Old English Game Fowl

Old English Game


Breed Overview

The Old English Game Fowl was bred in England primarily as cockfighting birds. Now that cockfighting has been abolished in England they are now kept for ornamental purposes. This breed is thought to be one of the first breeds to have ever been created in England and dates back to 5BC. In the 1930s the Old English Game Fowl split into two different varieties being: the Oxford Old English Game Fowl and the Carlisle Old English Game Fowl.

Males of the Carlisle variety can weigh up to 2.9kgs (6.4lbs) and females can weigh up to 2.5kgs (5.5lbs).

Males of the Oxford variety weigh up to 2.5kgs (5.5lbs) and females weigh up to 1.4kgs (3.1lbs).

Old English Game Fowl



Small-sized eggs


Light brown eggs

Production per year

120 per annum

When do they start laying eggs?

From 16 weeks

Old English Game Fowl Characteristics

Temperament / Are they good as pets?

This breed was raised to be aggressive as they were bred for cockfighting purposes. Whilst it’s still possible to tame them to a degree, it is still best to not keep them as pets if you have young children or small animals.

How do I tame these chickens?

Taming chickens is always easiest if you pick them up and hold them a lot whilst they are young. This gets them used to human interaction so that they don’t grow up with an aggressive temperament towards humans.

How many do I need to buy?

You should never have less than 2 chickens as they get lonely by themselves, but, we recommend a few more, 6 is the perfect small flock size.

How much space do they need?

You need at least 250 square feet per chicken so that they have enough space to exercise. If you do not give them enough space they will become aggressive.

Will they mix with my other chickens?

These birds can be very aggressive and if you choose to mix them with other chickens then you need to be very vigilant to make sure there is no fighting. Try and keep mature males apart as they generally will end up fighting.


There are lots of different colors of plumage, in Britain, there are 30 recognized colors for the Oxford and 13 for the Carlisle. The most notable difference between the two is that the Carlisle variety happens to be heavier. They have a single comb, small red earlobes and short legs which should be clean of feathers. Their beak color is dependent on their plumage as there is not one standard color for the whole breed. Their tails point upwards at a 45-degree angle and they stand tall and upright.

Old English Game Fowl


What should I feed them?

Growers’ mash should be fed to chicks once they first hatch until they are around 6 weeks old. This is a smaller, refined feed that is perfect for young chicks as it has a 19% protein content and specialized nutrients for growing chicks. After they’ve grown a bit they can be fed standard chicken pellets. Chicken pellets have between 15-16% protein content. At 14 weeks you should gradually introduce layers’ mash or players’ pellets to their diet. This feed is made to help support chickens with egg production and usually has a protein content of around 16%.

How much should I feed them?

A chicken eats on average ¼ of a pound (113g) of feed a day. Start by feeding them this amount and then adjust based on consumption. If they’re eating the food too slowly then this means you need to cut the feed weight.

What can’t they eat?

If you check out the feed section of our website there is lots of detailed information on what chickens can and can’t eat. The two most notable foods that should definitely not be fed to chickens are beans and chocolate. This is because beans and chocolate contain lethal ingredients phytohemagglutinin and theobromine. Another important thing to note is that any food which has gone off or is not fit for human consumption, should not be fed to chickens as this can make them extremely unwell.

What do I need to keep chickens? 

When preparing for the arrival of your chickens the first thing you need to think about buying is a coop to act as their home. The coop should be roughly 11 square feet per chicken and have a small perch for each of your chickens to sleep on during the night. Inside the coop should also be laying boxes that you can fill with wood shavings.

To keep your chickens safe at night you should buy a sunken fence that covers the perimeter and also goes over the top of the coop. There should be a fence around their exercise space as well, this should be at least 250 square feet per chicken.

It is important that you find a water container that can’t be knocked over or stood in. If there is no grit in the vicinity you’ll need to buy some so that they have access to it for egg production purposes.

old english chicken