Why the White Cornish?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by homesteader, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. homesteader

    homesteader Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2007
    I've learned that the White Cornish is the sire of choice for Cornish Rock X's, and possibly for the Freedom Ranger meat birds as well. Can anyone tell me what it is about the White Cornish that make them such a popular meat sire?

    My wife and I are thinking about trying to raise a version of our own meat birds. We know they won't be as good as the ones you can buy. We're figuring there's some kind of hybid vigor associated with the Cornish that unlocks when it sires, but why is it always a terminal sire? Does it matter which breed of hen it's mated to? I know the Freedom Rangers are probably Barred Rock or Speckled Sussex hens.

    Thanks.
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I believe the FR's are double crosses; with the cornish used as the terminal sire on a 'hybrid' from sussex, rock, etc. At least that's my guess looking at the plumage.

    Why white Rocks anc Cornish? Becuase the industry demands white feathered meat chickens to make dressing easier. To us in the backyard, it's irrelevant. I even have customers tell me that black feathered birds taste better. I don't think there is any difference, but if it sells meat chickens I'm 100% in agreement with my customer. I use a Dark Cornish as my sire.

    Finally, why the Cornish as the sire? Do you own any? Look at how erect their stance is. This means the breast measured from top to bottom is very long. Then look at their legs. They stand very very far apart, meaning the breast is very wide. Now a pure Cornish is a fine meat bird, but the breast is a little thin in thickness. So you put one on a different breed with a plumper breast and you get a long, thick and wide breast. It's your ideal meat chicken.

    For those of you keeping track, my breeding pen currently contains 1 Dark Cornish rooster, 2 Black Sex Link hens and 2 Freedom Rangers (gourmet blacks). I am collecting eggs to incubate now, so should have a clutch ready to go by Monday. I'm also getting 3 eggs per day from 4 hens, so there is no truth that FR's are 'sterile'.
     
  3. homesteader

    homesteader Out Of The Brooder

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    So what's a good thick breasted breed I could cross with a Cornish rooster? I'd love to keep 1 or 2 cornish roosters to breed my own meat birds, but I need to know what breed of hen would be good. Right now our flock consists of Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks.
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Honestly any hen works. I'd start with the Barred Rocks as your baseline since I'm confident you'll be pleased. [​IMG]
     

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