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The Old English Game Chicken breed is a popular variety of domestic fowl known for its historical significance and cockfighting origins. With a striking appearance and distinctive characteristics, this breed is highly sought after by poultry enthusiasts.

The Old English Game Chicken breed is renowned for its compact, muscular build, vibrant plumage, and confident demeanor. Originally bred for cockfighting purposes, these chickens are now primarily raised for exhibition, as pets, or for their high-quality meat. Despite its small size, the Old English Game Chicken breed exhibits great strength, agility, and aggressive behavior.

As a result, they require experienced handling and ample space to roam. Whether admired for their historical significance or embraced as striking pets, these distinctive chickens continue to captivate breeders and enthusiasts alike.


The Old English Game Chicken breed has a fascinating history that dates back hundreds of years. Originating in England during the 19th century, this breed was developed for cockfighting and was highly valued for its fighting abilities. Known for their agility, strength, and fierce temperament, these chickens were a popular choice among cockfighters.


Another remarkable aspect of the Old English Game chicken breed is its adaptability to various environments. These chickens are known to thrive in a range of conditions, making them suitable for backyard enthusiasts and small-scale poultry farmers. Here are some key points regarding their adaptability:

  • Weather Resilience: Old English Game chickens are known for their ability to adapt to different weather conditions, including harsh winters and hot summers.
  • Foraging Skills: They possess excellent foraging skills, making them adept at finding their own food in outdoor settings.
  • Docile Nature: Despite their history as fighting birds, Old English Game chickens can also exhibit a calm and docile nature, making them suitable for families and pet owners.
  • Versatile Breeding: This breed has been selectively bred for different purposes over the years, resulting in distinct sub-varieties with specialized traits and characteristics.

Preservation Efforts

Over time, the popularity of cockfighting declined, leading to a decrease in the number of Old English Game chickens. However, due to their rich heritage and unique qualities, efforts have been made to preserve and promote this breed. Here are some points regarding preservation efforts:

  • Breed Associations: Several breed associations and clubs, such as the Old English Game Club, have been established to support and promote the breed.
  • Conservation Programs: Conservation programs have been initiated to ensure the genetic diversity and survival of the Old English Game chicken breed.
  • Exhibition and Competitions: Exhibition shows and competitions provide platforms to showcase the breed’s beauty, standard traits, and recognition.
  • Increased Awareness: Through educational programs and online platforms, awareness about the history and significance of the Old English Game chicken breed has grown, fostering an appreciation for its unique attributes.

Remember, the Old English Game chicken breed holds a special place in the history of poultry. Its striking appearance, adaptability, and ongoing preservation efforts make it a noteworthy breed that continues to captivate enthusiasts and connect past traditions with the present.

Old English Game Chicken
4028mdk09, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

If you’re looking for a chicken breed with a fascinating history and distinctive attributes, the Old English Game (OEG) chicken should immediately catch your attention. This breed, also known as the OEG bantam, carries an air of elegance and represents a rich cultural heritage.

In this section, we will explore the general characteristics of the Old English Game chicken breed, showcasing the unique qualities that make it stand apart from other breeds. Read on to discover the exceptional traits that define the OEG chickens.


Characterized by their well-proportioned build and proud stature, Old English Game chickens exhibit striking visual features. Here are some key traits that contribute to their distinct appearance:

  • Compact and muscular bodies: OEG chickens possess a compact and well-muscled physique, adding to their overall strength and agility.
  • Elevated posture: These chickens boast an upright posture, held high with their chests puffed out and heads erect, portraying confidence and sophistication.
  • Fancy feather patterns: The OEG breed comes in various feather patterns, including spangled, birchen, black red, blue red, and many more, making them a feast for the eyes.
  • Irresistible combs: One of the most notable features of OEG chickens is their stunning combs. They have a single comb, often known as a “walnut comb,” which is distinctively shaped, enhancing their regal appearance.
  • Striking plumage: The plumage of Old English Game chickens is colorful and diverse. With their vibrant and eye-catching feather combinations, they are a treat for poultry enthusiasts.


While Old English Game chickens have a storied past primarily associated with cockfighting, they have also found purpose and admiration in other areas. Here are some ways in which the OEG breed is utilized today:

  • Exhibition and showmanship: OEG chickens are frequently showcased in poultry exhibitions and competitions. Their captivating appearance and distinctive characteristics make them the preferred choices for showmanship.
  • Ornamental breed: With their regal presence and striking plumage, Old English Game chickens are often bred for ornamental purposes. Their beauty and elegance make them ideal choices for backyard or exhibition displays.
  • Genetic contribution: Due to their purebred lineage, OEG chickens have contributed to the development of various hybrid and specialty breeds. Their genetic traits and unique characteristics have left a significant impact on the poultry breeding world.

The Old English Game chicken breed offers a captivating combination of distinctive appearance, remarkable temperament, and versatile utilization. Whether you admire them for their regal beauty or appreciate their historical significance, the OEG breed undoubtedly holds a special place among poultry enthusiasts.

Explore further to unravel the captivating stories and fascinating details woven into the fabric of this remarkable chicken breed.


