Keeping American Games / American Gamefowl as Yard Ornaments

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


Crossing the Road
14 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
This have been brewing with me for some time. I keep these birds for a variety of reasons that in the past involved what the breed had it reputation for. These days my interest in the breed is more varied yet I still have an interest in its preservation. Part of the battle is getting more people interested in the breed. Another part is overcoming ignorance.

This thread will emphasize how these birds can be kept by the typical keepers of backyard chickens that have limited resources. Effort will relate peculiarities of the breed and how you the keeper can adjust so as to reduce risk to keeper and the birds that come from mismanagement.
Certainly no more stately birds for lawn art. Without proper management it can turn from a nature show to something more like a zombie flick, but one must be willing to either pen or cull the males as they come of age. Few people would realize just how prolific they are, with just a little encouragement you can end up with chickens coming out of every crack and crevice around your place. Seems like some people have the idea that a game rooster will be rough with their hens. If you are just keeping some layers for eggs, a game rooster is an excellent flock protector, and most that I have had seemed to display what you could almost describe as chivalry toward hens that were in their care. The crossbred males will have a nice breast on them, too, most times. Had some leghorn/game crosses that weren't bad layers.
Something you must consider from the beginning is numbers on the male side. Only one adult male and you may need to remove males at age younger than you think. By the time young males are pushing 5 months you ay need to separate. You can sometimes go longer but that does not always work even when you use the same group of adults each time.

Knowing how to define an adult is very important here. Use of term rooster is not appropriate.
I have turkeys, a lot of people keep dogs, I've noticed a lot of oriental game breeders keep muscovies. My turkeys act as chaperones and are the difference between finding dead stags and finding stags that are bruised up and penning them. A good brood cock can do the same thing, but most of them will cull stags for you.
My brother has employed purposely the turkeys but that can result in dead stags. Both wild and domestic toms were involved and per his own omission he left stags out too long. Hens, pullets, and stags less than 20 weeks will be tried for reference this summer.

For now with novices I want to concentrate on knowing when and how to pen or otherwise re-purpose (eat or rehome) stags / cockerels getting to an age where they can be problematic.
The only rooster I have is a game cock. He's great. A real family man. I tried to keep some turkeys. Got a nice trio from my brother in law. My rooster ran the Tom right out of the yard. The Tom came back, gathered up his two hen's, and over the fence they went. Never saw them again. My rooster just won't tolerate any kind of males around. Lol. I don't mind. I like him.
I will post pictures asap. The rooster is a spangled Robby White Kelso. I also have a grey hen. I do not know if she is his sister or not, but they produced some dynamite offspring last spring. I gave the one stag to my sister-in-law, and kept the two pullets. I call them my bombers. They are awesome!. There is some backstory to all this. I was married to a cocker for over 30 years. When he died last Feb. I was left with 20 or 30 roosters and hen's. I kept one rooster and the two hen's that could not be caught. One was a spangled, and the other was the grey. Eventually I gave the spangled hen to my sister in law. (She loves game chickens) along with the rest of the roosters and hen's. They are now living the life of Riley over at her place. I was not planning on allowing the hen to set on her eggs, but she was so insistent, I finally gave in and let her set on five. Three hatched. They are so fine, I plan to let her raise babies again this next spring, as I do admire quality game chickens (can't help it. It's in my blood). I may keep a stag if I get one, as I don't know how old Slick (my rooster) is. This will present a problem as I do not want to pen up Slick. He has earned his freedom.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom