Raising Cornish cross chickens can put meat on your table faster than any other livestock. In just a few weeks you can fill your freezer with broilers that are tastier and better for you than anything you could buy at the supermarket.
The Cornish Cross chicken — also known as Jumbo Cornish Cross, Broiler, Cornish X, Cornish-Cross or Cornish/Rock — is a cross between commercial strains of white Cornish and White Rock chicken breeds. The result is a succulent chicken with soft, pliable skin, and meat that’s tender enough to prepare by any method of cooking.
Cornish Cross chickens make outstanding meat birds for these reasons:
- They grow and feather rapidly.
- They efficiently convert feed into meat.
- They are broad breasted.
- They reach harvest weight in 6 to 7 weeks.
- Chicks of the same age and sex grow at the same rate.
- They have white feathers for clean picking.
- The edible portion is approximately 75% of live weight.
By six weeks of age, Cornish Cross pullets can reach 4½ pounds and cockerels 6 pounds. They grow so fast they must be harvested no later than 10 weeks of age, before they develop bone ailments or heart failure resulting from their excessively rapid rate of growth.
Under careful management, these chickens consume only about two pounds of feed for each pound of weight gained. They have fewer feathers to pluck and no underlying hairs to singe, making them easier and faster to pick clean than other types of chickens raised for meat.
If you’ve never raised Cornish Cross broilers and are ready to give it a try, you might want to include in your order Raising Cornish Cross Chickens for Meat. 32-page booklet describes how to avoid common problems and successfully grow Cornish cross chickens.
And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop.
Gail Damerow, author, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.