Chicken Breed Focus - Cornish


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
The Cornish breed is known variously by Indian or Cornish Game depending on country. In America it was originally always known as Indian Game, until 1905 when the American Poultry Association passed a motion to rename the breed to Cornish Indian Game. Due to the confusion the name caused by implying the breed came from India, and unpopularity of the use of Game in the name, it was eventually renamed to simply the Cornish in 1910. The Cornish is a large, stocky breed, often crossed with other breeds to enhance meat production. There are two variates, the Cornish Game and the Jubilee Cornish Game. The Cornish Game is dark blue - green in color, with brown patterning on the hens. Jubilee Cornish Game are much lighter, and less stocky than their counterparts. They are usually light wheaten in color, with light brown patterning.

The breed was developed by
Sir Walter Gilbert, 1st Baronet, around 1820 and was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1893.


Breed Purpose
Meat Bird
Comb Pea
Broodiness Average
Climate Tolerance All Climates
Egg Productivity Medium
Egg Size Medium
Egg Color Brown
Breed Temperament Friendly,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet
Breed Colors/Varieties Dark, Jubilee, Blue-laced and White Red laced
Breed Size Large Fowl

Pic by @Daedric Rooster

Pic by @al64

Pic by @ladylibra

Pic by SteveH

Pic by @ladylibra

BYC Breed Discussions:

BYC Breed Reviews:

Do you own Cornish? Are you a Cornish breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

· What made you decide to get this breed?
· Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
· What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
· Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!

We have a bunch of other awesome breed-focus threads for you to enjoy. You can see all of them here:
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Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
Placerville, California, USA
LOVE LOVE LOVE CORNISH! Couldn't say enough about this wonderful breed. I originally got them for meat, but now use them for pets, breeders, and broodies.

I love their personalities, for one. They are very active, alert, pugnacious birds, and very curious and friendly as well. They can be aggressive with other birds, so they need plenty of space - they'll usually be the top dogs in the flock.

They have great meat uses. Slow growing but they get very big - hatchery birds run maybe 6-7 pounds for females and anywhere from 8-11 pounds for males. Breeder stock females tend to go 8-9 pounds and cocks 10-12. Crosses over laying birds yields nice dual purpose birds - decent layers with heavy bodies.

The one thing they aren't good for is laying. They lay big eggs but very seasonal and poor quantities. They are incredibly broody, which is good if that's what you want them for but drops egg production even more.

I've had Cornish in all sizes and varieties, Bantam Black, Bantam Jubilee, Standard Dark, LOTS of hybrids thereof. I will own them as long as I own chickens!

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Jun 17, 2016
East Orlando, FL
I got a batch of Dark Cornish from Welp Hatchery back in July. Ordered 5 cockerels, but turned out to be 3 boys and 2 girls... Still I was fine with the purchase, the males are all very big - over 4 lbs at 13 weeks and still growing. I'm expecting them to get to 7 lbs by 20 weeks or so. They are slow growing, and they don't look like much - their feathers are tight to their bodies and they are compact, but definitely little bowling balls.

I'm raising them for meat, and working on a breeding program to make a quality cornish cross with reasonable growth rates and feed efficiency. I don't see a lot of their personalities yet, a bit skiddish and weary but very careful outside when foraging. Speaking of that, they seem to be great foragers.

You can see in the photo below the DC cockerel is much smaller than the WR of the same age:

Some of his colors, you can see the brown at the wings and some of the teal on the wings and neck. He's pretty good looking.

And here's the pullet I'm keeping, she's got some beautiful coloring, but she's not that big at all. Still has some meat on her, but small frame.

The cockerel I'm keeping, sorry for the shadows, he didn't seem to want to go out into the light:
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Sep 13, 2010
Long Island, New York
I stumbled upon the White Laced Red Cornish at McMurray's Website. Go looking and it seems some other hatcheries do have them. But I didn't notice because they had really bad pictures, no pictures or bad drawings.

The coloring, feather pattern and lacing are beautiful.

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