they were fine. None died and none had any health issues. Keep them to they are butchering size.

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