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The name Cornish indicates the origin of these handsome birds in Cornwall, England and they belong to the English Class. At one time they were known as "Indian Games" because of the use of both Old English Game chickens and Asells from India in developing this breed. They are unique because of their thick, compact bodies, unusually wide backs, and broad, deep breasts. These super meat qualities have made the Dark Cornish a truly gourmet item to raise for eating. The hens are nice layers of firm-shelled brown eggs and wonderfully hardy. This variety will come as close as any to rustling for themselves under rough conditions and also make good setters and mothers. Another very distinctive character is the close fitting, rather hard textured feathers with unusual lustre and brilliance. The close feathering and compact build will fool you on weight. They are always much heavier than they look. Baby chicks, all purebred and from the same strain, can vary greatly in color from a light reddish buff to a darker reddish brown with dark markings on the head and sometimes a dark stripe on the outer edge of the back.
As a reminder, to help ensure a safe arrival to you, the minimum number of chicks for each order prior to April 1st is 25.
On and after April 1st, the minimum number of chicks required is 15. You can mix and match any type of baby chick in your order to reach the applicable chick minimum order. If ordering any bantams, we require a minimum of 15 bantams per order.
Additional images - click to enlarge.
We've had Dark Cornish for 4 years now. Wonderful all round breed. Excellent flavor with the ones we've harvested, and the hens have been good layers and very good mothers. They do very well free ranging and eat very little commercial food in summer. The one issue we've found is the roosters can be aggressive. The first one we kept was horrid, he was even mean to the hens. He went in the freezer. His successor has been much better: attentive to all the hens and protective and not overly aggressive to us, although you don't want to turn your back on him. But with all the predators in our area, we need a rooster who can protect the flock. Very pleased with Murray McMurray, we just ordered more Dark Cornish, Aracaunas,Marans, and Red Stars.
This year I ordered two Dark Cornish with my assortment of chicks. The two hens are absolutely beautiful, although they look quite different in terms of conformation, size, and color. One of them has bad legs but she gets around okay. She has difficulty perching so we made her a special spot to sit. Both of these hens are the sweetest birds, and are very friendly. The only with the leg issue has become my special pet. She comes running as fast as she can when she sees me so I can pick her up. I love the look of these birds and I cannot imagine being without them in my flock!
Received my little chicks and all are eating and drinking and very lively. My first chick order of Dark Cornish and White Rocks.
I ordered 25 Dark Cornish chicks 2 years ago for butchering. We ended up keeping all of our hens because they had such great appearance and personality. They also were the first to start laying and lay they did! I got an egg from each hen almost everyday until this winter. The roosters we butchered turned out to be the best tasting chicken we've ever had. Wonderful flavor! I'm hoping to get more babies this spring to try raising as pastured poultry for butcher and eggs. Also, the hens get very broody and protective really wanting to raise chicks. I want to let them try raising babies this summer.
Very nice site!
55 and relearning chickens, Its been 30 years--> Hubby and myself. Our first order was 35 chics.--> wow... These birds are great, growing fast, we are very pleased. 8 weeks old and 3 pounds. All are good natured and easily handled. We trained our two Aussie's to herd them from pen to pen. Our free exotic was a Hamburg; he is our lil' buddy... Awaiting for our next order to arrive next week, cannot wait. We ordered some heritage breeds.
Thanks McMurray Hatchery for these healthy, lovely birds.
I have been ordering the dark cornish for years from Murray McMurray, and these birds are far and away my favorite chicken variety. The hens are very hardy and smart. They lay a beautiful egg (some of them are even sort-of speckled). All the hens get broody, and this is the only breed of chicken I've ever had who actually hatched chicks. They outwit predators. They scrounge for themselves. Several years ago, I decided I was going to give away most of my old hens in the fall and get a new batch in the spring... I caught all my 20 chickens except one Dark Cornish who I simply couldn't catch. She lived the whole winter by herself with my goats. I did not feed her even once. She was plump and happy early the next summer when we turned her into soup. These are great free-range birds and for homestead types who want chickens that are easy to keep. One warning: We think the roosters of this breed are particularly mean. But they are also particularly chunky and tasty.
Three years ago I ordered my first chicks. I had never raised, or been around chickens before, and learned everything from a book. The book said to expect 10 to 20% losses. I ordered 56 chicks: 25 each Dark Cornish and Buff Orpington cockerels and 3 each breed pullets. I ended up with 6 Dark Cornish pullets! Those nine hens are still giving me 5 to 6 eggs a day, every day, even straight thru the winter. And it's COLD up here in Connecticut in the winter! Every single chick survived and grew and the boys ended up in my freezer. I prefer the Dark Cornish for meat birds as they get big fast. The hens lay nice brown eggs, big ones, and the yolks sit really high up out of the whites. Over all, these are the birds for me! Can't say enough about the quality of your chicks, I, a complete novice didn't lose a single bird! Must be the birds, 'cause it sure wasn't MY expertise! I, and several friends will be ordering from you again in the spring. I will order from no one else!
I ordered about 50 of these chickens and they are the best and most gentle chickens, and they are setting and have hatched out the healthiest chicks. EXCELLENT MOTHERS!! I would recommend these birds to everyone. and when mcmurry sent them they were big and healthy!!!
We ordered the Cornish Game Hens years ago, and the hens are still strong and good egg layers. They run around the yard and forage with little difficulty with the local predators. Very friendly hens. We love these birds.
These birds will truely take care of themselves and are great layers. We had a fox problem but they never got any of these hens.
My family ordered 4 Dark Cornish 2 years ago, and have been very pleased with the hens we received. They are very intelligent, and fierce mothers. They have all hatched chicks, and this year, I put 2 together on eggs in the same nest. They took care of all the chicks as a team. Another became a surrogate to 3 ducklings that I started in my incubator for the first week. She didn't skip a beat in taking care of them. I thoroughly recommend this breed as a multipurpose, entertaining bird. We love them!
Years ago, I got a Dark Cornish hen in an assortment package. She laid the most beautiful dark brown eggs and was a wonderful mother. Once a hawk had been picking off her latest brood, and when I accidentally chased the hawk into the coop, our hen followed the hawk in and attacked it. What a chicken!!