Dark Indian Game
|Conservation status||FAO (2007): not at risk:152|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Egg colour||light brown:80|
|PCGB||heavy: hard feather|
The Indian Game is a British breed of game chicken, now reared either for meat or show. It originated in the early nineteenth century in the counties of Cornwall and Devon in south-west England. It is a heavy, muscular bird with an unusually broad breast; the eggs are brown.:158
In the United States the name was changed in the early twentieth century to Cornish. A white variant, the White Cornish, was developed there at about the same time, and is much used in modern industrial chicken meat production in many parts of the world, either for cross-breeding to produce hybrid broilers, or to produce fast-growing "game hens".
It was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1893.
The Cornish is known variously as Indian Game or Cornish Game depending on country. In America it was always known as Indian Game until 1905 when the American Poultry Association passed a motion to rename it Cornish Indian Game. Due to confusion caused by implying the breed came from India, and unpopularity of Game in the name, it was renamed to simply the Cornish in 1910.
The Indian Game is a large and stocky bird, short in the legs and unusually broad and deep in the breast. Some cock birds may be so short-legged and broad-breasted that they are incapable of reproducing.:80
Three colour variants are recognised in the United Kingdom: the dark, the original colour; the Jubilee; and the double-laced blue, which is rare. The Entente Européenne d'Aviculture et de Cuniculture and some European countries recognise the white variant in addition to these three. In the United States, the Cornish is recognised in four colours: the original dark, added to the Standard of Perfection in 1893; the white, added in 1898; the white-laced red, added in 1909; and the buff, added in 1938.:100
It is resistant to most common diseases of poultry, but vulnerable to parasites. The feathers are thin and hard, without down; this may render the birds susceptible to cold, which may delay breeding in early Spring.
The Indian Game was bred as a gamecock, but was not successful as a fighting bird. It was found to be a good meat breed, and was much used for cross-breeding with established meat breeds such as the Dorking, Orpington and Sussex.:158:80 It is a poor layer: the eggs are small and light brown; hens may lay about 80 per year.:80
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- Christie Aschwanden (2019). Beautiful Chickens: Portraits of champion breeds. Minneapolis: Ivy Press. ISBN 9781782407614.
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