Meat Chickens

The term ‘Meat Chickens’ always makes me chuckle a little bit.  When I was little, I remember visiting my Uncle’s house.  He had meat chickens in hanging cages in his barn.  When he told me they were meat chickens, I thought he meant they were chickens that ate meat… and that’s why he had to keep them separate from the others. 🙂

But over the weekend, Chick Days started at Rural King.  We loaded up the boys and headed down there.  The boys were super excited getting to see all the chicks and rabbits they had out.  We ended up picking us up 17 Cornish X’s (Cornish Cross).  We had originally planned on getting 30 but 17 was all they had at the moment.  They said they’d be getting their BIG shipment of various chicks this coming weekend – about a thousand!  So we might be making another trip back.  This is our first experience with meat chickens so we’ll see how this goes…

cornishx
cornishx cornishxThe chicks are back in the kiddie pool in our basement for the time being.  It is much too cold for them outside – temps were well below zero AGAIN last night after taking the wind into account.  I hope that it warms up some so that they can go outside and roam around in the grass.  Although Matt told me snow and ice is coming this weekend.  Ugh!  Winter just can’t seem to let go.

cornishx cornishx cornishxIt’s amazing to see how fast they are growing!  It’s been 4days and I can tell they’ve gotten bigger.  When I was reading up on this particular breed, one article said it best by saying they were ‘genetically programmed to eat’.  I do not keep food available 24/7 for them – I believe that’s how they get their health problems (broken legs, heart attacks, lethargy, etc)  But when I do feed them – Holy Cow… the word ‘savage beast’ comes to mind.  I stand there in awe watching them eat because they just inhale their food.  I guess when you have a 2-3mo lifespan you better soak up what you love to do!  In their case… EAT!

Have any of you ever had Cornish X’s?  Would love hear about your experience with them!

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3 comments

  1. I will be trying some of these this year too. The more feed you leave them the faster they will get to butchering weight, but like you said that might lead to health problems. From what I understand they normally don’t live long enough to experience the health problems. Your chicks will soon be big enough to jump out of the pool, they grow so fast. I look forward to watching your progress.

    • You’re right, it won’t be long before they are jumping out of the pool. When I go down there, they do jump around and flap their wings. I noticed this morning how close they are getting to the top. Looks like they might be moving to the barn sooner than expected…

  2. This will be our third year raising meat chickens. We tried the old heritage buff orpington breed the first year and tried the Cornish x’s the next year and hands down the Cornish x’s are the way to go! They bulk up way more meat and so much quicker! We love growing our own food!

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