Cornish game hen quickie question.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Trollkiller, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Trollkiller

    Trollkiller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lake Como, Fl. 32157
    I decided to slaughter 4 of my Cornish X next week and have Cornish game hens for Christmas dinner. The birds are three weeks old now and weigh between 1 1/4 lb and 1 3/4 lb and I am assuming they will be "close enough" come next weekend.

    I went online in an attempt to find out how much they would have cost at the store in order to justify to myself the early harvest.

    Anyhow I found this on a website and now I am slightly confused because I thought the game hens were just young chickens and not a separate breed.

    All-Natural Cornish Game Hens
    Cornish game hens are a breed of domestic chicken that weigh 20 to 24 ounces when fully mature. They have a light, savory, slightly stronger flavor than chicken, but not as strong as partridge or quail. Game hens are an ideal solution for entertaining¬ójust figure a half or a whole hen per person, depending on appetite size and whether the hens are stuffed.

    Is that true? Also does anyone know about how much game hens are at a normal grocery store?​
  2. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I believe the game hens are the bantam breed of the cornish.

    I've seen them at Walmart for pretty cheap - like a couple of bucks, to 3 bucks each.

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    There is a breed called a cornish game hen which is the description you found. However, the "cornish game hen" you buy at the store IS a 4 week old or so cornish x rock chicken. Industry doesn't use the breed cornish game hen to make the little birds you buy at the store, since to reach the size would take 4-5 months at least, and wouldn't be economical if they can do it a month or less. The small size is sort of a special presentation type deal, where the small individual size bird just looks good.

    Found a wiki article on it:

    Don't know store cost since I don't buy small birds as they are more $$ than the big ones whole.
  4. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    once again silkichicken has the correct info,she is soooo smart,
    oh maybe thats why Oregon State wants her,GO BEAVES
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    They are just baby Cornish crosses. I think 100 years ago, Dark Cornish were used for table birds prior to the industrialization/hybridization of the broiler industry. So, I think it's an allusion to that era when the Cornish was a common table bird.
  6. Trollkiller

    Trollkiller Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lake Como, Fl. 32157
    I suppose that site may be selling Dark Cornish instead of Cornish X.

    What I read the Dark Cornish don't get much larger that a Cornish game hen.

    Thanks guys for helping me out.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  7. Roosterboy

    Roosterboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2008
    At our local grocery store i think i saw them for a couple bucks a piece but they are relatively expensive at restaurants.
  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yep, Silkiechicken is right on.

    3 or 4 week old cornish X. Bet the sale would go down if people knew they were eating baby chicks.

    I dont see anything wrong if its 3 week or 8 weeks.
  9. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    I received my Penzey spice catalog today
    They have a "romantic" valentine dinner for two [​IMG]
    They feature ROAST CORNISH HENS.

    so, to achieve a 16-18oz cornish hen, how old would they need to be to butcher? As I read the above, it would need to be a Cornish X Rock, right??

  10. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    I'm subbing for an Ag teacher today, and in the livestock textbook, it says that cornish game hens for market are indeed just broilers not to maturity.

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