Irish Game (Irish Pit Fowl)
The origins of all the present day Irish, English, Spanish, French and Belgian strains of Gamefowl are deeply rooted
with these Pre-Celtic peoples who where trading with the world's greatest sea trading nation of the ancient world:
The Phoenicians. The ancestral Gamefowl strains were brought to the British Isles with the consecutive waves of invading
Celts from 500 B.C to 100 B.C on wards. This is one of the oldest bankivoid Gamefowl breeds. 2000 years ago Roman
writer Pliny already reported concerning fighting chickens in Ireland and England. They resembled the Roman and Gallic
(French) type. Irish Pit Fowl are descendents of afore mentioned Spanish fighters (Iberian fighters, Gallos de Pelea).
Later, until modern era the Old English Game was created and by using Irish Pit Fowl, the American varied lines and
strains were developed.
Irish Pit Fowl is daintier than the heavier (1 pound more) Old English Game. Its characteristic is that they are not
flying at cockfight like for example American strain "Sweater". They are very desired among breeders in South America,
North America and Cuba.
medium upright, good balanced
Hard and tight, Muff strains can be slightly softer in feather but not excessive.
dark or white and tender, after plumage colour, tough
yellow, anthracite, willow, black, white and green (also selected after strains)
Yearly stags can have spurs of 1 inch and mature cocks can have 3 inch spurs:
Some of the hens are spurred and can crow like the cocks.
round shape; robust
small or large single comb, regularly jagged, also small or large pea comb
medium length, less bended, closing tight in both sexes
well educated, size varies from medium to large, mostly dubbed at 5th month
Orange, pearl, red, yellow red or brown, depending on colour impact of plumage
aggressive towards people and his own flock, including hens, habituation phase
necessary, then both sexes become very tame and quiet by correct handling
Very aggressive interference, very reliable, sits average 2-3 times per season
and covers about 13 eggs. The broody defends nest/chicks with her life
small, medium to large creamy-white eggs, 18-25 or 50 to 60 eggs per hen
all Gamefowl colours, mostly black, black breasted black-red, partridge, fig-
pudding, wheaten, brown breasted brown-red, streaky breasted orange-red,
ginger breasted ginger-red, silver & golden black breasted duck wing, black
breasted dark grey, pile, blue-breasted blue-red, dun, spangle, creole, cuckoo,
furness, brassy-back, splashed and white
Muff and Tassel:
Tassels vary from a few long feathers behind the comb to a good sized bunch
They also occur in some strains of hennies. Muffs of the old breed are stronger,
heavier boned birds than the cocks bred today, and are rather loose in feather.
rooster 1.7 to 2kg, hen: 1 to 1.2 kg (rooster 4 to 7lbs, hen: 4 to 6lbs)
Henny cocks should resemble hens in their plumage as closely as possible.
They should have their hackle and saddle feathers as rounded and their tail
coverts as hen like as possible, should not have much shine on their feathers.
This breed often runs large and reachy, which is one of its characteristics.
The two centre tail feathers should be straight. As by Oxford, American and
Spanish strains Henny type can appear
rooster 18mm, hen 16mm
Sources: Dr. Carlos Finsterbusch "Cockfighting all over the World" (1928) page 326
Dr. Ricardo Pedraglio, Lima, Peru, Francisco Elias (1998) "Sobre as Tratado de Aves Rinha"
Irish Pit Fowl
Author: Werner Lamkemeyer