Cornish Cross Meat Birds. | Home & Garden
We're doing meat birds this year again. And this time we decided to try the ubiquitous Cornish Cross breed. This is the breed that is used my all the large growers in the US. It is the fastest growing chicken on the planet! Very industrial... and American for that matter! But you don't get something for nothing and I'm already very dissapointed in this breed. First of all it has an extremely high mortality rate. I've already lost 7 birds due to uknown circumstances. All the losses have been overnight. Some could have been smotherings but I think most have been due simply to overall lack of robustness. These birds just seem to be more frail. They are not as healthy as foraging breeds. Secondly these birds do not seem interested in foraging at all. They're out on pasture now in a mobile coop and they do not appear interested in their surroundings at all. They don't look for bugs or scratch in the grass. All they do is sit and eat from the feeder. This means I will spend more in feed on them since they don't suplement with foraging. Finally these birds are not that attractive to look at. They grow so fast that their skin litterally stretches and they don't have enough feathers to really cover their bodies. I know they breed them for less feathers so they are easier to process but man are they ugly! Maybe my expectations are silly but I would rather have a meat bird that looks and acts more like a normal chicken and one who has a good life under my care. These chickens just feel like mutant machines to me. By the way ALL the chicken in every major Supermarket in the US is THIS breed! Food for thought!