Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cornish Cross (The Way to Go)

Sex-link chicks
I tried Barred Rock and Buff Orpingtons last year because I hadn't learned my lesson the first time. That being years ago. Maybe I have a poor memory but somehow I thought if I went down the same road only with slightly different companions, I'd get a different result. Nope, dual purpose breeds cost me more as they didn't produce as many eggs other breeds and the meat took a long time to put on their forever scrawny frames.

It isn't as if I hadn't learned the same lesson with sheep.  There might be some breeds touted as dual purpose breeds but they are simply sheep that don't produce a wool worthy of my spinning wheel or meat I'd bother to take the time to process myself. Not a second time that is for yes, I've tried it. Sheep in particular have a poor meat to waste ( bone, guts, skin, etc.) percentage in comparison to pigs or beef making it a bit of a luxury to eat. 

 Let's face it. In this economy, and that to come, we not only will need to be more self-sufficient, we'll need to guard our money more closely to get more for our buck.

It was where I was trying to head last year but got lost. I wanted to breed my own chickens for meat and eggs within my space confines. Hence, I needed a dual purpose breed to do the trick. Only they don't. Oh I tried crossing several breeds different ways but ended up with the same results. Too much money put into feed for the amount of eggs or meat produced. Self-sufficiency in producing my own meat from my own chickens wasn't working. I had to face the facts. So the incubator was empty this year and I ordered chicks from a new hatchery, Wyadottes ( for their calm personality and they do well in our cold weather), Aracaunas (for green eggs for the grand kids), and black sex links ( because they lay so well), and a few Cornish Crosses to round out the 25 chicks required to keep them warm and alive during shipping. 
Wyadotte chick
It was a good reminder for I use to order lots of Cornish to put in the freezer. I've no room in mine right now and I've a new small coop to build and a run on the old one to replace. Lest you still be wavering despite my trying to convince you, take a look at the first photo of sex-link chicks and this photo of a Wyadotte, and then the one below. 
 The sex-link are a little smaller than the Wyadottes but the Cornish are almost double their size. The are all nearing two weeks of age. In six more weeks the Cornish will be in the freezer otherwise they will start having heart attacks and die anyway.

 Compare that to the dual purpose breeds that take five months or better to get anywhere near the same size. I may love work but not that much. So when I get my new coop built and a new green house next year, I just might order more Cornish Crosses. The laying hens I'll be incubating for I've a couple Wyadotte roosters in the mix this year. 

Note - don't mind the dirty toes, I promise I clean the cages two to three times a day and the chicks still have dirty feet despite my efforts to keep them clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment