Table of Contents
The Modern Game Chickens are the show or ornamental birds having been bred as the pretty counterparts to their gamecock lineage.
They are the ideal show chicken from their dubbed combs and wattles to their pretty willow or dark eyes. They are a tall slender chicken their long clean legs, well-shaped toes, beautiful color and erect postures make them look like the supermodels of chicken breeds.
|Country of Origin:||United Kingdom|
|American Poultry Association:||Yes – They are recognized as a breed of chicken in the United States
Eight colors were accepted into the Standard of Perfection in 1874
|Chicken Category:||All Other Standard Breeds|
|Bantam Variety Available?||Yes – Modern Game Bantam Classification|
|Good Starter Chicken?||They require a bit of work and attention to detail should you wish to have them as show birds. As pets or for purely ornamental purposes these friendly birds would be a good starter chicken in a warmer climate.|
Appearance/Body: Modern Game chickens have long thin necks, and sleek bodies with hard tight feathers held close to their svelte bodies. They have a very upright posture with their straight tails held up. They come in a few different colors with a small red single comb (it is dubbed/cut off in males), red face, wattles and lighter pink small earlobes. They have long slender legs which are either black (this variety have dark eyes) or yellow (this variety have red eyes) with four toes that look like they have been manicured.
Color(s) Black, White, Birchen, Red Pyle, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing, Brown-Red and Black-Breasted Red
Comb: They have a single comb
Ave. Weight: Pullet: 5 lbs.
Hens: 7 lbs.
Cockerel: 7 lbs.
Rooster: 9 lbs.
Eggs: They are very poor egg layers.
They lay medium white eggs
They lay 50 – 80 eggs per year
They will lay throughout the year but are more prone to laying in the warmer weather
They start to lay eggs from around 22 weeks old.
Meat: They have white skin
They are not meat chickens
Breeding: They are not too difficult to breed unless you intend to show them. If so first time/novice breeders should seek the advice of more advanced registered breeders
The hens do get broody
They are not really good brood hens
They will sit on their eggs
They will raise their chicks making surprisingly good mothers
They have been known to mother other chickens/breeds chicks
Show Bird: They were bred to be a show bird their bodies, posture and personality aesthetically designed for the showroom floor. These beauties are the supermodels of the Poultry Show Rooms.
Pets: Modern Game is friendly and inquisitive who become really attached to their humans
Other: Although they will not lay a lot of eggs they will grace your garden with their elegance and style. They do not scratch nearly as much as other breeds so your garden and lawn will not get too messy from them.
|Life Expectancy:||The average lifespan is 6 – 8 years|
|Health:||They are not prone to may health issues but are not very cold hardy so will need extra warmth and attention during colder months.|
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|Temperament:||Friendly, inquisitive, tame easily but are very active and alert|
|Flyers?||Not a flighty bird|
|Noisy Birds?||They are not too noisy|
|Interaction with other chickens:||These elegant chickens do not mind interacting with other chickens as long as they have space to roam out on their own when they want to get away from the flock.|
|Good with kids?||They are good around supervised children. They are quite a heavy tall bird, so it is best to assist children who want to give them a cuddle.|
|Socialize Behavior?||They do not mind mingling with other domestic animals although they tend to mostly shy away from them.|
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|Known predators:||Always keep an eye on domestic pets such as dogs and cats.
If hawks and or foxes are in your area it is always best to take precautions.
Check with local animal shelters, zoos, vets, animal control and or pet stores about common predators in your area.
|Conservation Status:||These birds conservation status is recorded as “watch”|
|Garden Size:||They are tall birds with long legs that need a lot of exercises so are ideally suited to larger gardens and homesteads. They do not take to confinement well preferring to be free to roam about.|
|Ideal Climate:||Due to the hard-tight feathering they are better suited to the warmer weather and do not take to cold too well. If not properly insulated or warmed in cold weather they could catch a chill.|
|Ideal Coop:||The rule of thumb for any coop is 50 cm x 50 cm per hen/rooster in the coop.
