We have always ordered freedom rangers for our meat chickens, which are a slower growing meat bird. This year we decided to take the plunge and try the fast growing Cornish cross chicken for the first time. When they arrived they came with 25 more than we ordered. I guess I should have been suspicious right there, but I just figured they just messed up on the number of birds. It never occurred to me that we might have the wrong birds. Who can tell those cute little yellow fluff balls apart anyway. I remember being amazed at how tiny they were. I thought, “wow, how can these tiny little chickens grow so fast into those big meat birds”. Then when they were old enough to leave the brooder and head out to their own private section of the chicken coop, I was amazed at how active they were. I had always heard about how lazy the Cornish cross chicken was, but these guys never stopped moving and scratching and chasing bugs. I guess I should have put two and two together at that point, but having never seen a Cornish cross chicken, I hadn’t yet figured out that these were not Cornish cross chickens. I finally got pretty suspicious that something was wrong when they were about 5 weeks old. They should having been weighing at least 3 pounds by now and my chickens were not even a pound yet. Meat birds have really wide chests and big bulky legs to support all that weight. But these guys are fairly thin, have thin legs, and are always on the move. And they don’t even finish the food I give them! Meat birds are like Labrador retrievers, they eat everything in sight until it is all gone. The hatchery won’t acknowledge that they gave me the wrong birds, but there is no question that I got layers not meat birds. So here I am stuck with layers and I don’t even know what they are. I have done a lot of research and talked to friends and I am thinking that they are Plymouth White Rocks. In order to get a Cornish cross chicken they cross a White Rock with a Cornish ( and a lot of years of specific breeding). My best guess at this point is that they sent me some of their breeding stock of White Rocks instead of the Cornish cross. Well, no matter how it happened I now have over 100 laying chickens that I need to sell so that I can recoup my money and start over with meat birds. I am thinking we might keep 20-30 of the hens and let my boys start a small egg business. They really are very sweet chickens with a very mellow disposition.
So if anyone would like to buy some layers let me know or if anyone thinks they might be a different breed post your thoughts in the comment section.
We are asking $15/bird but will give discounts for larger quantities.