Bộ sưu tập những Bí Kíp hay (tiếng Anh)

Thảo luận trong 'Bí kíp (gà đá)' bắt đầu bởi rawcash, 18/6/13.

  1. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    1) Glover's Breeder and cocker guide

    2) Flock Revised Breeder guide

    3) Inbreeding: what it is and what it does

    4)Royal pastime

    5)Poultry secrets, gathered, tested and now disclosed


    6) Poultry secrets : Townsend

    7)secrets in fowl breeding

    8) Laws governing the breeding of standard fowls

    9) Line breeding for the pigeon fancier

    10)Principles of commercial poultry breeding

    11) poultry breeding and management:james dryden

    12)genetics of the fowl


    13) The A. B. C. of breeding poultry for exhibition


    14)Genetics in plant and animal improvement

    15)call of the hen

    16) The production of 300-eggers and better by line breeding

    17) stock breeding - manly miles

    18) Success with pedigreed reds : rất thực tế


    19) Inbreeding and outbreeding; their genetic and sociological significance


    20)principles of livestock breeding : seawall


    21)Principles of breeding - Goodale

    22) Principles of breeding; a treatise on thremmatology

    23) Poultry culture - Felch

    24) Poultry Craft - Robinson

    25) first lesons in poutlry keeping cuốn 1

    25) First lessons in poultry keeping cuốn 2

    26) The book of games

    27) Cocker's manual, devoted to the game fowl, their origin and breeding - Gray

    28) The Game cock


    Cockfighting all over the world - finsterbusch (nói về gà chọi Ấn Độ)

    cockfighting and gamefowl - herbert atkinson


    LINKS sách cũ nói về ngành đá gà từ xưa đến nay


    Poultry science and practice: roy waite

    Poultry science and practice : winter and funk

    The Bantams:down to date




    Studies on Inbreeding : king
















    [video=youtube;_iaQRDjzx9c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=_iaQRDjzx9c[/video][video=youtube;LGCq3RBo54c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGCq3RBo54c[/video]
    [video=youtube;HAm_VF-3aeY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAm_VF-3aeY[/video] [video=youtube;KTYD_kN7rPg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTYD_kN7rPg[/video]
     
    Last edited: 18/6/13
  2. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  3. tuan trung

    tuan trung Guest

    trời ơi thiệt là khổ quá đi bây giờ đi học tiếng mỹ tới bao giờ mới đọc được tài liệu này đây !
     
  4. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    ngày học 10 chữ, 3650 chữ 1 năm, 10 năm = một cuốn tự điển :)

    cách nhì là đoán mò dùng g00gle translate


    Căn bãng là phải biết cái gì là INBREEDING, OUTBREEDING/OUTCROSSING, LINE BREEDING, MENDEL'S LAW, NICKING = PREPOTENCY = HYBRID VIGOR, STRAIN / LINE v.v và một cặp mắt quan sát tỹ mỷ


    dùng DJVU viewer hoạc Adobe Acrobat đọc bài ngen các bạn




    bắt đầu với Inbreeding:What it is , production of 300 eggers, Pedigreed reds, lewis poultry trang 181, inbreeding and outcrossing, stock breeding , principles of breeding - goodale , genetics in plant and animal improvement
     
    Last edited: 20/6/13
    carom thích bài này.
  5. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  6. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 27/7/13
    carom thích bài này.
  7. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    carom thích bài này.
  8. quachvanluat

    quachvanluat Well-Known Member

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    rạch giá
    nhieu sách mà trình tiếng anh thấp quá, nếu trình mà cao đọc được chắc giờ ko phải khổ thế này!.
     
    rawcash thích bài này.
  9. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 17/8/13
    bsdinhhuong thích bài này.
  10. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  11. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  12. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  13. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  14. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  15. kendyphet

    kendyphet Member

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    Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh
    Cám ơn bác với những bài bổ ích cho những anh em nuôi gà đá.
     
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  16. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  17. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  18. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  19. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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  20. rawcash

    rawcash Well-Known Member

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    Modern Breeding of Gamefowl - Narragansett (Tan Bark)


    Gamecock Care

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 11:51 PM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 11:43 PM ----------
    Maintaing a Family of Gamefowl
    Maintaining a Family of Gamefowl
    Several months ago a good friend asked us to write an article that would map out a method on how to maintain a family of gamefowl. At the time, we did not give the matter much thought simply because we did not consider ourselves qualified to be writing about the subject.
    Not that we claim to be experts on the subject now, but after maintaining a couple of strains of gamefowl at a high level of competitiveness since 1985, there are a few thoughts we can share with you that may help you in your breeding efforts. We will list as they come to mind, in no particular order of importance.
    SINGLEMATE – You must know exactly who the parents are on both sides. Most great families owe their greatness to a few outstanding individuals and it is your never ending job to find them in your fowl. The only way we know to do this is by singlemating.
    KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS – Of your matings and the offspring they produce as well as the performance of the offspring from each of these matings. This is the tool you will use to evaluate each singlemating and decide whether to continue it or not. Without good records, you cannot make sound breeding decisions. A NOTE OF CAUTION: If you track your fowl using a computer program, be sure and keep that information backed up on a disk everytime you update it, because if your computer crashes (which they all do now and then) that information may be permanently unavailable.
    BE EXTREMELY SELECTIVE IN YOUR MATINGS – Very picky if you will, of both parents. They must be perfect in every way and HEALTY. Spend as much time as you need to deciding which individuals to mate. Study them carefully and make sure they will further your breeding goals. Follow your gut instinct and the facts rather than getting hung up on breed names, feather and leg colors, etc, as in the end all that matters is the PERFORMANCE of their offspring.
    ONLY HAVE ONE OR TWO FAMILIES – Unless you have an unlimited amount of money, time and space, you need to concentrate your efforts on one or two families of fowl at the most. That is why you must find the ones that suit you the best and build from there. It’s a lot of fun to have different types of gamefowl, and we all have been there at some time in our lives. But if you are serious about your breeding program, you cannot afford to take this route. Each time you acquire new fowl, you will be taking away time, space, etc, from the ones you started out with and want to perpetuate.
    PROVE EACH MATING – You will have to use other hens or an incubator to hatch the eggs from your singlemated pens in order to raise a good number of chicks from them. The more stags you can raise from a pair, the better you will be able to evaluate the production of that pair. Again, good record keeping is a must. Before deciding to breed any offspring from any of these matings, make sure the production of the pair lives up to your scrutiny and expectations. Work base on the results you achieve. It should take you on the average close to 2 years to prove the results of a pair, unless they are an early maturing strain.
    DO NOT MAKE NEW MATINGS EACH YEAR – If you find a top producing pair, keep them together as long as you can before branching out and breeding to other individuals. A good pair should produce for 5 or more years depending on how old they were at the time you started with them. Remember that each new mating you put together will have to be put to the same scrutiny and that you will need additional space and pens to care for their offspring. So plan the number of matings carefully based on all the resource you have and the goals you hope to achieve.
    DO NOT SKIMP ON FEED AND CARE – This one are will defeat you before you ever get stated. Good feed and care are what produces healthy fowl, and health is what you need for the longevity of a family of fowl. If you can turn your hens out to free range after the breeding season, you can keep them looking, feeling and acting like pullets for many years. We’ve had 10 year old hens that did not show their age and produced like pullets because they were turned out to free range at the conclusion of each breeding season. Sure you will probably lose some, but you will lose them quicker if you keep them penned up all their lives.
    KEEP A SAFE NUMBER REPLACEMENTS - With gamefowl, disaster seems to always be lurking just around the corner. For this reason, once you locate your top producing pairs, it is a good idea to keep at least a couple of females and male from each of them even though you may not breed these offspring for couple of years or so. What you can do is replace these with subsequent years offspring from these pairs so you can have some fairly young individuals to use and carry on their bloodline. The blood of many good producing individuals is never carried on simply because their owners failed to plan and did not keep any of their offspring (because they were not going to breed them at the time), then they lose the hen or cock for one reason or another and that is far as they are able to go with that pair.
    FIND THE BREEDING METHOD THAT WORKS FOR YOU – As most of you know, there is inbreeding, linebreeding, infusing, crossbreeding, and on and on. Which of these should you use is something you will have to find out for yourself based on the goals you have set in your breeding program., and your ability to make the right selections. Again, this is where good record keeping will prove to be a valuable tool in deciding which individual fowls blood should be used to carry on and improve the performance of the family.
    We hope you are not too disappointed in finding out that we had no charts or graphs in this article showing you how the matings are to be carried out to produce super gamefowl for a lifetime. The reason for that is there is no such thing. It is all a matter of having good fowl to start with, keeping them healthy, singlemating, keeping extremely good production and performance records, and having the ability to analyze and interpret those records to decide your matings and the breeding methods you will use.

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 11:53 PM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 11:51 PM ----------
    Concepts to Better Breeding

    Gamefowl breeding is a tedious and lengthy undertaking that requires full time attention. If you don’t have the heart for it, don’t do it. The good thing about gamefowl breeding as a business though is that, locally nowadays, there exist a big and lucrative market for fighting cocks. Many beginners get their initiation into cockfighting and gamefowl breeding usually through family or friends.
    When asked what they like most about breeding, majority of rooster-raisers would say it’s the joy of coming out with a winner by their own design. Acquire as much information as you can about gamefowl breeding before even buying a single rooster.
    Start by visiting some experienced cockers and observing methods of raising gamefowl. You can also learn so much from readily available reading materials and videos on the subject. If you’re an internet user, a number of good websites about cockfighting can provide some of the information that you need and you can also meet cockers and friends from all parts of the world who could be more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
    Start within your budget and with the right planning.
    Plan your breeding within the limits of your time and budget. As time goes on, you can keep your numbers down through selective breeding and hatching. And you must be willing to cull any defective or inferior birds. Huge farm is not a must to raise quality gamefowls. Quality is more important than quantity. Prepare your yard and have some housing ready for them.
    Start with the right broodstocks.
    It is said that “the end justify the means”, but, although this may be true at some extent, in gamefowl breeding the end result comes a little bit longer than others that you can not just try any means for a shooting-an-arrow-in-the-dark end. Veteran rooster-raisers always say that gamefowl breeding becomes very expensive and wasteful when you start with cheap brood stocks. That is cheap in every sense of the word.
    The first rule is to make sure that what you are breeding is the right stuff or close to it. In choosing a good brood stock, one must take into consideration the following steps:
    a) Scout for winning bloodlines of breeders who have established names in the field or breeders who are on a winning streak;
    b) Choose which bloodline do you intend to produce;
    c) If possible, find out the family tree of your preferred bloodline;
    d) Try to seek the best source of the brood stocks that you need;
    e) When you have identified the best source try to get from him the best that he got, even if you have to pay more;
    One thing in common among those who became successful in gamefowl breeding is the fact that they all placed considerable investment on their brood stocks.
    Partners Peter Uy & Joseph Choa never leave any stone unturned when they are buying seed fowls in the United States. Tukaan producer-host Emoy Gorgonia revealed that if Peter & Joseph are offered a broodcock priced at $1,500, they would simply offer back $2,000 for a better one or an ever higher amount for a rooster that is supposedly not for sale. They look not for the physical features, but for a rooster’s potential to produce winners. Today, the partner’s farm in Antipolo City is one of most preferred source of brood stocks locally.
    A good example of someone who started it right, although, he admits that he had to spend more than a million peso as “tuition fee” before he learned his lessons is Sonny Lagon. With only four years of serious breeding behind him, Lagon has earned his place among the country’s finest game fowl breeders. When he found out the right source of the brood stocks that he needed, Bruce Barnette of Alabama, Sonny immediately made his move. During one of his early visits to Barnette’s farm, Lagon wanted to buy a particular rooster, but, was told that it was not for sale. When Sonny insisted, Barnette jokingly told him that he would only let go of the rooster for $5,000. Right there and then, Sonny handed Bruce $5,000. The rooster may not be worth that much, however, Sonny was able to earn Barnette’s attention, trust and later on, friendship.
    There are those who had been in the breeding business for years, but never got off the ground. Why? Because they started with the wrong or untested brood stocks. They probably got bargain seed fowls in the beginning, but ended up spending more and losing their investments in the long run. And in game fowl breeding or in any endeavor, something that is started wrong can never be made right.
    Important things that you should know
    a) Strain – a strain is a family of gamebirds that have the same physical characteristics and easily recognizable traits that make them different from the others and they must also have the ability to reproduce themselves to be considered a strain. Basically, all gamefowl breeds are man made designs that first stem from the Wild Red Jungle Fowl of Southeast Asia (the local labuyo perhaps). Through selective breeding, we now have the birds we see today. Creating a strain is the result of one man’s vision. It is developed through selective breeding, for many generations with a single family.
    b) Single breeding – a cock bred with a single hen or rotating that cock with three or four hens that are individually penned.
    c) Group breeding – is breeding a cock with a group of hens. It is similar to flock breeding except a smaller amount of hens are bred to only oen cock at a time.
    Specialize in only one or two breeds at the most.
    The first thing to consider when you aim to be a breeder of fine quality gamefowl is to specialize in one or two breeds at the most. This could be done through line breeding, inbreeding, out-crossing, semi-outcrossing and infusion.
    a) Line Breeding – is the most common form of maintaining a strain. This is when a cock is bred to his mother, grand-mother or even his great-grandmother or if a pullet is bred to her father, grandfather or her great-grandfather. Breeding to their aunts, uncles or even to their cousins will also work.
    b) Inbreeding – is the breeding of brother to sister. It is important when you need to accentuate or lock in the good genes or traits of your strain.
    c) Out-crossing – is when you bring in new blood. The main purpose of out-crossing is to produce battlecocks. These are the ones that you’re going to fight or sell.
    d) Hybrid vigor – the main reason for out-crossing is to establish a high degree of Hybrid vigor. To breed an individual that is better, faster, stronger, smarter and gamer than his parents is the result of hybrid vigor.
    Sex of a chick is not a cocks’ fault.
    A cock has thirty-nine pairs of chromosomes composed of one pair of sex chromosome and thirty-eight pairs of autonomic chromosomes, while, a hen has one sex chromosome instead of a pair. A cock gives a sex chromosome to every fertilized egg, but a hen gives her sex chromosome to maybe 50% of the fertilized eggs she lay. If the fertilized egg receives sex chromosomes from both the cock and the hen, it will hatch to be a stag (male), but if the egg only has a sex chromosome from the cock, it will hatch out to be a pullet (female).
    Remember that as much as possible, always keep youth to one side of the breeding. Breed a proven hen, which is at least two years old, to a young brood cock and vice-versa.
    With this information, I guess you can now start in gamefowl breeding. Of course, be sure to provide your birds with the best nutrition and health care available. A comprehensive vaccination program is a must considering that game birds are very susceptible to a wide range of avian pests and poultry diseases.
    Lastly, keep track of each chick’s ancestry by keeping good records, giving each brood cock or brood hen its own identification code and marking each of their chicks with the identity off the breeding that produced it. This can be done with toe punching and nose marking, then later with wing and legbands. Through, this you’ll be able to identify which pair of breeding to continue with or to stop.

