The Cornish chicken, also known as the Indian Game, is a massive bird, with roosters weighing in at more than 10 lbs, and hens at 8 lbs. Picking up one of these birds gives you the feeling that you're holding a warm, self-propelled bowling ball.
Intended as a heavyweight fighter, the Cornish chicken breed was developed in Cornwall, England in the early 1800s from Asian and English game fowl. When the birds flopped as avian athletes, poultry farmers didn't have much use for them, since the hens don't excel as layers and the roosters are slow-growing feed guzzlers. However, the Cornish, with its wide-bodied, extremely muscular frame, won fame as a parent of crossbred meat birds. This breed is one of the ancestors of the modern hybrid chickens used for commercial meat production worldwide.
The Livestock Conservancy has placed the Cornish breed on the "Watch" list of endangered heritage breed poultry. We keep only the original Dark color variety among the four color varieties of Cornish recognized by the American Poultry Association. Although the hens have mediocre output of large, brown eggs, they tend to be excellent mothers. Our exhibition flock is bred to meet the APA Standard of Perfection, and the extreme phenotype birds in our show flock bear little resemblance to the creatures that large hatcheries offer as 'Cornish chickens'.