Origin: United Kingdom
Adult male weight (lbs.): 4
Adult female weight (lbs.): 3.5
Recognized variety: Birchen
Primary use: meat
The Old English Game is a breed of chicken. Old English Game fowl are prized among poultry breeders and thus fetch a high sale price. Standard Old English Game cocks were originally bred for cockfighting.
The Old English Game fowl is one of the oldest strains of poultry. Through the Middle Ages the breed was developed by the English nobility into many varying colours, traits desirable for cockfighting were chosen by breeders. Cockfighting became illegal in Britain and Australia in the 1850s and English game fowl are usually kept just by poultry enthusiasts. Today the breeds are used at poultry exhibitions and breeders try to develop stock that will win prizes. Breeders aim to preserve the present strains of this species as well as trying to keep the colour and traits for poultry showing and exhibits.
The Old English Game hen lays well and makes an excellent, reliable brooder and a very protective mother. The chicks are slow to mature and possess the fighting nature from a very young age. They are generally calm birds but it is important to keep mature cocks apart as they will fight each other to the death if they are allowed to. They are hardy and vigorous birds and can be extremely active and very noisy! They make good foragers and like to be out free ranging as they don’t really tolerate being confined due to their need to be active. They can fly to around 2 metres so care needs to be taken with boundaries. Cocks weigh around 5lbs while the hens are 4lbs. They are known for their longevity.