Why should YOU raise Cornish Cross Broilers this summer?
Have you ever wondered what all the hype was about the Cornish Cross Broiler, and what benefits these chickens might be able to offer you? Well, you are about to find out! First, to all of you who have already started raising your Cornish Cross broilers, you know what all the hype is about, but I think you will still enjoy reading some great information about them.
The Cornish Cross Broiler is the best meat chicken available. They gain weight rapidly and have a good feed to weight ratio. Most of our country enjoys the delicious, and tender meat of this breed on a regular basis. Whether you are a first-time homesteader, someone who is looking to live a greener lifestyle, someone who just wants to know where their food is coming from or even a small farmer, the Cornish Cross Broiler is for you. Here are some interesting, and incredible facts about the Cornish Cross Broiler. Males can reach a full 6 pounds, and females can reach 5 lbs, in just six weeks! (Cornish Cross Broilers are typically processed between six and nine weeks of age) They are easy to raise in any climate. They also are easily adaptable and do well confined in a barn, raised in a coop, or free ranging to their heart’s desire. The Cornish Cross are very sweet and docile birds, but they are also very much intended to be a meat bird. Their friendliness will ensure you enjoy them until the time comes to process.
My interest in the Cornish Cross starting growing as I began to hear all of the stories from Purely Poultry’s wonderful customers. I started asking customers questions about the last order of Cornish Cross they purchased from us, and how they enjoyed their birds. I heard everything from, “We are processing them in 6 weeks, and they gain weight the fastest,” to “I have named every single bird and free range them daily.” Recently I received a call from Jackie, and she proceeded to tell me how she used a chicken tractor to help her birds not only gain weight, but stay healthy, happy, and still get a fair amount of exercise. Her largest bird was over 10.5 pounds at butcher, and she said he tasted fantastic. This is Jackie’s 4th season purchasing Cornish Cross Broilers from us, and we truly appreciate her business and advice!
Getting started with Cornish Cross is fun and easy. I bet by now you are wondering what you need to get going with your own chicks! First things first, you will want to be prepared for your chicks before they arrive at your local post office. We recommend our Chick Starter Kit if you are a first timer or even a seasoned farmer who needs some new supplies. It includes your heat lamp, the heat lamp bulb, two one-quart jars which fit on the included feeder and water base, a thermometer, Gro-Gel to give to your new chicks when they arrive, and also electrolytes to help keep your chickens happy and healthy! We also carry any brooding supplies you will need individually, in case you just need one or two things to finish preparing for your chicks. You will also need an area to brood your chicks inside of. I have seen people use anything from a little plastic children’s pool to an old water tank that has been converted into a brooder. We do offer a Chick Brooding Kit to help you get started as well. Each brooding kit is suitable for up to 15 chicks and is 3 feet in diameter when you set it up. It also includes a place to hang the heat lamp over your chicks. The thermometer will be your best friend for the first several weeks, as the chicks need warmer temperatures when they arrive, as they are shipped on the same day they hatch. Our Chick Care Guide is very useful in preparing for new chicks, and will give you all of the basic knowledge you need to get started.
The most important thing to ensure the optimal growth of your Cornish Cross Broiler is their feed. We recommend starting out with a high-quality chicken starter crumble for the first five weeks, and then switching them over to either a grower or broiler feed from five weeks until butcher. We carry chick starter feed, and we also offer a chick grower feed that is Soy Free and Non-GMO. Any of these choices would be ideal for this breed. Due to their incredible feed to weight conversion rates, it is important after the first week to limit their availability to food. We highly encourage allowing them 12 hours with feed followed by 12 hours without daily until processing. We also suggest keeping your feeders and waterers high enough to ensure they will not be able to stand in them, but not too high to inhibit them from eating or drinking as much as they would like. Water is also imperative for the health of the Cornish Cross Broiler. They need fresh water daily, and to always have access to water at all times. Dehydration is a significant stress for this breed. During the hot months of the summer, you might choose to consider adding one tablespoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar or a trace mineral salt to each gallon of water. This will help to improve hydration and digestion as well.
Now that you know exactly how to get started with the Cornish Cross Broilers, what are you waiting for? As always, we are happy to hear from you whether you call us, chat us, or email us! We are here to answer any questions you may have or assist you in getting an order placed. We LOVE to hear from our customers! If the Cornish Cross Broiler isn’t for you and you are looking for other great meat birds, check out our Black Free Range Broilers, Red Broilers, or maybe our GMO-Free, Free Range Broilers are a better option for you.
Want to learn more about processing your own chickens, or maybe you are just interested in learning how it is done? Stay tuned for the next blog post! I will be reviewing the movie, “How to Process Poultry. A Complete Guide: Start to Finish”, and will tell you all about it next week!