21 Best Fighting Rooster and Gamefowl Breeds

Best fighting rooster and gamefowl breeds

Even if cockfighting has long been outlawed in the United States, you might be surprised to learn that the popularity of fighting rooster and gamefowl breeds has not weakened.

In fact, though their names suggest a darker past, these birds today are primarily appreciated for their beauty, unique traits, and meat quality. They even make great pets, so it’s no shock that they’re still around and thriving.

In this article, you will meet 21 of the most sought-after fighting chicken breeds. You’ll also learn about their origins, appearances, personality traits, and how they differ from each other. So, make sure you read to the end!

What Are Fighting Roosters or Gamefowls?

Two fighting roosters in the pit

Fighting roosters, otherwise called fighting cocks, gamecocks, battle cocks, or gamefowl roosters, are bred and raised for their unique and vigorous combat style.

The primary purpose of these roosters is to engage in bouts with other male chickens, highlighting their outstanding fighting characteristics, such as agility, strength, and assertiveness.

Several breeds of fighting roosters have gained popularity due to their remarkable battle skills. Notable among these is the Asil chicken, an old and respected gamefowl breed known for its fearless nature.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that cockfighting, a blood sport involving the fighting of roosters, is illegal in all 50 states in the country.

This sport, steeped in tradition and cultural significance in many parts of the world, has drawn criticism due to concerns about animal welfare and cruelty.

In my younger days, I had the chance to live on a farm where we raised many fowls, including several famous fighting rooster breeds. One day, I saw an impromptu “fighting on the ground” between Kelso and Hatch roosters.

Though the trouble was quickly controlled, it gave me an insight into why cockfighting is illegal: the harm was severe. I then advocated for the respectful care of these chickens, denouncing their use in cruel practices.

Most Aggressive Roosters Chart

In the world of roosters, a select few fowls stand out for their distinct aggression and fighting skills. This section introduces a chart capturing some of the most aggressive fighting rooster breeds globally.

From the exceptional Kelso rooster, known for its combat prowess, to the robust Shamo chicken breed, celebrated for its strength, these roosters represent the very essence of the fighting chicken spirit.

The following chart shows 21 well-known fighting roosters and the level of aggression they exhibit:

Rooster BreedAggressiveness
(5 = most aggressive)
Old English Game5
American Gamefowl4
Modern Game4
Brown Red Gamefowl4
Peruvian Gamefowl4
Sweater Gamefowl4
Hatch Twist4
Thai Gamefowl3.5
Spanish Gamefowl3.5
Sid Taylor Gamefowl3

It’s crucial to remember that the information above should not be used to encourage illegal activities such as cockfighting.

Instead, it should enhance everyone’s understanding and respect for these remarkable creatures, accentuating their incredible strength, stamina, and fighting abilities.

21 Best Fighting Roosters and Gamefowl Breeds

If you plan to add a fighting rooster or gamefowl breed to your flock, you might wonder which ones are worth the extra cost. The options are numerous, but with so many to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

So, the following are 21 of the best fighting cock breeds, ranked in order of aggressiveness, to help guide you through your selection process:

1. Old English Game

Old English Game fighting rooster
Purpose:Meat farming, exhibition, fighting
Adult Weight:3–5.5 pounds (1.4–2.5 kg)
Lifespan:10–15 years
Temperament:Territorial, loud

First on this list is the Old English Game, one of the best fighting birds due to its aggressive behavior, which is rated at a five, and is also the oldest fighting breed known.

Originating from ancient Romans, this fowl is now widely used in show rings and for meat farming.


Small but sturdy, Old English Games maintain a regal air. For one thing, they sport a close-to-the-body plumage, boasting a variety of colors, including black, brown-red, dun, white, and golden duckwing.

Moreover, their short, strong legs support an upright posture, and their chest is puffed out, emphasizing their robust build.

To get an idea of what an Old English Game rooster looks like in action, watch this video:

Old English game bantam crow #shorts

Temperament and Behavior

You’ll find Old English Games to be roosters with a sassy personality. Loud and temperamental, these fowls aren’t the quietest roosters on the block too.

As a matter of fact, their behavior leans toward the aggressive side, causing them to have a reputation for being an incredibly active breed. Nonetheless, their energy and vibrancy make them an exciting fighter to watch and raise.

Fighting Style

Old English Games focus on technique and attitude when it comes to combat. For instance, these fighting roosters possess an unwavering spirit and are hardy.

