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 Post subject: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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After doing alot of researching of Gamefowl breeds, I've been wondering what caused the changed to the old style of Pits? Now to me Ive learnt that Pits should be seen as a vast range of types, going from the Old English Game style right through to almost looking like a Malay. I would love to see people's photos of their birds, especially the older style of Pit. I have included a photo from Pegawl's gallery and a couple pieces of info that came from Wineglass.

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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: North Coast NSW
do you have the whole book? Theres a few more photos than that and some good old letters


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Nah I don't mate but wineglass might, he gave me those pictures this morning, hopefully he does.


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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This is an article from Ultimatefowl forum:


History

The Australian Pit Games were developed from the crosses of American Game, Old English Game, Asil, Malay, and possibly Sumatra gamefowl by the British Army personnel that were stationed in the colony of New South Wales. The British made this breed in hopes of having a gamefowl that would fight in the air, be light and fast, as well as have deadly power for quick battles, unlike other places. They were originally shown in short metal spurs until American Servicemen introduced the long gaff, though that has changed now once cockfighting was outlawed.

The Australian Pit Games come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, some lines are heavily in Old English blood which is why many are single combed with shorter legs, and longer feathers while some come leggier, pea combed, and sparser feathering with them being more heavily into the Oriental Game blood.

The important points in Pit Games are good eyes and keen sight, strong head and powerful beak, wide strong shoulders and strong legs and feet. They must have a cone shaped body, with strong muscular breast and thighs, strong shanks with sound feet and toes. The chicks can be quite aggressive at a very early age and great care is needed to prevent mortalities due them fighting amongst themselves in the brooder. With the comb shape, coloring and feather type quality next.

They appear in both a large and bantam form, with some varieties possessing muffs, tassels, and hen-feathering. Most are found in the Black Breasted Red and Black variety. However like most games they may come just about any color.
Australian Standard

As their name suggests, Australian Pit Game were developed from fighting fowls that were brought here in the nineteenth century. Their origin rests mainly with English Pit fowls crossed with the Malay and the Asil. Consequently, the outward appearance of the birds may vary to some degree depending on their origins. The standard that follows was produced in 1936 after protracted controversy amongst devotees of the breed. It seeks only to preserve the fundamental pit characteristics of these birds. Pit Game may be big or small, single or pea combed, and colour whatever, cockfeathered, henfeathered, muffed or tasseled. Australian Pit Game Bantams have become popular since World War Two and are bred to a high standard.
Male Characteristics

CARRIAGE - Proud, defiant and aggressive looking, with movements quick and graceful, ready for any emergency, vigorous, alert, agile.

HEAD - Powerful, medium in length, skin of face and throat smooth and fine in texture, loose and flexibile at throat but not flabby.

COMB (a) single comb variety - Small, erect, firm, straight and evenly serrated; (b) pea or triple comb variety - small, the center division being slightly higher and longer. Ear-lobes and wattles smooth and close fitting, Dubbing is permitted. Beak Stout and strong at the base, well curved and pointed, the upper and lower mandibles locking together like a vice when closed.

EYES large, bold, fiery and fearless.

NECK - Fair length, strong boned and slightly arched, well developed at junction with body.

BODY - Heart shaped.

BACK fairly short and flat, broad at shoulders, with deltoid muscles well developed but maintaining the shoulder width across the back from thigh to thigh, tapering to a fine stern at set of the tail, the body on top shaped like a flat-iron with full and well rounded sides. Shoulders well braced, high and prominent, without any tendency to hollowness between.

BREAST broad, prominent and full with pectoral muscles strongly developed, curving under sharply to show well defined junctions of the thighs.

BELLY - Compact and tight, free as possible from fluff feathers, with clean run behind from back of thighs to the vent, not full or baggy - this is most important.

WINGS - Fairly long and powerful, wing bows well rounded, wing butts stout and prominent, secondaries and primaries with strong quills, well webbed and folded tightly, the secondaries completely covering the primaries when wings are closed.

TAIL - Medium length, carriage moderately elevated not drooped or squirrel, but to be governed by the character of the fowl.

PLUMAGE - Hackles, true tail, sickles and side-hangers to be of moderate length and fullness according to the character of the fowl, the whole plumage throughout to be hard, sound, resilient, smooth and lustrous.

HANDLING - Body well balanced, hard, firm, yet somewhat light fleshed, corky, mellow and warm, with strong contraction of wings and thighs to body when in hand.

LEGS AND FEET - Neither stilty nor stubby, medium in length to suit the character of the fowl, and so placed as to ensure movements of forced and activity -

THIGHS medium in length, set fairly well apart, well developed and muscular, curved at junction with the body and tapering off to clean bone and sinew immediately above the hock joint to ensure movements of force and activity.

HOCKS slightly bent, but not to such an extent as to give the bird a crouched appearance.

