White Cornish: Building a Quality, Sustainable Flock for Meat and More.....


Fat Daddy

11 Years
Dec 11, 2010

The White Cornish Flock....

I started raising Cornish a few years ago. A couple friends raised them, one had exhibition quality birds, and I liked the look... I have raise game birds of all kinds for years....I kept 4 kinds of quail, gray and albino chukar, turkey and several breeds of chicken at the time. But in the end it came down to Cornish. I just like the bird....

I do breed toward the SOP and hope to show White Cornish next year, just for grins.... Past the initial investment, it cost no more to raise very good birds than it does hatchery stock. Having said that, I have no delusions of my birds ever being perfect. They are not and that's OK with me. I also always butchered a lot of my birds. A freezer full in the fall is another reason I love the cornish breed. I see no reason to cross them. IMHO, they are a great heritage breed that needs no "X" at all! They are great at 10 weeks on up. Yes they are slower growing than the feed store or hatchery cornish crosses. But they are so much more than the commercial "meat bird" can ever be and a personality the farm.

I have worked my way up to 4 pens, of what I feel are pretty good stock in both type and color. In doing so I had to produce dozens and dozens of birds. Most of which were never expected to make the cut.....

So step one, Hatch all eggs that hit the ground! I built a cabinet bator a few years ago. It works well and stays hot a good part of the year. In fact it stays in my living room most of the time.... (Yes, I am blessed with a very understanding wife....)

At the end of the summer I had several dozen birds to choose from. A spiral breeding program has always been the plan. Quality White Cornish is hard to come by and with the proper program, "new blood' is rarely needed..... Here is a link to a out line of this.....


Before We locked down the genetics of my flock with a spiral breeding program. I wanted to introduce at least one other source of unrelated birds. These had to be at least equal quality in type as my own. By the end of August. I had raised close to 50, 6+ month old birds. We had 4 different pens, to choose from, just like the one below.... We kept the best two pullets, the best cockerel, and his twin for a back up. Just in case...... The rest would go to build up a good friends flock, and my freezer..... That's my 90lb Rottweiler in the back ground and the close pullet is in a cut off 50 gal drum....

Here is the "Chosen" cockerel from the birds I hatched.
"Pen A" cockerel

Then found a gentleman in Oregon with fine birds. long ways from Ks but they made the trip just fine. I got a trio of his stock. For what we'll call "pen B".... The birds like to hang out under the roost in this coop. (The "dirty" pullet in the pic is snow white. But she was "bombed" by one of her flock mates. ;-) ... )

Pen B cockerel:

I also got a extra cockerel from this gentleman in Oregon to cover two quality pullets from eggs I had bought back in march from a unrelated source.... This is group will be pen C.....

Pen C: cockerel:

Pen C pullets:

Well that builds out my three trios for the spiral breeding program. At the beginning of this very long thread, I mentioned a 4th pen..... well its "Dark Cornish" I like them too.....

But now what the ---- am I gonna do with all these extra birds that are too old to be fryers??? Its time to build a plucker and butcher some birds!

Now hold up here, those are big birds!...... I like chicken and noodles and soup as much as the next guy. But two dozen birds is a lot of soup!!!! How about some chicken sausage? yeah that may work out..... This is a simple but tasty chicken breakfast sausage that worked out great.

EDIT TO ADD: Sausage recipe is 5 lbs of meat, 2 Tbls Kosher salt, 1 Tbls rubbed sage, 1 Tbls black pepper, 1 Tbls red pepper flake.....

I think I can keep this go'n for a very long time...... Bill
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Thank you for your opinions! I appreciate the input. We plan to hatch most of the eggs laid again this coming year. Culling very hard toward the SOP. Its my hope to hatch birds what will be my first attempt at exhibition. I'll be happy if we simply are'nt too embarrassed by our stock. The best part is, I'll get plenty of very good 16 week old birds for my freezer! Im putting together one large grow-out pen/coop now.... We'll keep the best two hens from each pen. Then add them to the breeding pen they came from in the fall when.... I also plan to keep a few of the best trios to sell or gift, I have no illusion of my birds ever making money. Thats not why I raise them. I just really like the bird. If you've ever tried to buy good LF White Cornish, its nearly impossible..... That should'nt be the case. Its my hope that we can help make breeders of good whites more common! Bill
I started getting fertile eggs from the white cornish pens around the first part of march. I set most of them.... The chicks hatch out anywhere from yellow, like most white birds, to blueish silver...... All feather out snow white. Had hoped to hatch 100. But I stopped after I had 75. Thats about all I can brood out. I plan to keep the best 8 and move the rest to colder quarters at 16 weeks or so..... So far, project is on track and moving forward.


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