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 11:59 PM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 11:53 PM ----------
    The Japanese Shamo - Willem

    ---------- Bài viết thêm 12-05-2014 vào lúc 12:00 AM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết 11-05-2014 vào lúc 11:59 PM ----------
    The Origin of Aseel - Willem

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 12:01 AM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 12:00 AM ----------
    How to Create a Gamefowl Strain

    Instructions
    1
    Purchase the best quality stock of gamefowl possible. Quality, rather than quantity, gives a better foundation to create your gamefowl strain from. One cock and one or more hens are necessary to begin your strain.

    2
    Raise chicks from the originating cock and hens. Choose the desired traits you want to create in a strain of gamefowl. Be prepared to cull chicks not displaying the desired traits. Keep those with the desired traits for future breeding.

    3
    Breed those with specific desired traits to others with the same traits. Keep repeating, culling those not showing traits wanted in the strain you are creating. Keep all males separate when the stags, young males, begin to mature into cocks -- adult males. They will fight until death, as it is their natural behavior.

    4
    House the gamefowl individually if specific breeding is to take place or small groups made up of one cock to one or more hens. Place together for breeding when wanting to lock in genes. Study the basics of line breeding, in-breeding, out-crossing and hybrid vigor. Create your gamefowl strain with vigor, hardiness and a pleasant appearance to end with your overall desired strain.

    5
    Continue to create your strain through selective breeding and culling. Add other brood stock as necessary. Concentrating on one strain for your first endeavor is likely to produce better results, two strains at the most. You do not need a large farm but attention to desired traits and correct breeding choices defines your strain.



    Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_7770904_create-gamefowl-strain.html#ixzz31U35Ope8

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 12:05 AM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 12:01 AM ----------


    Carbohydrate Loading Keep


    Foreword
    The sport of cockfighting has existed for hundreds of years, but like most sciences, more progress has been made in the past fifty than all those preceding years. The average cocks of today could defeat those cocks bred and fed in the 1920's. Why? For the same reasons human beings today are stronger, bigger and faster than their grandparents: breeding and feeding. Great strides have been made in genetics and nutrition in the past fifty, and particularly, the last twenty years. Consequently, average life expectancy, general health, and size have increased by leaps and bounds. In the animal world horses run faster, cows produce more milk and beef, hens lay more eggs, and so on.

    Cockers of today are more knowledgeable and generally better educated, with more available information, than ever before. But, while most cockers are great students of experience, as a rule, they do little to actually study genetics and nutrition with an eye toward improving the ability and performance of their fowl. This conditioning method is an attempt to enable many cockers to "catch up" with the latest scientific developments in nutrition and training. The research, the studying, and the experimentation have been done for you. This keep can work for you.

    I have read dozens of keeps, and while I have not seen one written in the last ten years that would actually be detrimental to your fowl, most have been fairly similar as to feed and work. You will find that this keep is different in its approach, than any you have ever used. To be successful, you must follow this keep closely, in quantity of feed and work, and in type of feed and timing.

    This conditioning method is based on the latest studies concerning athletic competition, and what are cocks except athletes? The principle behind it is known as "carbohydrate loading". To understand fully how this keep works, you should know a little about nutrition and its effects. So you can understand the ideas involved, I will try to simplify them.

    The amount of energy that a muscle will be able to produce depends on the amount of "glycogen" stored in that muscle. Glycogen is a chemical that serves as fuel for the muscle. The more glycogen present in the muscle, the longer that muscle will be able to act effectively. Studies have shown that if glycogen stores are depleted by exercise and a low carbohydrate diet, then replaced by rest and a high carbohydrate diet, the muscle can store twice as much glycogen, or energy, as it had originally. No one needs to tell you what this means in practical terms: your cock will hit harder, and more importantly, will be able to do it much longer than he would have otherwise. He will maintain that deadly punch for a greater period of time. I will explain about carbohydrates, proteins and fats in more detail when we get to the subject of feed.

    Finally, let me say that this is the closest thing to a workingman's keep that you can find. It does not require 12 hours a day to be effective. The maximum time needed would be I to 2 hours in the morning and the same in the evening. The quantity of the time spent with your show of cocks is not as important as the quality of the time. Make sure that your time is well organized and efficient. This keep does require good cocks in good health cocks that are well bred and have been fed and cared for properly all their lives. There is no keep, and especially, no substance, that will make up for lack of care. So if you bought this keep because you have been lazy your cocks are in poor health from lack of care then you cannot expect this conditioning method, or any other, to do them any good.



    Pre-Keep? What's That?
    My feeling on this subject is that our cocks should be in a pre-keep all their lives well fed, but at approximate fighting weights, worm free and deloused. I hope you don't have cocks that are any other way. I have fought cocks off strings, out of fly pens and out of holding pens with no appreciable difference in performance when this keep is used for the last fourteen days. The important thing to remember is that fowl are like people, in that they become bored with the same surroundings. Whenever possible, rotate cocks on a regular basis from fly pens to holding pens to string walks. This will keep the cocks active and alert and prevent them from becoming coop-stale. Handle your cocks often, except in moulting season, to tame them and to determine their weights so that their feed rations can be adjusted accordingly.

    I cannot overemphasize the fact that you should put up only those cocks that are gentle and well mannered. Life is too short to fool with manfighters besides, it is my belief that most manfighters are not truly game. However, don't confuse manfighters with nervous, high-strung fowl. Also, many otherwise gentle cocks will hit back if mishandled or when they are becoming sharp during the keep. Like boxers, cocks in training love to snap a few punches at an available target. In summary, just let me say that if a cock doesn't gentle down, doesn't stop hitting or pecking when picked up, after a week's gentle handling, don't consider him for a keep. Kill him, breed him (if you are a fool), but don't put him up to fight.

    Since I am on the subject, I'll attempt to give you a good all around feed routine, as well as a worming and delousing schedule. Your daily feed for fowl on your yard should consist of approximately 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 30% fat. Since most laying mash is 12% to 15% protein, you will need to supplement the protein, unless you use the 20 to 30% protein lay pellets offered by some feed stores. A good all-around feed, and one that is as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality, is one part scratch (which consists of cracked corn and wheat), one part 20% laying pellets and one part soaked oats. For those cockers in the less temperate areas, substitute whole corn for scratch in the winter. Sure, you can buy more expensive feeds, but for a good sound all-purpose feed, this mixture can't be beaten. As for supplementing protein, in moderation, you can use "trout chow", fish meal, or even some high protein dog food such as Gaines. But always remember use these in moderation. Because, after all, you are feeding chickens, and the closer you stay to a natural diet, the better off you will be. A lot of fancy feeds will just upset a fowl's digestion. The opinions on amounts and times of feeds would fill a book much larger than this. Adjust your feed in accordance with the weight of the cock. Whether you feed once or twice daily depends on so many variables, I wouldn't even begin to try to dictate to you climate, types of pens, breeds of fowl. Go with what works best for you. One hint though, if you have rather severe winters, make sure your cocks are fed as close to dark as possible, the more corn the better, if this is a second feed. It has been my experience that a cock with a full crop can stand those cold nights much better than one that is empty.

    As for worming and delousing get on a regular schedule. If you have string walks, change the leg bands every Saturday or Sunday or whatever, just do it regularly. The same goes for worming and delousing. Fowl should be wormed and deloused every month. In fact, I often delouse and worm any time I have an occasion to catch one of my fowl running loose on the yard. Any number of good products are available for getting rid of lice. Several are advertised in your gamefowl journals and I have heard good comments about most all of them. Most farm and feed stores carry a brand of lice powder. I know some cockers who use Black Leaf 40 to delouse, often with a chemical dip, but I don't advise this. I know of one prominent cocker who completely submerged all his battle cocks in a delousing solution way over 100 of them. By the time he had finished the last one, he looked back, and the first ones were beginning to fall over. He lost every single treated cock that day, and although he is beginning to win again this year, it took him three years to regain his previous position. So I don't recommend dips, nor do I recommend Black Leaf 40 for the amateur.

    The only worm medicine I can recommend is the Wormal product from Salsbury Laboratories. If you follow directions on the bottle, Piperzine liquid wormer is okay too, especially for young fowl. But remember, Piperzine only kills one type of worm, the roundworm, while Wormal will kill three types of worms, including the roundworm. Don't be misled by sensational claims in the gamefowl journals advertising a revolutionary new worm medicine. If a more effective worm medicine had been discovered, believe me, the commercial poultry men would be using it. They're using Wormal, and so am I. Some worms hatch on 10-day cycles, so to be safe, worm on Saturday, and then 10 days later. After that, follow your monthly schedule to control worms. Just remember that worms, like lice, can never be completely eliminated, just controlled.



    Vitamins: Myth or Magic?
    The truth about the effects of vitamins actually lies somewhere in between. I have had to rethink my position on vitamins recently. Three years ago, I, along with most scientists, doctors and nutritionists, felt that all the vitamins a person needed were contained in a well-balanced diet. 'Using vitamin and mineral supplements was just paying for expensive urine, the body's way of discarding unneeded vitamins. However, today most experts agree that extra vitamins can play an important role in any serious training program, as long as massive doses are not used. It is quite possible to die from overdoses of vitamins vitamin D, for example. Certain vitamins such as C and B-12 are water soluble, which means that the body does not absorb what it doesn't need, and one cannot receive an overdose from these vitamins. So, in conclusion, let me say that although vitamins and their effects are still not completely understood, it is clear that cocks under the physical strain of intensive conditioning can benefit from an extra vitamin and mineral supplement, such as we advise in this program.



    Water, Water, Everywhere ...
    Every keep I have ever read mentions drying cocks out before they fight by limiting their water intake. Some of the directions are moderate and some are radical. Cockers thirty or forty years ago often gave their cocks no water for the last two days! In to-, day's fast-paced competition, I know of no surer way to get them killed. Cocks need moisture in their bodies to convert glycogen to energy. Exactly how much water a cock needs is determined by so many factors it is impossible to predict with any certainty but I will say this, give your cocks all the water they will drink during the keep. Believe me, the cocks are better judges of what they need than we are. In fact, in extremely cold weather, you may want to encourage cocks to drink by giving them warm water or warm water mixed with powdered milk. Always keep water by your cocks during the keep, up until 24 hours or so before the fight, when you want to regulate every bit of their feed and water intake. Consider this fact: when a cock loses 2% of his body weight in water, his ability to perform begins to deteriorate. In other words, he is riot fighting up to his potential. Two percent of a 5 pound cock's weight is 1.6 ounces, a little over one and a half ounces. SO, if you bring a cock into a fight with all the moisture he needs in his tissues, he has a much better chance. And that, my friend, is the name of the game.

    When pressed, most cockers will describe a cock on point" as a bundle of nerves, bobbing, clucking, moving a cocked gun. I define a cock on point as being a cock that is ready and at the peak of his health, strength and well-being. For years, I have corresponded with a prominent cocker who has continually pressed this idea on me: "Fight your cocks when they are ready, not when you are." This means taking cocks to the pit when they are at the peak of their mental and physical well-being.

    "Pointing" is a natural thing. It is the end result of several contributing factors: the cock is empty, he has been rested force rested, and he is sexually and physically frustrated from inactivity. As a result of all these factors, his blood sugar level is way up, his energy is at its peak and he is not only ready, he's anxious for an outlet, he wants to fight. Often a cock "on point" is described as "corky" to describe a cock that is light and bobs like a cork on water. There is really no way to describe a cock on point but I guarantee you'll know it when you feel him. This is not something to be taught, it must be experienced.



    Sparring
    Sparring can be a valuable tool for the cocker if done properly. First, it is a tool for selection it allows the cocker to get some idea of how a cock will fight. Secondly, a cock can learn some things during the course of a session, good habits as well as bad. Thirdly, sparring can be a valuable outlet for a cock's pent-up energy, allowing him to vent his rage and delay his coming on point too early.

    Some cockers use a catch cock and attempt to "teach" a cock to hit at a cock's tail even if he can't see his head. Also, some cockers tie a catch cock's legs to see if he will score on a down cock. I am doubtful if either of these practices does the slightest bit of good, because I think the aggressiveness of the cock is determined in the brood pen.

    However, cocks, to a certain degree, can be taught to score quickly. This is the way. First, bill your cocks really well, flush them and set them down close together, close enough so they'll get at one another very fast. Let them have a good pitting, enough to make them really mad, but don't let them wallow and break feathers. After a 15 second rest, flush them and set them down about three feet apart. Now, here is the important part: when the cocks break, catch them immediately. Then without rest, set them down 5 feet apart, let them break and catch them. This time set them down 8 feet apart, let them break and catch them. Set them down again 8 feet apart and this time let them mix it up good. The purpose of this type of sparring is simple: the cocks will begin to score more quickly and break higher. Also, you are not giving them enough time to get tired and start ducking. If you let cocks spar until they are very tired, they will learn to duck really quickly, and this habit must be avoided.



    Work
    To attain maximum condition, a cock must be worked, and worked hard. Not all this work should be forced work, or hand-work-most of it should, in fact, be natural work, the kind a cock will do in a good fly pen with litter. He will scratch and fly up and down many times a day, complementing the handwork you give him. I feel that it is impossible to get a cock "muscle-bound" as some keeps would allow you to believe. It is quite possible to make a cock sore and stiff by overwork. That is why this method allows a cock to "rest up" from his conditioning program two full days before his fight. This "rest" period serves several purposes. First, if the cock has sore or stiff muscles, this time allows those muscles to regain their original elasticity, yet retain the strength that has been developed. Secondly, blood sugar begins to rise with the decrease in work, beginning the pointing process. Thirdly, it allows for the glycogen content in the muscles to increase.

    Some cocks will not be able to take the work of this conditioning program. That in itself should give you some idea as to whether your cocks are really quality fowl. It has been my experience that truly well bred cocks won't fold under the pressure of the work. Rather, they will rebound and thrive on such activity, eager to work.

    While realizing that volumes could be written on this subject alone, I think that it is sufficiently important to touch on at least the major points. In fact, I believe that the majority of 3-1 and 4-1 derby scores that you see can be attributed to the lack of attention that most cockers pay to this chore. After all, your derby show is only as good as your worst cock. If you approach the selection of your derby show with the attitude that "Well, this cock isn't so good, but maybe I'll get lucky and meet another weak cock," then you might as well stay at home. Always select the best cocks you have to condition. Your first step in selecting is to examine the overall health of the cock. Eyes should be bright, feathers slick and oily, and he should just give off an impression of active vitality. Examine feet and legs for sores or bumbles, the breastbone for sores, and the mouth and head for blisters. Check to make sure the cock is lice-free. He should, in your judgment, be within two ounces of fighting weight. It would be difficult to take more than that off in two weeks without weakening the cock, or put more than two ounces on with a rigorous training schedule. Check for broken wing or tail feathers. Do not fight cocks with badly broken feathers. For a bent feather, where the shaft is bent but not broken, carefully straighten the shaft, and apply a small piece of tape to the feather. Usually, this will prevent further damage, at least temporarily.

    If, in your opinion, the cock is in good health and near his actual fighting weight, then set him aside as a definite possibility. After you have narrowed down your selections to a workable number, weigh them, match according to weights, and spar. This is where the real selection process takes place. The good selector will be able to separate the duds from the aces, or at least the good cocks from the poor ones.

    If possible, have two other people actually pit the cocks, so you can be free to observe. Watch how the cocks move, where they are aiming their licks, how accurate they are. Are they well balanced, do they land-.in position to hit again, do they have to have a bill-hold to hit, do they duck, are their licks delivered with snap? During the rest periods, how hard are they breathing? Is either rattling? The answers to these questions should determine your choices.

    How many cocks to actually put up is a decision you must make, although this may be determined by the number of your available cocks. I would personally hesitate to enter a conditioning program without at least two cocks more than were needed. For example, for a 5-cock derby, I would put up seven or eight. If you put in two hard weeks of work on a show of cocks, it is heartbreaking to have one of your cocks come down with a cold the day before the derby and have to miss it. Remember Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment! So, be prepared. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. About three years ago I had up six stags for a 5 stag derby. The morning before the derby I went to load my stags, and lo and behold, one stag was beat up, slip-bill and bloody, and one other was missing! After much head scratching, I finally-figured it out. What happened was this: the evening before the derby, one stag had gotten out of his holding stall probably I hadn't latched it securely and immediately began to fight with the closest stag through the door. When darkness fell, the stag that was loose had stopped fighting and wandered outside (the door of the cockhouse was open for ventilation), into the woods-where he either died or was eaten by varmints. To make a long story short, determined to fight in the derby, I picked a stag off a string walk, loaded up and left. Know what happened? You guessed it. I won four and lost one the substitute! I still tied for the derby, but that one fight cost me about $3,000 in prize money. So don't let it happen to you put up enough cocks to make up for these emergencies.



    Drugs and Supplements
    Most knowledgeable cockers will admit that there are many drugs and additives that can increase the performance level of your fowl IF, and this is the big if you know how to select the correct drug, administer the proper dosage, and give it at the proper time. A "drug", whether you realize it or not, can be simply defined as any substance that can alter any one of the thousands of chemical actions that take place in the body. Alcohol is a drug. So is aspirin. Since the use of drugs during the conditioning process requires so much knowledge and experience in dosage, timing and the effects of the drugs themselves I can only recommend the use of two drugs for the average cocker. These two drugs are testosterone (male hormone) and vitamin B-12. All the successful cockers I know use one or both of these, whether they will admit it or not.

    Testosterone, used in moderate and sensible doses, will help activate the pointing process by stimulating certain functions of the body that relate to physical and mental development of the male sex drive. Given in prolonged, massive doses (which you should never use), it will promote the growth process, causing accelerated muscle and bone growth.

    Vitamin B-12 is a good, all-around the therapeutic drug. It promotes good appetite and soothes the nervous system. You cannot overdose on B-12 because it is "water-soluble", meaning the body passes off what it cannot use. In fact, some people swear by B-12 as a sure cure for a hangover! B-12 is especially helpful in traveling cocks because it seems to calm them without any tranquilizing effect.

    The use of these two drugs with this conditioning method is completely optional. If you are unsure about administering them, then by all means, don't do it. Chances are, your cocks will do just as well without them, especially if you have doubts about their usage. As you become better acquainted with this method, you may want to try them later.

    If you decide to use these drugs, you must follow my directions on dosage and timing. This is very important. I believe you should never give more than ¼ cc of any drug to a cock in keep. Remember, a cock has a small body mass compared to humans, so dosages must be adjusted accordingly. Always use a small gauge needle to avoid bruising or otherwise harming the tissue of the cock. Give all injections in the breast muscle, not near a bone. The ideal needle seems to be the disposable type used by diabetics. Most drug stores carry it and you won't need a prescription to buy it. Just ask for insulin syringes. Never use one needle for two different drugs, and dispose of the syringe after three or four injections.

    One cautionary note on the use of testosterone (male hormone) prolonged or often use of this drug may cause the cock to be sterile later on. You see, by injecting the male hormone, the body's natural production of testosterone may be discouraged. In other words, if you use this drug on a cock in keep more than, say, four times a year, he won't lay eggs next year, but he might not be fertile when bred to hens. So, don't use it more than a couple of times a year on any cock you intend to breed. I don't usually breed battle cocks, so I don't have that problem.

    Since I don't want to promote anyone's products I won't recommend any particular supplier of testosterone or B-12. You can obtain either drug from advertisers in the gamefowl magazines or from a vet.

    As I said before, there are drugs that will produce incredibly sharp cocks, if given at the proper times with the proper dosage, but if you make one error in using drugs, you will have incredibly dull cocks at fight time. So, I think if you are a beginner and/or do not have a lot of experience and knowledge, you are better off without the drugs. Remember, consistency is the key to an 80% win average, and I guarantee consistency will be easier without the use of a number of drugs.

    At a later date, if the demand for such a book is sufficient, I will offer a complete guide to the use of drugs on gamefowl.



    Traveling Cocks Next Stop, Sunset?
    There are as many theories about transporting cocks from Point A (your cockhouse) to Point B (the pit), as there are Polish jokes. Common sense and a basic knowledge of fowl should be your guides. Gamefowl sleep from dark until dawn, (The exception being, of course, when your mother-in-law visits. Then they crow all night.) So, when you travel from Point A to Point B you want your fowl to obtain the maximum rest; in other words, to sleep through the trip if possible. The logical method, then, is to travel your cocks at night, allowing just enough traveling time to arrive at the pit when your cocks would normally be waking up at dawn. If you live within a four to six hour drive of the pit, and if that pit conducts its fights during the daytime, that's exactly what you want to do.

    If you insist on traveling your cocks to a pit more than 8 hours away, you must realize that you are facing a number of problems and you are placing yourself at a distinct disadvantage with the other, closer entries. If you really want to fight at Sunset and it's 1000 miles away, my advice is:

    1. Condition at the pit.

    2. Fly your cocks down on a chartered plane.

    3. Move to Louisiana.

    If you plan to haul your cocks more than 8 hours at a stretch forget it. You are not going to compete on an equal basis with any local cocker at the pit, even if your cocks are better than his. Ever wonder why it's so tough to whip a guy on his own turf? Think about it. With the number of fine local pits in the country, it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to travel that far to enter a derby.

    If you fight at night, take heart. All the other entries do, too. Personally, I don't think you gain anything by moving your cocks to the pit a day early. The fact that the cocks are in strange surroundings will nullify any advantage you achieve by hauling them at night. The best you can do is hauling them as empty as possible and hope for the best. Let me add a piece of advice here. Whenever possible, haul cocks empty or at least when their crops have been emptied. If they are traveled with feed in their crops, they will not digest this feed and it will often sour.



    The Keep Feed
    As was mentioned previously, the principle behind this conditioning method is "carbohydrate loading". To accomplish this, we must feed a low carbohydrate-high protein feed up until the last two days of the keep when the "loading" process begins. To "load" a cock, work will be dropped off and the cocks will be fed a high carbohydrate diet to increase the amount of glycogen in their muscles. Although this all sounds complicated, it really isn't as you'll see when we' get into the feed and work.

    The whole point of a keep is to put as much feed through a cock as possible without increasing his weight. We want to avoid upsetting the fowl's digestion at all cost, so we will only feed natural feed during the keep feed that is a regular part of a chicken's diet or feed specifically formulated for a chicken. To insure proper digestion, a fowl must have good, hard grit to help grind his feed'. Granite grit, not oyster shell, must be available to your cocks at all times. The best way to provide the grit is to keep • cup of it in your fly pens. You may even want to mix a handful in your cocks' feed during the first week of the keep. Make sure all your feed is both fresh and clean. Musty and dusty feed will throw your cocks off completely, if necessary, wash the feed before mixing it.

    Your regular keep feed should include the following:

    Oat groats (not whole oats, they will often constipate cocks).

    Corn (hard flint corn is best).

    Racing pigeon feed (the mixed feed, not Pigeon chow).

    Laying pellets (at least 20% protein, but 30% is better).

    Chopped boiled eggs (about one-third per cock).

    Buttermilk (unsalted is the best).

