The Cornish Crosses first days

Newly arrived Cornish Crosses having their first feeding.

Newly arrived Cornish Crosses having their first feeding.

Now that the Cornish Crosses are safely nestled in the nursery, it is once again time for poopy bum patrol. It seems that these little creatures have a much higher rate of poopy-bum than the other chicks I’ve raised. I don’t know if that is typical for the breed or because they were highly stressed having not made it here straight away as they should have. And, there is the possibility that the feed store fed them medicated starter while under their care even though I’d already had them vaccinated. At any rate, I have had to do daily patrols and cleanings for several days now and with about 40% of the chicks.

The key thing about these birds that all the literature warns about is the rapid growth. Many advise restricting their food intake in order to keep them from going ‘off their legs’. I’m not quite sure how you restrict these little guys’ food exactly and worry that I’d be starving them so I’m going to try another route to solving this problem.

As with all my baby chicks, I will take them fresh greens as a daily supplement. Not only does this help with the poopy-bums but I’m hoping it will also slow their growth rate down a bit. I was worried that these little guys might not like the greens and at first it looked like they might not eat it. Of course, it only takes a few of the brave to take an interest to get the whole flock jockeying for position around the plate. I’ll employ the ol’ Weight Watchers rule of fill up on vegetables and see if it works–here’s hoping it is a universal principle!


Filed under Chickens, Educational, How to..., Learning to Farm

11 responses to “The Cornish Crosses first days

  1. kim1708

    Oh, feeding greens, great idea!! I am putting 1 Tbsp each of raw apple cider vinegar and molasses, plus 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper in my chooks water to prevent things like cocci and poopy bum patrol, etc. So I don’t have to vaccinate or use medicated feed.

    • Huh, that sounds like a good alternative! They can take the cayenne eh? I’ve been vaccinating and avoiding the medicated feed, but will try it your way next time–how easy and healthy can you get! Thanks so much for the tip. How much water are you using with those ratios?

  2. Well good luck with these. But in my experience cornish crosses just want to eat and sit. I had mine on grass once they were large enough and they still would just lay in front of the feeder and eat. I only raised one bunch of those and they were my first but I would say that I don’t hold them in high regard. I would suggest restricting their feed for at least a few hours a day.

    • I’ll try the feed restriction as well. No one seems to hold them in high regard! Of course, I find this out after having received them. Alas, I’m still keen to try breeding them with some of my Bella Coola bred flock.

  3. Mitch


    Wow They are very good Looking Birds
    How are they Going ?
    Im Getting In Some Chicks On either may 18th or 20th

    Our weather has improved and we are finaly getting things cleaned Up

    Glad to see a post on the Chooks
    Keep Me Up to date would love to hear about them?


    • Hey Mitch,

      The birds are looking great. They seem to be over their poopy-bum stage and starting to feather out. They do seem to be growing faster than the heritage breeds so I’m going to start rationing their feed as several others have suggested. I’ll be doing a few more posts on them as they grow because I’m quite curious about these guys having never raised them before.

      Good to hear you’re weather has improved!

  4. Mitch

    Well thats Good Hope they All survive and go well

    Good Luck

  5. kim1708

    I’ve always wondered if feeding extra calcium in the form of dolomite added to their water would help support their bones as they grow so very fast. I’m thinking the dolomite and vinegar together may be a good mix in producing the effect one would want. Haven’t taken the time to find out if it is effective yet, but after reading New England Folk Medicine by Jarvix I suspect that may be a solution.

    • I’ve wondered about that too. But, I have read (don’t ask me where) that too much calcium is not good for baby chicks. It sounds anti-instinctual doesn’t it. I was hoping that like the greens we eat, the weeds and greens I’m feeding them will provide extra calcium in a form they can tolerate. I’ll have to do more research along the lines you are suggesting. If you come across anything, I’ve love to hear about it.

  6. kim1708

    Well, I do know that feeding laying hens oyster shcll is recommended, and it is ridiculously expensive, so I do use the dolomite for them instead and get good results. Of course, the dolomite is not just calcium, but cal/magnesium. It is crushed rock, so I imagine it’s not just pure cal/mag but that there is a plethora of microminerals present also. I suspect that the super growth of the CX requires super nutrition.
    I understand that kelp is an excellent source of microminerals and it has improved the health of my goats tremendously. Another super food is comfrey. High in protein and lots of vit B. So that also has improved the life of my goats. Of course, the wider variety of plant types they have access to will improve their well being also.

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