Australian Game Fowl
The Australian Game Fowl is a breed of hardy and courageous Australian chicken that was originally developed from fighting cock strains during the time when the fad was for leggy, tall fowls, and chicken fight was en vogue. With their appearance, demeanor, and characteristic attributes, they excelled many other contemporary chicken breeds, and got a conformation in no time. Also, the then mass preference made these chickens popular very soon, and they could successfully catch on as a popular show and game fowl. Not just that, these domesticated birds were also considered as the perfect farm breed, providing good quality meat for the table.
|Other Names||Colonial Chicken, Aussie Game Chicken|
|Characteristics||The roosters are brighter than the hens; both have a flat back; both the sexes have unusually long and slender legs that might look unbefitting to the size of their bodies. Breed conformation demands that, they should be very large, solid and muscular, tall with a ‘proud’, defiant bearing; pea or triple comb, often dubbed; Wattles and earlobes are smooth with the upper brow being slightly loose, all generally red; eyes are small, round and bright with a pair of strong beaks that are yellow to dull|
|Colors||With full attention to their proper structure, no color standard has been set|
|Plumage/Feathers||Extremely brittle and hard; any fluff is to be avoided|
|Personality Traits||Obedient, intelligent, adaptable, alert, brave|
|Purposes||Show and cock fight; also for meat and egg production|
|Eggs||Around 180 per year|
|Weight (size)||Standard Adults: Male: 4 – 5.5 kg; |
Female: 4 – 4.5 kg
Bantam Adults: Male: 1.25 – 1.60 kg;
Female: 1.0 – 1.25 kg
The Australian Poultry Standard defines the standard weight for males should be 5.45 kilograms and for females should be 4.55 kg
|Diet||Standard diet recommended for most other chicken breeds|
|Country of Origin||Australia (New South Wales)|
History and Development
These slender-legged birds originated from the ‘Colonials’ (or, Colonial Chicken), a variety of long-legged fighting fowl, and were later refined for table and exhibition qualities. The Malay influence is very much evident by its physical characteristics. They were developed by mixing other fowl breeds viz., Old English Game, Modern Game, Asil, Malay Game, and Australian Pit Game. Although the bird was developed in Australia, the date of its development is not known. It is however thought that, these fowls were created between the mid and the latter half of the 19th century in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Originally bred for cockfighting and meat production, they were originally known as ‘Colonial Chicken’ or ‘Colonial Game’. Because of their stamina to courageously fight in the pits, and for being leggy, which was highly regarded during those days, these fowls were highly prized. Their Malay background meant that they were quite leggy and that was highly regarded at the time.
At present, this bird is a popular exhibition bird, and over the last 25 years the bantam variation of this breed has been developed in many colors. With time, the bantams are gradually becoming smaller with a better type. The judges in the shows look for Australian Games that have superior quality of feather, and a proud, elegant style.
Though they are fighting birds, they have been reported to be gentle towards their owners and are easily-tamable.
- To describe the standard of expectation for this breed, adjectives like active, fearless, vigorous, and upright have been used.