    Cottage cheese (unsalted if you can get it).

    To mix your feed, use a large bowl, shallow enough to stir the ingredients. Put in two parts pigeon feed, one part corn, one part oat groats and one part lay pellets. Mix well and add the correct amount of chopped hard-boiled eggs. Never feed raw eggs, the whites coat the intestinal tract and hamper digestive absorption. When this is thoroughly stirred, add enough buttermilk or cottage cheese to moisten the entire feed. Alternate between cottage cheese and buttermilk for moisture. Both are beneficial because they are high in protein and provide needed bacteria for digestion. Mix no more than one day's feed at a time and store in a refrigerator so that it will remain fresh. This is the feed you will use up until the last two days of the keep. For the last two days, you will use scratch grain (chopped corn and wheat), lightly moistened with water. Each feed, morning and evening, will consist of approximately 1 1/2 ounces of the mixture, except where noted. Remember treat all cocks as individuals. No two are alike. I can't emphasize this fact enough. This is especially true when it comes to the amounts of feed. The 11/2 ounces is merely a guide cocks should be weighed each morning and evening and feed adjusted accordingly. Weight control is something you must pay close attention to, and it is something you must learn by trial and error. It simply can't be taught. The best advice I can give you is this. Hold a cock in your hands and feel back toward the vent, between the end of the breastbone and the pelvic bones. The flesh there should be thin and firm. It should not bulge; if it does, the cock is fat. Don't hesitate to skip a feed or two if the cock doesn't show a good appetite and willingness to clean his feed cup. Don't be surprised if the cocks drop an ounce or so during the first few days of the keep. This is natural they should rebound soon and be trying to peck the bottoms out of their feed cups.

    After the feed is measured into the cups, I sprinkle a little vitamin supplement over the feed mixture. You can use any number of products for this Vitapol and Headstart are two products I have used with good success. Both are available from the gamefowl journals or most good feed stores. This supplement should be used up until the last two days.



    The Work
    As I have stated before, there is no substitute for good, hard work in a training program. Handwork for the cocks will consist of "flys" to the board. Your work board should be approximately waist-high, lightly padded and out of view of the other cocks to keep them from being excited. To train a cock to the board, stand a couple of feet from the bench and lightly toss him to it. Rub him and repeat the process. Soon he will get the idea and will willingly fly to the board, even straining against your hands, from as far away as 8 feet. About six feet is the ideal distance to have the cock fly to the board. Just hold him under the wings, back up, and let him go. This is the work I refer to as "flys".

    After cocks are hand-worked and fed each morning, place in fly pens with clean litter. Make sure fresh water is always available to the cocks while they are in the flypens. In the evenings, bring the cocks into the cockhouse, work them, and then place them in their keep stalls. It is a good idea to always allow the cocks ten minutes or so to cool off before feeding. Allow cocks ample time to drink after feeding-up until the last day.



    Work and Feed Schedule

    Day Actions
    Day 1 - (Sunday) Morning: Spar cocks when empty, put in keep stalls. Evening: Worm and delouse. No feed today.
    Day 2 - (Monday) Morning: 10 Flys Evening: 10 Flys
    Day 3 - (Tuesday) Morning: 20 Flys Evening: 20 Flys
    Day 4 - (Wednesday) Morning: 30 Flys Evening: 30 Flys
    Day 5 - (Thursday) Morning: 40 Flys Evening: 40 Flys
    Day 6 - (Friday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 7 - (Saturday) Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys
    Day 8 - (Sunday) No work today. No morning feed. Spar about 10:00 a.m., then place in fly pens. No work in the evening. Regular feed. If you are using the drugs, give ¼ cc of testosterone and ¼ cc of B-12.
    Day 9 - (Monday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 10 - (Tuesday) Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys
    Day 11 - (Wednesday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 12 - (Thursday) Thursday Morning: No work. Feed scratch grain, moistened with water for next two days. Place in fly pens. Evening: No work. Same feed as morning.
    Day 13 - (Friday) Morning: No work. Take cocks out of keep stalls, handle and rub, then return and feed. Darken stalls. Evening: If cocks are to be fought Saturday feed three-quarters of the regular amount. If fight is Saturday night, feed a full feed. Give ¼ cc of B-12 and ½ cc of testosterone.
    Day 14 - (Fight Day) Morning: If fight is during the day, no feed. If the fight is at night, feed three-quarters of the regular amount.
    During the last two days of the keep, you must begin to regulate moisture intake to insure the proper pointing process. Watch the droppings carefully they should be moist but firm, not dry.



    D-Day at the Pit
    Your first chore upon arriving at the pit is to secure a cockhouse, preferably one that can be darkened completely. Clean out all stalls you intend to use and replace the old litter with fresh. After this is done, one by one put your cocks out in small (approximately 21 x 21) wire pens to stretch and empty out after their trip. Make sure the ground is swept clean under the pens. If the pit weighs in derby entries, take each cock and weigh him in before putting him in the cockhouse. To avoid searching, it is a good idea to write down the leg band number and/or weight on the door of each stall as the cock is placed in it. Completely darken the cockhouse, and avoid disturbing the cocks until it is time to heel.

    If the pit allows you to weigh and record your own weights, you can gamble some. Obviously, you want your cocks to meet the smallest (lightest) cocks possible so you can "under-weigh" your cocks as much as you dare. I have known cockers that would weigh their cocks in two ounces light, hoping they would lose that much between then and fight time. (I have also seen cockers have to cut every feather except wings and tail off the cock to meet weights, too). So, to be safe, record your cocks at least one-half ounce light on your sheet because the cocks will lose at least that much.



    The End
    The most important thing you can learn when you are conditioning cocks is that each show represents a new set of difficulties, a different series of problems. Be flexible, use your common and "chicken" sense. But remember, above all, you must have good cocks to win. There is no substitute for quality fowl or for quality care. To be in the winner's circle, you must have both. If problems arise, you can email me and I will do my best to answer your questions.

    -Don Blansett

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    Carbohydrate Loading Keep
    Foreword
    The sport of cockfighting has existed for hundreds of years, but like most sciences, more progress has been made in the past fifty than all those preceding years. The average cocks of today could defeat those cocks bred and fed in the 1920's. Why? For the same reasons human beings today are stronger, bigger and faster than their grandparents: breeding and feeding. Great strides have been made in genetics and nutrition in the past fifty, and particularly, the last twenty years. Consequently, average life expectancy, general health, and size have increased by leaps and bounds. In the animal world horses run faster, cows produce more milk and beef, hens lay more eggs, and so on.
    Cockers of today are more knowledgeable and generally better educated, with more available information, than ever before. But, while most cockers are great students of experience, as a rule, they do little to actually study genetics and nutrition with an eye toward improving the ability and performance of their fowl. This conditioning method is an attempt to enable many cockers to "catch up" with the latest scientific developments in nutrition and training. The research, the studying, and the experimentation have been done for you. This keep can work for you.
    I have read dozens of keeps, and while I have not seen one written in the last ten years that would actually be detrimental to your fowl, most have been fairly similar as to feed and work. You will find that this keep is different in its approach, than any you have ever used. To be successful, you must follow this keep closely, in quantity of feed and work, and in type of feed and timing.
    This conditioning method is based on the latest studies concerning athletic competition, and what are cocks except athletes? The principle behind it is known as "carbohydrate loading". To understand fully how this keep works, you should know a little about nutrition and its effects. So you can understand the ideas involved, I will try to simplify them.
    The amount of energy that a muscle will be able to produce depends on the amount of "glycogen" stored in that muscle. Glycogen is a chemical that serves as fuel for the muscle. The more glycogen present in the muscle, the longer that muscle will be able to act effectively. Studies have shown that if glycogen stores are depleted by exercise and a low carbohydrate diet, then replaced by rest and a high carbohydrate diet, the muscle can store twice as much glycogen, or energy, as it had originally. No one needs to tell you what this means in practical terms: your cock will hit harder, and more importantly, will be able to do it much longer than he would have otherwise. He will maintain that deadly punch for a greater period of time. I will explain about carbohydrates, proteins and fats in more detail when we get to the subject of feed.
    Finally, let me say that this is the closest thing to a workingman's keep that you can find. It does not require 12 hours a day to be effective. The maximum time needed would be I to 2 hours in the morning and the same in the evening. The quantity of the time spent with your show of cocks is not as important as the quality of the time. Make sure that your time is well organized and efficient. This keep does require good cocks in good health cocks that are well bred and have been fed and cared for properly all their lives. There is no keep, and especially, no substance, that will make up for lack of care. So if you bought this keep because you have been lazy your cocks are in poor health from lack of care then you cannot expect this conditioning method, or any other, to do them any good.
    Pre-Keep? What's That?
    My feeling on this subject is that our cocks should be in a pre-keep all their lives well fed, but at approximate fighting weights, worm free and deloused. I hope you don't have cocks that are any other way. I have fought cocks off strings, out of fly pens and out of holding pens with no appreciable difference in performance when this keep is used for the last fourteen days. The important thing to remember is that fowl are like people, in that they become bored with the same surroundings. Whenever possible, rotate cocks on a regular basis from fly pens to holding pens to string walks. This will keep the cocks active and alert and prevent them from becoming coop-stale. Handle your cocks often, except in moulting season, to tame them and to determine their weights so that their feed rations can be adjusted accordingly.
    I cannot overemphasize the fact that you should put up only those cocks that are gentle and well mannered. Life is too short to fool with manfighters besides, it is my belief that most manfighters are not truly game. However, don't confuse manfighters with nervous, high-strung fowl. Also, many otherwise gentle cocks will hit back if mishandled or when they are becoming sharp during the keep. Like boxers, cocks in training love to snap a few punches at an available target. In summary, just let me say that if a cock doesn't gentle down, doesn't stop hitting or pecking when picked up, after a week's gentle handling, don't consider him for a keep. Kill him, breed him (if you are a fool), but don't put him up to fight.
    Since I am on the subject, I'll attempt to give you a good all around feed routine, as well as a worming and delousing schedule. Your daily feed for fowl on your yard should consist of approximately 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 30% fat. Since most laying mash is 12% to 15% protein, you will need to supplement the protein, unless you use the 20 to 30% protein lay pellets offered by some feed stores. A good all-around feed, and one that is as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality, is one part scratch (which consists of cracked corn and wheat), one part 20% laying pellets and one part soaked oats. For those cockers in the less temperate areas, substitute whole corn for scratch in the winter. Sure, you can buy more expensive feeds, but for a good sound all-purpose feed, this mixture can't be beaten. As for supplementing protein, in moderation, you can use "trout chow", fish meal, or even some high protein dog food such as Gaines. But always remember use these in moderation. Because, after all, you are feeding chickens, and the closer you stay to a natural diet, the better off you will be. A lot of fancy feeds will just upset a fowl's digestion. The opinions on amounts and times of feeds would fill a book much larger than this. Adjust your feed in accordance with the weight of the cock. Whether you feed once or twice daily depends on so many variables, I wouldn't even begin to try to dictate to you climate, types of pens, breeds of fowl. Go with what works best for you. One hint though, if you have rather severe winters, make sure your cocks are fed as close to dark as possible, the more corn the better, if this is a second feed. It has been my experience that a cock with a full crop can stand those cold nights much better than one that is empty.
    As for worming and delousing get on a regular schedule. If you have string walks, change the leg bands every Saturday or Sunday or whatever, just do it regularly. The same goes for worming and delousing. Fowl should be wormed and deloused every month. In fact, I often delouse and worm any time I have an occasion to catch one of my fowl running loose on the yard. Any number of good products are available for getting rid of lice. Several are advertised in your gamefowl journals and I have heard good comments about most all of them. Most farm and feed stores carry a brand of lice powder. I know some cockers who use Black Leaf 40 to delouse, often with a chemical dip, but I don't advise this. I know of one prominent cocker who completely submerged all his battle cocks in a delousing solution way over 100 of them. By the time he had finished the last one, he looked back, and the first ones were beginning to fall over. He lost every single treated cock that day, and although he is beginning to win again this year, it took him three years to regain his previous position. So I don't recommend dips, nor do I recommend Black Leaf 40 for the amateur.
    The only worm medicine I can recommend is the Wormal product from Salsbury Laboratories. If you follow directions on the bottle, Piperzine liquid wormer is okay too, especially for young fowl. But remember, Piperzine only kills one type of worm, the roundworm, while Wormal will kill three types of worms, including the roundworm. Don't be misled by sensational claims in the gamefowl journals advertising a revolutionary new worm medicine. If a more effective worm medicine had been discovered, believe me, the commercial poultry men would be using it. They're using Wormal, and so am I. Some worms hatch on 10-day cycles, so to be safe, worm on Saturday, and then 10 days later. After that, follow your monthly schedule to control worms. Just remember that worms, like lice, can never be completely eliminated, just controlled.
    Vitamins: Myth or Magic?
    The truth about the effects of vitamins actually lies somewhere in between. I have had to rethink my position on vitamins recently. Three years ago, I, along with most scientists, doctors and nutritionists, felt that all the vitamins a person needed were contained in a well-balanced diet. 'Using vitamin and mineral supplements was just paying for expensive urine, the body's way of discarding unneeded vitamins. However, today most experts agree that extra vitamins can play an important role in any serious training program, as long as massive doses are not used. It is quite possible to die from overdoses of vitamins vitamin D, for example. Certain vitamins such as C and B-12 are water soluble, which means that the body does not absorb what it doesn't need, and one cannot receive an overdose from these vitamins. So, in conclusion, let me say that although vitamins and their effects are still not completely understood, it is clear that cocks under the physical strain of intensive conditioning can benefit from an extra vitamin and mineral supplement, such as we advise in this program.
    Water, Water, Everywhere ...
    Every keep I have ever read mentions drying cocks out before they fight by limiting their water intake. Some of the directions are moderate and some are radical. Cockers thirty or forty years ago often gave their cocks no water for the last two days! In to-, day's fast-paced competition, I know of no surer way to get them killed. Cocks need moisture in their bodies to convert glycogen to energy. Exactly how much water a cock needs is determined by so many factors it is impossible to predict with any certainty but I will say this, give your cocks all the water they will drink during the keep. Believe me, the cocks are better judges of what they need than we are. In fact, in extremely cold weather, you may want to encourage cocks to drink by giving them warm water or warm water mixed with powdered milk. Always keep water by your cocks during the keep, up until 24 hours or so before the fight, when you want to regulate every bit of their feed and water intake. Consider this fact: when a cock loses 2% of his body weight in water, his ability to perform begins to deteriorate. In other words, he is riot fighting up to his potential. Two percent of a 5 pound cock's weight is 1.6 ounces, a little over one and a half ounces. SO, if you bring a cock into a fight with all the moisture he needs in his tissues, he has a much better chance. And that, my friend, is the name of the game.
    When pressed, most cockers will describe a cock on point" as a bundle of nerves, bobbing, clucking, moving a cocked gun. I define a cock on point as being a cock that is ready and at the peak of his health, strength and well-being. For years, I have corresponded with a prominent cocker who has continually pressed this idea on me: "Fight your cocks when they are ready, not when you are." This means taking cocks to the pit when they are at the peak of their mental and physical well-being.
    "Pointing" is a natural thing. It is the end result of several contributing factors: the cock is empty, he has been rested force rested, and he is sexually and physically frustrated from inactivity. As a result of all these factors, his blood sugar level is way up, his energy is at its peak and he is not only ready, he's anxious for an outlet, he wants to fight. Often a cock "on point" is described as "corky" to describe a cock that is light and bobs like a cork on water. There is really no way to describe a cock on point but I guarantee you'll know it when you feel him. This is not something to be taught, it must be experienced.
    Sparring
    Sparring can be a valuable tool for the cocker if done properly. First, it is a tool for selection it allows the cocker to get some idea of how a cock will fight. Secondly, a cock can learn some things during the course of a session, good habits as well as bad. Thirdly, sparring can be a valuable outlet for a cock's pent-up energy, allowing him to vent his rage and delay his coming on point too early.
    Some cockers use a catch cock and attempt to "teach" a cock to hit at a cock's tail even if he can't see his head. Also, some cockers tie a catch cock's legs to see if he will score on a down cock. I am doubtful if either of these practices does the slightest bit of good, because I think the aggressiveness of the cock is determined in the brood pen.
    However, cocks, to a certain degree, can be taught to score quickly. This is the way. First, bill your cocks really well, flush them and set them down close together, close enough so they'll get at one another very fast. Let them have a good pitting, enough to make them really mad, but don't let them wallow and break feathers. After a 15 second rest, flush them and set them down about three feet apart. Now, here is the important part: when the cocks break, catch them immediately. Then without rest, set them down 5 feet apart, let them break and catch them. This time set them down 8 feet apart, let them break and catch them. Set them down again 8 feet apart and this time let them mix it up good. The purpose of this type of sparring is simple: the cocks will begin to score more quickly and break higher. Also, you are not giving them enough time to get tired and start ducking. If you let cocks spar until they are very tired, they will learn to duck really quickly, and this habit must be avoided.
    Work
    To attain maximum condition, a cock must be worked, and worked hard. Not all this work should be forced work, or hand-work-most of it should, in fact, be natural work, the kind a cock will do in a good fly pen with litter. He will scratch and fly up and down many times a day, complementing the handwork you give him. I feel that it is impossible to get a cock "muscle-bound" as some keeps would allow you to believe. It is quite possible to make a cock sore and stiff by overwork. That is why this method allows a cock to "rest up" from his conditioning program two full days before his fight. This "rest" period serves several purposes. First, if the cock has sore or stiff muscles, this time allows those muscles to regain their original elasticity, yet retain the strength that has been developed. Secondly, blood sugar begins to rise with the decrease in work, beginning the pointing process. Thirdly, it allows for the glycogen content in the muscles to increase.
    Some cocks will not be able to take the work of this conditioning program. That in itself should give you some idea as to whether your cocks are really quality fowl. It has been my experience that truly well bred cocks won't fold under the pressure of the work. Rather, they will rebound and thrive on such activity, eager to work.
    While realizing that volumes could be written on this subject alone, I think that it is sufficiently important to touch on at least the major points. In fact, I believe that the majority of 3-1 and 4-1 derby scores that you see can be attributed to the lack of attention that most cockers pay to this chore. After all, your derby show is only as good as your worst cock. If you approach the selection of your derby show with the attitude that "Well, this cock isn't so good, but maybe I'll get lucky and meet another weak cock," then you might as well stay at home. Always select the best cocks you have to condition. Your first step in selecting is to examine the overall health of the cock. Eyes should be bright, feathers slick and oily, and he should just give off an impression of active vitality. Examine feet and legs for sores or bumbles, the breastbone for sores, and the mouth and head for blisters. Check to make sure the cock is lice-free. He should, in your judgment, be within two ounces of fighting weight. It would be difficult to take more than that off in two weeks without weakening the cock, or put more than two ounces on with a rigorous training schedule. Check for broken wing or tail feathers. Do not fight cocks with badly broken feathers. For a bent feather, where the shaft is bent but not broken, carefully straighten the shaft, and apply a small piece of tape to the feather. Usually, this will prevent further damage, at least temporarily.
    If, in your opinion, the cock is in good health and near his actual fighting weight, then set him aside as a definite possibility. After you have narrowed down your selections to a workable number, weigh them, match according to weights, and spar. This is where the real selection process takes place. The good selector will be able to separate the duds from the aces, or at least the good cocks from the poor ones.
    If possible, have two other people actually pit the cocks, so you can be free to observe. Watch how the cocks move, where they are aiming their licks, how accurate they are. Are they well balanced, do they land-.in position to hit again, do they have to have a bill-hold to hit, do they duck, are their licks delivered with snap? During the rest periods, how hard are they breathing? Is either rattling? The answers to these questions should determine your choices.
    How many cocks to actually put up is a decision you must make, although this may be determined by the number of your available cocks. I would personally hesitate to enter a conditioning program without at least two cocks more than were needed. For example, for a 5-cock derby, I would put up seven or eight. If you put in two hard weeks of work on a show of cocks, it is heartbreaking to have one of your cocks come down with a cold the day before the derby and have to miss it. Remember Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment! So, be prepared. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. About three years ago I had up six stags for a 5 stag derby. The morning before the derby I went to load my stags, and lo and behold, one stag was beat up, slip-bill and bloody, and one other was missing! After much head scratching, I finally-figured it out. What happened was this: the evening before the derby, one stag had gotten out of his holding stall probably I hadn't latched it securely and immediately began to fight with the closest stag through the door. When darkness fell, the stag that was loose had stopped fighting and wandered outside (the door of the cockhouse was open for ventilation), into the woods-where he either died or was eaten by varmints. To make a long story short, determined to fight in the derby, I picked a stag off a string walk, loaded up and left. Know what happened? You guessed it. I won four and lost one the substitute! I still tied for the derby, but that one fight cost me about $3,000 in prize money. So don't let it happen to you put up enough cocks to make up for these emergencies.
    Drugs and Supplements
    Most knowledgeable cockers will admit that there are many drugs and additives that can increase the performance level of your fowl IF, and this is the big if you know how to select the correct drug, administer the proper dosage, and give it at the proper time. A "drug", whether you realize it or not, can be simply defined as any substance that can alter any one of the thousands of chemical actions that take place in the body. Alcohol is a drug. So is aspirin. Since the use of drugs during the conditioning process requires so much knowledge and experience in dosage, timing and the effects of the drugs themselves I can only recommend the use of two drugs for the average cocker. These two drugs are testosterone (male hormone) and vitamin B-12. All the successful cockers I know use one or both of these, whether they will admit it or not.
    Testosterone, used in moderate and sensible doses, will help activate the pointing process by stimulating certain functions of the body that relate to physical and mental development of the male sex drive. Given in prolonged, massive doses (which you should never use), it will promote the growth process, causing accelerated muscle and bone growth.
    Vitamin B-12 is a good, all-around the therapeutic drug. It promotes good appetite and soothes the nervous system. You cannot overdose on B-12 because it is "water-soluble", meaning the body passes off what it cannot use. In fact, some people swear by B-12 as a sure cure for a hangover! B-12 is especially helpful in traveling cocks because it seems to calm them without any tranquilizing effect.
    The use of these two drugs with this conditioning method is completely optional. If you are unsure about administering them, then by all means, don't do it. Chances are, your cocks will do just as well without them, especially if you have doubts about their usage. As you become better acquainted with this method, you may want to try them later.
    If you decide to use these drugs, you must follow my directions on dosage and timing. This is very important. I believe you should never give more than ¼ cc of any drug to a cock in keep. Remember, a cock has a small body mass compared to humans, so dosages must be adjusted accordingly. Always use a small gauge needle to avoid bruising or otherwise harming the tissue of the cock. Give all injections in the breast muscle, not near a bone. The ideal needle seems to be the disposable type used by diabetics. Most drug stores carry it and you won't need a prescription to buy it. Just ask for insulin syringes. Never use one needle for two different drugs, and dispose of the syringe after three or four injections.
    One cautionary note on the use of testosterone (male hormone) prolonged or often use of this drug may cause the cock to be sterile later on. You see, by injecting the male hormone, the body's natural production of testosterone may be discouraged. In other words, if you use this drug on a cock in keep more than, say, four times a year, he won't lay eggs next year, but he might not be fertile when bred to hens. So, don't use it more than a couple of times a year on any cock you intend to breed. I don't usually breed battle cocks, so I don't have that problem.
    Since I don't want to promote anyone's products I won't recommend any particular supplier of testosterone or B-12. You can obtain either drug from advertisers in the gamefowl magazines or from a vet.
    As I said before, there are drugs that will produce incredibly sharp cocks, if given at the proper times with the proper dosage, but if you make one error in using drugs, you will have incredibly dull cocks at fight time. So, I think if you are a beginner and/or do not have a lot of experience and knowledge, you are better off without the drugs. Remember, consistency is the key to an 80% win average, and I guarantee consistency will be easier without the use of a number of drugs.
    At a later date, if the demand for such a book is sufficient, I will offer a complete guide to the use of drugs on gamefowl.
    Traveling Cocks Next Stop, Sunset?
    There are as many theories about transporting cocks from Point A (your cockhouse) to Point B (the pit), as there are Polish jokes. Common sense and a basic knowledge of fowl should be your guides. Gamefowl sleep from dark until dawn, (The exception being, of course, when your mother-in-law visits. Then they crow all night.) So, when you travel from Point A to Point B you want your fowl to obtain the maximum rest; in other words, to sleep through the trip if possible. The logical method, then, is to travel your cocks at night, allowing just enough traveling time to arrive at the pit when your cocks would normally be waking up at dawn. If you live within a four to six hour drive of the pit, and if that pit conducts its fights during the daytime, that's exactly what you want to do.
    If you insist on traveling your cocks to a pit more than 8 hours away, you must realize that you are facing a number of problems and you are placing yourself at a distinct disadvantage with the other, closer entries. If you really want to fight at Sunset and it's 1000 miles away, my advice is:
    1. Condition at the pit.
    2. Fly your cocks down on a chartered plane.
    3. Move to Louisiana.
    If you plan to haul your cocks more than 8 hours at a stretch forget it. You are not going to compete on an equal basis with any local cocker at the pit, even if your cocks are better than his. Ever wonder why it's so tough to whip a guy on his own turf? Think about it. With the number of fine local pits in the country, it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to travel that far to enter a derby.
    If you fight at night, take heart. All the other entries do, too. Personally, I don't think you gain anything by moving your cocks to the pit a day early. The fact that the cocks are in strange surroundings will nullify any advantage you achieve by hauling them at night. The best you can do is hauling them as empty as possible and hope for the best. Let me add a piece of advice here. Whenever possible, haul cocks empty or at least when their crops have been emptied. If they are traveled with feed in their crops, they will not digest this feed and it will often sour.
    The Keep Feed
    As was mentioned previously, the principle behind this conditioning method is "carbohydrate loading". To accomplish this, we must feed a low carbohydrate-high protein feed up until the last two days of the keep when the "loading" process begins. To "load" a cock, work will be dropped off and the cocks will be fed a high carbohydrate diet to increase the amount of glycogen in their muscles. Although this all sounds complicated, it really isn't as you'll see when we' get into the feed and work.
    The whole point of a keep is to put as much feed through a cock as possible without increasing his weight. We want to avoid upsetting the fowl's digestion at all cost, so we will only feed natural feed during the keep feed that is a regular part of a chicken's diet or feed specifically formulated for a chicken. To insure proper digestion, a fowl must have good, hard grit to help grind his feed'. Granite grit, not oyster shell, must be available to your cocks at all times. The best way to provide the grit is to keep • cup of it in your fly pens. You may even want to mix a handful in your cocks' feed during the first week of the keep. Make sure all your feed is both fresh and clean. Musty and dusty feed will throw your cocks off completely, if necessary, wash the feed before mixing it.
    Your regular keep feed should include the following:
    Oat groats (not whole oats, they will often constipate cocks).
    Corn (hard flint corn is best).
    Racing pigeon feed (the mixed feed, not Pigeon chow).
    Laying pellets (at least 20% protein, but 30% is better).
    Chopped boiled eggs (about one-third per cock).
    Buttermilk (unsalted is the best).
    Cottage cheese (unsalted if you can get it).
    To mix your feed, use a large bowl, shallow enough to stir the ingredients. Put in two parts pigeon feed, one part corn, one part oat groats and one part lay pellets. Mix well and add the correct amount of chopped hard-boiled eggs. Never feed raw eggs, the whites coat the intestinal tract and hamper digestive absorption. When this is thoroughly stirred, add enough buttermilk or cottage cheese to moisten the entire feed. Alternate between cottage cheese and buttermilk for moisture. Both are beneficial because they are high in protein and provide needed bacteria for digestion. Mix no more than one day's feed at a time and store in a refrigerator so that it will remain fresh. This is the feed you will use up until the last two days of the keep. For the last two days, you will use scratch grain (chopped corn and wheat), lightly moistened with water. Each feed, morning and evening, will consist of approximately 1 1/2 ounces of the mixture, except where noted. Remember treat all cocks as individuals. No two are alike. I can't emphasize this fact enough. This is especially true when it comes to the amounts of feed. The 11/2 ounces is merely a guide cocks should be weighed each morning and evening and feed adjusted accordingly. Weight control is something you must pay close attention to, and it is something you must learn by trial and error. It simply can't be taught. The best advice I can give you is this. Hold a cock in your hands and feel back toward the vent, between the end of the breastbone and the pelvic bones. The flesh there should be thin and firm. It should not bulge; if it does, the cock is fat. Don't hesitate to skip a feed or two if the cock doesn't show a good appetite and willingness to clean his feed cup. Don't be surprised if the cocks drop an ounce or so during the first few days of the keep. This is natural they should rebound soon and be trying to peck the bottoms out of their feed cups.
    After the feed is measured into the cups, I sprinkle a little vitamin supplement over the feed mixture. You can use any number of products for this Vitapol and Headstart are two products I have used with good success. Both are available from the gamefowl journals or most good feed stores. This supplement should be used up until the last two days.
    The Work
    As I have stated before, there is no substitute for good, hard work in a training program. Handwork for the cocks will consist of "flys" to the board. Your work board should be approximately waist-high, lightly padded and out of view of the other cocks to keep them from being excited. To train a cock to the board, stand a couple of feet from the bench and lightly toss him to it. Rub him and repeat the process. Soon he will get the idea and will willingly fly to the board, even straining against your hands, from as far away as 8 feet. About six feet is the ideal distance to have the cock fly to the board. Just hold him under the wings, back up, and let him go. This is the work I refer to as "flys".
    After cocks are hand-worked and fed each morning, place in fly pens with clean litter. Make sure fresh water is always available to the cocks while they are in the flypens. In the evenings, bring the cocks into the cockhouse, work them, and then place them in their keep stalls. It is a good idea to always allow the cocks ten minutes or so to cool off before feeding. Allow cocks ample time to drink after feeding-up until the last day.
    Work and Feed Schedule
    Day Actions
    Day 1 - (Sunday) Morning: Spar cocks when empty, put in keep stalls. Evening: Worm and delouse. No feed today.
    Day 2 - (Monday) Morning: 10 Flys Evening: 10 Flys
    Day 3 - (Tuesday) Morning: 20 Flys Evening: 20 Flys
    Day 4 - (Wednesday) Morning: 30 Flys Evening: 30 Flys
    Day 5 - (Thursday) Morning: 40 Flys Evening: 40 Flys
    Day 6 - (Friday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 7 - (Saturday) Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys
    Day 8 - (Sunday) No work today. No morning feed. Spar about 10:00 a.m., then place in fly pens. No work in the evening. Regular feed. If you are using the drugs, give ¼ cc of testosterone and ¼ cc of B-12.
    Day 9 - (Monday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 10 - (Tuesday) Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys
    Day 11 - (Wednesday) Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys
    Day 12 - (Thursday) Thursday Morning: No work. Feed scratch grain, moistened with water for next two days. Place in fly pens. Evening: No work. Same feed as morning.
    Day 13 - (Friday) Morning: No work. Take cocks out of keep stalls, handle and rub, then return and feed. Darken stalls. Evening: If cocks are to be fought Saturday feed three-quarters of the regular amount. If fight is Saturday night, feed a full feed. Give ¼ cc of B-12 and ½ cc of testosterone.
    Day 14 - (Fight Day) Morning: If fight is during the day, no feed. If the fight is at night, feed three-quarters of the regular amount.
    During the last two days of the keep, you must begin to regulate moisture intake to insure the proper pointing process. Watch the droppings carefully they should be moist but firm, not dry.
    D-Day at the Pit
    Your first chore upon arriving at the pit is to secure a cockhouse, preferably one that can be darkened completely. Clean out all stalls you intend to use and replace the old litter with fresh. After this is done, one by one put your cocks out in small (approximately 21 x 21) wire pens to stretch and empty out after their trip. Make sure the ground is swept clean under the pens. If the pit weighs in derby entries, take each cock and weigh him in before putting him in the cockhouse. To avoid searching, it is a good idea to write down the leg band number and/or weight on the door of each stall as the cock is placed in it. Completely darken the cockhouse, and avoid disturbing the cocks until it is time to heel.
    If the pit allows you to weigh and record your own weights, you can gamble some. Obviously, you want your cocks to meet the smallest (lightest) cocks possible so you can "under-weigh" your cocks as much as you dare. I have known cockers that would weigh their cocks in two ounces light, hoping they would lose that much between then and fight time. (I have also seen cockers have to cut every feather except wings and tail off the cock to meet weights, too). So, to be safe, record your cocks at least one-half ounce light on your sheet because the cocks will lose at least that much.
    The End
    The most important thing you can learn when you are conditioning cocks is that each show represents a new set of difficulties, a different series of problems. Be flexible, use your common and "chicken" sense. But remember, above all, you must have good cocks to win. There is no substitute for quality fowl or for quality care. To be in the winner's circle, you must have both. If problems arise, you can email me and I will do my best to answer your questions.
    -Don Blansett

