American Game Bantam
American Game Bantams, which prior to 1947, were known as American Pit Game Bantams, have been bred, shown, and pitted for many years in the eastern part of the United States in just about all known color patterns. They are the miniature counterpart of the larger Pit Games that have appeared in the cock pits of this country for many years. As far back as the 1890's they were bred and exhibited in both the muffed and clean varieties. During the middle 1930's a group of breeders in New Jersey started to develop them with the idea of eventually requesting their admission as a standard breed. The black breasted red variety dominated in the varieties exhibited.
Well filled classes appeared in many shows that were remarkably consistent in size, shape, and plumage color, but a wide variety of leg colors and both red and white earlobes. Competition was keen and individual breeders would not give up their favorite leg colors. They agreed that neither yellow, willow or pinkish white legs would be acceptable because these colors would conflict with the Brown Leghorn, Modern, and Old English Games, respectively. Slate legs overwhelmingly dominated the classes shown in the three qualifying shows held for the purpose of requesting Standard recognition.
The Red Jungle Fowl, as well as smaller specimens of the larger Pit Games were used in producing the bantam. They are very hardy, vigorous, easy to raise and do well under almost every condition except dampness.
They differ from other game bantams in that they are larger, have wider wing and tail feathers, carry their tails slightly higher, and have slate colored legs. They are fine breeders and the females make wonderful mothers. Twelve varieties are recognized in the ABA standard - Birchen, Black, Black Breasted Red, Blue, Blue Red, Brown Red, Golden Duckwing, Quail, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Wheaten, and White.
Bantam Chickens, by Fred P. Jeffrey.