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Cross breeding Cornish Rock Cross with another breed.

 
pollinator
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I've been reading all the various threads on Cornish Rock Cross and it seems that people tend to fall into two distinct categories:  love them or hate them.  Their greatest qualities are that they grow super fast and taste great.  The shadow side is that their fast growth can cause all sorts of other problems, most commonly leg problems or heart problems.  Some say they are great foragers, while others say they just sit, eat and die prematurely.

Has anyone successfully cross-breed them to be slightly less fast growing, better foragers, and less prone to early mortality?

Could you cross them with a Bar Rock or a RI Red?  Rather than them being ready to harvest at 8 weeks, perhaps they would be ready at 11 weeks, thus giving them a bit more time to grow.  

I know that Joel Salatin successfully tractors his Cornish Rock Cross, but he also says that his flock has evolved over the years as he's messed with their bloodlines by introducing roosters into the flock from external sources.  Has he introduced the genetics of other breeds into his flock?

What advice could you offer me?
 
Mother Tree
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These two boys are a cross between a Light Sussex and a Cornish Cross.

I called them Chip and Dale.



Unfortunately, Chip was a wife beater and an egg eater, and I lost Dale to a fox as he valiantly fought to protect his flock.  Very good cross though, if you can keep the Cornish Cross parents alive long enough to breed.
 
Marco Banks
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That's too bad that you lost those two.  It would be interesting to see how that would have turned out a couple of generations later.

I'd love to get a dozen of Salatin's cross-bred birds, as it seems like he's done this and he's gotten the best traits of the various breeds he's introduced into the blood line of his flock.  Has anyone else had any success with this?
 
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Google Corndel Chicken.  It's IIRC a 3/4 CRX, 1/4 Delaware.  Supposed to breed true I think.  If I remember it right they put a CRX rooster on a Delaware hen, and then a different CRX rooster on one of the resulting 50/50 hens.

Or just buy Freedom Rangers or Red Ranger broilers if all you want is a more ethical broiler to order. Freedom Rangers are advertised as 9-11 weeks to butchering weight, Red Ranger broilers are 11-13 weeks.  CRX are usually listed as 6-8 weeks to butchering weight.
 
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It would seem to me that unless you plan on raising these birds for commerce, you would be better off going with a longer term meat bird over trying to breed one of your own.

It takes at least 5 generations to get to a viable strain of bird and then another 5 generations to find out if you succeeded.
 
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