Friday, October 21, 2005

The Importance of the hen in breeding gamefowl

The Importance of the Hen
By C.I. Bilbie (1982)

Throughout the history of game fowl breeding, the importance of the hen has, in the majority of cases, been overlooked, and in isolated instances, even ignored. It is my own belief (you may disagree) that any present-day breeder competing in the fierce competition that exists today ignores the importance of the hen not only at his own peril, but also at the peril of his fowl's competitive success and the successful continuity of his strain of fowl. How many men throughout the ages, have clamored for a cock at the pit side that has won a spectacular fight, to take home for use as their prized brood cock? The pit cock they desire so highly is "the product" and will not necessarily be "the producer" in their own brood yards, thus dashing their high hopes for the future.

A sensational pit cock quite naturally creates admiration, excitement and a desire to possess such a bird, to the extent that the would-be possessor of such a cock loses sight of the fact that it took two parent birds to "produce" this ace cock. He would be wiser to seek securement of the birds that produced the ace, not the ace himself, i.e. the "producers" and not "the product."

Now, either parent bird could have been the dominant producer or what we term the proven cock or proven hen, such specimens being highly prized. The ace pit cock, himself, may well become a proven brood cock, too, and let there be no doubt in anyone's mind that this has proved to be true on many occasions. The failure rate is, however, proportionately higher.

A proven sire is always popular in any sphere of bird or animal life, but such a view is only one side of the coin. However, the hen carries the bloodlines or pedigree of the strain and it is through her that the offspring's prepotency will spring. As the old saying goes: "It takes two and the greatest producing cock will be nothing without a hen capable of continuing his influence of prepotency. The chips off the old blocks come in the opposite, i.e., the cock influences his daughters and the hen her sons. In other words, the producing cock passes on his qualities to his daughters who in turn pass them back to their sons. Thus the hen carries the sphere of influence of the sire, which is perpetuated through the strain. The responsibility of the balance in the strain always rests with the hen.

In a breeding program, be it in-breeding, line breeding, or cross breeding, with a preference being shown to the male line, it is the hen's influence which keeps the male influence in proportion. Many of the first class breeders will find it a devil's own job to induce such a breeder to sell a hen of the same caliber.

There is no doubt whatsoever that some of the breeders of game fowl taking part in major competition in America today are not only some of America's finest, but also rank among the best in the world. Without exception, the gentlemen not only recognize the values of the hen, they never lose sight of that fact. When they have a proven hen they regard it highly and never part with it. For a beginner to become a force to be reckoned with, he, too, must never lose sight of this all-important principle.

Discuss other articles regarding hens and gamefowl at The Gamefowl World

The World Of Gamefowl Blows In Like Hurricane Katrina, Wilma & Andrew.

The GamefowlWorld Gamefowl website comes blowing in just hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Andrew and there are no signs of the site slowing down in the future.

Here are some quick links in and around the Gamefowl and Poultry Network

1. Gamefowl and cockfighting hot spots.
The gamefowl world or better known as GFW or is a sister site of and has come blowing in like hurricane Katrina and Wilber. holds 2 very important purposes concerning our ability to promote gamefowl poultry and cockfighting. At poultry world or better know as the Gamefowlworld News: The official site of game fowl news. is our home base for all gamefowl news and cockfighting newsletters sent to our valued subscribers. These gamefowl and cockfighting newsletters are published weekly and available to the public for free. Persons may register to receive the gamefowl news newsletters here. The gamefowl and cockfighting newsletters are also archived and are a part of our public Ezine located here. also serves as a valued link exchange program for all gamefowl, poultry, game bird, cockfighting and hunting sites looking to increase traffic with a free link exchange program. Some of the most popular categories are Gamefowl, Gamefowl Farms, Gamefowl Supplies, Chickens, Old English Games, Show Poultry, Waterfowl, and Nutrition Diseases and Disorders.

There are to many categories to list them all here so we gave you a brief outline for our
gamefowl, cockfighting, poultry and game bird links area.

2. Game Fowl Message Forums ( boards )
At the Gamefowl World Gamefowl Website we have 64 unique gamefowl and cockfighting free message forums ( boards ) tailored to meet any cocker, poultry or fowl enthusiast from novelist to pitmaster. Here is a brief outline of our most popular gamefowl and poultry message forums.
A. The Gamefowl Pit - Just set down, grab a cup of coffee and chat about anything gamefowl related. This is your place for general game fowl discussion.
B. Cockfighting - Short Heel - Welcome short heel enthusiast! This is for all us short heel men and women. For discussion about short knife, postiza, slow heel, natural heel, and short heel gaff.
C. Short Heel Gaff, Short Knife, Postiza, and Natural Heel
D. Gamefowl Keeps - This is for the conditioning of our gamefowl. The Long Knife, Short Knife, Postiza, Peg Awl, Natural Heel, Short, and Long Heel Gaff.
E. Gamefowl & Cockfighting For The Beginner - For those seeking expert opinions and advice regarding gamefowl related issues, this is the place to start. Everyone help each other out.
F. Gamefowl Breeding & Healthcare - Discuss gamefowl and poultry breeding tips, techniques, and give helpful advice to your fellow cockers.
G. Gamefowl Conditioning & Feeding - Discuss gamefowl and poultry conditioning and feeding tips with others hereE. Gamefowl History, Strains & Bloodlines - This is the place to talk about bloodlines. Where did they come from, etc?
H. Gamefowl Classifieds - *Registered Users Only* Post gamefowl and poultry related want ads, for sale, swap or trade in this forum.There are many more gamefowl and poultry message boards on the site this was just a brief outline.

