- Purpose: Ornamental
- Eggs: White
- Egg Size: Medium
- Color: Brown Red, Blue, Black, White
- Comb Type: Single Comb
This unmistakable breed came about as a reaction to the British outlawing of Cockfighting in 1849. With lots of chicken-crazy folks hungry for a feathery sport that wouldn’t put them on the wrong side of the law, the exhibition became an obsession.
Former game bird breeders developed the Modern Game Fowl so they could continue to breed and display the stock they had been working with. The taller and more tightly feathered the bird was, the better the prize they won, leading to the extreme shape of today’s Modern Game.
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The Modern Game Fowl is not a breed that will be forgotten in a hurry. With their incredibly long legs, long necks, compact bodies, and hard feathering, they are somewhat reminiscent of velociraptors or maybe a chicken rendition of a greyhound. Though it may look like it’s ready for a fight, these leggy chickens were never meant for the illegal cockfight pit—they’ve always been kept for their looks!
Like the greyhound that their looks suggest, the Modern Game Fowl requires lots of exercise and room to run around to stay in good condition. They will surely be entertaining to watch as their bitty body bobs above their gangly legs! No need to worry about your garden if they roam across your homestead. This breed scratches far less than other breeds of chicken.
The Bantam Modern Game Fowl enjoys more popularity than its standard-sized counterpart. With a dizzying array of feather colors available, a large number of chicken clubs to join, and the added bonus of consuming less feed than standard birds, there’s a lot to love about the miniature version. If you’re curious, check out the long list of the colors allowed for this truly unique breed!
To Dub or Not to Dub?
These are one of the few chicken breeds where dubbing is not just allowed but actively encouraged. The cosmetic practice of removing the wattles and single comb of a cockerel is done to emphasize the smooth, streamlined silhouette of these svelte birds, and is necessary for any male to comply with the APA’s Standard of Perfection. If you want to show poultry like Moderns but don’t like to strip pieces off your birds just for looks, then you may find the show ring to be a bit frustrating.
The close-lying, tight feathering on Moderns does not protect them from the cold. They need shelter and care during cold weather and probably an insulated coop in the most frigid climates.
What’s the Yield?
Moderns were never created with eggs or meat in mind. Purely ornamental from their inception, they are excellent at being show birds and don’t offer much in terms of meat or eggs. In the exhibition ring, however, their keeper-oriented, calm temperament shines.
These are lightweight birds, usually reaching 4 pounds as hens and 5.5 pounds as roosters. The bantam version of the rooster reaches 22 ounces, and his bitty hen will usually be around 20 ounces.
Pictures of Modern Game Fowl Chickens
- Modern Game, My Pet Chicken
- Modern Game Chickens, Poultry Keeper
- Modern Game Chicken Breed Information, Roy’s Farm
- Poultry Breeds – Modern Game Chickens, Oklahoma State University, Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
- Modern Game, The Livestock Conservancy
- Modern Game Chickens, Hobby Farms
- Modern Game Bantam Club of America
- Modern Game, Backyard Chickens
- Modern Games, Feathersite
- Modern Game: The Tall Unique Bird, Raising Chickens