Ensure there is a good space for the nesting boxes and nightly roosting rails at least 1.5 inches wide.
Good ventilation for air but not too drafty especially in winter.
It is always a good idea to raise the coop off the ground to give the birds a dry place to roost and lay especially in wet weather.
|Ideal Coop Run:||It is best to completely cover the coop run. As with most breeds of chicken, the White variety is more susceptible to night predators than the darker colors and therefore they need the extra security of a closed run and coop.|
|Ideal Flock Size:||They are happy as loners or in a small to medium size flock.|
|Special Instructions:||The males need their comb dubbed if they are to be shown. It is best to keep these chickens out of muddy, damp conditions.|
|Accessories:||The following accessories are ideal for your coop:
Straw for the boxes and roosting area
Animal carrier for transport purposes
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WHERE TO BUY THEM
|Live Poultry Outlets:||Live Poultry Outlets: There are quite a few live poultry outlets throughout the USA that keep Modern Game hatchlings. They are a very popular show bird in the States.|
|Internet Poultry Websites:||There are a few internet sites such as Purely Poultry and McMurray Hatchery|
|Organizations:||American Poultry Association and the American Livestock Conservancy will have some great advice and information regarding the breed and breeders or clubs throughout the USA.|
|Breeders Clubs:||The UGBA should be able to help with a list of breeders or breed clubs in the USA. They also have information on various poultry shows, breeding, etc.|
|Other:||The organizations and or breeders listed above may also have a host of valuable information about your chickens.
They will also be able to provide you with any special instructions, problems, etc. about your chickens.
Modern Game hens were developed due to the cockfighting ban in 1849. Owners of fighting cocks took to showing their birds at poultry shows thus creating a new use for their game chickens.
Through the years of showing these game birds the poultry standards for them took on more form and more desirable aspects were looked for in these game birds for the birds to get a rating or win shows.
In order to obtain these requirements and produce winning birds’ breeders started to develop what we know today as the Modern Game Chickens.
The breed was first referred to as Exhibition Game by the late 1800’s and was not nearly as tall as the current modern-day Modern Game Chickens.
By the 1880’s there was a debate that the chickens should not be as tall as they were and some of the breeds were using the Old English Game name.
By 1910 the breed as we know it today was developed and was named Modern Game. Their sleek, tight feathered frames, long elegant legs and hard feathering fetched a pretty price. They had fast become a very popular show bird and a Modern Game Club had been formed in England.
During the First World War, their numbers rapidly declined as they were not a very useful bird and money was tight, so their popularity dropped.
Their numbers were so few by the time of the Second World war that the breed was thought to have become extinct.
But fortunately, the breed had also made its way to America in the late 1800’s and also to various European countries.
The breed was brought back to life in the 1960’s by Paul Hohmann, a German Breeder, who managed to obtain some eggs from America.
The Bantam variety of the Modern Game was developed in the 1860’s and by the 1900’s the breed was developed into the variety available today. As they were a lot cheaper and their upkeep less expensive than the large Modern Game variety the Modern Game Bantam varieties number did not decline during the First World War.
NOTES / SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
As they are registered as a “watch” conservation status they may need an extra license to own or keep in your garden. For advice on what the bird’s conservation status and orders are please check with your local conservation department.
For breeders, it is imperative that you always check your bird’s bloodlines and ensure you are buying your birds from a reputed breeder/farm. In order to sell birds of such stature, they have to be recorded and documented, always check with local animal breeding organizations for these records.
These legitimate documents are also required should you wish to show your bird(s) in various poultry shows/competition showings.
For information and advice on adopting rescued animals, you can visit or contact your local animal welfare center.
- Caring for your Chicken
- Socializing your Chicken
- Breeding Chicken
- Raising Chickens A-Z
- Hatching Eggs
- What is Molting
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Poultry Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Animal Husbandry Society