a.k.a. meat birds, Cornish Rock crosses

"Bertha" at 18 months
Photo © Dennis Williamson

The Cornish x White Rock is the standard bird of the commercial poultry industry in the US. The males of this cross can reach around 4.5 pounds by 6 weeks and 9.5 pounds by 11 weeks, on average. There are faster growing strains. The females grow a bit slower; at about 2.5 pounds (5 weeks) they are marketed as Cornish Game Hens. Be aware, however, that you can't just cross any Cornish and Rock and get a supermarket carcass. The parental lines of these crosses have been developed extensively over the years by the commercial industry.

"Bertha" the hen pictured above is an exceptional bird in living so long. The cross is so heavy that it usually has leg or other troubles very early and even individuals pampered as pets rarely live to one year.

Feeding of broiler chicks is always a question. Here is one opinion: for roasters feed 21% starter 0 to 4 weeks, 20% developer 5 to 8 weeks, and 17% finisher 9 weeks to market. To cut down on leg problems, they do better if feed is not kept in front of them so they can't gorge all the time. If you keep them slightly hungry they'll grow somewhat slower and their bones will have a better chance to keep up with their bodyweight.

As far as I've been able to discern, the Vikon is a brown feathered cross with a Cornish Mother and Barred Plymouth Rock father.

Hey! Wait a minute! Did you say you're gonna eat me?
Photo courtesy of Robert Stephenson

Broiler Links:

The Cornish Cross: What is wrong with this picture?!

Here's an article which mentions the Vikon chicken.

Eight weeks old and over 5 pounds: you can see that the bird on the right is already going down on his legs -- read above to see how to help prevent this in your birds
Photos courtesy of Pam Marshall

An 8 pounder
Photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker

A nice pair of young Cornish crosses
Photo © Dennis Williamson

Freedom Rangers are one of the new broiler types that do fine out on range
Photo courtesy of Harvey Ussery

And here's "Bertha" at 8 months
Photo © Dennis Williamson

This 20 pound hen went broody!
Photo courtesy of Susan Taylor Aldridge

More broilers!
Photo courtesy of Jesse Branam

6.5 month old Ross Broilers, one of the European broiler crosses -- male on the left
Photos courtesy of Sandra Andersson

Here's another broiler hen
Photo courtesy of Bethany

A backyard broiler flock
Photo courtesy of Jackie Deems

Cornish cross chicks
Photo courtesy of Vikki in Mars, PA

Uh oh, is the Colonel looking?
Photo © Dennis Williamson

Red Broiler chicks are supposed to have less problems with going down on their legs
Photos courtesy of Diana Suarez

Ross-Cobs are a common meat cross in the UK
Photos courtesy of Robert Stephenson

Another Red Broiler chick
Photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker

Another Cornish cross chick
Photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker

A broiler chick at 2 weeks of age, standing next to a Partridge Cochin bantam chick for size comparison
Photo courtesy of Ashley Layton

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