Cornish Chicken Characteristics, Temperament & Uses

Cornish chicken (also known as Indian Game) is a meat chicken breed from the county of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Cornish chickens and the crosses of this breed are most popular and widely used breed in the chicken meat industry.

Most of the modern broiler chicken breeds were developed from Cornish chicken breed. This breed is known variously by Indian or Cornish Game depending on country.

Cornish chicken breed was developed by Sir Walter Gibert around 1820s. And in 1893 it was accepted by the APA (American Poultry Association).

In America (until 1905 when the American Poultry Association passed a motion to rename the breed to Cornish Indian Game) Cornish chicken breed was originally always known as Indian Game.

This poultry breed was renamed to simply the Cornish in 1910 due to the unpopularity of the use of Game in the name and also due to the confusion this name caused by implying the breed came from India.

In some other countries like Australia this breed is still known solely as Indian Game.

Table of Contents

Physical Characteristics of Cornish Chicken

Cornish chickens are heavy and muscular birds that lay brown eggs. There are two varies of Cornish chicken. The Cornish Game and the Jubilee Cornish Game.

The Jubliee Cornish Game chickens are less stocky and much lighter than their counterparts. And the Cornish Game is dark blue – green in color with brown patterning in the hens.

The Jubliee Cornish Games are usually light wheaten in color, with light brown patterning. Cornish chicken is also quite popular show bird and it comes in many colors.

Due to widely spaced hips this chicken breed has a tendency for bad legs. It also becomes an excellent backyard meat bird when crossed with a Dorking or a Sussex chicken.

Cornish chickens are not good layers. On an average, they produce 160-180 eggs per year. Cornish chickens are aggressive in nature, but relatively easy to handle and the hens are good mothers. They need more space compared to any other breeds.

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So, Cornish chickens may not be suitable for the suburban poultry keepers. They have pea comb and their feathers tend to be thinner.

They can tolerate all climates but can’t do well in excessive cold. On an average, a Cornish cock weights about 3.86 kg, a hen about 2.57 kg.


Cornish chickens are aggressive in nature. But they are relatively easy to handle, calm and friendly. Hens are good mothers. They grow faster and reach slaughtering age earlier than other breeds.

And the Cornish chickens are excellent forager. See full breed profile of Cornish chicken below.

Breed NameCornish
Other NameIndian Game, Cornish Indian Game, Indian, Cornish Game
Breed PurposeMeat Bird
Breed TemperamentFriendly, Bears Confinement well, Calm, Docile, Quiet
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
CombPea Comb
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesCornish Game, Jubilee Cornish Game

The Good

  • Beautiful
  • Calm
  • Docile
  • Excellent forager
  • Friendly
  • Free range well
  • Great meat birds
  • Good mothers

The Bad

  • Can be aggressive
  • Can’t perform well in excessive cold
  • Medium eggs
  • Not good layers
  • Prone to parasites

Is Cornish Chicken Good for You?

Cornish chicken is good for you if you…….

  • Are looking for beautiful birds.
  • Want to raise some meat birds.
  • Are willing to have some chickens which are good mothers, friendly and easy to handle.
  • Want to raise some chickens which are excellent forager and can free range well.
  • Are looking for some hardy birds.
  • Want to raise some show birds.
  • Want to enhance the beauty of your backyard.

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