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    HOW CAN I LIVE WITHOUT YOU?
    Nutrients
    by Debbie Porter
    The feed which chickens eat is made up of water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Each nutrient serves a special need. What we feed supplies the building material for the development of bone, flesh, feathers and eggs. When nutrients are properly formulated and balanced will produce fowl that produce in the manner they were designed, provide eggs for market, table or incubation, and develop a healthy meaty fowl. Each nutrient provides a solitary source, but is not complete, yet when gathered and combined provides the proper balance and energy that a fowl needs.
    Water
    One of the most important, yet often overlooked nutrients, is water. A young chick needs a constant supply of fresh water to stay healthy. It doesn't drink a lot of water at one time; therefore, it has to drink often. A fowl’s intake of daily water will depend upon availability and weather conditions. Desiring less in winter and more in hot summer months. Placement of water containers is essential, making easy access to old and young alike. Water also can be a source of bacteria, if not cleaned on a regular basis and therefore should be changed frequently depending upon weather, consumption and exposure. Stagnant or long term standing water can be a host and breeding ground for insects that carry disease to poultry.
    Water carries waste products out of the body, helps cool the bird by evaporation, softens feed and carries it through the digestive tract. Water should always be available and fresh. During hot summer month’s water containers should be kept in cool shady areas and not allowed to become stagnant or develop algae build up. Which would allow for the ingestion of microbes or bacteria. Lack of free access to abundant water supply may also slow productivity down. Denial of water can lead to dehydration, molt, dry feathers without sheen, undue stress and the inability to properly digest food. Fowl consume their greatest amount of water following eating or right before roosting.
    Carbohydrates
    Carbohydrates include starches, sugars and cellulose. Carbohydrates in the form of starches, or simple sugars are needed for body maintenance and energy. Carbohydrates cost less than fats and are easily digested, absorbed and transformed into fat.
    Important sources of carbohydrates in poultry feeds are corn, wheat, oats, milo and various other cereal grains. Since energy is provided by the intake of carbohydrates, whether it is for warmth in winter by adding extra grains like corn to the diet to naturally produce body heat, or energy to maintain a balanced and vibrant flock. An over abundance of carbohydrates in the diet can produce added amounts of fat cells reducing health benefits and productivity. Reducing the ration of corn, yet providing other beneficial grains, and increasing the sources of protein to provide the energy that a fowl needs for egg production, general health and energy, and the viability of the egg can be beneficial.
    Whole Grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and corn are vitamin sources of the B complexes, E, folic Acid and Biotin. With wheat having the highest source of biotin and vitamin E, along with B/1 known as Thiamin. You may see it listed on feed sources as Hydrochloride. Another good source for the complex B vitamins is ground meals and dried yeast. B vitamins are depleted during stress and are essential in the release of energy from absorbed or stored carbohydrates and fats. B vitamins aids in disease resistance, fertility and viability of the embryo.
    Fats
    Animal and vegetable fats, such as cottonseed meal or fishmeal, are the highest energy sources in feedstuffs. They also improve the physical consistency in feed mixtures. Supplemental fats may increase energy utilization in adult birds in association with a decreased rate of food intake. The substitution of fat for a portion of the dietary carbohydrates may enhance energy utilization by reducing the heat created by carbohydrates. Fats should be stabilized by an antioxidant; otherwise they are likely to become rancid, especially in hot weather or long storage periods. Small amounts of fat are desirable since they supply essential fatty acids, fatty acids are essential for rebuilding and producing new cells, and improve palatability. Essential fatty acids require Vitamin E for absorption. Some good sources of essential fatty acids for poultry are found in vegetable oils and fishmeal. The oil content in fishmeal will range from 2% to greater than 14%. So thus it should not be the sole source of fat content.
    Proteins
    Proteins are complex compounds made up of amino acids. Feed proteins are broken down into amino acids by digestion. They are then absorbed and transported by the blood to the cells, which assemble these amino acids into body proteins. Body proteins are used in the construction of body tissue. Tissues, which mainly consist of protein, are muscles, nerves, cartilage, skin, feathers and beak. The albumen (white) of the egg is also high in protein. The main sources of protein in poultry rations are animal proteins such as fishmeal, meat and bone meal, and plant proteins, such as soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and ground alfalfa and corn gluten meal. There is no one source of protein that will provide all the amino acids in one feed ration. But when the proteins from different feedstuffs are used, the ration can be formulated to contain all the necessary amino acids. Excellent sources of proteins for poultry are ground alfalfa meal, meat and bone meal and fishmeal. A balanced diet of proteins should be formulated for each stage of a fowl’s life and needs according to growth desired and productivity. Too low of protein count and you can see poor development in young and the health and overall vitality of the old effected with excessive weight loss. To high of a protein count from gathered resources and optimum growth can result in a short period of time with excessive weight gain for the skeletal structure to support, to cases of gout. A vitamin A deficiency can affect the ability of a fowl to utilize protein. Meat proteins also provide the enzymes that aid in digestion and metabolism of proteins. Fishmeal is an excellent source of protein for poultry since it contains adequate quantities of all the essential amino acids required by chickens, and is an especially good source of lysine and methionine. Good quality fishmeal is a brown powder, which will average between 60% and 70% protein. It cannot be used as a sole source of protein. Thus when added to feed rations should be done so as to not exceed the protein requirement of the fowl but only to insure a proper and balanced level, or provide what may not be readily available in the ration due to a poor protein source. The protein content of wheat is higher than corn. Protein content varies from 11 to 19%, depending on type of wheat. Wheat can be added at higher rates in summer months with a decrease in corn, for the reduction of heat and still supply the energy a fowl needs. Wheat does not contain caratenoids and will create a slightly lighter yolk color. Many Game Bird feeds gather several sources of protein, with animal proteins in a higher percentage compared to other feeds, for a well-balanced supply of all the essential amino acids. All feed should be formulated in such a way to provide balanced nutrition for appropriate age levels. With a higher count for the young and a decreased protein count as a fowl matures and has developed. Added supplements of animal protein sources to a balanced ration should be done at 2 to 4% levels due to the source and structure of the proteins. Grain proteins can be added at higher level. Yet should not exceed that of other sources of animal protein diluting the count to such an extent proper nutrition is affected. It is a combination of these proteins that fulfills the required diet.
    In reading the tag on a bag of poultry feed you will see listed the percent of crude protein. This tells you only the percentage guaranteed for optimum performance for a particular need or stage of development according to age. It is beneficial to check the sources of protein that the feed is comprised of. Your main sources of proteins for each particular brand will be listed as the first of several ingredients.
    Minerals
    The mineral portion of the feed is inorganic matter. Minerals are absorbed through the small intestine. Minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, help build bones and make them strong and rigid. Laying hens also require minerals for eggshell formation. Other minerals are needed in trace amounts. Trace minerals are those minerals required at very low amounts for good growth and production. Potassium is essential in egg production and when depleted a drop may arise. Most feeds, in crumble, pellet or mash forms are formulate with a certain amount of trace minerals. Grains are low in minerals, so it is necessary to provide supplements. Calcium, phosphorus and salt are needed in the greatest amounts. Ground limestone and oyster shell are good calcium sources. Trace levels of iodine, iron, manganese and zinc are also included in mineral supplements. Bone meal, and ground limestone supply additional calcium and phosphorus. Phosphorus in meat and bone meal is almost completely absorbed by the bird. During stress related times and heavy production minerals such as calcium will be absorbed at a faster rate leaving the system depleted drawing its source form other areas such as bones resulting in brittleness, poor egg quality and lack of production. Calcium given freely in oyster shell form can be scattered or made available freely for a hen to consume, as her body desires to replace the loss during heavy production. Fishmeal is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus for poultry. Fishmeal contains three major nutrients; protein, fat and minerals (ash). The ash (mineral) content of fishmeal is relatively high and is usually an indication of a higher calcium and phosphorus level. Another valuable source for minerals, protein and vitamins is Alfalfa. Many times it is offered in a feed ration as a ground meal form. Alfalfa meal contains Chlorine, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium. Many Game Bird Feed rations will offer alfalfa meal as a protein source, but it also provides trace mineral elements. Those fowl; that do not have access to free ranging or forging and are limited to soil for dusting and consuming minerals may need periodic mineral supplements or mineral grit.
    Vitamins
    All feed rations will provide small amounts, and are absolutely necessary for growth, reproduction and the maintenance of health. They occur in feedstuffs in varying quantities and in different combinations. Regardless of brand or form vitamin supplements may be required periodically for health and vitality. Many things can interfere with the efficiency of vitamins; stress and antibiotics can deplete the body of many vitamins. Microorganisms of the intestinal tract produce some vitamins. A side effect of medications is the depletion of naturally produced vitamins in the intestines especially after cocci treatments. Vitamin D can be produced by sunlight on the bird's skin. Caged fowl are more likely to need the aid of a D supplement. Other vitamins must be supplied in the ration. Vitamins are required for normal growth, feathering and leg development in the young and stamina, health, fertility and production in the old. A wide range of problems can arise and will depend on which vitamin or vitamins a fowl is inadequate in and how deficient the diet is. Many poultry diseases and illnesses can be often attributed to a vitamin deficient ration.
    There are 2 groups that vitamins fall into, fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fat and used when needed Water-soluble vitamins are not stored by the body and are lost through fecal droppings or stress. Water-soluble vitamins will need to be kept balanced in a diet.
    Fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K
    Water-soluble vitamins: C, Thiamin (B/1), Riboflavin (B/2), Pantothenic acid, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Choline, Biotin, Folic Acid, B/12 and B complexes.
    Vitamin A is necessary for the health and proper functioning of the skin and lining of the digestive, reproductive and respiratory tracts. Vitamin D plays an important role in bone formation and the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. The B vitamins are involved in energy metabolism and in many other metabolic functions. On going studies are finding a relation between vitamin B and disease resistance. A vitamin premix is included in the commercial ration to provide additional supplements such as vitamin A, B/12, D/3, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, Pantothenic acid, and Choline. It was discovered that B/12 could be obtained by foraging through manure. Thus pecking at litter will maintain B/12 in a fowls system. Alfalfa meal added to feed provides K, A, C, B/3, D, and E. Housed flocks, or caged birds tend to have deficiencies at a higher rate than those that are allowed to run, scratch and forage. Access to soil minerals and fresh greens aid in replenishing vitamins and minerals lost to natural stress and stressful conditions. Some vitamins are not stable and their benefits can be lost in stored feed if not properly kept. If stored properly, to maintain the stability of vitamins, most feeds will remain stable for approximately 3 months.
    On the other hand an excessive amounts of vitamins given in an improper balance can have serious health effects. There are specially formulated vitamin packs readily available in proper proportions, in the aid of a vitamin deficiency. Such additives that are aimed at providing vitamins are Cod liver oil, Wheat Germ oil, Brewers yeast or Dried Yeast, AD& E powders. These can be added to the diet during breeding, stress, or after medications, especially coccidiosis treatments or any illness that may have depleted the body of vitamins through stress of the illness or excrement. Many medications interfere with the absorption of vitamins.
    Commercial poultry feeds contain numerous similar feed ingredients. There are, however, several different types of rations available. As an example: starter, grower, finisher and layer rations. These are designed to meet the specific needs of different type birds at different ages and developmental stages. All will provide ample nutrition if used in a proper fashion. Only the quality of each formulated ration will vary by the sources of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats.
    Feeding and Formulating the Right Ration
    Commercial poultry feeds contain numerous similar feed ingredients. There are, however, several different types of rations available. As an example: starter, grower, developer, finisher and layer and breeder rations. These are designed to meet the specific needs of different type birds. All are basic in their design with all formulations gathering their sources from either animal or vegetable proteins. With the greater concentration and best source of protein for the young and their developmental rate. Grower and developers are designed to bring a young fowl into the mature stage of egg production. Growers and developers are designed for the “adolescent” stage of fowl. They will be slightly reduced in protein count yet should contain good sources for continuing muscle and structure development. Layers or breeders need a proper nutrient balance to be able to produce eggs whether for the table or those to be incubated. A breeder ration will have a slightly higher protein count than a layer ration with added vitamins and minerals for viability of the embryo. Whether layer or breeder they may require less protein but added energy foods for production. Both are formulated with trace amounts of calcium but during heavy production may require a supplement of oyster shell.
    Chicks should never be feed solid grain feeds due to the developmental stages of the gizzard in digesting solid grains. Mashes are formulated for easier digestion and consumption. Their proteins sources should be gathered from high quality animal proteins and not total reliance on vegetable proteins.
    When introducing grains to a proper formulated ration it should be done at as a gradual process. Whether it is to supplement due to stress, weather, production or viability of the egg. When feeds sources such as grains are added to concentrated rations they dilute the protein count. Choice of grains is essential in maintaining protein yet providing the energy a flock may need for health and production. A good rule of thumb in formulating a ration for your flock is to gather all your protein sources and add the count, then divide the number of sources to get an approximation of the average. Foremost one should know the quality of the source and what it provides in establishing a healthy and productive flock. In formulating feeds all things should be considered form growth and development to egg production and breeding. Establishing a proper diet and feeding program will aid in the knowledge of areas that may require attention or supplements. Though fowl on a well-balanced and proper diet are less likely to have health related issues and require less supplementation. Remembering that each source of a nutrient you provide is energy for a fowl to perform and maintain its health.

