The Modern Game is a relatively recent creation by British Fanciers and a result of the ban on cock fighting in 1849. The birds are elegant, almost ballerina-like, on long legs. They have retained the hard feathering, the broad chest and the ‘gamey’ look of the original Old English Game, but they are no longer a fighting fowl.
Modern Game are available as large fowl and as bantams. They are a fancier’s fowl with little use in the backyard. Here in New Zealand they are quite rare and really good examples are difficult to find. The bird pictured was a child’s pet, well used to being handled. Otherwise it would have been difficult to take photos.
Like all game birds, Modern Game can be kept free ranging and they mostly look after themselves in all weather. They require very little additional food as they are excellent foragers and they will, for instance, keep an orchard free from pests like codling moth.