Raising free range Cornish Cross or Cornish X chickens, can it be done? The first time I helped process Cornish X meat birds I didn’t eat chicken again for 2 weeks. Not because of the death, plucking or gutting but how they looked and lived in their life. My friend raised them in her backyard just as she had been instructed; and I believe as humanely as possible for her space. But these frankenchickens were just icky. Too big to take more than a few steps, covered in mud or poo, stinking beyond description and missing most of the chest feathers from being down so much. In other words, though these animals were not changed up, they weren’t something I felt comfortable eating.
Over the years I’ve looked into raising meat birds but either it was waiting for months (not feasible with my space) or going to the Cornish Cross. Neither seemed viable. But the search continued to look for free range Cornish Cross chickens. That’s how I found Justine and her experience with free range Cornish cross chickens.
While I still lean to raising all heritage birds, I hope her experience will give you a different perspective on CX, even if you don’t ultimately raise them.