Cornish Indian Game | Heavyweight Fighter to Broiler Bird

Cornish Indian Game

As gamefowl breeders aim to develop better cockfighting breeds, they’re constantly met with both successes and failures. The Cornish breed, or “Indian Game,” is a breed that was initially meant to produce a breed combining the power of the Asil and the Lord Derby type of Black Breasted Leg Game, but instead resulted in producing a breed that revolutionized the broiler industry.

Brief History on Cornish Indian Games

Around 1820, Sir Walter Gilbert of England produced the Indian Game breed using a Black Breasted Red Game and a Red Asil to produce a superior cockfighter. The cross between the two breeds failed to retain the “Game” characteristics of the two gamefowl breeds, but it still managed to produce a completely unique chicken breed.

This breed came to be known as the Indian Game in America until it was renamed as the Cornish Indian Game in 1905 by the American Poultry Association until it was then further renamed as just the Cornish in 1910 to remove the confusion of this breed being a gamefowl and it coming from India. In Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe, this is still known as the Indian Game.

Cornish Cross
Cornish Cross. Source: backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com

The Cornish chicken breed then became the main broiler breed, or chicken breed known for meat production, in the United States and even became a base for the superior Cornish Cross breed developed from a Cornish and White Plymouth Rocks. They replaced the Brahmas after it became untenable to support the US poultry industry.

Key Features of Cornish Indian Games:

Dark Cornish Chickens
Dark Cornish Indian Games. Source: Livestock Breeds YouTube channel
  • Compact muscular build
  • Thick legs and thighs
  • Broad breast
  • Large bodies
  • Close-fitting feathers
  • Numerous color variations

What Cornish Chickens are Known for

Cornish game hen
Uncooked Cornish Game Hen. Source: By Brookie at English Wikipedia – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25234316

The Cornish Indian Game is currently well-known as one of the many broiler breeds in active circulation in the poultry industry. This breed had two particular niches, which are the following:

  • Muscular young birds can be harvested early as meaty one-pound birds that are small, tender, and tasty
  • Crossbreeding with other American breeds to produce birds that can be harvested as early as six weeks

These two niches are filled by the Cornish Game Hen and the Cornish Rock broiler respectively. The Game Hen is a market classification of the Indian Game while the Rock is a cross between the Cornish and the White Plymouth Rock. The Cornish Rock broiler itself became the backbone of the USA’s commercial poultry industry.

The Cornish breed grows slower than the typical broiler chicken and this is remedied by crossing them with other breeds. Still, free-ranging Cornish chickens can give breeders some tasty chicken meat.

Why Breeders Shouldn’t Use Cornish Chickens in Cockfighting

The Cornish Indian Game isn’t a suitable bird for the cockpits. The original intent was to create a heavy-weight fighter but the big chickens became too big for their legs to support them in combat. These are also known for their more docile nature instead of their aggressiveness.

White Cornish
White Cornish chicken. Source: backyardchickens.com

When using the Cornish breed to develop other breeds, it’s best done so with the intention of developing meat birds or making a new broiler breed to replace the Cornish Rock broiler. Filipino breeders and farmers who can get their hands of the breed should focus on using this to revitalize the Philippine agriculture sector.

Conclusion

The Cornish breed may have been bred to become a superior heavy-weight cockfighter, but it instead became a better meat bird. Instead of finding more ways to develop this into a cockfighter, breeders should instead use this to contribute to the agriculture sector. Maybe they can make a new breed with more feathers so that the hens can take care of more eggs.

If you’re a Filipino breeder, then you should consider setting up your own farm for these meat birds and contribute in revitalizing Philippine agriculture. The Cornish Indian Game chickens are excellent for a country’s broiler industry and are well-suited to help revitalize the agriculture sector. Its chickens can be harvested fairly early while also being able to be crossed with other breeds to develop better broilers.

If you’re betting through Sabong International and see this breed’s short legs on the cockpit, bet high on the other gamefowl so you can still make some money even on short odds.

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