Ultimately, they are extraordinary fighters, renowned for never backing down in the face of any opponent.

2. Malay

Malay fighting rooster
Image credit: rareroosteracres / Instagram
Origin:Southeast Asia
Purpose:Ornamental, fighting
Adult Weight:7–11 pounds (3.2–5 kg)
Lifespan:5–8 years
Temperament:Energetic, flighty, feisty

Matching the aggressiveness of the Old English Game, the Malay breed secures its position as one of the best fighting roosters. It has a strong body and an even stronger personality.

Once a common fighting bird, these chickens are now often seen in poultry shows and kept as beloved pets, showcasing their special features and behaviors.


Generally speaking, Malay roosters are striking figures in the poultry world. Noted for their long neck and distinctive yellow legs, they’re tall fowls, standing up to 36 inches in height.

The size of these chickens makes them even more intimidating, averaging between 8.5 and 9 pounds. In fact, they are also recognized as one of the largest chicken breeds.

In addition, they’re hard-feathered, muscular chickens that sport three American Poultry Association (APA)-recognized shades: wheaten, white, and black.

On the flip side, you’ll find that the pea comb of this big fighting breed is rather small. Specifically, it will be strawberry-shaped and will appear thick.

Temperament and Behavior

Despite their formidable appearance, Malay roosters and hens show a surprisingly docile side toward their keepers.

However, remember that their temperament can change when confined in a small coop with other chickens, displaying a level of aggression that may start fighting amongst the flock.

This combative nature sets the Malay apart in the varieties of fighting breeds.

Fighting Style

In cockfighting, Malay fighting fowls demonstrate their strength through agility and intelligence. They’re tenacious combatants that can withstand the toughest of kicks and strikes from their opponents.

Additionally, these fighting roosters’ stamina is legendary, as they are known for their ability to win multiple bouts in a row with little or no rest.

3. Asil

Asil fighting rooster
Purpose:Meat farming, ornamental, fighting
Adult Weight:4–5.5 pounds (1.8–2.5 kg)
Lifespan:8–10 years
Temperament:Watchful, very fierce

Stepping into the spotlight is the Asil, also spelled Aseel, an excellent fighting rooster native to India. They are particularly recognized for starting to display their feisty nature between 16 and 20 weeks of age.

Although the hens of this chicken type may not be prolific layers, they are a valuable source of meat, enhancing the breed’s overall appeal to poultry enthusiasts today.


Featuring thick shanks, a large comb, and an upright posture, Asil roosters stand out with their muscular physique and regal gait.

Complementing this powerful build is a relatively small-shaped head, presenting a robust figure that’s easily distinguished from other breeds on this list.

Temperament and Behavior

Asil roosters have been known to attack humans and other animals with surprising ferocity. While they are not inherently dangerous to their owners, they can become agitated and aggressive if they feel threatened.

To add to that, male Asils are notably watchful, always keeping an eye on their surroundings and ready to defend their turf.

Fighting Style

The Asil’s fighting style can be described as strategic and assertive. In fact, using just their considerable weight, this gamefowl breed will relentlessly pounce on their enemy, refusing to stop until the bout is through.

This type of combat manner makes the Asil one of the best fighting breeds known to fans. Their determination, mixed with their potent offensive tactics, secures their place as a tough player in the arena.

4. American Game

American Game fighting rooster
Origin:United States
Purpose:Show, meat farming, fighting
Adult Weight:2.5–5 pounds (1.1–2.3 kg)
Lifespan:8–15 years
Temperament:Noisy, territorial, assertive

Introducing the American Game — often referred to as the Roundhead — is another species of fighting roosters that has made a name for themselves among American fighting breeds.

Developed in New Jersey during the 19th century, these fowls have evolved from their fighting roots to become a popular choice for ornamental purposes.


Admired as the most beautiful gamefowl breed in the country, American Games truly stand out with their striking red earlobes, large wattles, and five-pointed combs.

On top of that, their aesthetic appeal is further enhanced by their diverse color range.

In fact, with ten different pigments accepted by the American Bantam Association (ABA), these roosters bring a vibrant splash of color to any collection.

Temperament and Behavior

As with many other fighting breeds, American Gamefowl roosters do not shy away from expressing emotions loudly. Even American Gamefowl hens may not be the best fit for quiet settings, as they can be vocal, too.

Also, many breeders of American roosters state that these fowls don’t fare well in confinement and can be extremely territorial, making them unsuitable for mixed flocks. 

