American Game Chicken – Characteristics, Origin, Uses

American Game chicken is a game breed originating in the United States. This breed once bred for cockfighting, and it has been raising traditionally and bred for reasons other than showing.

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

And 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 is 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 strains.

Albany, Butcher, Claret, Hatch, Kelso, Roundhead, Sweater and Whitehackle are some of the most popular strains. The names of strain 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.

Origin and History of American Game Chicken

The American Game chickens are descendants of ancient game birds brought to America by European settlers. It was developed in America in centuries ago. The breed was originally bred for cockfighting (it was a popular sport in early America).

Different breeds were developed in America over time, each with its own unique traits and characteristics. And today, the American Game Chickens are valued for their strength, agility, and colorful plumage.


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

Hens lay medium sized white or cream colored eggs. And lay mid-Spring to late Summer, but some will continue until early Fall. They do go broody and are great protective mothers.

Different aged birds are called under different names. For example: a young rooster a year old or less is called stag, a rooster of 13-18 months of age is called bull stag, a fully grown rooster of 18-24 month of age or older is called cock and a young hen less than one year is called pullet. Photo from BackyardChickens.

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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. Hens can also be aggressive towards other hens. Especially if new hens are introduced to the flock.

These chickens are known for being excellent flyers and very good foragers. And they are excellent choice for free range system.

Housing Requirements

Like many other chicken breeds, the American Game Chickens have specific housing requirements. And a specialized housing system is essential to ensure their good health and overall well-being.

These chickens need a sturdy coop that provides protection from predators and adverse weather conditions. Ensure good ventilation system inside their housing system to prevent respiratory issues.

And try to make the house spacious enough to allow the birds to move freely and comfortably. It is also important to provide enough nesting boxes for egg-laying depending on the number of birds and perches for roosting. Always try to keep the coop clean and dry to prevent the spread of diseases and health problems.

Dietary Requirements

Feeding these birds with very good quality and nutritious food is the most important part of their caring. Like other domestic chicken breeds, the American Game chickens have specific dietary needs for staying healthy, strong and active.

These chickens require a balanced diet to stay healthy that includes a combination of seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources (like insects or commercial poultry feed).

Along with providing good quality and nutritious food, it is important to provide them with access to fresh and clean water at all times. Also provide them with supplements (such as calcium, vitamins, and minerals). And doing this is very important to support their overall health and maximum egg production.

Monitoring their regular food intake and adjusting their diet based on the age, activity level of the birds, and seasonal changes.


Like many other domestic breeds, American Game chickens are excellent breeders. They will breed easily if you keep good ratio of hens and roosters in your farm. Generally, one rooster is enough for breeding several hens. Arrange adequate nesting boxes and bedding materials inside their housing system to encourage nesting behavior.


Taking good care of the birds is very important for their good health. So, always try to take good care of your birds. Provide them with good housing, proper nutrition, and attention to ensure their good health and well-being.

Provide them with enough fresh water and a balanced diet that includes grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Monitor their health regularly, clean their living area, and provide them with outdoor access for exercise and foraging.


American Game chickens are used for many different purposes. They are valued for their colorful plumage and unique characteristics. They are raised mainly for their meat and eggs. Some people also keep them as pets due to their friendly nature and interesting personalities.

Popularity and Price

American Game chickens are very common and popular mainly for their striking appearance, strong build, and historical significance. And their exact price can vary from place to place. So, visit some existing farms in your area to learn about current price.


The lifespan of an American Game chicken typically ranges from 5 to 8 years.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The American Game Chicken holds significant cultural and historical importance. While cockfighting is now illegal in many places, American Game chickens are highly valued for their strength, agility, and colorful plumage.

They reflect the agricultural traditions and cultural heritage of the United States. They symbolize resilience and adaptability. They have played a role in shaping local economies and communities (serving as sources of food, entertainment, and companionship for generations).

Pros and Cons

Like many other domestic chicken breeds, these chickens have some advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of raising American Game Chickens:


  • Hardiness
  • Agility
  • Disease resistance
  • Egg production


  • Aggressiveness
  • Space requirements
  • Legal restrictions in some areas
  • Require specialized care

Is American Game Chicken Good for You?

Yes, these chickens are good for you if you

  • Want to keep some chickens for high quality-meat production.
  • Want to have some beautiful birds with unique appearance.
  • Are willing to raise game birds.
  • Want to raise a few good quality chickens.

Review full breed profile of this chicken breed below.

Breed NameAmerican Game
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeOrnamental, Show
Breed TemperamentAggressive, Easily Handled, Noisy, Flighty
Breed SizeLarge
CombSingle or Pea
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorWhitish/Cream
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesDifferent color varieties are available (almost any color imaginable)
Country of OriginUnited States

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

People ask many questions about American Game chicken. Here we are trying to list the most common questions about this chicken breed, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

Do American Game fowl chickens lay eggs?

Yes, sure! These hens lay brown colored eggs.

Are American Game hens broody?

Yes, these hens go broody and sit on their eggs. But the hens are not among the great egg layers, but they are excellent mothers.

How many eggs do American Game hens lay?

On an average, the American Game hens lay around or up to 80 eggs per year. Eggs of these hens are brown in color and medium in size.

What breed of chicken is American chicken?

The American class includes the Buckeye, Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Java, Dominique and Rhode Island Red.

Are game chickens cold hardy?

Yes, the game chickens are generally very cold hardy.

What are the characteristics of American Game chickens?

The standard-sized American Game is bred in a wide range of plumage colors; cock birds have long sickle feathers. The American Game Bantam has a small five-pointed single comb and small smooth wattles and earlobes.

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