Hatching year round.
The Cornish Cross Broiler Chickens we offer for sale are the same type of chicken that the commercial poultry industry uses to produce the chicken meat for sale at grocery stores across the country. These meat chickens are very large, with all white feathers and red combs. They have strong looking, thick, yellow legs and feet. They are very fast growing, probably the fastest growing of all chickens.
Production: The Cornish Cross Broiler is the most efficient broiler or meat chicken available. At six weeks old, males can weigh 6 pounds and females 5 pounds. Males should gain about one pound each week; females grow a little slower. Although these big, slow-moving birds are too vulnerable in a completely free range environment, they can do quite well when raised in chicken tractors and other well-protected on-ground situations. They do not fly and can be contained with low fencing. These are the same type of broilers that Joel Salatin raises so successfully.
Caring for your Cornish Cross Broiler Chicks:
Coccidiosis Spray is available for Cornish Cross Broiler chicks only. As an option, we can spray your chicks to help protect against Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a common issue when raising these birds, and probably one of the top reasons for failure. The spray is absorbed through the skin. If you select this option and the spray is applied, do not feed your flock medicated feed. Although the medicated feed will not harm the birds, it will counteract the spray. The sprayed chicks may have a dye on them, which will wear off in time. Whether or not you choose the Coccidiosis Spray, the need for dry, clean bedding cannot be overemphasized.
Cornish Cross Broilers grow very fast, and that doesn't leave room for many mistakes. Every aspect of their lives is condensed. Be sure that they have access to clean water constantly and that you watch and adjust the height and amount the waterers hold according to your birds' growth.
Feed is also very important. Make sure that every day counts positively toward their optimal growth and health. Use a high quality and dependable food, that is fresh and not at all moldy. We recommend using a 21% protein chick starter until your Cornish Cross Broilers are four weeks old. Then transition them to a 20% protein broiler developer until they are eight weeks old. Then, transition them again to a 17% protein finisher from 9 weeks old to processing/market.
Sometimes customers have experienced leg problems with Cornish Cross Broilers; this is usually the result of the birds growing too quickly. One way to combat this problem is to avoid free feeding them. We suggest feeding them once a day and giving them enough feed so that it is consumed completely within 4 - 5 hours. Cornish Cross Broilers don't always know when to stop eating, and if you give them constant access to food, their bones may not keep up with their body weight.
Genetics: Many customers are looking to recreate or breed their own Cornish Cross Broilers by utilizing our Cornish chickens bred to our Plymouth Rock chickens. However, the offspring of this mix will not be the same as these Cornish Cross Broiler chicks. Also, Cornish Cross Broilers are hybrids, and so if two are bred together, they will not produce the same high-quality chicks as themselves. They will also probably be too large by the time they reach sexual maturity to breed naturally. The Cornish Cross Broilers we offer have been scientifically bred for many years by scientists to produce this highly efficient production bird.
Cornish Game Hens: Cornish Game Hens are female Cornish Cross broilers that are processed when they are four-five weeks old at about 2 to 2.5 pounds. At this age, they will be a tender, compact chicken that is excellent for roasting. Feeding these hens a higher protein broiler ration (21-23% protein), from start to finish will help in achieving plumper hens.
Temperament: Cornish Cross Broilers are docile and calm birds. They are not very active in general and will spend much time especially after 3-4 weeks of age, sitting on the ground. Litter and flooring will need to be kept dry and clean so that the birds do not develop blistering and bruising on the breast. They do not do well in a completely free range environment and are not good at avoiding predators.
Body Type: Cornish Cross Broilers are very heavy, muscular, and pugnacious-looking birds. They have large, thick legs and a very wide and deep breast. These are wide and broad birds in general, with legs spaced quite far apart. When viewed from above, they have an almost heart-shaped appearance.