BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Old English Game

Old English Game


Pros: sociable, friendly, gorgeous, pocket size : )

Cons: somewhat flighty, extremely adventurous, aggressive in some situations

OEGBs are most definitely my favorite breed of chickens! My very favorite hen I ever had was a silver duckwing Old English hen named Blaze, and she was the sweetest, cutest thing. She would run up to you to say hi (she wasn't really a cuddler, but I think that if I had spent more time with her, she would have been) and loved to greet and socialize. Blaze was also one of the calmest hens I have ever met. She would put up with daisy chains, back-to-back second grade show and tell (for my brother) and a seventh grade biology lesson (for me), and on one notable occasion, a chicken diaper. We never needed to watch the chickens too closely when Blaze was around, as in her short two years, she battled against three hawks and six cats, and won each time. She was a tough cookie, also winning many battles against my blue Crocs (which were my coop shoes at that time). She died suddenly just after turning two, for reasons still mysterious to us. She was the spunkiest, most character-filled, adorable little hen I have ever had the privilege to own.




That's her!^


Pros: Cuddly, sweet, they lay well, friendly, and I could go on, and on, and on!

Cons: They can fly really well, so for people in rural areas, wing trimming is a must.

Wonderful little birds. They make me smile every time I see them. They are beautiful, and are surprisingly good layers for their size. 


I would recommend this breed to anyone who wants a cute, cuddly, small backyard chicken. big_smile.png They are just that great. 







Pros: friendly, good broody behavior

Cons: ? can't think of any

We got an assortment of bantam chickens 5 years ago from TSC.  We got several OEG girls and boys.  The roosters were all gentlemen, guarding the girls and not messing with us.  We eventually got rid of the boys to a farmer who needed roosters to guard the flock but didn't want to feed 10 pound guys.  The girls are still living in and among a fairly large flock of large fowl birds including roosters.  The bantams are pets at our house, the large birds come and go (culled for food for our neighbors or get taken by foxes it seems) but the bantams survive.  I believe it is because they are small and quick.  I am sure a hawk could get them, but 5 years of free ranging, and they still live and we do have predators. We do not separate the bantams and they coexist well within our mixed flock (have goats, dogs, and guineas and ducks in the past).  Plus, they really don't eat much!  And we get small white/off white eggs.  They don't lay for us November through March.  And they can sit on 3-4 large eggs and have hatched many within our flock.


When we have visitors to the mini farm, the OEG are who we seek out to pick up and let visitors pet.  They are friendly, talkative, and are favorites in our family.  Plus, anything you feed and care for for 5 years seems to hold a place in your heart.  


Pros: Friendly, Cute, Intelligent

Cons: Can fly very well. Only a bad thing if you do not have a covered run.

I have one Old English Game Bantam rooster. I know others that people have and the all seem very friendly. Every time I go in the run he flies up on my arm or shoulder to get treats. They are very small bantams (super cute). They are great for pets. I am going to try to teach mine tricks ;) He can fly higher and for longer than any other of my bantams. 


Pros: can become attached to you, gorgeous, and protective

Cons: none

we got an old english game rooster on easter at tractor supply! he is so friendly and he always runs to me when he sees me. everyone should have one of these chickens!


Pros: Gorgeous lawn decoration, quite small, good layers, good pets if handled at a young age

Cons: Cocks/roosters can be quite aggressive, hens and roosters alike are prone to frostbite

The Old English Game Bantam is a breed of chicken. Pure Old English Game Bantams are highly prized by poultry breeders and fanciers, and therefore, they can sell for quite a lot of money, if the breeder/seller knows what s/he's doing. 


The Old English Game Bantam is one of the oldest strains of poultry breeds that have been used for cockfighting. Through the Middle Ages, the breed was developed and bred 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.

(That part was taken from Wikipedia. I don't own it.)


There are many varieties of the Old English Game Bantam, making it even more appealing. The following varieties are all recognized.



Old English Game Black - 1938 Game Bantam
Old English Game Black - Breasted Red 1925 Game Bantam
Old English Game Black Tailed Buff - 2004 Game Bantam
Old English Game Blue - 1976 Game Bantam
Old English Game Blue - Brassy Back 1996 Game Bantam
Old English Game Blue - Breasted Red 1965 Game Bantam
Old English Game Blue - Golden Duckwing 1965 Game Bantam
Old English Game Blue Silver Duckwing - 1965 Game Bantam
Old English Game Brassy Back - 1990 Game Bantam
Old English Game Brown Red - 1960 Game Bantam
Old English Game Columbian - 1996 Game Bantam
Old English Game Crele 1976 - Game Bantam
Old English Game Cuckoo 1977 - Game Bantam
Old English Game Fawn Silver Duckwing - 1998 Game Bantam
Old English Game Ginger Red - 1982 Game Bantam
Old English Game Golden Duckwing - 1938 Game Bantam
Old English Game Lemon Blue - 1965 Game Bantam
Old English Game Mille Fleur - 1998 Game Bantam
Old English Game Quail - 1988 Game Bantam
Old English Game Red Pyle - 1946 Game Bantam
Old English Game Self Blue - 1965 Game Bantam
Old English Game Silver Blue - 1996 Game Bantam
Old English Game Silver Duckwing - 1938 Game Bantam
Old English Game Spangled - 1925 Game Bantam
Old English Game Wheaten (female) - 1943 Game Bantam
Old English Game Wheaten (male) - 1949 Game Bantam
Old English Game White - 1938 Game Bantam
Thanks for reading! Please comment, and let me know if any of the information is invalid! yippiechickie.gif


Let me tell you what...we had the TOUGHEST time just figuring out what our chicken was! For the first few weeks i truly thought she was a bird or a quail lol! We have a silver duckwing hen(Popcorn) and she's the smallest chicken in our coop. Popcorn tries not to be at the bottom of the pecking order...but being small has its ups and downs. She can drink underneath all the others plus she gets the little treats runs runs fast to hide from the big girls.


Pros: Beautiful, calm, hardy, intelligent, low feed consumption, protective

Cons: Get stuck in small places, frequent drop in egg production

When we ordered hatching eggs from a hatchery one year, we ended up with a pair of old english game bantams by accident. A pullet, we called her Tweetie, and a rooster, called Sirma. Both were Brown-Reds. Tweetie hatched with no bones in any of her toes but had no trouble getting around and could perch fine because of her small size. Tweetie was shy, sweet, and flighty. Sirma is calm and outgoing.


Tweetie laid eggs for 3 weeks straight (1 a day), and then would take 2 weeks off. Then repeat. That was fine with me. We didn't expect so many eggs out of such a small package! One day, she disappeared, and we didn't know what happened to her. We found her body a few months later, wedged into a space between the wall and the floor. She must have gotten stuck in there - she was getting broody, and might have been searching for a quiet place to lay her eggs.


Both of them had made it through that winter, which was bitterly cold (negatives with lots of wind and ice) with no frostbite and no issues at all. Sirma even went outside a few times, but almost got grabbed by a hawk, so he spent the rest of the winter indoors.


Sirma is intelligent and protective, and despite being a bantam, he is the king of our roosters - our two large fowl roosters - and delights in chasing them all over the yard. He tried to 'protect' the hens from a poor hedgehog who had wandered his way into our yard. He is always finding ways of escaping but is also the first to find cover when something big and hungry flies overhead. It's a shame we lost our girl. They made a good, cute pair!


I recommend this breed to anyone. They are cost-friendly as they eat very little food and forage a lot.


They're also small, beautiful, can fly great, and make a really nice addition to the flock. We mixed ours with our full size flock of 40+ birds without any problems. English games can pretty much take care of themselves. But seriously, they can fly: our Sirma would fly 20 feet up onto the roof of our barn to crow in the morning!


Pros: Sweet tempered when raised to be, very intelligent, alert, good free rangers.

Cons: They seem to like getting into trouble and places they don't belong.

We decided after three years of having our standard hens to try bantams. Our birds are free range and we have a lot of hawks, falcons, coyotes, foxes, etc, so we wanted birds that would be very alert and good at avoiding danger. After some research, we settled on ordering in some Old English Game chicks. Honestly I expected the birds to be flighty and hard to tame, but they certainly proved me wrong! We ended up with 10 bantams, 9/10 being OEG bantams. Now, we love our older hens are golden comets and it took them about two years for each to learn her name. All of our OEGs already know their names, come when called, and they all love sitting around us. Just yesterday I ended up with one of our roosters and one of our hens falling asleep in my lap. They are very sweet, making very odd little noises, are very personable, goofy, alert, and intelligent.


However, our little game bantams do have some problems controlling their curiosity, and now we've had chickens roosting on the shelves on our back porch, up in trees, on the roof, and all the places the little monsters aren't supposed to be! While this can be kind of, ah, annoying when we end up with chicken poos in some odd places. Other than that they are intelligent, friendly little birds that are a joy to have around.


Pros: calm, affectionate

Cons: Small

Our Cadbury is our sweetest chicken out of the 18 we have. She chases us around the yard wanting to be picked up. She is very tiny, at 8 weeks old she's barely the size of a robin. She is a tough little bird though....always holds her ground with treats. I think it's very humorous to watch all the bigger chicks jumping all over each other to get to food and water but Cadbury just walks right up underneath all of them and helps herself. Highly recommended. 

Old English Game

The Old English Game bantam is a delightful breed of chicken. It is a small, pugnacious, and charming little chicken that embodies the idea of pride and “chickenhood.” Their larger counterparts are the direct descendants of the jungle fowl, but the bantams are the end result of careful selective breeding of various backyard bantams. The first variety accepted to the American Standard of Perfection was Black Breasted Red (BBR), gaining recognition in 1925. Since their acceptance, they have become the most popular breed of exhibition chicken, easily reaching class sizes of over 300 birds in medium sized shows. Males are required to be dubbed in order to be shown, but unlike the Modern Game bantam part of the comb should be left, leaving a rounded nub. Old English have two distinct types, “American” and “English,” with the American type having a fanned tail and the English type having a “whip” tail. This breed is known for living a long and fruitful life; it is not uncommon for hens to reach 15 years of age.

Breed PurposeOrnamental
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeSmall
Egg ColorWhite
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Docile
Breed Colors/Varieties
Breed SizeBantam
APA/ABA ClassSingle Comb Clean Leg
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Frequent
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Small
Egg Color: Light Brown

or white

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Wheaten, Spangled, Red Pyle, Barred, BB Red, Crele, Black, Self Blue, Blue Breasted Red, Silver Duckwing, Mille Fleur, Blue, Fawn, Brassy Back, Mottled, White, Splash, Quail and Blue Red Blue Wheaten Brown Red

Breed Details:

Old English are a very hardy breed. They handle cold and heat exceptionally well. They are excellent foragers and will easily adapt to a wild life (so be sure to keep an eye on your flock if you let them range!). It can be difficult to house multiple males together, but if they were raised together as chicks there shouldn't be a problem. Never approach a male from the front. Cocks see this as a challenge and may attack. Grasp your male by the shoulders first then pick him up. Females are very sweet and timid. They love to be handled and babied, and are known to be superb broodies. If you are new to Old English and plan on showing them, please keep in mind that competition is usually very stiff and donÂt be discouraged if you donÂt do well! ETA: info referenced from APA and ABA Standards and personal experience. Info provided by MoodyChicken Pictures Provided by Shay20


BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Old English Game