Chinese Fighting Rooster: Everything to Know

Cockfighting is a sport that has been around for over a thousand years. While no one knows who invented it or when and where it actually started, there has been evidence that this sport was popular in ancient India, China, and Persia. In particular, the first ever recorded cockfight in China was in 517 BC. 

There are various breeds of gamefowls all over the world but one that originated from China and has gained popularity in the cockfighting community is the China Game. Learn more about this breed in this article.

What Is the China Game?

The China Game fowl was first brought to the US in the 1930s. Most handlers describe them as difficult birds to work with as they are mean and will fight immediately.  While the birds are known in the U.S. as China Game, “Hainan Fowl” is their proper name and they originated in the tropical Hainan Province of Southern China.

Hainan is a Chinese word meaning “South of the Sea.” In written history, Hainan first appeared around 110 BC, and its first inhabitants are estimated to have arrived some 3,000 years ago. It is not known how long the fowl have been bred there.

Individuals in many rural populations refer to them simply as “tail fighters.” They have pea or walnut combs. The breed comes in a variety of colors including Golden, Silver, Red Pyle, Mahogany, and White.

In most varieties, the legs range from pearl to white and can vary within the same flock. The tails of the China Game are massive and long and the saddle feathers may drag on the ground. Males may weigh between six and eight pounds.

The physical appearance and occasional mutations of the China Game suggest that they have Green Jungle Fowl from Java in their ancestry. Aside from the long-tail feathers of the fowl, the pea-combed birds have one centrally-located wattle and rounded neck feathers which are known to exist within the flocks of older, long-time breeders. This suggests that southern China had trade with Java, Indonesia prior to the 7th century AD. 

China Game birds breed easily with the hens laying a good number of creamy to white medium-sized eggs. Fertility is usually high. 

Sometimes, the China Game fowls were fought ceremoniously at specific times of the year. It is also said that the fowl would not fight during the winter months and were used mostly during the spring and summer months during breeding season when the roosters were already prone to battling each other.

In the present, the fowl are still used in this manner in rural villages in China. Outside of China, some keep them as pets and ornamental fowl.

What Is the Diet of China Game Fowl?

Hainan Island is a location that is prone to typhoons. Corn is an expensive commodity and it is not readily available. Brown rice itself is not necessarily fed to China Game fowl either as it is a staple of the human diet.

Only the byproducts of brown rice, fruit, and vegetables are fed to the fowl. Dead fish, crustaceans, and seaweed are commonly collected from the beaches and fed to livestock, including the Hainan Fowl.

Despite the diet of rice byproducts and sea refuse, the China Game fowl seems to do well in the US living on other grains. This is a stark difference from other fowl such as the non-molting long-tail fowl that have a similar diet in their native country of Japan and are best maintained on such a diet.

Final Note

The China Game is a breed of fowl that hails from the Hainan Province of Southern China. Properly called Hainan Fowl, these gamefowls are seen to be difficult to work but the immense amount of aggressiveness they have makes them good fighters.

In Hainan Province, China Game fowls subsist on rice byproducts and dead sea creatures but in the United States, they do well on living on other grains. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best rooster for cockfighting?

The best breeds for cockfighting are also the most popular ones. These include the Kelso, Peruvian, Hatch, Asil, Radio, and American Game.

What is the best fighting rooster in the world?

There is no single answer as to which is the best gamefowl in the world. For a lot of handlers, the best ones are the Kelso, Roundhead, Radio, Hatch, and Asil.