The temperament of the Old English Game Chicken breed is known for its boldness, confidence, and assertiveness. This breed is highly active, alert, and fiercely independent. They possess a keen sense of curiosity and are always ready for action.

Old English Game chickens are a charming and distinctive breed, known for their regal appearance and fierce disposition. These chickens have a rich history and are still highly valued for their unique characteristics. In this section, we will explore the temperament of the Old English Game chicken breed, shedding light on why they are popular among poultry enthusiasts.

Independent And Self-Reliant

  • Old English Game chickens are incredibly independent birds that thrive when given freedom.
  • They have a self-reliant nature and are excellent foragers, capable of finding their own food in natural environments.
  • These chickens are known to be resourceful and can adapt to various living conditions effortlessly.

Alert And Active

  • With their keen observation skills, Old English Game chickens are always on high alert.
  • They have an active and curious nature, constantly exploring their surroundings.
  • These chickens are quick and agile, making them exceptional at avoiding predators and defending themselves when necessary.

Bold And Fearless

  • Old English Game chickens have a reputation for their bold and fearless demeanor.
  • They are not easily intimidated by other animals or humans, making them confident and strong-willed birds.
  • Their fearlessness makes them fantastic guardians of their territory, as they will not back down from confrontations.

Protective And Assertive

  • These chickens are fiercely protective of their flock and will stand up for their fellow chickens in times of danger.
  • Their assertive nature ensures that they establish their place in the pecking order and maintain order within the flock.
  • Old English Game chickens are known for their leadership qualities and for maintaining a sense of discipline among the group.

Intolerant Of Aggression

  • Although Old English Game chickens are assertive, they do not tolerate unnecessary aggression among themselves.
  • They maintain a fair and balanced environment within the flock, discouraging any form of bullying or excessive dominance.
  • This intolerance of aggression promotes a harmonious and peaceful environment among the chickens.

Gentle And Affectionate

  • While Old English Game chickens may have a bold nature, they can also exhibit gentle and affectionate behavior towards their human caretakers.
  • When treated with respect and care, these chickens can form strong bonds with their owners, often seeking their company.
  • They can become true companions, showing loyalty and affection in their own unique way.

The Old English Game chicken breed possesses a range of interesting and desirable temperament traits. They are independent, alert, and active, displaying a bold and fearless demeanor. While protective and assertive within their flock, they are also intolerant of aggression and can form gentle and affectionate bonds with their human caretakers.

These distinctive characteristics make the Old English Game breed a truly remarkable addition to any chicken lover’s flock.

Comb Types

The Old English Game chicken breed is a fascinating breed with distinctive features. One of the key characteristics that sets this breed apart is its comb types. The comb, located on top of the chicken’s head, serves several important functions and comes in various forms.

Let’s delve into the different comb types found in the Old English Game chicken breed:

Single Comb

  • The single comb is the most common comb type found in Old English Game chickens.
  • It consists of a single, upright comb with a row of evenly spaced points.
  • This type of comb provides excellent heat dissipation for the chicken, ensuring they can regulate their body temperature effectively.
  • It is also believed to enhance the bird’s elegant appearance.

Walnut Comb

  • The walnut comb is a unique characteristic of some Old English Game chickens.
  • It is named after its resemblance to the shape of a walnut.
  • The comb is shorter and wider compared to the single comb, giving it a more compact appearance.
  • Walnut comb chickens are better suited to cold climates due to the reduced surface area of the comb, minimizing the risk of frostbite.

Pea Comb

  • The pea comb, as the name suggests, resembles a pea pod.
  • This comb type is quite small and compact, with three distinct ridges.
  • Pea comb chickens are particularly well-adapted to hotter climates, as the smaller comb size helps to reduce the risk of heat stress.
  • Due to its compact size, the pea comb is less susceptible to injury during fights or encounters with other objects.

Rose Comb

  • The rose comb is characterized by a low-profile, fleshy comb that covers most of the chicken’s head.
  • It has a rounded appearance and lacks distinct points or ridges.
  • The rose comb is well-suited to withstand cold temperatures, as it offers increased insulation.
  • This comb type is commonly found in Old English Game chickens, making them stand out from other breeds.

The Old English Game chicken breed exhibits various comb types, each with its unique advantages. Whether it’s the traditional single comb, the compact walnut comb, the small and rugged pea comb, or the cozy rose comb, these distinctive features contribute to the breed’s overall charm and suitability in different climates.


The Old English Game chicken breed is truly a remarkable addition to any poultry enthusiast’s flock. With its rich history dating back to the medieval era and its ability to thrive in various environments, this breed showcases the perfect combination of beauty, resilience, and heritage.

Whether you are a seasoned breeder or a novice looking to embark on a new adventure, the Old English Game chicken breed offers endless possibilities. Its vibrant plumage, distinctive spurs, and fiery temperament make it a standout breed that never fails to captivate.

Furthermore, the breed’s versatility makes it suitable for both exhibition and practical purposes. From its ability to adapt to different climates and its natural foraging skills, the Old English Game chicken breed is a timeless treasure that continues to be celebrated by poultry enthusiasts around the world.

So why wait? Consider adding this captivating breed to your collection and embark on a journey you won’t soon forget.

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