Conditioning is a vital part of fight preparations. Let us share with you an interesting article about game fowl conditioning written by Zac Mattingly, an American cockfight enthusiast.
It is a fairly long article so we divided it into two parts for our weekend special.
Let’s start at about the time you will be selecting your game fowl for conditioning. At this point you want to have your fowl on a good maintenance feed of about 12-16 percent crude protein. Your feed mixture needs to be adjusted to your fowl, your yard and your environment. Fowls that are kept on long tie cords on green grass do not have the same requirements as fowls that are kept in pens. Also, fowls kept in movable pens that are on fresh grounds and green grass don’t have the same requirements as fowls kept in a pen on sand that is never moved.
In most places, you can find a gamecock mix that will include a combination of different grains and pellets. If not, a good breeder pellet or at the least a layer pellet and scratch feed can be mixed with good results. A breeder pellet is normally 18-28 percent protein and contains more vitamins and minerals. It is formulated to give fowl enough nutrients to pass on to their offspring through the egg. Layer pellets are normally 15-16 percent protein and are intended to give enough nutrients to just lay eggs for eating. But there is more to consider than just the protein percentage as protein percentage does not dictate the quality of the feed.
Normally game fowls do well on three to four ounce of feed per day. Of course fowls that are more active are going to require more feed to maintain their weight while lazy fowls are going to need less. A little common sense here goes a long way. If they are getting too heavy or fat, feed less. If they are staying a little thin, feed more. If they are being picky and not eating all of their feed, don’t feed them the next day, and the following day only feed them half. A good healthy game rooster should have his feed cleaned up in about five minutes or so. A good appetite is a sign of good health.
Do not feed so much to the point that there is feed left on the ground. That is one of the worst things you can do. That is asking for disease, sick fowls and rodents, which bring with them more disease and parasites.
Your fowl should always have plenty of clean water at all times. If you have too many to keep all your water bowls clean, and full of water, you should cut back some. It is good practice to clean all of your water bowls regularly with bleach. Many people actually keep a little bleach in the water all year. It helps keep disease from forming or spreading and helps the bowls stay clean. Once a month bleaching is good for a large farm. If you just have a handful, you can do it weekly.
All fowls on your yard should be free of parasites (worms, lice and mites). Not just the ones you are conditioning, but every hen, pullet, stag, cock and chick. Your environment will determine how often you need to treat to prevent parasites. Some can get away with treating three or four times a year, but most common is monthly or every six weeks. It is a good idea to rotate different types of de-wormer to cover different types of worms and to reduce the chance of them building resistance.