Old English Games

Lemon Blue OEG pullet
Photo courtesy of Beth Adams

Roosters were used for cockfighting from ancient times. The Old English Game (OEG) is probably the first breed of chicken developed in Britain. It was originally a fighting breed, but today--since cockfighting has been outlawed in many countries--it is maintained by fanciers.

OEGs are very hardy and excellent foragers. The hens go broody often and make very good mothers.

There are many varieties in this breed, some examples being the Black Breasted Red, Spangled, Black, Dun Breasted Blue Dun and Brassy Back. Normally a single-combed breed, males were originally dubbed for fighting. This means that the comb and wattles were removed. It made the bird less vulnerable to damage and gave it a more fearsome look. It is still necessary to dub the birds to show them in the US and Britain.

Mature cocks need to be isolated from each other or they will fight to the death, so modern fanciers often maintain the old method of tying the birds out. A ring is put around the rooster's leg and a short leash is attached. There is an illustration of this below.

Additional information on OEGs can be found in the article by Shahbazin.

And here's Dick Demasky's SPPA article on The Old English Game as We Know It.

And another SPPA article by Doyle Lovingood on the Perfection Grey Old English.

There is a separate page for Old English Game bantams.

From the UK we have the Old English Game Colour Guide by Dr. J. Batty. Totally filled with pictures of OEGs, both large and bantam, there's no logic to the order of things that I can see, but if you want pictures of many colors of OEG, this is the book for you. It is available from Beech Publishing.

From Australia we have A Study of "Old" English Game by David Holden, nd (but I received it in 2010), 70 pp., $60AUD, available from David Holden, 25 Miles Rd, West Creek VIC, 3992, Australia; Phone: 0356749390; cheekylilchic@gmail.com. The book contains information on conformation, judging, colors, husbandry and exhibition of OEGs.

Here's the new book Oriental Gamefowl by Horst W. Schmudde, 2005, 208 pp., AuthorHouse, ISBN: 1420876813. If you want to learn about the history, breeding and maintenance of many breeds of gamefowl, including longtails and long-crowers, this book is for you. Read more about it in the SPPA review.

Another new book is The Game Fowl Colour Guide by Owen Dickey, [2006], 141 pp., privately published. Available from the author at: Owen Dickey, PO Box 1016, Ballymena, BT42 9AH, Northern Ireland. 30.00L plus postage: UK: 2.50L, Europe & Irish Republic -- Unfortunately the author's address no longer works. I don't know how to get it: 4.00L; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA: 6.00L. Very nice book if you want to see the range of colors that Game Fowl can be found in. There are 86 full color original images, mostly photos but a few paintings. Most of the birds shown are Irish Game, but there are also some American Game and some Oxford OEGs. There is also a section at the end on Asils.

And I've also discovered A Bibliography of Gamecocks & Cock-fighting, by John Norris & John Palmer, 1995, 34pp., pamphlet, Arnold Books, ISBN: 0-9583250-0-6. The emphasis in this collection is on historical titles.

Breed clubs:

The Old English Game Club of America
Sam Brush - Secretary
1009 Hillview Dr.
Keller, TX 76248-4012
(dues $10/yr)

United Gamefowl Breeders Association Inc.
Rt. 3, Box 141
Albany, OH 45710
(dues $12.50/yr)

Old English Game Club of North Carolina

The Carlisle Old English Game Club
Mr. & Mrs. J. Barry
Lycaon, Blitterlees
Silloth, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 4JR

The Midland OEG Fowl Club (Oxford)
D. W. Hackett
227 Long Lane, Halesowen,
Birmingham, B62 9JT
phone: 01214-214610

The Scottish Game Club
Mr. J. J. Webster
Blairhill House, Oakley,
phone: 01383-850239

Gamefowl Links:

Shabazin keeps all sorts of game-type fowl and uses Livestock Guardian Dogs to protect them.


Oakridge Farms

Here's a youtube movie on the history of cockfighting in France, Spain, the US, Puerto Rico, Bali and the Philippines

Also see my American Gamefowl page

OEG cocks tied out on a farm in Tennessee

A pair of OEGs. I believe they are Black Breasted Reds

A Black Breasted Red OEG hen
Photo courtesy of Beth Adams

"Merlin," Shahbazin's OEG Blue Breasted Red rooster
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

Shahbazin's Lemon Blue OEG hen, "Hyacinth"
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

A Crele OEG cockerel, Carlisle strain (UK)
Photo courtesy of a friend in the UK

An Oxford OEG cockerel from the UK
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

"Zalea," another Lemon Blue OEG hen
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

An Oxford Black-breasted Brown/Red cockerel
Photo courtesy of Tony -- friend in UK

A Crele male at the '98 Ohio Nationals

"Persephone," a Dark Grey OEG hen
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

"Hen 2," a Wheaten OEG hen
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

Oxford OEG males
Photos courtesy of Chris from the UK

Head of a Pyle OEG cock
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

An Oxford Furnace pullet
Photo courtesy of Tony -- friend in UK

A large Carlisle OEG pullet
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

Head of a Crow Winged Red OEG cock
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

OEG Silver Duckwing and Red Pyle roosters
Photos courtesy of Cackle Hatchery

A pair of Crele OEGs

"Taliesin," a "sort of Silver Blue" OEG male
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

Two Oxford OEG roosters
Photos courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

"Rocky," a Blue/Red cockerel
Photo courtesy of Jamie & Barb Horton

A Stafford OEG rooster from the UK
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

A Rumpless Game cock from the UK
Photo courtesy of Robert Stephenson

Crele Old English chicks
Photo courtesy of Ellen Rockensock

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