SHANKS & FEET clean, fine and strong boned, medium length, round in front and flat on all sides with wiry tendons showing. Even and close fitting scales.

TOES four, well spread apart, medium length with powerful toe-nails, hind toe carried well back from the leg and nearly flat on the ground, and showing no tendency to duck heel.

SPURS hard, set low on the leg - cutting permitted.
Female Characteristics

The hen of each variety should resemble the male in each essential respect, making due allowance for sexual differences.
Colours And Varieties

Colour: immaterial, Muffs, Tassels and henfeathers are eligible for competition.
Weights

The following system of classification by weight, which is in the tradition of the pit, is that generally approved wherever Australian Pit Game have a strong following.


STANDARDS

Heavy Male over 2.7 kg (6 lb)

Heavy Female over 2.0 kg (4 1/2lb)

Light Male under 2.7 kg (6 lb)

Light Female under 2.0 kg (4 1/2lb)


BANTAMS

Male under 1360g (48 oz)

Female under 1135 g (40 oz)


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Here's one from Compton (1896) -
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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:53 pm 
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Champion Bird
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BE, I have two theories as to why we have seen a decline in the 'old type' Aussie Pit.

1. There has been a push towards a middle, homogeneous type for exhibition, rather than the range of types seen in the early pits. There is also a parallel with the Carlisle fowl of England with exhibition Pit fowl becoming selected for exagerated features which please the judge but would actually hinder the fowl's functionality (no doubt the use of actual Carlisle-type blood has enhanced this).
Also, those Pits that were more or less OEG have probably been bred back to the OE side and integrated into that breed, while the more Oriental types may have been discarded (see below coments from the Compton/Marshall standard)
2. Many writers on gamefowl coment on the instability of Orental-Bankiva crosses or 'grades', stating that when such crosses are bred on (i.e. inbred) in an attempt to fix the strain there is degredation in functional traits, such as loss of gameness.

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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Location: North Coast NSW
its good to see some posts on pits. Beaten egg,i have this book by plant but havent seen another copy,probably good if you can get a lend of it and read all thats in it. Theres pearson photos and some from new england. Also bermans letters are good,some mentioning the blood that was not present when the standard was written. A lot of older breeders always said there was bugger all black fowl before but thats the vast majority of what is around now.
George, i agree with some of your points. A pit is just a cross bred fowl that done the job. He was never ment to be one type with strict breed characteristics and the photos in this book clearly show some different types. Many of the fowl shown from( what ive been told) the same clutch would go into 2 seperate classes (OE and pit) ,probably led to some unfortunate consequences later on. Cant say i agree on the break down of the crosses, they went strong for a long time and i think fashion just changed


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Here are a few photos from the 60's I got from Buln, I will let him explain the details later.

Burge pit's
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Burge Pyle
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South Coast Pit
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Last edited by pepa on Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:07 am 
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Gallant Game
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Here's a few fowl, some with more Aussie pit blood then others.

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this is the mother of the above fowl
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This line goes back to the Saywell's pits.
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Pearl eye,
I do have that booklet by W.J.Plant. It makes for a very good read.

funny how the Aussie Pit standard hasn't been around that many years, and the fowl in the showpen all look alike, when that was not what the editors had in mind.. If most Judges took the time and looked back at the history of Aussie as well as the oxford fowl, they just may see that not all have to be like peas-in-the-pod like most soft feather fowl..
It would be great to see large amounts of Aussie pits & Oxfords back in the showpens like the days of old...we can only hope, as the younger showmen & women start taking up these breeds of the pure old gamefowl lines..
.
.


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 12:38 pm
Posts: 732
Its great to see the amount of knowledge and obviously passion that some Gamefowl breeders have, only publicity like this is good publicity for these breeds.

Does anyone know if that booklet by W. Plant has been reproduced or being sold by book companies still?

Great photos guys, keep them coming. I really like that Pile stag and those muffs of course. Pepa, that Burge Pit photo, the male is that what we would almost call a 'fig pudding' in colour?


Last edited by BeatenEgg on Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:06 pm
Posts: 720
BeatenEgg, try John Palmer at Arnold Books in Christchurch, NZ. I don't have his email address handy but it should be on the web. From memory John was reproducing copies a few years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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:thumbs: Thanks Manna will give that a shot


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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"Pepa, that Burge Pit photo, the male is that what we would almost call a 'fig pudding' in colour?"

Yes he is, it typically shows through in the Hennies.
Here is a better example
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:04 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

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Posts: 732
:thumbs: Nice, Ive never seen one at all in the flesh or photo, only illustrations.


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 Post subject: Re: Australian Pit Game
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:31 pm 
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A reminder that BYP doesn't support images of birds conditioned for battle (past or present) which includes artificial spurs. Please consult a moderator before posting historical illustrations of this kind.

more information specific to posting on gamefowl can be found at:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8006900

thanks :)

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