Aussie is worth the attention

Australian Game is worth your attention

Farming Small Areas News
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Developed in Australia in the early colonial days as a fighting bird, the Australian Game breed has been developed more as a show bird and is still popular in the countryside.

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POPULAR: A dark red crow-wing Australian Pit bantam plain-face.

POPULAR: A dark red crow-wing Australian Pit bantam plain-face.

The Australian Game or “Aussie” as they are called on the show circuit is a breed that lays a tinted egg of good size, even in the bantam.

As the name indicates the breed was developed in Australia in the early colonial days as a fighting bird.

It was extremely popular and was widespread.

As times changed and cock-fighting became illegal the bird was developed more as a show bird and is still popular in the countryside.

The bird now shows some different qualities to the earlier fighting birds and one indicator of this is the long legs from the Malay which would have been effective in the ring. These birds can look quite fierce to the novice, but they are quite sound and easy to handle when cared for correctly.

These birds can look quite fierce, but they are quite sound and easy to handle when cared for correctly. - Bruce Pattinson

This breed comes in many colours and in the show ring colour has no points – it is entirely about conformation, style, feather quality and condition. For those not so driven to the show pen, the colours may prove attractive.

While the breed is not as popular as it once was, there are sufficient breeders around to obtain good, sound stock.

You should look at a good number of birds so you get some experience as the style and feathering require some experience to assess.

While birds now are less than the original one metre birds that could once be found, they still have sufficient size to require space and some high quality feed.

Breeding the birds is also a great challenge and they eat substantial feed before they mature and get to the stage where the highest quality birds can be selected.

They also require plenty to get to the size and many breeders have their own special mix of feed.

They do better on range as maturing birds and adults while high protein chicken feed and cracked corn helps the younger birds.

The best information on this breed can be found in Marshall’s The King of Fowl of which copies are available.

These are an ‘Aussie icon’ and well worth your attention.

  • Bruce Pattinson is a past president of the NSW Exhibition Poultry Association. Email questions to smartfarmer@theland.com.au or post to: Chook Feed, PO Box 25, Kogarah, 2217, with your name and daytime contact number.
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