Modern game fowl

The modern game fowl is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in England during the latter half of the nineteenth century. This breed was developed by crossing Malays with Old English game, and although it was bred to look like a fighting chicken, it was never intended to be used as one, especially after cockfighting became illegal in its native country of England. It was accepted by the American Poultry Association as an official breed in 1874.

The modern game fowl varies in weight depending upon the sex and type, with that standard type weighing between five and nine pounds and the bantam type, which is the most popular, weighing between one and 1.3 pounds. The ideal member of this breed has a flat body shape when viewed from above, an upright body positioning, and hard feathers. Both types of this breed hold a single, small comb, but its coloration, and that of the skin and wattles, varies depending upon the color type. The most common colorations include birchen, blackish red, brownish red, and duckwing, but the breed is often separated into two distinct color groups. These are individuals with dark eyes and black legs and those with red eyes and willow colored legs. The comb and wattles are often cut off in order to meet show standards.

Although the modern game fowl looks like a fighting chicken, it has a calm and friendly temperament, so it makes a good pet for suburban enthusiasts. Hens are not known to be efficient egg layers and the breed does not produce good meat, so it is most often used as a show chicken.

Image Caption: A pair of modern games at a poultry show. Credit: Benny Mazur/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)