This is a continuation of a seven-part series that we started during the World Cockfighters Day.
The Proper Age of Brood Fowl. A much-debated question among many cockers is whether or not it’s better to hatch eggs from hens that are older or younger than two years. If your goal is to improve your health and vigor for future generations, hatch from older hens. Two-year-old hens that are laying well must be relatively disease-resistant and are likely to pass that resistance to their offspring. Older birds also tend to be the more valuable breeders. They have proven their ability to pass desirable traits along to their offspring (less desirable breeders having long since been culled). Four to six years is usually the limit for most hens. But most importantly, always keep youth to one side of the breeding, such as an older cock with a pullet or a stag with an older hen.
What’s a Pedigree? To pedigree is to keep track of each chicks 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 of the breeding that produced it. You can do it with toe-punching and marking of their nose first, and later with wing and leg bands. Using these types of identification products and keeping good record books are the ways to pedigree a family. Wing bands are permanent and one size fits all. Leg bands come in many different styles, such as wrap-around plastic types, adjustable aluminum, permanently sealed aluminum or brass type bands. They also come in all different colors. Leg bands hold information such as the bird’s pedigree information or the breeder’s name and address. Without accurate breeding records, pedigreeing is a waste of time.