Fighting Style

Regarding fighting style, American Gamefowls are best known for their remarkable endurance in the pit.

Further, never backing down, these roosters are extraordinary fighters, displaying qualities that set them apart as one of the best fighting birds worldwide.

5. Modern Game

Modern Game fighting rooster
Origin:Great Britain
Purpose:Ornamental, show, fighting
Adult Weight:4.5–6 pounds (2–2.7 kg)
Lifespan:3–7 years
Temperament:Curious, alert

Emerging as a result of crossbreeding Old English Game and Malay chickens, the Modern Game is a fighting breed that seamlessly bridges history and aesthetics.

While they carry the legacy of their combative lineage, they have now carved a place for themselves in shows and exhibitions, celebrated for their distinct visual appeal.


Towering over many other breeds on this list, Modern Games reach an astounding height of up to 30 inches. Their long neck, a testament to their Old English Game roots, and equally long legs contribute to their unusual stature.

Moreover, you can anticipate that these fighting fowls’ feathers fit tightly against their body, enhancing their sleek silhouette. Their available hue palette includes birchen, black, white, and striking two-color combinations.

Temperament and Behavior

Casting a glance into the coop of Modern Games, one would find curious and chatty chickens. They also won’t tolerate being confined in small spaces, as they have an innate urge to explore the world around them.

Furthermore, from personal experience, I can say that Modern Game roosters are very good at defending their territory against other chickens. In fact, they are pretty aggressive when they feel intimidated.

Fighting Style

Tracing their origins to a long line or family of roosters for action, Modern Games carry a reputation for being highly adept in combat. The breed’s fighting among other roosters is outstanding, marked by lethal efficiency.

In other words, regardless of the situation, this battle rooster never lets its guard down, proof of its steady fighting spirit.

6. Kelso

Kelso fighting rooster
Image credit: barefoot_dustbunny / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Ornamental, fighting, companionship
Adult Weight:6–8 pounds (2.7–3.6 kg)
Temperament:Intelligent, bold

Among the different varieties of the American Gamefowl, the Kelso stands out. This type, developed by Walter Kelso, showcases an impressive combination of intelligence and determination.

Though initially known for their fighting prowess, Kelso roosters are now popular for their ornamental appeal and companionship value.


Kelso fighting roosters are known for their impressive size, typically averaging between 6 and 8 pounds. Their feet are outside-webbed, a unique characteristic that sets them apart from many chicken breeds.

In addition, Kelsos carry a straight comb, light-pigmented legs, and a stunning array of multi-colored plumage. They are beautiful roosters that carry a commanding presence wherever they go.

Temperament and Behavior

Contrary to what one might expect given their size, Kelsos display an easygoing streak and friendly demeanor towards humans. However, in terms of interactions with other chickens, it’s a different story.

In truth, both Kelso roosters and hens do not back down when faced with intruders, always ready to protect their territory. So, while these chickens may look peaceful, Kelsos won’t hesitate to show their assertive side.

Fighting Style

In rooster combats, Kelsos shine as strategic and ground-oriented fighters. They don’t engage opponents mid-air but utilize their strength on the ground, showing a different type of fighting strategy.

Additionally, sidestepping is the most critical part of their game, and they have a lot of speed for that reason. They can also defend themselves exceptionally well because of their muscular body and robust legs.

7. Brown Red

Brown Red fighting rooster
Image credit: castanedagamefowl / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Meat farming, companionship, fighting
Adult Weight:5–7 pounds (2.3–3.2 kg)
Temperament:Watchful, forceful

Rooted in the rich line of chickens from Northern Ireland and brought to life in Alabama during the 1800s, the Brown Red is a gamefowl that carries its historical lineage with pride.

Today, the breed has gained recognition not only for their fight prowess but also for their contribution to meat and egg production.


As the name suggests, Brown Reds boast a predominantly brownish-red color in their breast and feathers. Some may display ginger shades, but all share the defining characteristics of dark-pigmented legs and hazel eyes.

The size of these roosters may vary, with weights ranging between 5 and 7 pounds. Plus, you will notice that their chests are not perfectly round but instead have a slight dip between their ribs.

Temperament and Behavior

The Brown Red is a forceful yet watchful breed. You will notice that they are always on high alert, a trait inherited from their line of fighting roosters. However, don’t let this deter you, as they are also tameable.

With the right approach and care, these roosters can be completely manageable, showing that even the most extraordinary fighting birds can adjust to a peaceful farm life.

