Dark Cornish broilers
I can tell that everyone's starting to think
about buying chicks for their spring flock because I've heard from
several of you wanting more information about our Dark Cornish
experiment last year. For those of you who weren't following
along, you can read the highlights: why
we chose to raise Dark Cornish broilers and the economics of Dark
Cornish broilers ($2.51
per pound if slaughtered at 12 weeks and even
more expensive if slaughtered at 16 weeks.) Basically, we
concluded that Dark Cornish don't forage nearly as well as we'd hoped
and are very expensive to raise, but that the meat is some of the best
chicken we've ever eaten.
"I raised 40. They took every bit of 20 weeks, some 24 [to reach broiler size].
"Ample pasture and all the feed they could eat. They weren't big feed eaters (my view).
"Biggest rooster I had was 7.5 pounds, [the rest were] anywhere from 5 to 7. Hens were very disappointing 3.5 to 4.5.
"They seemed to reach that size at 16 weeks and didn't seem to get bigger after that."
"I quite like them as hens around the barn, but as you've stated as a meat producing venture it's really not very productive. That being said I really want to cross them with something; I don't mind the extra time if I get a 5 pound hen from the cross at 20 weeks. I'm actually wondering if you or any of your followers may have suggestions for a good cross with Cornish hens (besides a pot)...."
Our homemade chicken waterer keeps your broilers hydrated even on uneven terrain.
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