What breeds when crossed are the closest to the Cornish X

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Germaine_11.20, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    I have White Rocks and just bought Dark Cornish. If I breed the two and hatch out the eggs will that get me close to the Cornish X type "meatie" birds?

    Do I breed the Dark Cornish Roo to the White Rock Hen or vise versa?

    I heard that Dark Cornish do not lay many eggs so I thought it best to breed the DC Roo to the White Rock Hen. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    I had a very similar question about a month ago. There's quite a few threads here at BYC on this issue.

    The repeating themes seem to be the following:


    The Cornish X is a cross between a White Cornish and White Rock.

    You CANNOT just buy a batch of White Cornishes and a batch of White Rocks and cross them and expect to achieve the same results as the hatchery Cornish crosses.

    Why?

    Well I guess the hatcheries have selectively bred the cornishes and white rocks to grow very fast and have a high food conversion ratio. They don't let this parent stock get out to normal folks like us. You have to be a breeding operation to get parent stock and you'd have to be set up to handle thousands of birds to get the parent stock.

    The real key to this whole situation is the grandparent stock. That is the birds that are putting out the batches of chicks that go to the hatcheries to become the parent stock for the Cornish Crosses.

    I really encourage you to experiment with your own breeding program. Be very detailed and gather as much data as you can to help you selectively breed your stock. There is a BYC member that is working on something similar to what you propose with the Dark Cornish bird. A quick search will lead you to those posts.

    I hope to be starting my own breeding project within the next year and I'd like to get it organized to the point where anyone in the county can follow a set plan and contribute to the selective breeding process. I want the focus to be on having parent and grandparent stock available to common folks and not held under lock and key by a corporation. Although many will disagree, I think it's a huge disservice to our society to have such a wonderful resource as the Cornish cross not readily available to common people to grow themselves.

    It's very analogous to the old saying, "If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day....If you teach him to fish, he'll eat forever." In this case, the large corporation are locking the common man into having to get "the fish" by purchasing the final product. My goal is to teach the common man "how to fish" by offering the parent stock and grandparent stock to the masses.

    If this interests anyone, please PM me.

    Dan
     
  3. My Little Sister's Farm

    My Little Sister's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2008
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Do you really want your chickens to taste like commercial chickens though? I'd go with your dual purpose breeds or anything else just for the tastiness. The cornish x at the feed store and mcmurray's don't taste like that much either. If you're going to pay more to grow it your self and invest the time in processing it, at least make a better product than the flaccid cutlets at Walmart.

    Your best bet is to get freedom rangers or when you decide on a new breed, pick a dual purpose. You'd save a lot of money and time over the course of a lifetime rather than trying to figure out what has taken 3 generations of people to get "right" for the commercial industry. If you can call that getting it right. Cook up your current crosses and call it good, they will be meals of champions, nutrition and tastiness.

    ***

    There is a catch-22 to breeding cornish crosses. Your parent stock has to have just the right genetics and you have to have just the right feeding plan to be sure your breeders don't get to bulky to make it to laying age. And once they do, they are bred for their male characteristics, so you don't get the egg laying ability of a normal hen, you get that comparative to a broody hen (stop and don't really want to go). Her body is not set up for laying 200 eggs a year, maybe she's able to do 75.

    Commercial breeding operations are not just 3 generations, there are parent stock birds under lock and key 14 generations out. They have to analyze everything. Test and do ratios, lots of math, lots of science. If it weren't for beef by-products in their feed, there is no way the chicken in the store would be affordable with the cost of all the analyzing that goes into creating a breeding program like this. (Not that I think their feed is the key, but my feed bill is a lot higher per lb you can be sure.)
     
  4. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    Thank you both. I am really only wanting these for my own personal consumption and ease.
    I have raised the cornish x and really did not like their habits. So I am fine with the fact that mine won't be exactly like them.
    What I am looking for is the best of both breeds put into one.
    Meaty breasts, fast growing-but I want a real bird.
    Also I don't want to be forced to go elsewhere to obtain this. I did look at the Freedom rangers, but again they are a bird that you have to buy everytime you want to raise some fryers or broilers.
    I would like to have the option of just incubating 10-20 whenever my freezer is getting low.
    And I am fine with it taking longer to grow out and butcher. I am not overly concerned about the feed ratio, I have some breeds just for their sheer beauty.
    I will most likely continue to have both the white rocks and the dark cornish seperate to keep them pure and then have a small group together for the eggs of the ones I wish to hatch out and raise for meat.
    Last week I butchered one of my RIR's. He must be a production because he was scrawny even though he looked big. But he is tasty!
    Also, parent and grandparent stock would be wonderful to have so that others could raise their own also.
    Why this isn't more of a topic I don't know. Maybe we are too used to just buying chicks. I want the freedom to not have to do that.
    Thank you both for all your great input.
     

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