The Cornish Cross are known throughout the poultry world for their fast growth. Today my chickens are 63 days old and averaging over 10 pounds each. This is not because of forced feeding, limited movement or use of hormones (all of which are allegations I have read about in this breed). This is simply the rate at which they grow. Our chickens all eat the same organic food and are allowed to roam about foraging during the day.
I have seen many sites where people complain that they are a "lazy" breed that does not forage and are particularly messy. In my experience here on the ranch, this is not a true representation of the breed at all. My Cornish Cross have been anything but lazy. We have enjoyed watching them run around the pasture chasing bugs and taking dirt baths. We recently watched as 5 of them chased a small butterfly until it flew over the fence. As for being extra messy, I have not been able to notice any difference in raising the Cornish Cross on pasture than any other breed we have raised. .
What I haven't seen mentioned in any articles about the Cornish Cross is their very gentle spirit. These are some of the gentlest birds I have ever been around. Even though they are bigger than any of our egg layers, they always back down from a confrontation over food or what have you. Despite their size, they are very timid and prefer to spend their days in the quiet than surrounded by noise. They are eager to run and greet us each time we go out into the chicken yard (although this could be because they know we have food, lol). We frequently see the birds in pairs of twos across the yard enjoying various activities and if one is injured the others seem to stay by its side.
Overall the Cornish Cross has been one of my favorite breeds of chickens to raise here on the ranch.
I am a wife, mother, registered nurse and owner/operator of R and J Ranch. I am committed to living a sustainable lifestyle and ensuring the best nutrition for my family.