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  #1  
Old 06/28/09, 05:21 PM
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How do I make Cornish X's?

We just butchered our 2 month old Cornish X's. Yummy and HUGE. What breeds do I need to make Cornish X's without constantly having to buy them?

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Old 06/28/09, 06:04 PM
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You can't make them at home. They are a cross of very specially bred chickens that are not available to the general public.

They started out as crossing cornish with white plymouth rocks, but after 60 years of intensive breeding, the birds they use now have very little resemblance to the original breeds.

Several different breeds and crosses were entered into the Chicken of Tomorrow contest (see this video: http://www.archive.org/details/Chickeno1948 ) and the best performers were the cornish crossed with rocks, so those became the chosen broiler breeds.

But I guess that was more info than you were asking for.

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Old 07/01/09, 02:43 PM
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thanks for the link. what is a good breed of chicken that has growth rates similar to cornish x's but that I can breed every year so I don't have to buy the chicks every year?

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Old 07/01/09, 02:59 PM
 
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great question--hope someone answers!

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Old 07/01/09, 03:28 PM
 
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Would anyone want these eating crapping machines around year round ??

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Old 07/01/09, 03:28 PM
 
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Buff Orpingtons and Jersey Giants get large, but you have to wait six months for them to mature. Or, you could try a large, but not huge bird, like Rhode Island Red or Plymouth Rock. Do you like ducks? They will grow large before the RIR or Giants, but have small legs.

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Old 07/01/09, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by laughaha View Post
thanks for the link. what is a good breed of chicken that has growth rates similar to cornish x's but that I can breed every year so I don't have to buy the chicks every year?
There isn't one. Which is why the hybrid crosses were developed. If there were a breed of bird that could come even close to what those highly inbred crosses can do there wouldn't have been any need to create them.

If you really want to produce your own broilers I'd look at New Hampshires or Delawares. They were originally developed as broiler breeds and make nice dual-purpose birds.

But they'll take nearly twice as long to grow out as the modern Cornish X's do and you still won't get as large and nice a carcass.

.....Alan.
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Old 07/01/09, 03:53 PM
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I just got some cornish x's and some Jersey giants. If I keep a couple hens and a roo, will they breed more cornish crosses?? Or is it like a hybrid apple seed?
sorry to sound stupid.

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Old 07/01/09, 04:06 PM
 
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The problem is that the cornish crosses get so huge so fast that they're really not made to live longer than the 8 weeks or so it takes them to get to butchering size. There's no way you could keep a cornish cross to use as a roo, I don't think. He'd be huge and clumsy and probably wouldn't be able to get the deed done. I think the hens, even though they grow slower than the guys, probably still wouldn't make it long enough to lay, although I have heard of people keeping them and them actually laying.

And no, I don't think they breed true.

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Old 07/01/09, 04:10 PM
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cornish X is a hybrid. and the male is really too large in the breast to breed any hen (like the BB tom turkey). The hens can be bred by other roosters, and, my opinion, might be worth a shot to try. After all, their parent birds are bred to be huge as well....you'd at least get something, er, interesting Wouldn't be a cornish X tho. Both parents are good meat birds, anyway....Cornish was the orignal table bird before they developed the crosses. And the white rock is certainly not a shabby table bird.

But in answer to your question, they males can not breed successfully (under normal circumstances) and the resulting chicks would be not the same as their parents...more likely throwing back to grandparents

ETA: I did have a hen that lived over a year. She laid an egg almost every day, was a good momma hen to purchased chicks. I never tried to hatch any of her eggs. She died from heart problems. If you can keep them moving from day 1, they get into a pretty decent shape. I think I read somewhere that if you keep them on a diet early on, high protein, but less than they want to eat, they can grow good bone, but don't get so big so fast. and thus live longer.

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Old 07/01/09, 04:58 PM
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Has anyone ever seen where these birds are bred? It raises alot of q's as to how.....What are the parents? Are they a breed or Cornish? I have heard a.i. is used on the hens. How do they keep the hens alive to lay eggs? What are the Cobb broilers? They are being raised commercially in a hatchery near here. I was thinking it was some kind of a Cornish offshoot as they look very similar. Couldn't find much when Googled.
(Not trying to hijack!)

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Old 07/01/09, 08:02 PM
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Cornish Cross is truthfully and fully named "cornish rock ". They are a cross of cornish roo on a white plymouth rock hen. The strains that of each breed that they use have been culled for years to get the fastest, largest of each breed. The parents ARE normal chickens...just...faster growing and the cornish roo is selected to have a good sized breast.

LINK to the website for the main breeder/owner of patent for Cobb birds. They are used MAINLY in Europe.

eta: in stores, when you see a highpriced tiny bird, and it's called "cornish rock game hen" that's a 1month old (no more than 1lb in size) cornish rock. a month old Cornish X. not a special breed, just a VERY tender cornish rock. There is an even smaller version that up scale restaurants use...can't remember what they call it, but it's only 2 weeks old..supposed to be no more than 8 oz.

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  #13  
Old 07/02/09, 07:28 AM
 
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Wanna grow some of the cornish X's.... You can. We did. the thing to remember tho is they aren't broody at all. They aren't real sucessful breeders at all. But you can. Here is what we did.