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    Immunity and the Gamecock
    by John Purdy

    A healthy gamecock is a wonderful sight: brilliant feathers, bright eyes, red head, always moving and talking, challenging the world to a fight. The only way a gamecock can reach his genetic potential is through good management, including preventing and controlling disease.

    The ability of the immune system to defend the body against disease organisms depends on several factors, many of which can be controlled by correct management of the flock. The following article outlines the basic components of the avian immune system, their role in preventing disease, and techniques that are available to prevent disease and enhance the immune response.

    The avian immune system is actually composed of two different and complex immune mechanisms that work together to keep birds healthy and resistant to disease. The innate or non-specific arm of the immune system is the first line of defense. Examples of this system include genetic resistance, body temperature, and the presence of normal or beneficial bacteria which physically and chemically prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Other examples of innate immunity are the body’s physical barriers to invasion such as the skin, the mucous membranes that line the respiratory and digestive tracts, and the respiratory cilia (fine hair-like structures), which trap and “sweep” dust, bacteria and other debris out of the trachea (wind pipe). Another component of innate immunity is the “complement” system (proteins and enzymes which circulate in the blood and attach to invaders and kill them). The last component of innate immunity are large scavenging cells called macrophages. These important cells travel throughout the body, engulfing and destroying foreign bacteria, virus particles, fungi, and other debris, and aid in the further development of the immune response, as explained in the next paragraph.

    The second arm of the avian immune system is called acquired or specific immunity. This system is activated when the first line of defense (innate system) is overcome by disease challenge. B-lymphocytes or “B-cells” are a type of white blood cell and are activated when the macrophage engulfs the invading disease organism. The B-cell communicates with the surface of the macrophage, and if a foreign invader is detected, the B-cells first begin to reproduce themselves and then begin producing specific antibodies, otherwise known as immunoglobulins. Antibody production begins after 4 to 5 days, and peaks at 3-4 weeks. Antibodies circulate in the blood, and many perform their role by attaching to the surface of disease organisms, preventing the harmful bacteria or virus from attaching to the target cells in the chicken. Other antibodies enhance the efficiency of the complement and macrophage activity against disease organisms. Once exposed to a specific disease organism, the B-cells display a “memory” of that organism, and can respond to future challenges much more rapidly. The B-lymphocyte/antibody immune response is responsible for the protection afforded by vaccinations, in which a weakened or killed bacteria or virus is introduced into the body, allowing the “memory” capabilities of the B-cells to be activated and readied to produce antibodies if the B-cells detect the disease challenge in the future.

    The B-lymphocyte/antibody immune response primarily prevents the disease organism from entering and damaging the target cells of the chicken. However, if the immune response was not able to prevent this from occurring, the next response by the acquired immune system is the production of T-lymphocytes. Depending on the specific type of T-cell, these cells can attack the organism directly, enhance the function of other cells involved in immune function (e.g., B-cells and macrophages), and kill infected cells when required.

    When a chicken is exposed to a disease organism and produces antibodies itself, this is called “active immunity”. When a chick is hatched, the hen provides antibodies through the egg. Mammals secrete antibody-rich colostrum through the milk to their newborns. Obtaining pre-made antibodies is termed “passive immunity”. New feed additives are available which furnish egg-derived antibodies to livestock and poultry, and have been demonstrated to provide protection against many disease organisms. In fact, hens are such efficient antibody factories that egg-derived antibodies are becoming the mainstay for research and innovative immune therapy in humans. Certain vaccination programs for poultry are timed so that they are administered after the maternal antibodies have diminished somewhat, so that the chick’s B-cell’s are stimulated into producing antibodies and active immunity to the pathogen. If the vaccination is administered after the maternal antibodies have severely diminished, a reaction to the vaccination is possible.
    Prevention of disease requires effective management of the flock. As gamefowl breeders, our challenges are similar, yet different and can be significantly more difficult than the large-scale commercial poultry operations. Many of the standard recommendations for commercial flocks just don’t apply very well to the real life situation of the typical gamefowl breeder.

    The most effective method to prevent the occurrence of disease is biosecurity: preventing contact with potential disease sources or vectors (fowl, other wild and domesticated birds, animals, people, contaminated feed, and equipment). How feasible is this to the typical gamefowl breeder? Nearly impossible! However, there are some practical tips you can implement that will reduce your chances of exposing your fowl to unnecessary disease challenge, and reducing the impact of disease should it occur.

    1. Keep your young fowl separate from the adults if possible. Fowl running loose in the tie-cord area or drinking from the same water containers as the broodfowl can spread disease from one sick bird to all the rest. If young fowl are exposed to a significant disease challenge before sufficient antibodies are produced, disease may result. Many older birds may be carriers of disease, even though they do not show symptoms.

