-Come In A Wide Array Of Colours
-Gentle With Young Children
-Hens Are Quiet
-Bear Confinement Well
-Lovely Yard Candy
Cons: -Aggressive To Other Chickens
-Dislike Being Picked Up
-Can Be Quite 'Pecky'
-Fly Very Well
-Roosters Crow Very Constantly, And Have A Squeaky, Unpleasant Crow
-Due To Small Size, Are Targeted By Predators More Often
Old English Game Bantams (or OEGBS) are a delightful breed, very full of personality. They are quite highly strung, and my top hen tends to get quite pecky towards me without regular handling. They will run up to me when I come outside, looking for treats. Here are my reviews of their personalities from my bantam chat thread Gary! A quirky character is little Gary, he crows in competition to my RIR cockerel (In my main flock) and thinks he is truly the best roo in existence. He actually doesn't crow at the break of dawn like Reggie(my RIR) and instead waits until around 10 am to announce his presence to the world. He gets overly excited about roosting (I have to place a light in my OEGB kennel so they can see in order to get up onto the roost) anyway, when he sees the light in the kennel, he skips dinner and races to roost. I always have to remove him from the roost and make him eat dinner, and then he remembers that he is actually pretty hungry, silly boy.
Raisin Cookie & Milk! An odd name for an odd bird(Gifted to her by my younger brother) RC&M can never decide where she lies in the pecking order, one moment she's on top, and the next she's on the bottom. I'm pretty sure she was from a project line, if so I'm not breeding her(Whops...)
And last but not least...
Freckled! Freckled is the bossy-pants of the group, always putting the other two in their place, and constantly squabbling with RC&M for head of the pecking order. She'll put Gary in his place when he gets over excited, and she's not afraid to stand up too anything... Even my Rhode Island Reds, when they (Inevitably) invade the yard. She is very chatty and always the first to investigate when something in the yard is amiss, and is never afraid of the tame (And stupid) muscovy named Forrest (If anyone gets my reference) when he lumbers into the yard every morning to squeak until he is fed breakfast.
They are very lovely birds, although I have never seen an egg from my hens... All in all they are a good breed, jam packed with personality! They don't do very well with other breeds, and once they have formed a group they WILL fight outsiders.
Here are some pictures of my lovelies-
Gary is the Silver Duckwing(black and white), Raisin Cookie & Milk is the brown and white one, and Freckled is the Ginger-Red(Reddish ginger and brown one)
$10 EACH $30 FOR THE TRIO, PURCHASED FROM A POULTRY SHOW
I've had hens that rule the roost literally bossing around the larger hens. I love how vocal they are I feel like I've had deep conversations with several. and who can resist the little fearless roos and the cock-a-doodle-do sounding as though they are on helium.
Pros: Friendliest chicken ever, amazing broody hen, pretty, small, roosters are super nice
My hen will literally walk up to me with the intention of being held
The same hen had disappeared for about 4 weeks, and then I walked into my horse barn and she had 8 chicks! Sneaky girl. She raised them with gentleness and carefulness. My rooster is also super nice. My OEGB are the nicest chickens I own. Best breed for having a broody hen and a lovable pet. My female is so nice to every chicken in the flock, including every chick she comes by. I never see her peck a chick that's not even hers. AMAZING BREED
We have two pair of these - black and blue. The females are sweet and make good show birds for small children. The lay enormous eggs considering their body size. The males are very agressive as is to be expected, but can be handled because of their small size. Just make sure you wear sleeves. They can also be tamed by frequent handling. These little guys don't know their little and will try to play with the big ones, which doesn't work out well. They really need their own housing and run.
Pros: Very small so they need less food, smaller coop/run area per bird. Adults very protective of the youngsters. Excellent foragers.
Cons: They get into everything, very good aviators Small eggs
I needed to keep my flock small so bantams were a logical choice. On my birthday last year (October)I read an advertisement on craigs list and made arrangement to buy a trio of Red Pyle O.E.G.B.(8 week old) from a local farm. On the way home the 2 pullets were quiet in the cardboard box but the cockerel decided to fly out of the box up on my shoulder, I guess he wanted to see where we were going.
They started laying in January but I had to put golf balls in the nesting boxes to get them to lay in the nests. In march both hens went broody at the same week, And I was totally unprepared ( only 4 eggs on hand ) I managed to slip out the golf balls and put the eggs under red and next day blondie was setting on 2 golf balls. Twenty One days later red hatched out 3 little fuzz balls out of 4 eggs one chick died ( cause unknown ) I wound up getting 1 cockerel and one pullet from the first hatch. Next in early July Red goes broody again this time I'm ready I have 6 eggs available and blondie contributes one to the cause, 21 days later hatch 7 of 7.
Now I have 1 adult rooster 2 adult hens 1 juvenile cockerel 1 juvenile pullet and 7 able to fly short distances fuzzbutts. My little flock of 12 is self sustaining!
These small birds have big personalities I let them out for a couple of hours before sundown to roam the yard ( chicken psychology 101) when the sunsets they are ready to go home on their own.
All in all these are great birds to have IMHO the adults are protective of their babies and not as flighty as I was told, they are prolific breeders, they won't break the feed budget and I think they are compact beautiful chickens. They interact very well with human contact in my experience.
The only real drawback I have is if a recipe calls for 3 large eggs I have to use 6 banty eggs.
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: Adorable, Intelligent, not timid, talkative, sweet
Cons: Not truly a con but they require more safety measures, avian netting, climate control depending on area
We are now the proud chicken parents of three OEGB. We have a boy who was a rescue from city dwellers who can't have a rooster, his name is Oliver and he is around four months old, his feathering is black breasted red. We have two self blues, Maggie and Henry who are about 10 weeks old.
