Raising Dark Cornish Roosters (stds) ?

blueberrier1December 25, 2008

Recall someone, maybe Tom-Skagit Man, mentioning that dark cornish were the most delicious roaster/fryer. Unable to contact him. Would anyone who has experience raising this variety share their opinions or suggestions.

Came across an article that called this variety 'double breasted'-but am unsure what this means in comparison to Delaware or RIR. What is the average dressed weight at 16 weeks vs 24 weeks?

Had fine crops this year of Delaware, Barred Rock and Cornish Cross and am anxious to compare the Dark Cornish to the others.

Read in MurrayMM that this breed is one of the best foragers.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I had two Dark India Cornish hens. While we kept ours for eggs/pets and didn't eat them, I can tell you that they were good natured, calm birds that did well in a flock (being neither bullies nor wimps), and were HEAVY little ladies! They were like feathered shot puts and had large, wide breasts. A very round body shape, much stockier than RIRs. Nothing but solid meat on those gals, and they were healthy and strong, without the nastiness that plagues Cornish X birds.

They were also quite prolific, and we have a bunch of their daughters roaming the yard. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 12:08AM
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blueberrier1

Thanks, Velvet. Am hoping that a '50 male' order of the dark cornish will contain 1-2 females. Was the father of your present dark cornish females also dark cornish? What is your favorite rooster to keep with your hens? My layers are red and black stars, not huge birds, docile with people, but aggressive foragers and prolific layers.

From the 25 'all male' delawares this year, one is female...and, she is now ensconced in the 'hen' pen. Also have one Buff O sharing space. Had to give away the Buff O rooster as he tore off feathers and cut the females' back skin.

Did see the poultry saddle pattern in the recent issue of Backyard Poultry and will make up some to trial on my hens when I next select a rooster. Wonder if I could locate some Kevlar fabric?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 9:38AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Kevlar chicken saddles! *L* It'd sure be fun to have bulletproof hens running around...see if you can sew some SWAT patches on the saddles! *G* 25 males to one female...I'd keep her in a Lexan pen!

Seriously, our Dark Cornish hens we got as young adults and added them to our existing mixed flock, so I didn't have their parents--but our two hens were clearly purebred. As for roos, I've had a Barred Rock (Jack, a lovely, calm, protective, docile and friendly guy), his son, a Barred Rock/Americaunas mix (Phoenix, just like his dad as far as personality and our current Head Roo) and a banty roo (Scott) who is a Belgian d'Uccle MilleFleur/Frizzle mix, currenty or Beat Roo. The two boys get along very well, with only the occassional peck/chase by Phoenix to Scott to remind him how things are. So I'm a fan of both Barred Rocks and Americaunas breeds for roos. Banties can sometimes be a bit of hit or miss, as they are naturally feisty, but generally curious, comical and friendly.

I've never had a mean or aggressive roo, but I make a point to constantly keep my boys tame and in line by scooping them up for petting whenever I want, and offering them goodies FIRST to pass out amongst the hens (kind of a courtesy towards them to show that I understand the flock dynamic that they appear to understand).

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 12:30AM
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