    2. Before you buy fowl, determine what procedures (medications, feed additives, vaccinations, management techniques) the breeder employs to keep his fowl healthy. Find out what disease problems he has had in the past and what he did to control or eradicate them. If he uses many medications and has trouble with disease in his flock, reconsider the purchase. You are buying his fowl and his disease problem. If at all possible, examine the fowl in detail before you buy them! Slow down and truly observe the fowl – not just the flashy battlecocks, but the broodfowl and young chicks. Are they vigorous and alert, with clear eyes, brightly colored plumage and bright red heads? When they crow, are their voices clear and loud? Are young fowl and hens running all over the tie-cord area?

    3. When you bring your new fowl home, keep them separate from your original birds for at least two weeks if possible. Feed, water, and handle your fowl first and the new fowl last, to prevent carrying a new disease to your fowl. Worm and de-louse them, and watch them carefully. Sometimes the stress of moving fowl to a new place and changing the feed will cause disease symptoms.

    4. Select your broodfowl from the strongest, most vigorous fowl you have to choose from. Breeding from an unhealthy individual of a valuable bloodline just doesn’t work well; it’s better to lose the bloodline than take the chance of breeding genetic susceptibility to disease into your flock.

    5. Explain to visitors your policy of limiting traffic on your yard to only what is necessary. If you sell chickens, consider asking your visitors to use disposable plastic booties and to wash up before they enter your yard. Disease can be easily tracked from one yard to another on boots and clothes. If you know someone who has a disease problem with his chickens, don’t let him wander around and handle your birds.

    6. Eradicate rodents! Mice and rats can carry disease, including Cholera. Rodent droppings in the feed can pass these germs on to your chickens. Keep mice and rat poison available where fowl can’t reach, and make sure it’s available at all times. Use clean feed from reputable, well-managed feed mills. If you see piles of wasted feed, evidence of rodent infestation and other unsanitary practices, start looking for another source of feed.

    7. I recommend feeding twice a day for several reasons, but one reason is that if you feed only once per day, often your fowl will leave a little feed for later in the day or the next morning, if you feed in the evening. The left-over feed will attract wild birds and mice, which may carry disease. For large operations this may not be possible, but for the majority of breeders, twice a day feeding pays off.

    8. If you have the space, move your fowl on fresh ground frequently. A model gamefowl facility would have a duplicate yard area for tie cords, range for young fowl, and portable brood pens. Periodically, the entire operation should be moved to fresh ground, allowing the ground to rest and reducing the exposure of the fowl to the buildup of droppings. Some partnerships involve individuals with different farms that specialize in the different aspects of producing gamefowl for battle: breeding, raising the young fowl, and conditioning. This is an ideal set up to prevent the transmission of disease from one age of birds to another, although keep in mind that people and equipment moving between farm can spread diseases, too.

    9. When setting up your yard and broodpens, a gentle slope is better than flat, low-lying ground because it will drain better. Low-lying ground invites breeding mosquitos (Fowl Pox) and allows waste from droppings to build up.

    10. Worm and delouse your fowl on a regular basis. These parasites can rob your fowl of valuable energy and make them susceptible to disease.

    11. Implement a vaccination program for common poultry diseases in your area, and any hard to control diseases particular to your flock. Marek’s and Newcastle are two diseases that can be prevented through vaccination. In some areas, Fowl Pox and Coryza are consistent problems, and should be included in a vaccination program. There are many other diseases for which vaccines are availabe. Be sure you carefully follow directions or you can get a severe reaction from the vaccine. Try vaccinating at night to reduce stress.

    12. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of disease control is carefully observing your fowl for any changes in their appetite, changes in the color and consistency of the droppings, respiratory rattles, sneezes, coughs, ruffled feathers, slow movement, and other changes from normal. These are symptoms requiring action! If possible, isolate the affected birds immediately from the rest of the flock. Administering a broad-spectrum antibiotic in the water to the entire flock while you attempt to diagnose the disease is usually a good idea. Most states have a land-grant agricultural university with an animal diagnostic laboratory that will diagnose the disease, usually for free, although you may have to work through a local veterinarian to submit the birds. Contact a local vet or an agricultural extension agent for information. Diagnostic labs will need several (2-3) affected birds (preferably alive, or very fresh dead), plus background information about the flock (number of birds affected, age of birds, what the symptoms are and when they were noticed, vaccination program used, medications used, etc.) . The diagnostic lab will furnish the disease diagnosis, and give specific treatment and prevention recommendations, usually within a week to 10 days. Don’t hesitate to call them and ask a bunch of questions. Your tax dollars pay their salary!

    13. Keep your fowl healthy so that their immune system is strong and can overcome disease challenge. Provide a balanced diet, clean water, and control stress conditions (see “Nutrition, Stress and the Gamecock”). Consider using natural immune system boosters to prevent disease rather than the routine use of antibiotics which builds resistance in the disease organisms and can permanently harm the immune system. Natural products which have been proven to increase immunity include “probiotics” or direct fed microbials , which are beneficial intestinal bacteria, certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and selenium, herbs such as Echinacea (purple coneflower) and Goldenseal, avian antibodies, which provide passive immunity to disease challenge, and others.

    The study of the immune system is complex and is constantly evolving as new research is conducted. We can get the most out of our fowl by breeding only the healthiest ones, preventing exposure, vaccinating when necessary, rapidly and accurately diagnosing and treating disease when it occurs, and strengthening and maintaining the fowl’s natural immune system.

    ---------- Bài viết thêm vào lúc 12:13 AM ---------- Bài viết trước được viết vào lúc 12:12 AM ----------


    Nutrition, Stress, and The Gamecock
    By John W. Purdy
    The most important nutrient in life is water. Water composes, on average, 55% of the adult chicken’s body weight – over 2.5 pounds of water in a 5 pound rooster! Obviously, the quality of water we give our fowl has a huge impact on the quality of their performance in the pit, in the broodpen, and on their overall health. Access to fresh and clean water gives fowl the opportunity to digest food properly, regulate body temperature, and carry out the thousands of biochemical process that keep them kicking.
    A chicken has the unique ability to tolerate poor quality water and survive. We have all seen water containers that were less than clean, yard fowl drinking from stagnant puddles, and yet the chickens seemed fine. What is not apparent is that the chicken’s immune system is constantly battling the germs found in the water, as well as all the other germs in the air and soil, from wild bird droppings, etc. Obviously, in response to this “stressor” the natural resistance of the bird can be overcome and disease may develop. To help prevent this from happening, and to eliminate one “route of exposure”, simply change the water frequently, and make sure it’s clean. This will allow the chicken to use its energy to fight off other potentially harmful bacteria and viruses, develop strong and flexible feathers, muscle, bone, and body systems that will be vitally important in the pit and in the broodpen.
    Although chlorinated water is sanitary, chlorine is a strong chemical that I feel should be avoided when conditioning roosters. In fact, there are a variety of chemicals used to treat drinking water that are not beneficial to a gamecock in a conditioning program. If your source of water is treated with chemicals, there are a couple of possible solutions you should know about. First, since chlorine rapidly changes into a gas, leaving your buckets or jugs uncovered overnight will allow most of the chlorine to evaporate. Another solution is to use an activated carbon water filter. These filters are widely available, inexpensive, and very effective in removing a variety of chemicals. Bring a jug of de-chlorinated water with you to the pit. Changing the source of drinking water with sharp cocks the day of, or before the fight, can be a mistake.
    If drinking contaminated water can be a source of stress for gamefowl, then what are examples of other stressors? And what is a stressor, anyway? A stressor is any factor in a chicken’s environment that challenges the “normal” condition and forces the bird to make an adjustment as a response. For example, the heat from the sun (the environmental factor) causes the body temperature of your favorite rooster to increase (the change from normal), and he begins to pant (the response). The response to a stressor is usually negative, because the bird will often have to reallocate energy and nutrients. In this example, your favorite rooster is expending extra energy to get rid of the excessive body heat. Energy production is dependent upon the breakdown of carbohydrate and fats, requiring many vitamins and minerals including thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin, in addition to magnesium, as “co-enzymes”. He will also have to move large amounts of extra carbon dioxide, which increases the blood pH, requires electrolytes, changes critical water balance and so on. As the air temperature increases, the difference in temperature between the rooster’s body and the air decreases, and the rate of heat loss is reduced. Since chickens don’t have sweat glands, they have to use a variety of other ways to remove heat from their bodies. They’ll seek shade, pant rapidly, and spread their wings so that air currents will remove the layer of hot air next to their feathers. They’ll often lie on the ground, with legs and wings spread, so that heat will travel from their body to the cooler ground. The combs and wattles provide surface area for the blood to transfer heat to the air, but we take that option away when we trim our stags.
    To reduce the effects of heat stress, feed early in the morning and late in the evening in hot weather, so that the heat of metabolism (digestion) does not occur in the hottest part of the day when the fowl are trying to cool off. Provide shade for your fowl, and place their water containers in this location. Provide additional water containers for young fowl running loose. Provide electrolytes in the drinking water 3 times per week. If the birds eat less (as they will in hot weather), increase the concentration of nutrients in their diet, so they are getting the same amount of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. Supplement their diet with fruit containing high moisture content such as apples, peaches, bananas, pears, mangos, etc. If you discover a bird who is under severe heat stress and he appears to be on the verge of collapse, dunk him into cool water (not cold) and keep him in the shade. I once had a box full of black day-old chicks that I placed in the sun while I was preparing the brooder pen. It didn’t seem that hot, but in 20 minutes, most had passed out and several died. Boy, did I feel stupid! I moved them in the pen, flicked droplets of water on them, while praying to the Big Rooster in the sky (these chicks belonged to my employer!). In a few minutes they started peeping and soon were running around, seemingly fresh and ready for their next experience!
    Heat stress is an example of a physiological stressor. Other types of physiological stressors are rapid growth, high egg production, intensive conditioning, sparring, poor water and/or feed quality, disease challenge, parasites, and vaccinations. In general, stress increases the destruction, utilization and synthesis of glucose and fats, increases the degradation of muscle protein, increases hormone production such as corticosteroids (e.g., adrenaline), insulin, and glucagon, and has a negative impact on electrolyte balance.
    Psychological stressors are also important to consider. Hawks flying overhead are an example of psychological stress. Gamefowl are remarkably adaptive to this type of stress, once they become accustomed to it. In preparing fowl for battle, many people play loud music in the cockhouse 24 hours a day to accustom the birds to the loud noises they will experience at the pit. This is a good idea. Frequent and gentle handling of cocks and stags prior to the Keep is also beneficial. Get your birds used to all the strange experiences they may experience at the pit. Remember – you want a sharp, focused rooster when you set him down on the score line. A good friend of mine puts his birds in carrying cases during the Keep, carries them around the cockhouse, and takes them for a ride in the truck. You might think this is extreme, but it’s little details that often make the difference. Use 2′ x 2′ stalls when you feed your evening feed. This is the type of holding stall you’ll use at the pit. Rub their legs frequently so they get accustomed to pressure on their legs and around their spurs – they’re less likely to kick and struggle when you’re heeling for battle. When you spar your roosters, have a couple of friends come over and yell at each other and wave their arms around to simulate the crowd your rooster will surely be surrounded by at the pit. Changing the person with whom the birds are comfortable with (the feeder) when you get to the pit can also make them nervous. Try to insure that the feeder/conditioner is also the handler, or have the handler help spar the fowl during the Keep. Always use a few experienced cocks when you spar fresh, unfought roosters. This will increase their “awareness” in a hurry! Nutritional supplementation also gives birds under psychological stress the “tools” to respond and recover more rapidly.
    Some breeds of fowl tend to handle stress better than others. Oriental fowl are famous for their calm disposition, disease resistance and tolerance to close confinement. Highly inbred fowl are often nervous and are more difficult to condition because of their inability to handle stress. Nervous or “high-strung” fowl are quite a challenge to bring to “point” on fight-day, but when they’re “right” look out! If you have high-strung fowl, it is VERY important to spend a lot of time in the conditioning process to accustom them to handling, hauling, confinement in the cockhouse stalls, sparring, loud noises, etc.
    As experienced cockers know, it’s not easy to get that extra 10% performance, the last shuffle, the last peck, and that elusive money-fight. How you handle the interaction between stress, nutrition and performance has a major part in accomplishing your goals in this sport.




    Crossing Pit Fowl (trích từ cuốn sách hiếm "Forty Years with Fighting Cocks - Andrew P. O'Conor" tạm dịch Kinh nghiệm 40 năm đá gà viết bởi Andrew O'Conor??????????????????????



    The Cocker's Guide
     
    Last edited: 12/5/14

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