Keep the most mobile of your hens and the most mobile of your roosters, Make sure they have good feet and legs. Make sure they are well fethered etc. This is easy as they will be the ones left in the pen after the rest were caught. Start feeding them sparingly at 10 weeks. You don't want them to get too fat. Just give them the tiny amout of food you would give a layer for instance. Let them outside to "forage". This will keep them in top shape and moving good.

They will start laying in 8 months or so. The rooster will do his job. You will get eggs. About 1 every other day. When you get enough to hatch out. do it. About half will be fertile. At least this is how it was for us. Then by summer the hens you saved back will look like heck and never really recover from the stress for the egg laying. You can butcher them after the few weeks it took the babies to grow. They will be huge but also full of fat. So it's a toss up if they are worth it to save. The chicks will grow out fast and get big.


Is it worth it? probably not. Figure in the cost of the grown bird...
about 5 bucks. for a 12-13 pounder. you should save like 4 hens and a rooster. So your at 25 bucks.
To feed them you'll likely need 4 bags of feed at 8 bucks a bag
thats 32 bucks...

So it will cost you about 60 bucks for about 40 or so chickens. Not really worth it. IMHO. But yes it can be done.

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Old 07/02/09, 09:57 AM
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I think I might try this and see if I can't breed them to a Maran's rooster (If I get some). I wouldn't mind a chicken that took a little longer to get up to weight if I could maintain a flock sustainably.

How are Maran's as meat chickens? I LOVE Maran's eggs and if they produce good meat, it may be worth it to try crossing them.

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Old 07/02/09, 10:32 AM
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Interesting info. Good info as these birds are probably patented and if we can't get them as mini (teeny tiny) producers, it would be good to have alternatives as most of us won't stop eating chicken unless we have to go to the grocery store to purchase it.

I had gone to the site about Cobb broilers previously. Not many true details about the breed yet very interesting history time line. The hatchery near here imports mainly to Canada. They deal mainly in Cobb boilers but they are not on the map, now I'm wondering about that......

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Old 07/02/09, 11:16 AM
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Marans were originally bred by the French AS meat birds. They have a nice large carcass, long legs, good meat. The meat itself is quite sweet. They are typically more tender than other dual purpose breeds, but you do need to remember to either cook or freeze IMMEDIATELY before rigor sets in, or let it set in the fridge for a day.

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Old 07/02/09, 11:21 AM
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any hybrid (cross) is going to grow faster and larger than the parent of either
breed. its called hybrid vigor.

this is something I would like to do, some of you may of saw my thread asking
about what crosses produced the best. I know I will most likly not produce
a bird with the speed of growth of the cornish x. Im not shooting for gaints either. just a decent sized faster producing normal chicken.

I saw a show the other day where this woman in her twentys found out she has this disease where she continues to grow it will kill her one day. I belive ts genetic,I tried googling it but I dont remember the details. ok whats that got to do with chickens read on--->

Anyways Im betting thier is a mutant gene or abnormal chromosome in both
lines used for the cornish x. that is not exibited in the true breeding parent lines but it is expressed in the hybrids.
So if you where able to keep a cornish cross rooster alive till mature enough
to breed. you could milk him like they do the broad breasted turkys and use
AI on your chosen lines try to isolate and concentrate the gene or genes in your chosen lines. the cornish cross x (insert breed) will most likly display vigor but not be the freaks that the Cornish x are. of course you will need
a few large samplings or many small ones to find those that exibit the traits
desired. once isolated then you would need to develop the chosen birds back
to a true breeding line concentrating mutant x gene in the gene pool.

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Old 07/02/09, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lada View Post
I think the hens, even though they grow slower than the guys, probably still wouldn't make it long enough to lay, although I have heard of people keeping them and them actually laying.

And no, I don't think they breed true.

I have three Cornish X hens that free range with my other hens. They are about a year or so old now, and lay on average 5 eggs per week - not bad. The males cannot breed naturally - they are too heavy and unbalanced.

I do want to say that my 3 girls were free ranged since they were really young, and so didn't make the stupendous weight that their "hatch-mates" made. I am considering cooping them with a Cochin roo and hatching the eggs, just to see what I get.

I also have some free range "red broilers" that are a goodly size. I have a couple of Buff Orpingtons so am hoping that one of these will go broody soon.

Mary
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Old 07/02/09, 04:11 PM
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I think Marans would be a good choice either purebred or to cross as they do seem to make a decent carcass quickly, and the few hens I have left seem to be better foragers than any of the other breeds I have (at least their egg yolks are the most orange, and when I move the chicken tractors they are the ones attacking the fresh green stuff first). I mentioned in another thread, though, that I've lost two Marans hens to heat-stroke (one this year and one last year), and those are the only chickens I've ever lost to heat. So I'm wondering if they might not be as suitable in hot climates as some other breeds?

Kathleen

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Old 07/02/09, 08:58 PM
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I know what disease you are talking about, Downhome, as my husband has had to have alot of testing for it when he was growing up.....He is fine and ended up being 6'9". I don't remember what the disease is called but it has to do with the tumors on the pituitary gland.

I always wondered if the Cornish X's suffered from their extreme growth like DH did when he was a teenager. He would sometimes complain about pain in his joints/growing pains. The doctors told him he felt the pain due to growing so fast during his teen years. While having the Cornish X's for two months, they never seemed like they were in pain, but then they never went far before taking a break. Maybe growing pains are why they don't move anywhere near as much as normal chickens?

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