Chicken Breeds: Old English Game Fowl and Old English Game Bantam
“Bantam” is a term used to describe the size of the chicken. The Old English Game is one of the rare breeds that comes in both “flavors,” regular sized and bantam. Both breeds are vibrant chickens, and look positively feral compared to other, more domesticated chicken breeds.
Although Old English Game bantams were not developed from OEGB fowl, both versions were originally bred for cockfighting. It is also considered one of the oldest breeds of domesticated chicken – if OEGB bantams can be considered “domesticated,” of course! I have heard of Old English Game Birds charitably being described as “quarrelsome.”
The Old English Game has “hard” feathering, where the feathers are stiff, glossy, and water-repellent, much like the original jungle fowl from which the domesticated chicken was bred. It is lean and muscular, with powerful legs and wings.
Old English Game fowl and Old English Game bantams can be rather aggressive, both towards other birds and towards their human handlers. One variety of Old English Game fowl was bred specifically for cockfighting, and it is easy to see why the Old English Game was chosen for this purpose.
This is a chicken breed which is best suited to the experienced keeper. It requires an owner with enough space to segregate Old English Game roosters from each other, and to keep the breeds separate from other “regular” chickens.
According to Wikipedia, Old English Game birds may be one of the worst layers as far as modern chicken breeds goes. They are said to lay approximately 130 eggs per year, and to be only a “reasonable” eating bird. However, most Old English Game fowl and Old English Game bantams are not kept for meat or eggs, but for show and as a truly different breed of chicken
Other chicken breeds:
- Buff Orpington
- Old English Game Birds
- Ameraucana, Araucana, and Easter Egger
- Sex Link, Black Star, and Red Star
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