Ginger Oxford Game

You may be familiar with the Carlisle Old English Game; an exhibition breed that years ago made its way to the United States and is seen in coops across the country. Less known, but perhaps more intriguing, is the Oxford Old English Game; a breed used to secretly and illegally carry on the tradition of cockfighting in its native England. Greenfire Farms was lucky enough to recently import the ginger variety of the Oxford bird; a fighter with breathtaking fiery plumage.

Old English Games emerged in the Middle Ages and won their place in the hearts of Britons by the demonstration of their fierce fighting ability in the pit. In 1849, cockfighting was banned in Britain but the sport did not disappear, instead going underground in surreptitious and illegal competitions. In the 1930s a rift arose between those hobbyists who were breeding the birds primarily for looks and those who wanted to continue to pit the birds.

The Carlisle Old English Game became the show bird with its larger breast and horizontal back. The Oxford Old English Game remained the pit bird with its diagonal back and lighter weight. Today, Oxfords exist in sort of a chickenista netherworld where people are reluctant to talk about their birds for fear of confiscation. Despite the secrecy shrouding this breed, Greenfire Farms was able to locate some excellent breeding stock and import the birds. Here’s your chance to own this storied breed from the UK.