Fighting Style

Typically, Brown Reds are fierce pugilists in the pit. They are known to rush into the enemy, launching wild-cutting attacks that can be difficult to evade.

While they may not excel in flight, their ground defense skills are remarkable. To put it simply, Brown Reds will not back down easily, fighting tirelessly until their rival is defeated.

8. Cornish

Cornish fighting rooster
Purpose:Fighting, meat farming, companionship
Adult Weight:8–10.5 pounds (3.6–4.8 kg)
Lifespan:5–8 years
Temperament:Active, highly aggressive

Hailing from England and otherwise known as the Indian Game, the Cornish brings a unique charm to the world of gamefowls. They are one of the oldest breeds in existence, and their history dates back to the 17th century.

Initially produced for their superior fighting skills, Cornishes have evolved into a favorite meat-farming breed, providing poultry with a distinguishable flavor profile.


Characterized by their hard feathering, the Cornish breed exhibits an elegance devoid of any fluff. They retain a slender yet well-muscled body, which gives them a mighty and healthy appearance.

Aside from that, they present an array of colors, from the calmness of buff and white to the vibrancy of green, brown, and blue, making them one of the most visually diverse among the different breeds of fighting roosters.

Temperament and Behavior

As for temperament, Cornish roosters do not appreciate cramped spaces, with aggressiveness becoming quite pronounced under such conditions.

However, remember that this is not just a trait exclusive to the roosters. In reality, even the hens are known to be fiercely protective when taking care of their chicks.

Beyond their fighting instinct, Cornish chickens display an endearing friendliness towards their handlers, adding to their charm.

Fun Fact: A smaller or bantam version of the Cornish also exists, and like their standard counterparts, these tiny chickens may exhibit aggression in a small and cramped environment.

Check out these chickens, along with the rest of the popular bantam breeds, in this article.

Fighting Style

As a breed developed from a line of excellent fighters, Cornish roosters do not disappoint in the arena. They can use their compact bodies to their advantage, effectively undermining their opponent’s attacks.

Moreover, their fight style may take a rather brutal turn, as they are known for cannibalism.

9. Peruvian

Peruvian fighting rooster
Image credit: randyjerry14 / Instagram
Purpose:Fighting, exhibition, show
Adult Weight:9–11 pounds (4.1–5 kg)
Temperament:Highly assertive, vigilant

Originating from the crossbreeding of Old English Games and Oriental fowls, the Peruvian breed has become one of the best fighting birds in Europe since its development in the 19th century.

Besides their fighting expertise, Peruvians are now revered for their looks, gaining popularity in exhibitions and shows.


Peruvian roosters have an appearance that exudes strength and confidence. Their red-brown feathering is reminiscent of the Brown Red breed, with the color range displaying a vibrant depth.

What’s more, their muscular legs speak volumes of their physical strength. Also, they are notably larger than many other game fowl breeds, with their weight ranging from 9 to 11 pounds.

Temperament and Behavior

Peruvian roosters exhibit an assertive temperament, consistently standing tall and alert. This breed does not shy away from confrontation and is always ready to defend its ground.

However, it’s worth noting that while they are vigilant and constantly prepared to fight, they should be provided with adequate space to help keep their fighting instincts in check.

After all, the care of fighting roosters goes beyond just their physical needs.

Fighting Style

In the ring, the Peruvian rooster is an impressive sight. Fights involving this breed are often swift and decisive, as they aim to defeat their opponent as quickly as possible.

In addition, despite their hefty weight, Peruvian roosters are incredibly fast, pouncing on their opponents with surprising agility and speed.

10. Sweater

Sweater fighting rooster
Image credit: lemonroostersfarm / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Fighting, show, exhibition
Adult Weight:3–6 pounds (1.4–2.7 kg)
Temperament:Combative, observant

The Sweater, named after its developer Sweater McGinnis, is a testament to the refinement in rooster breeding.

With contributions from Carol Nesmith, this breed became highly esteemed in the fiercest cockfighting arenas across Mexico, South America, and the Philippines.

Despite their initial repute in cockfighting, Sweater roosters are now predominantly seen in shows and exhibitions, captivating audiences with their distinctive appeal.


At first glance, one might find Sweaters similar to Kelsos. However, a closer look reveals that Sweater roosters are smaller in size, sporting an array of colorful body feathers.

To add to that, these fighting roosters have small wattles on their cheeks and a little comb that is usually pinkish-red. They also possess an upright tail with delicate edges.

Temperament and Behavior

Sweaters are both combative and observant. This dual nature keeps them alert and prepared for any conflict that might arise, making them one of the more formidable varieties of fighting roosters.

Besides that, they can be quick to assert dominance. Their attentive nature also means they can adapt to different scenarios effectively.

Fighting Style

Sweater roosters leverage their compact size to their advantage. They are excellent in both mid-air and ground attacks, demonstrating a fearless nature.

On top of that, they are known for their outstanding resilience and stamina. Hence, do not misjudge the size of Sweater roosters; they can easily defeat their opponents in any fight.

11. Hatch

Hatch fighting rooster
Image credit: randyjerry14 / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Exhibition, fighting
Adult Weight:4–6 pounds (1.8–2.7 kg)
Temperament:Fearless, loud, active

The Hatch rooster originated in the United States in the late 18th century, and it quickly established a solid reputation as one of the top-notch bloodlines in the cockfighting world.

Today, they are more commonly found in exhibition environments, showcasing their vibrant appearance and dynamic behavior to chicken enthusiasts.


Hatch fighting roosters carry an imposing presence with their large stature and muscular build. Further, their bright, wide, red comb sets a vibrant contrast to their predominantly black and white feathers.

It should be noted that a brownish-red variety of this breed also exists, offering a slightly different appearance from the norm.

Temperament and Behavior

Hatch roosters are always willing to take on any challenge. In fact, they are notable for being unafraid and resilient, displaying a level of bravery that makes them famous on the battlefield.

Being brave does not mean that Hatch roosters cannot be gentle with their offspring, though. On the contrary, they’re known for being loving parents, willing to go to great lengths to protect their young from harm.

Fighting Style

Concerning fighting style, Hatch roosters set themselves apart through their durability. This gamefowl breed is renowned for their courage and endurance, traits that make them a tough competitor.

Ultimately, this combat spirit makes them popular among those who train fighting roosters for competitions and people who want to own a tough bird that will last for years.

12. Hatch Twist

Hatch Twist fighting rooster
Image credit: ryr_gamefarm_of_alabama / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Fighting, exhibition, show
Adult Weight:Unknown
Temperament:Smart, brave, energetic

The Hatch Twist is a refined variant of the well-known Hatch breed, famed for its increased lethality compared to its predecessor.

While their origins are steeped in the world of cockfighting, these days, you are more likely to find Hatch Twist roosters on display at poultry shows and exhibitions.


Visually, Hatch Twist roosters are appealing, donning two color combinations: a red and brown or a creamy white and black. Their tails add an extra dash of charm, available in either a stark white or deep black hue.

However, note that a defining feature of these roosters is the presence of looping yellow feathers on their necks.

Temperament and Behavior

Hatch Twist roosters display exceptional levels of intelligence, bravery, and energy. They are highly active fowls with a keen sense of their environment, making them an engaging sight for spectators.

Fighting Style

Hatch Twist roosters use their large stature to intimidate their opponents in the ring. They are also swift combatants who do not hesitate when it comes to showing off their abilities.

My friend Jordan, a long-time fighting fowl enthusiast, introduced me to his Hatch Twist roosters when I visited his backyard poultry farm.

He said these male chickens are known for having excellent stamina, allowing them to stay in the pit for long periods without getting tired or losing focus on their foe.

13. Thai Game

Thai Game fighting rooster
Purpose:Meat farming, show, fighting, companionship
Adult Weight:5–7 pounds (2.3–3.2 kg)
Temperament:Agile, lively, highly territorial

The Thai Game, originating from Thailand, is a breed that is often misidentified as the Shamo breed. In the past, they were prized as one of the best fighting roosters in the world.

Nowadays, Thai Games are utilized for both practical and ornamental purposes, showcasing their versatile value.


With an upright posture that oozes confidence, Thai Game roosters are quite a sight. The unique traits of this breed, like their walnut-like combs, lacking wattles, and striking yellow legs, set them apart from other roosters. 

In addition to that, an overall muscular frame completes their intimidating appearance, hinting at their fighting prowess.

Temperament and Behavior

Thai Game roosters are an active, lively bunch with a high territorial instinct. Therefore, to avoid conflicts, keeping the fighting roosters away from others or in mixed flocks is best.

Further, their agility is noteworthy, but the females deserve equal credit. Despite their defensive streak, the hens of this breed are renowned for their mothering skills, making them an appealing option for poultry keepers.

Fighting Style

Thai Game roosters are fearless and renowned for their endurance. They exhibit an unwavering will to fight, continuing until their last breath if necessary.

All things considered, this tenacity, matched with their ability to survive lengthy bouts, makes these gamefowls popular fighting birds among enthusiasts.

14. Spanish

Spanish fighting rooster
Image credit: debrouyagamefarm / Instagram
Purpose:Companionship, meat farming, fighting
Adult Weight:5–8 pounds (2.3–3.6 kg)
Temperament:Dominant, quick-witted

The Spanish gamefowl, with origins shrouded in mystery, is believed to have been introduced as far back as ancient Greece.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding their history, as per the Poultry Club of South Africa (PCSA), these roosters now serve as meat providers and cherished companions.


Spanish fighting chickens flaunt long tail feathers, which contribute to their majestic appearance. Further, their compact build and elongated legs provide a sleek and elegant silhouette.

Additionally, these types of gamefowls come in various vibrant colors, including white, black, and red, allowing for diversity within the breed and creating an exciting array of Spanish roosters.

Temperament and Behavior

Spanish gamefowls are quick-witted and dominant, leading the pecking order with assertiveness.

Meanwhile, one should note that its aggressive nature makes it unsuitable for a mixed flock. Nevertheless, it offers an interesting dynamic in a single-breed setting.

When tamed, though, Spanish gamefowls are very friendly and affectionate. They enjoy being around people and will follow their owners around the yard or into the house.

Fighting Style

Fearless and undeterred, Spanish roosters approach battles with daring resolve. Their fighting style is unique, with a signature move of grabbing the feet of their opponents when they attempt to flee.

These roosters are also exceptional in terms of stamina, as they are known for being able to withstand long periods of combat without losing steam.

15. Whitehackle

Whitehackle fighting rooster
Image credit: alexx.r_ / Instagram
Purpose:Fighting, ornamental
Adult Weight:4–6 pounds (1.8–2.7 kg)
Lifespan:5–8 years
Temperament:Flighty, aggressive, tameable

The Whitehackle gamefowl, known for its remarkable resilience, is believed to trace its roots back to Asia. Today, these roosters stand out in poultry exhibitions for their distinct characteristics and historical value.


Whitehackles are robust roosters, weighing in at a sturdy six pounds. They carry a sleek, glossy plumage, with colorings ranging from reddish-brown to yellowish-red.

Their physical allure is further defined by broad shoulders, straight combs, and eyes that shine bright yellow, captivating onlookers with a hint of mischief.

Temperament and Behavior

While Whitehackles may seem flighty and aggressive initially, don’t be fooled. They can be tamed, resulting in a more controlled and manageable bird.

However, bear in mind that their primal instincts always linger beneath the surface, as they are said to be more likely to act on their assertive tendencies than other game fowl breeds.

Fighting Style

Regarding combat style, Whitehackles are known for their swift, devastating strikes. Their tactical prowess, coupled with their sheer force, makes them a daunting presence in a battle.

Aside from that, even during the fight, they never let their guard down, keeping their opponents on edge and ensuring a gripping match.

16. Radio

Radio fighting rooster
Image credit: royal_aztek_gamefarm / Instagram
Purpose:Show, companionship, fighting
Adult Weight:Unknown
Temperament:Active, brave, sharp-witted

Hailing from Asia, the Radio gamefowl got its global debut through British soldiers in the 1800s. They were first bred in China and have since been exported to many countries around the world.

Note that this breed, once popular in the fighting ring, has now found a calmer life, often showcased in exhibitions or kept as intriguing pets.


At first glance, one might mistake Rooster Radios for their relatives, the Kelsos and Whitehackles, owing to their shared medium build. However, Radio chickens demonstrate their individuality with striking features.

For instance, their muscular shanks are thick and sturdy, while their tails are tapered and feathered. They also often exhibit large-sized combs and wattles, which give them a unique look.

Temperament and Behavior

Known for being sharp-witted, Radio roosters are quick to respond to their surroundings. Their bravery is also a standout trait, displaying courage in facing challenges.

Moreover, with their lively demeanor, they are always ready for action. They love to fight and will challenge other roosters with their boldness.

Fighting Style

Although Radio roosters are not known for strategic thinking in a fight, they exhibit a “do or die” attitude. In other words, their strength lies in their raw power and brutality, compensating for their lack of agility.

As such, they can be disadvantaged if faced with a more strategic and skillful opponent.

17. Shamo

Shamo fighting rooster
Image credit: yellowwood_gamefowl / Instagram
Purpose:Fighting, ornamental, meat farming
Adult Weight:7–11 pounds (3.2–5 kg)
Lifespan:6–12 years
Temperament:Headstrong, inquisitive, feisty

Born out of a meticulous breeding program in Japan, the Shamo, with a name that translates to “game fowl” in English, has evolved beyond its fighting roots.

These majestic chickens serve dual purposes today — as robust meat birds and attractive ornamental fowls.


Shamo roosters are towering figures in the poultry world, with their muscular body contributing to their impressive stature.

Furthermore, their broad shoulders and tightly packed feathers lend an air of strength and durability, complemented by a compact, downward-facing tail.

Meanwhile, you will find that the Shamo’s color palette is diverse, featuring hues ranging from wheaten to red and black to white, enhancing their ornamental charm.

Temperament and Behavior

Shamos are not just physically robust but exhibit a strong-willed character, too. Their inquisitive nature makes them fascinating fowls to observe, while their feisty demeanor showcases their fighting origins.

However, despite their headstrong personality, Shamo roosters also display a friendly side to them, becoming amiable companions to their human caretakers.

Fighting Style

In general, Shamo roosters utilize a defensive strategy. Their attacks are not random but focused and accurate.

Note that what makes them stand out is their durability, which goes beyond mere physical strength, demonstrating an inherent toughness that is at the heart of the Shamo’s character.

18. Claret

Claret fighting rooster
Image credit: cavazos3883 / Instagram
Purpose:Breeding, show, fighting
Adult Weight:3–5 pounds (1.4–2.3 kg)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years
Temperament:Fierce, willful

The Claret, another rooster hailing from the United States, has gained a fearsome reputation as one of the most lethal gamefowl breeds in history. They have earned their stature through their strength and combat ability.

However, nowadays, Claret chickens are largely used for breeding programs and show purposes, revealing their versatility beyond their aggressive origins.


Clarets have a striking physical presence with their brilliant red plumage highlighted with black markings.

Their muscular body frame is a testament to their strength, and their long tails and wattles are noteworthy features that make them an imposing sight. They also sport a prominent chest, further adding to their menacing look.

Temperament and Behavior

No breed earns the title of “deadliest” without a temperament to match, and Claret roosters are no exception.

Their behavior is marked by fierce tenacity, willful determination, and a formidable aggressive streak, which are all traits that have served them well in their former fighting days.

Fighting Style

In combat, Clarets exhibit a unique blend of skills, excelling as both potent kickers and adept flyers.

On top of that, while their warlike nature may suggest a barrage of constant attacks, Clarets take a more tactical approach.

To be specific, they seldom strike, instead choosing their moments with precision, striking their foe only when the timing is optimal.

19. Sumatra

Sumatra fighting rooster
Image credit: fascinatingbirds / Instagram
Purpose:Exhibition, fighting
Adult Weight:4–6 pounds (1.8–2.7 kg)
Temperament:Active, vigilant, bold

Originating from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, you’ll be surprised to learn that the Sumatra breed was not initially used for cockfighting. Their strong spirit led them to the fighting ring, and they soon proved their worth.

Due to their striking appearance and distinctive characteristics, Sumatra gamefowls are now commonly kept as show animals.


Sumatra roosters are instantly recognizable due to their green sheen that gives them an iridescent glow. They also exhibit dark pigmentation across their body, offering a clear contrast to their vividly red-colored comb and wattles.

However, it should be highlighted that the Sumatra breed’s distinguishing physical feature is their unusually long, flowing tail feathers.

Fun Fact: Like other blue-colored chickens, a Sumatra also has its own blue version that looks very similar to the blue Australorp, with white-tinged abdomens, wingtips, and breasts.

Temperament and Behavior

Sumatra roosters are highly active creatures, constantly alert and responsive to their surroundings. They are particularly attracted to the presence of other animals and will often engage in physical brawls.

That said, chicken keepers will be delighted to know that Sumatras are friendly toward people and will interact with them individually.

Fighting Style

As far as battling is concerned, Sumatras display a unique style characterized by excellent flying and jumping abilities. They are skilled in defensive maneuvers and have a knack for evading enemies swiftly.

So, even though they may not be traditionally bred for fighting, their defensive prowess has earned them a place in the world of gamefowl breeds.

20. Mcrae

Mcrae fighting rooster
Image credit: kellarville_gamefarm / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Fighting, exhibition, companionship
Adult Weight:4–5 pounds (1.8–2.3 kg)
Temperament:Combative, playful

Born from the creative hands of William McRae, the McRae breed came into existence in the United States. They are gamefowls well-known for their strength, speed, and endurance.

Since their introduction in the early 19th century, the McRae has evolved from a competitive breed to one cherished for exhibition and companionship.


With regard to looks, the McRae breed catches the eye with their predominantly black feathers, providing them with a distinguished and intimidating appearance.

Their face, which takes on a mulberry hue, is accentuated by dark red eyes and matching black legs.

Usually weighing between 4 and 5 pounds, these roosters are a perfect blend of power and agility encased in a medium-sized body.

Temperament and Behavior

McRae roosters exhibit a combative spirit, always up for a challenge. This means they won’t just stand around and wait for the other rooster to make a move; they will take action on their own.

Beyond this fierce demeanor, McRaes demonstrate an intelligent side. These gamefowls are smart and fast learners. They may even become quite affectionate if appropriately handled by their owners.

Fighting Style

In the ring, McRae roosters opt for a tactical approach rather than rushing into a fight. They prefer to counterpunch, waiting for the right moment to respond.

Additionally, they are very intuitive and possess superior awareness of their surroundings, making them difficult to catch off guard while attacking or defending.

21. Sid Taylor

Sid Taylor fighting rooster
Image credit: 402gamefowl / Instagram
Origin:United States
Purpose:Exhibition, fighting
Adult Weight:Unknown
Temperament:Tough, courageous, confident

The Sid Taylor gamefowl comes from the United States, where it has been produced through crossbreeding between rooster breeds, notably the Shamo and Asil.

Nowadays, these fighting roosters are primarily shown in exhibitions, highlighting their unique physical attributes and competitive spirit.


Sid Taylor roosters boast an imposing frame, combining the muscular body of the Asil with the sturdy, powerful legs typical of the Shamo breed.

In addition, their feathers display various colors, ranging from blackish-red and brownish-red to bluish-red. They are also often found with white markings on their wings and tails.

Temperament and Behavior

Known for their tough character, Sid Taylor roosters carry an air of confidence and courage that’s hard to miss.

They hold their heads high, strutting around their territory with bold assurance, which makes them captivating and somewhat intimidating to watch.

Fighting Style

Sid Taylor roosters are quite formidable. Specifically, they utilize their beaks and claws to deliver devastating blows, focusing on quick, decisive strikes to secure their victories.

This aggressive approach is supplemented by their powerful legs and wings, allowing them to cover ground quickly and reach their opponents with extreme speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fighting rooster side profile

Which Rooster Is Best for Fighting?

In terms of aggression and fighting prowess, Old English Game and Malay roosters often top the charts, making them among the best fighting rooster breeds.

To be specific, their bold and competitive nature causes them to stand out in the arena. 

The Asil, another formidable breed, also ranks highly with a notable level of aggressiveness at 4.5. It’s a bit more reserved than those two breeds, but it is still incredibly capable of putting up a fight.

Is Rooster Fighting Legal in the US?

In the United States, rooster fighting or cockfighting is absolutely illegal. It’s prohibited under the Animal Welfare Act of 1999 and is considered a federal crime in all 50 states.

Despite the clear laws, it’s unfortunate that these banned activities persist in some areas. In fact, many cockfighting enthusiasts have been prosecuted for gambling and other crimes related to such a cruel practice.

Is It Illegal to Raise Fighting Roosters?

Although cockfighting is illegal, raising a fighting rooster is not against the law.

Ultimately, the goal should be to keep the battle roosters healthy and well-cared for. This respectful approach helps preserve these exceptional breeds while abiding by the law.

Also, note that many fowls on this list of fighting cock breeds are maintained for purposes other than cockfighting, such as exhibitions, shows, and even as meat sources.

What Is the Most Aggressive Game Rooster?

With regard to the most aggressive game roosters, Malay and Old English Game chickens often top the list. They have been recognized as two of the best fighting rooster breeds due to their extraordinary feisty nature.

What Are the Most Expensive Fighting Roosters?

When it comes to rooster costs, Peruvian roosters are among the most expensive breeds. They are often recognized for their supernatural fighting traits and have become a sought-after species among enthusiasts.

To be exact, the price of these roosters can vary dramatically, typically ranging from $600 to a staggering $5,000.

To summarize, game fowl breeds have come a long way from their origins. Though not the most common poultry species, they’re still useful in many ways. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask your questions about fighting roosters in the comments!

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