Indian Game

Indian Game cock Indian Game hens

Key Characteristics

The breed is pretty hardy although they can feel the cold due to their close ‘hard’ feathering, affecting early spring breeding.  They prefer a free-range environment, not tolerating close confinement very well. Flightiness is not a problem; they could be easily contained in a 3 foot fence. They are slow growers and will need low perches.  The birds aren’t known as sufferers of any of the common poultry diseases but are susceptible to flea and mite infestations.

History

  • Indian Game were developed in Cornwall and Devon using birds (such as Asil and Malay) brought in to Falmouth and Plymouth from Asia and local Pit Game.
  • Originally they were bred for fighting but after cockfighting was banned in England in 1849, the Indian Game Club was formed in 1886, beginning the breed’s new career as a table bird breeding sire, with a gradual change to ever shorter legs and broader body.
  • American strains of the breed, known as “Cornish” to distinguish them from the old fighting strains, are still used widely in breeding hybrid broiler chickens worldwide.

Appearance

  • Birds are heavy and muscular with a large breast and wide set legs.
  • They have tight feathering and no fluff.
  • There are 3 standard colours of the Indian Game breed - Dark, Jubilee and Double Laced Blue. The Dark, which was the original colour, is the most popular. The Double Laced Blue is very rare.

Uses

Meat

The breed’s broad breasted build means they are a favourite as a table bird, producing a good proportion of breast meat.

Eggs

Dependent on the strain they lay up to 100 tinted eggs per year.

Did you know?

Indian Game are known for their spectacularly deep and wide breasts. Some of the best males have such large breasts and short legs that they are unable to mate with the females. Breeders usually use the slightly longer-legged males to breed with their best females to avoid this problem.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

Breed Societies

Indian Game Club

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