3. free gamefowl poultry and game bird auction.
As far as we know we are the only 100% free to sell and free to buy auction of its kind available on the internet! The gamefowlworld free gamefowl, poultry and game bird auction is open to all persons age 18 or older to buy and sell poultry or game fowl related items.

We also have a zero tolerance policy on fraud and hold strict auction guidelines to help protect ourselves, the seller and winning bidder. Some of our most popular categories are as follows. Chicks & Eggs, Gamecocks, Gamefowl Supplies, Hens, Other Poultry, Pairs, Pullets, Stags, and Trios.
4. - Other important places of interest concerning gamefowl poultry game birds and cockfighting.
We have a very large gamefowl picture and photo gallery of gamefowl and cockfighting pictures submitted by our users. If your a free registered member or our site you to can upload 2 megs of gamefowl or cockfighting photos to your personal free photo image hosting area given to each user from us. Others may at anytime look at, comment on and even rate your gamefowl or cockfighting photo. We also have an area where users can have there own gamefowl or cockfighting journal. A user can make this private available only for themselves or make it public for others to see, comment on and rate.

There are just to many options available on the gamefowlworld game fowl website to list on this page but here is a short list of a few more of our many hot spots concerning gamefowl, game birds poultry or cockfighting. If needed feel free to look at our gamefowl site map. Gamefowl and poultry downloads sections, Gamefowl event calendar, Add your web site, Our top web sites program, Advertising for gamefowl poultry or cockfighting, surf for cash, Our award winning news topics section the gamefowl cockfighting and poultry supply catalog and weekly surveys

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Some History of the Asil (or Aseel) Gamefowl Chicken

Some History of the Asil (or Aseel) Gamefowl Chicken

The Game-type chickens, as a whole, have some of the longest documented histories of any domestic fowls. The Asil (or Aseel) has an ancestry particularly steeped in antiquity - the breed is referred to in the Codes of Manu, an Indian document on law, religion, & philosophy dating back to somewhere between 900-1280 B.C. (Atkinson, Herbert, Cockfighting & Game Fowl (1938), p. 81) Asils were developed primarily as a sort of feathered pugilist, and this aspect of their development has had an overpowering influence on the breed’s structure, constitution, and temperament, as well as influencing its role in the development of more modern breeds.

As befitting such an old breed, the Asil and its descendants are known not only in India, its country of origin, but in places as far flung as Thailand, Japan, Turkey, England (imported in 1760), many South American countries, and the USA. Of particular interest is the Cornish breed, developed in England from Asil crosses, and the base stock of the modern meat chicken industry. The Cornish inherited from the Asil its meaty, well-muscled body, sturdy frame, and yellow skin and legs.

Asils are a fowl of unusual appearance, having very short, hard, glossy feathers, so short that the breastbone is left exposed (as well as often the back of the head and the points of the shoulders). Large boned, with broad shoulders, an upright stance, heavily muscled hips and square shanked legs (legs rounded or D shaped in cross section are a sign of impure blood), strong, curved neck and short beak, the
Asil is a very powerful bird. The face is rather predatory looking, with hawk-like brows over pale, pearl-colored eyes, with a small pea comb and earlobes, and no wattles at all. The tail is carried low, and fans horizontally rather than vertically. Eggs are usually tinted, and the hens are not known for their laying ability. Many of the color varieties have interesting stories attributed to them, such as the Sonatol (or Sonatawal), light red (wheaten), called "gold in value" due to one cock being sold to a Rajah for its weight in gold; the Ghan, dark red (black breasted red or dark), meaning "sledge-hammer," one of which is said to have broken a man’s wrist with one blow; the Rampur, solid black, called "cobra killer," after a hen which dispatched such a snake; and the Kaptan, dark red with some white, whose name means "black spurred". The APA Standard recognizes black breasted red, wheaten, dark, spangled, and white Aseels, but they can also be found in the typical Game colors, including grey (duckwing), blue breasted red, and black. The Standard also lists them as "very vigorous and tenacious survivors."

This hardiness, combined with wonderful mothering ability makes the breed quite useful as a free-range fowl, and they do well in confinement also; with the caveat that they not be confined with others of their own breed, unless of the opposite sex. The cocks are quite docile and easy to handle, and Asils in general seem particularly intelligent. Crosses make excellent meat birds (the original stock tends to be rather slow maturing).

I have had oriental Games since 1981, and my current lines of Asils goes back to both those birds and some stock I acquired in 1990. I use Asil hens to hatch all of my chicks, and can set a hen for three consecutive hatches without any problem. Snakes and other small vermin are no threat to the chicks, as hens are very protective of their young; yet they allow me to handle them and their chicks with little or no protest. On the other hand, I cannot keep too many of these paragons, because I don’t have the pen space; cocks must be kept separate from each other so that they can’t dig or fly to where they can strike at the male in the next pen (I bury bricks and rocks between pens, and make solid plywood barriers four feet high), and hens often do not get along well with other hens; I can keep them with males, hens of non-aggressive breeds, or else let them free-range where my dogs (Anatolian Shepherds, a kind of livestock protection dog) can break up fights. I find the breed to be fascinating, both for their long history and aristocratic disposition. Devoted parents, with an impressive physical appearance and an indomitable spirit, plus plumage of a range of colors (many of a beautiful metallic luster), the Asil is a breed worth keeping.

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