Description and characteristics of Cornish chickens, rules of care and maintenance

Description and characteristics of Cornish chickens, rules of care and maintenance

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Chickens of the Cornish breed are stocky, wide-breasted beauties, rightfully occupying a leading position in amateur poultry farming. Match them with cockerels, which will decorate any chicken coop. Beauty, good external quality indicators, unpretentious maintenance and care, high productivity constantly attract new fans of this bird.

History of appearance

The beginning of the creation of the breed was laid in the 1830s in England, in the county of Cornwall by crossing the red Azil chickens with the Old English fighting. The bred chickens did not receive recognition as they had low weight and egg production. The resulting cross was crossed with Malay chickens, which made it possible to obtain specimens of a larger mass with tender juicy meat. At first, the Cornish chickens were called Cornish fighting, then Indian fighting. The final name was established as a slang derivative of the name Cornwall.

The bird has spread all over the world. Introduced to the Soviet Union in 1959. Used in industrial poultry farming. Currently, the Cornish breed is bred by amateur poultry breeders.

Description and characteristics of the breed

Corniches are beautiful, they have a calm character, high productivity.

Bird exterior

Cornish is easy to distinguish from other chickens by their bright colors. Colorful appearance.

External data:

  • plumage tight-fitting, smooth, legs without feathers;
  • pea-shaped crest;
  • growth is low, stocky, legs are short, thick, chest is wide;
  • ring size 27/22, for dwarfs 18/15;
  • plumage varieties - black with double edging, blue with double edging, white with double edging, white.

Feathered nature

The character is calm with an aggressive appearance, inherited from the fighting ancestors. Chickens are good brood hens. Getting used to the climate is fast.

Breed productivity

Farmers appreciate the Cornish chickens for their high productivity and versatility.

Main factors:

  • live weight of adult roosters 3.7-4.5 kg, chickens - 2.7-3.2 kg, dwarf form 1.5 / 0.9 kg;
  • egg production 70-160 eggs per year;
  • egg color is cream, weight 55/30;

Advantages and disadvantages of Cornish chickens

The main advantage of Cornish chickens is meat. With proper adherence to the feeding regime, it turns out to be moderately fat, juicy and tender..

The bird is gaining weight quickly. Ready for slaughter by 2 months. The carcass weight of males by this age reaches 3 kg, females - 2 kg. At the same time, 140-160 g of feed is consumed per head, which is much less than when fattening a broiler.

Given the much lower mobility in comparison with other chickens, the planting rate of Cornish in the chicken coop is increased by 30%, which has a positive effect on saving space.

The bird, thanks to its exterior, is an adornment of any chicken coop. The wide body and short legs give the Cornish a dinosaur-like appearance. Despite the aggressive appearance, there are no serious fights between roosters. The skirmishes are reminiscent of a ritual dance.

Lack of Cornish chickens - at an early age, with an improperly selected diet, a violation of their diet, the growth of muscle tissue outstrips the growth of skeletal bones. This leads to a decrease or loss of mobility, obesity, diseases of the limbs and internal organs.

The specific structure of the body in Cornish roosters does not allow to achieve normal fertilization of eggs. Chick hatchability is low.

Chicken meat becomes tough and less tasty with a long period of fattening. Therefore, they have to be hammered before the onset or during molting, which makes plucking difficult.

Features of keeping birds

Cornish chickens are easy to care for, they are unpretentious.

Poultry house

It is better to place Cornish Chickens in a capital structure. Recently, OSV slabs and panels of them with internal insulation have become a popular material for the walls of the poultry house. The thickness is selected depending on the temperature regime in the region. It is 100-150 mm. The roof is covered with galvanized corrugated board.

The area of ​​the poultry house is calculated according to the standards for keeping meat chickens. They amount to 5-6 heads per 1 sq. M. for outdoor maintenance. It is better to make the floor concrete.

To minimize harm from rodents, it is recommended to add broken glass to the solution when pouring.

The floor is made with a depression of 15-20 cm from the threshold level. This space is filled with hardwood sawdust or chopped straw.

Roosting is optional. Cornish feels comfortable on a litter. For laying hens in the poultry house, nests are installed at the rate of 1 per 5-6 chickens. They are wooden boxes with dimensions of 400x400x600 cm with a half-open front wall for entry. Straw or hay spreads to the bottom.

Cornish easily tolerates cellular content. The cages are used the same as for broilers. They are equipped with their own drinkers and feeders.

