I have only been to a few APA shows; one had no large fowl Cornish, another had a few, and another had quite a few but they had come from all over the nation. There are simply not a lot of large fowl Cornish breeders around, though I think the breed is making a come back. At the shows with Cornish, the birds winning looked much like mine, and my darks came from show winners that breed naturally. Some may prefer a yet shorter shank than mine have, and it is OK with me for them to breed whatever they want, but frankly I have not seen that type at a show, only pictures of them. I've been advised that the males need room to move around and stay fit, pasture range being preferred, in order for them to stay in condition to breed, and that older males may need to be A.I.ed to get maximum fertility in the eggs, especially if they are not kept in shape or if used on more narrow bodied hens. My birds are young, and I have only a little experience of my own, so learning as I go. I don't consider my young white cock leggy or narrow LOL, and I watched him mount a little, narrow bodied Easter Egger yesterday in perfect position. If she does not lay fertile eggs, it will be a fertility problem and not a structural issue preventing him from covering her. I do intend to breed a meat bird for eating, otherwise I would not have joined this thread, and I do consider my pure Cornish meat birds, and their eggs too valuable at this point in time to eat. If they lay too many for me to incubate, I figure to sell them, but with so few hens, I doubt that I'll have extras. I would like to put a real Cornish on the table, but at this point in time it would have to be real knot head if I ate one, and I would not sell that individual to breed with.
Kfacres, if you are willing to produce a top quality show sheep to sell to an elite buyer willing to part with a boat load of money, is it so wrong for Cornish breeders to do the same, and to not want to see what they consider culls to be dumped on to the market? They would have to sell those birds to people with the blind faith that those people are not going to use the breeder's name to breed and sell poor quality for showing, and I would think that an established breeder, having spent much time and money trying or succeeding at getting a good percentage of their birds to a level of quality they want, is not going to take that risk. Nor with the breed so scarce, sell a good bird to someone just to cross on their barnyard hens. It took me awhile to understand their views, it was very frustrating trying to locate good Cornish, and I confess I judged the breeders as selfish. Maybe some are selfish, but that is not for me to judge, and I doubt that me telling them I think they are being selfish or stupid will change them or result in them selling me a Cornish. LOL As far as A.I.ing their birds, I consider A.I. a valuable tool for any breeder wanting to use it, but it can be, and probably is, used to the detriment of all breeds. This old world is crowded with hungry people wanting to eat meat at an affordable price, much of the meat being supplied by animals produced by A.I. and or bred and raised in confinement, and they have replaced the breeds I think that should be preserved, which replaced or were bred into a different look from when they wandered over many acres of unpopulated land, or were bred for high wool production, or high fat meat, and other characteristics no longer desired. There is enough money in many breeds to make them financially self supporting only if bred for show. Will your sheep flock pay for themselves and make enough profit to keep if sold only on the mutton and wool market? I do not know a solution for this, I'm trying to produce some of my own own food, and trying to preserve a breed, and develope another, but certainly can not feed even myself, let alone others, at a price low enough to be really affordable or attractive if I figure total production costs including my time and land, unless I resort to using more commercial management and modern strains.