This is a continuation of our weekend series discussing the basic concepts and considerations in breeding game fowls.
It is originally published in the site gamecock care.
Step 5. Evaluating the Progeny
The ultimate measure of success of any breeding program is the quality of the resulting offspring. The relative success of the mating is determined by the ability of the offspring to meet the criteria defined in the goals of the breeding program in Step 1. When breeding inbred families to produce brood fowl, it is only possible to initially evaluate their outward appearance, body structure, health and disposition; the ultimate test for the worth of brood fowl is their ability to produce winners and future generations of top quality brood fowl. This can make mistakes very costly considering the time and money required to determine the quality of their offspring.
Competition in the pit tests the offspring of the brood fowl and skill of the breeder. Information learned about fighting style, speed, cutting ability and other important traits should be gathered, analyzed, and used to guide the breeding program in future breeding seasons. Only through experience and being present at the pit when his warriors are doing battle can the breeder learn the weaknesses and strengths of his fowl and make adjustments to the breeding program.
It is true that superior battle cocks don’t always make superior brood cocks. However, history has proven that superior battle cocks make great brood cocks frequently enough to consider breeding a few great winners every year. I like to use great battle cocks over inbred pullets from another breed to make three-way crosses. Some of the greatest breeders of the past bought spectacular crossbred cocks at the pit and bred them into various ‘yards’ or families. They had to discard many of these yards after the offspring were tested, but some of these crossbred yards produced lines that are winning today.
The level of competition is an important factor to consider when evaluating battle fowl. It is a good idea for the breeder to compete a few times each year at the highest level of competition that he can afford. In this way the breeder can get a better idea of how his fowl measure up to the big boys.