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American Game Chicken: What You Need to Know

American Game chicken is a breed of fighting roster and a pure American chicken breed. This breed was once bred for cockfighting, and it has been raised traditionally and bred for reasons other than showing. The breed became the source of many other game breeds and become one of the most important bloodlines of gamefowls in the cockfighting industry, especially in the Philippines where cockfighting is legal.

american game
American game fighting cock

American Game chicken was raised by many famous political leaders and it played a significant role in American history. The breed was created from various European and Oriental game chickens.

Most American Game chicken strains or lines consist of Irish Game, Oriental, and Old English Gamefowl. However many others contain Spanish strains, along with gamefowl from other places including the Sumatra breed. Nowadays American Game chicken has become more popular as a show or ornamental bird.

Like the American Poultry Association, there are organizations that have standards for showing these birds, like the American Gamefowl Society. Unlike most other fowl, the American Game chicken is broken down into different strains.

Albany, Butcher, Claret, Hatch, Kelso, Roundhead, Sweater, and Whitehackle are some of the most popular strains. The names of strains originated from people that performed well in the pits (with the birds they made themselves through selective breeding). There is a bantam version of American Game chicken.

American Game Characteristics

American Game is one of the most beautiful poultry breeds. They come in a wide variety of colors. The most common coloration of this chicken breed is Black, Brown-red, Gold, Blue, Pumpkin, White, Red quil, Silver duck wings, Golden duck wings, Black Breasted Red, etc.

Their comb can be found as single and pea comb and with combinations of each. In most color varieties, they have red-colored wattles, earlobes, and comb.

American Game Physical Attributes

Fierce and ferocious, the American gamefowl has beautiful plumage. They are hardy, noisy, and will not stand confinement. American Game Chickens have single large combs and red wattles, though these were traditionally dubbed (Cut) to avoid injury during fights. The comb and wattles are prone to frostbite.

American gamefowl hens lay medium-sized white eggs. The quantity does not warrant the bird to be kept for laying eggs They are good brooders with fierce motherly instincts.

They are strong flyers and care must be taken, or else you will find them at the neighbors. The American fowl has great survival skills, will protect itself, and is a great scavenger.

Depending on the environment, the American gamefowl will live for between 8 to 15 years

American Game Chicken Breed Profile

  • Egg Shell Color: White
  • Egg size: Medium
  • Egg Productivity:  80 eggs per year
  • Skin Color: White
  • American Game Chicken Breed Standard Weight.
    • Hen: 2.5 lbs
    • Rooster: 3.5lbs
  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Temperament: Ferocius fighter. Will not stand confinement. Very noisy. Cockerels cannot be kept together as they will fight.
  • Size: Large
  • Broodiness: Hens get broody
  • Comb: Single
  • Climatic Tolerance: Can tolerate both heat and cold
  • Varieties: Multiple Strains
  • Color Description: Different colors depending on the strain.
  • Conservation Status: Study
  • Country of Origin: The United States of America

In the Philippines where cockfighting or sabong is legal, American game chickens are very popular but they are not called “American game” anymore. Depending on what farm they come from, they are called by the name of the farm owner or other names designated by the owners to the particular bloodlines. For example, Nene Abello has the famous Possum 226 Sweater, Edwin Dela Cruz has 5K Sweater, Popeye Hatch Grey, Duke Hulsey Grey, and others.

Questions Related to American Game

What are the strains of American gamefowl?

The American gamefowl is broken down into strains, unlike most other fowl. Some of the more popular strains are Hatch, Kelso, Albany, Sweater, Whitehackle, Claret, Roundhead, and Butcher.

What are the characteristics of American game chicken?

American Game chicken is a gorgeous breed and very hardy. They are very active, tend to be noisy and intolerant of confinement. And the roosters absolutely cannot be kept together (otherwise they will fight to the death). Care must be taken if more than one rooster is kept to ensure the birds cannot reach each other.

What is the most beautiful gamefowl?

Said to originate from England and Ireland, the Whitehackle is considered by most breeders as the most beautiful gamefowl. They have straight combs, they stand proud with their broad shoulders, and they have a compact build and thick plumage. They are mostly red in color, spotted with mustard hackles

What is the history of American gamefowl?

History. American gamefowl is a breed of poultry once bred for cockfighting. They played a significant role in American history as they were bred, fought, and raised by many famous political leaders. As Abraham Lincoln used to be a cockfighting referee, the breed indirectly influenced his nickname “honest Abe.”

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