Old English Game fowl
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|Conservation status||at risk|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
Gallus gallus domesticus
The Old English Game fowl (OEG for short) is a breed of chicken. Pure Old English Game fowl are prized among poultry breeders and thus fetch a high sale price. One of the types, called standard Old Englishes, are larger than the bantams and were originally bred for cockfighting. Old Englishes should not be confused with American Games and other game fowl chicken breeds.
It should be noted that the body styles of US- and UK-bred OEG bantams differ noticeably. The Old English Game bantam is the bantam version of this breed; it is one of the smallest chicken breeds, weighing about 22 oz (650 grams) when they are fully grown. The Old English Game Bantam is one of the most popular bantam breeds. This is especially the case in the United Kingdom, where it has its own specialist shows. The Old English Bantam is similar to the Old English Game in that it has long legs and it is fairly muscular. They are a great pet for children. The bantam was not developed from the larger sized old English but rather from other barnyard bantams of the same area. This explains their lack of length in the sickle feathers that you see in the standard sized OEG The American old English game bantams contain blood from Dutch, and Rosecombs plus other breeds to add feather length and more colors like the silver-laced varieties developed from Sebrights.
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 colors, 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. Exhibition bred cocks can fetch amounts over US$600.[clarification needed] Breeders aim to preserve the present strains of this species as well as trying to keep the color and traits for poultry showing and exhibits.