Getting to know our Cornish Cross chickens

Cornish Cross chickens are not genetically modified organisms (GMO's) but hybrid birds developed by crossing different parent birds with the goal of encouraging specific characteristics.   Our CX birds have strong beaks, white ear tufts and since this is a rooster, a larger comb than the pullets. 

 

Over the years, hybridizers have focused on creating a chicken that has a broad breast and rounded leg.  To support the quick growth, CX chickens have very stout legs and broad feet. Since CX birds are not overwintered and because the goal is a nice meat portion, they do not have excess feathers. Since these chickens do not have the protection of a feathered breast, it is very important that they sit on a clean, fresh surface free from excess droppings or wet bedding.  On grass, with daily pen moves, we have avoided sores and ammonia burns.

Even though the Cornish Cross hybrid was developed to grow meat quickly in a broiler house setting, they adapt well , even thrive in a pasture setting.  Natural day/night cycles, fresh air, plenty of space in the pen, bugs and clover to supplement the organic feed  and daily moves onto fresh ground  all contribute to a healthy and perhaps a smaller broiler.