Oliver is super tame and LOVES to cuddle. He is just a doll and we are so happy we could give him a home. Maggie had curled toes when we brought her home but we made a shoe splint for her with pipe cleaner and Coban so hopefully it will be corrected soon. She gets around great with her little shoe and is in with her brother Henry and eight standard size young ones. Henry is always by Maggie's side and they both sing like little songbirds several times a day.
I also noticed they can hold their own extremely well! They are not picked on by the larger birds and get right in there when we set down their fermented feed. They are very playful at this stage and I hope it continues.
I am now hooked on OEGB and will add more to our feathered family in the future. We also have a Sebright rooster, Stewart, who just turned one and he is my best buddy. He is very dog like and has to be wherever I am. He actually loves car rides so he goes on outings with us. He is extremely intelligent and very well trained. We had to stop at Home Depot yesterday and I really didn't want to leave him in the car cause Infelt it would be a bit to warm, I figured well what the heck, they allow dogs in Home Depot, even untrained ones here... So we took him in. He sat in the kids part of the basket on my purse or perched in between my hands on the cart handle and was a complete angel. He delighted many people and many photos were taken on him as he is quite striking.
Oliver and Stewart are getting along fabulously. They may turn out to be quite the little duo and it is so fun to watch them interact. My main point of mentioning our Sebright rooster is I have yet to see any issues between him and the OEGB. I have not encountered any aggression issues as some people warn of due to Old English being "game" birds. I think if you provide them with enough enrichment and attention, just like some dog breeds that require more attention and exercise, behavioral problems will be prevented.
I never thought I would own bantams as they don't lay large eggs. I found out I have been missing out for many years not having them in my life.
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!
Cons: Roosters fight a lot, not very good mothers, roosters are sometimes very abusive towards the hens
These are decent birds, though not my favorite. They tend to fight a lot, they're pretty bad mothers, and some of the roosters seem to like to breed a little too often. One has been destroying my hens (butchering him soon).
Very beautiful, and extremely hardy. So, that's a plus! Not my favorite.
I have 4 hens and they're very friendly. If you're looking for a "pet", this is your breed. Their eggs are very small (think ping pong ball). They do lay consistently however (nearly an egg a day). They're very much like dogs in that they will beg (sqwack) for treats when they see you. Don't get me wrong, they're a great breed, but when selecting a chicken, I'm looking for a large bird that will lay good and be big enough to butcher at the end of its laying days. Great breed for young kids and beginners.
Cons: Perhaps, sometimes prone to extreme broodiness.
I have 2 flocks, one is a mix of OEGB and the other is pure OEGB BBR, they are beautiful birds, they free range, i love their personalities, watching them fly, i think they have very wild instincts, they are very inteligent, smart little birds. Some months ago i had this episode, I had a hawk attacking my flock for nearly a month, the hens had chicks, before i knew he killed 5 chicks of different mothers, then i started to watch them to protect them and i was amazed! They learned to escape the hawk, i saw several times the hawk trying to catch the chicks, but they managed to get away,they became very alert to all moviments in the sky, and would run or fly for cover in bushes very fast, the younger chicks would use sometimes camuflage laying still below the grass, and if the hawk got near the chicks the hen would attack him, then all that noise will attract the roosters attention and they would chase the hawk away, the hawk finely got bored and never returned again.
Pros: Beautiful, very tame, they will sit on your lap for hours, not really a bullying breed, but not picked really bad either
Cons: Clipped wings are a must (for me with my lousy fence) while they are growing up, sensitive to cold and do need extra protection
My spangled OEGB, Jace, is really cute and has great camoflauge, which is good if you have lots of predators. It also means she can hide from me really easy if she gets out, which is why I had to clip her wings. I have 2 more OEGB's and they do not fly out, so it might just be the wings- too-big -for -her-body stage I have to clip them.... hopefully! one of the issues I have is she is sensitive to cold, being a hard feathered breed. this breed just needs a little more care than some, but their stellar personalities make it all worthwhile. My other 2 (Mixes) are very cute, but bad layers. They were very easily tamed and have quirky personalities.
Jace is very tame too, If you catch her she will be calm and just sit there. If you need eye candy that's not super skittish, this is a great breed!
well, she gave up on flying out, but now she digs holes under my fence and climbs out that way.
fortunately that's easily fixed....
I'm astounded on her laying capabilities, she laid large (for a bantam) eggs right from the start and right now is my most reliable layer! her eggs are the prettiest pinkish color too.
her personality has really blossomed now that she is older and she is really a sweet girl. She has proven herself to be resistant to lice and disease, which is a HUGE plus!
overall I would totally get this breed again. On my wishlist for spring again.
I changed my review from 4 1\2 stars to 5 as she has become the best bird in my flock, mellowing slightly with maturity. She is a horrid winter layer, but as I am not keeping her for eggs it does not matter. She is by far the tamest bird in my flock, and one of the prettiest as well.
Pros: Good pets for kids and people who don't want a threatening bird , good for small yards.
Cons: Almost no eggs and are prone to predation from even a cat.
Ive had old englesh games since i was 6 years old and they are my favorite bantam, ive almost had every single strain of them, ive had crele, bbreds, brown reds and gold and silver duckwings.
They are great for kids to play with and are fun to watch, roosters are not agressive hardly ever and in my whole life only one spured me and that dident happen but once,
The hens are calm and love to be held, they dont hardly ever lay eggs and ive never seen one go broody.
Overall they are great chickens and are good pets.
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.