Cornish Cross Chicks

Is it genetics or the way Cornish Cross chicks are raised that cause them to have so many health problems?  That’s the question I set out to answer when I bought five Cornish Cross chicks at the local feed store.  Cornish Cross chickens are the most common commercially raised chicken providing a quick growth time, excellent feed conversion, and ample breast meat.  But the downside is that these chickens are freaks of nature – they have difficulty walking, can’t fly, get sick too easily, and often drop dead of heart attacks for no reason. 

So why did I bring them home?  I wondered if such a bird raised in a free range environment would do better?  Its my little science experiment.  So I brought the five chicks home and placed two under a trio of hens that just hatched out their chicks – one bantum hen, one Jersey giant, and one Spanish Black turkey.  I figured they had so many different chicks of different species that they would be likely to accept these Cornish Cross chicks.  And they did! 

The other three chicks were kept indoors to be raised by hand but still in a natural environment.

In the posts that follow I will keep everyone posted on my experiment.