About Modern Game Fowl


With the advent of poultry shows, following the abolition of cock fighting in this country in 1849, the
exhibition Modern Game fowl was developed. The evolution from the original fighting bird to the
bird we now recognise, took place over a 50 year period from the mid to late 1800’s.

In their heyday before the 1st and 2nd World Wars, 295 Large Moderns were exhibited at the 1902
National show of the time.

Good birds could fetch prices from £3 to £100. This would amount up to £1000's at today’s prices!
The top breeders of the day were the ‘well to do’ and the ’gentry’, with many of them employing
managers to care for and show their large flocks of Modern Game.

By 1910 the Large Modern was in decline and what with the two World Wars, the popularity of the
Large Modern Game diminished still further. The Bantams had increased in this period, always
remaining popular.

At that time there were many Modern Game clubs in existence based on colour or location. The
Modern Game Club as we know it today, was formed in 1947 following the 2nd World War.
Unfortunately Large Modern Game were never to return to their former days of glory and today are
kept in small numbers by a handful of enthusiasts. The Bantam by comparison became more
popular, continued to thrive and is a now a very popular show bird.

Modern Game Fowl come under the category of Hard Feather and are standardised in 15 colours.

The most distinguishing feature of the Modern Game appearance is its vertical stance, long neck
and equally long legs, which are shown off by prominent shoulders, short strong wings, tight hard
feathering and closely whipped tail, the whole appearance being of a reachy, tall, slender but
muscular and fit bird.

More info about Modern Game and their history can be found on the Archive page.

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