About Cornish (a.k.a. Indian Game) Chickens
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About Cornish (a.k.a. Indian Game) ChickensAbout Cornish (a.k.a. Indian Game) Chickens

Cornish, alsornknown as Indian Game, Chickens are bred specifically for meat production. Theyrnproduce meat more efficiently than any other chicken. They reach a dressingrnweight of five pounds at five weeks. Cornish chickens lack the typical hairyrnfeathers left over after plucking other breeds - a fact which saves processorsrnthe energy and time of singeing the carcass prior to butchering. They showrnlittle desire to forage and generally handles confinement well.rnrnrnrn

rnrnThey arernconsidered loud and intractable. The roosters readily show aggression and Cornishrnchicks at times show cannibalism. Health problems associated with their rapidrngrowth prevent the kind of activity common to most chickens. The high feedrnconversion ratios give farmers a narrow margin of error in feeding.rnUnderfeeding yields fowl prone to predation. Cornish farming works well in arncommercial production under highly monitored conditions but will most likelyrnfail in a backyard coop.rnrnrnrn

rnrnCornish chickens arernbroad, muscular fowl on widely spaced yellow legs. They manifest in three basicrncolors; Dark, White, and White Laced Red. The Cornish breed has short feathersrnthat leave parts of the body bare. They sport a pea comb, no crest, and smallrnwattles. Their protruding brow, piercing eyes, and curved beak support theirrnreputation as a predatory bird. Most of the commercial growers breed Cornishrnwith white feathers and yellow skin.rnrnrnrn

rnrnFeed carefully.rnMany Cornish cross breeds break their legs or grow lame as a result of theirrnrapid weight gain. Ulcers develop in lame birds forced to sit in their ownrnfeces. Consequently, they require wire pens to keep their bodies away fromrnammonia rich feces. Cornish fowl fed too much can die of heart attacks. Thosernfed too little display predation. The backyard breeder would do well to stickrnto the hardier Cornish chickens or the new hybrid called the Colored Rangerrnrather than the commercial Cornish cross. Pasture the chickens as much asrnpossible. Pen any who go lame. Move their run often to encourage exercise andrndiscourage parasites. Provide a warm, draft free coop for these short featheredrnfowl.

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