The breed has its origins in Cornwall during the 19th century. Breeders crossed the Red Aseel a pugnacious fighting cock with the Malay and Black Red game to produce a table bird of great quality. Built like a Japanese Sumo wrestler with a broad muscular chest, a good bone structure to carry a lot of flesh and a friendly temperament the Cornish Game became the meat breed of choice.
In the USA they developed a slightly smaller but equally meaty white version which in the 20th century provided the basic set of genes for the broiler chicken. Quantitative genetics, scientific breeding, commercial expertise and demand for cheap poultry meat signalled the end of big roasting chickens that were anything up to six months old at slaughter, broilers were cooked and eaten at three months old. Since then after perhaps 100 generations of selective breeding broilers arrive in your supermarket at nine weeks old.
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