Continuing our series on the hard feather breeds this issue we look at another particularly Australian bird, the Australian Pit Game.
The Australian Pit Game or Fighting Aussie Game Cock was bred from a blend of breeds such as the English Pit Fowl, the Malay Game and the Asil.
Originally bred as a fighting bird it was first standardised in about 1936 and raised much controversy in Australian poultry circles as with this breed colour is not a concern and the birds can be muffed, tasselled, single or pea combed and hen feathered so there is plenty of variety. With this breed it is all about the type and that very ‘pit’ shape.
Despite the demise of the sport, the breed is still extremely popular in Australia and it has a large breed club and you will be able to get good stock of the breed. Be prepared for strong competition in the show pens as this is a breed that has a strong group of breeders.
The breed comes in both large and bantam and lay a tinted egg. In the yard they are a good forager and are capable of looking after themselves as I have seen on a few farms.
They are easy to breed as a general rule and you don’t have to worry about the colour.
The Australian Pit Game is all about the shape and the basics are: strong head and beak, powerful head and shoulders, a cone shaped body, full in front and tapering to the tail with correctly placed legs and sound feet.
You will find plenty of breeders who can help you and explain all the finer points as they also have four feather varieties: cock feather (which is the normal feathering you see on most breeds), henfeather (cocks have the same feather and tail as hens), muffs (in both sexes) and henfeather muffs.
This is a breed that harks back to the early colonial days of Australian Poultry and one breed that has lasted over time while many others have died out or become rare. This is testimony to the qualities of the bird and its strong following. It is a breed you may well consider for the yard and will certainly give you some variety.
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