Walking yard

Attached close to the chicken coop. The structure is a frame made of wooden or metal racks covered with mesh. Better to take galvanized steel. Foxes and hori can live nearby, which easily tear the plastic fence. The paddock is equipped with a separate entrance.

The top is made closed. Cellular polycarbonate is suitable for this purpose. A manhole with a door for closing at night is equipped from the poultry house. If it is made high above the ground, then a ladder is built so that the chickens are not injured.

Feeders and drinkers

Installed indoors and outdoors. For convenience, automatic devices are suitable. Hopper feeders, bulk with a capacity of 2 to 18 kg, depending on the number of chickens. They are suspended or placed on a hard, level surface.

Nipple drinkers. They are economical and prevent water spillage. Vacuum drinkers are installed on the walk. It is necessary to ensure that the containers of the drinkers always have fresh water, and they are available at any time of the day. An adult Cornish drinks 400-500 grams of water per day.

In the room, tanks are installed for ash-sand mixture and mineral additives - chalk, crushed shell, clay, coal, gravel.

Seasonal molt

The first, juvenile molt in Cornish chickens begins at 5-6 weeks, and ends with the start of laying. Seasonal molts occur in autumn and spring. They are associated with a decrease or increase in daylight hours. The bird prepares for a change in temperature and grows overgrown with an additional feather or sheds an extra feather. This protects itself from freezing and overheating.

Experienced poultry farmers sometimes send their charges into forced molt.

Planned herd replacement

The egg production of Cornish chickens declared by the breed standard is maintained for 3 years. In some females, it decreases earlier. Therefore, it is recommended to replace individual individuals at the age of two. A complete replacement of the herd is made at 3 years.

Diet of the breed

Cornish is an early maturing breed. Therefore, the diet is made up, focusing on this indicator.

Adult chickens

From the age of 7 weeks before slaughter, if the chickens are fattened for meat, they are fed with PK-6 compound feed for broilers. You can use PK-12 for young turkeys. If chickens are transferred to the category of replacement chickens, then from 12-14 weeks they are transferred to PK-2 compound feed for laying hens and a grain mixture of wheat, barley, and crushed corn.

In the absence of high-quality compound feeds, they are prepared independently. Mineral and vitamin supplements, fish, meat and bone or blood meal, nettle and other greens and vegetables are added to the grain base..


On the first day of life, chickens do not need to be fed. They have enough to feed the residual yolk. 10-12 hours after withdrawal, they are given water with a solution of glucose and ascorbic acid. Boiled water is given for up to 10 days. From the second day to 7 weeks, feed the PK-2 or PK-5 compound feed. This is a starting compound feed that provides growth and strengthening of bone tissue and rapid weight gain.

To improve the functioning of the intestines, chickens are given yogurt or milk whey from two weeks of age.

Breeding rules

With proper care, Cornish chickens grow quickly, rarely get sick.

When puberty comes

Sexual maturity in the Cornish breed occurs at 7-8 months. However, it is recommended to allow chickens to hatch, and to select an egg for incubation no earlier than 10-11 months. Roosters are selected for chickens 2-3 months older.

The nuances of caring for chickens

From the first days of life, Cornish chickens require more attention to themselves than young animals of other breeds. They fledge much more slowly than their relatives at the age of 1.5-2 weeks. With a sudden cold snap, they can get sick or injured when they huddle together. Therefore, there must be a source of additional heating in a brooder or chicken house.

For grown-up chickens, it is advisable to arrange free range, covered with grass. To reduce the risk of obesity, these handsome men need to move more.

What breeds are crossed with Cornish chickens

The Cornish chicken breed has long been a biological material for crossing with other meat breeds, mainly Plymouthrock and Sussex, to obtain broiler crosses. Some breeders experiment and cross the Cornish breed with Barnevelder, Leghorn, Wyandot, Rhodeland.

Possible diseases

These include diseases of the digestive system arising from malnutrition. If such diseases are suspected, chickens are transferred to a sparing diet. The feed should be dominated by fiber and vitamins. This is a sprouted grain of oats and barley, nettle. Give milk return. They try to keep the bird free-range.

To prevent coccidiosis, Cornish chickens at the age of 14 days are soldered with Baycox for 2 days. At least twice a year, chickens must undergo anthelmintic treatment. The best drugs are Tetramisole and Alben.

Watch the video: Raising chickens 101, getting started u0026 what they dont tell you (May 2022).