This is the second and last part of the article written by American cockfight enthusiast Zac Mattingly about game fowl conditioning.
Game fowls should be in good flesh, but not fat. You should maintain the weight and shape of your fowl at all times. You want them to have a nice body, but not be overweight.
It is hard to describe how a rooster should feel, and it varies from family to family. Some have more of a round full body type while others have a more narrow build.
Their body should feel somewhat firm and solid, but not tight and drawn up. Gut fat on a rooster is one of the top reasons for poor performance.
Gut fat is one of those things that many people think they know about, but they really don’t. They don’t know how to feel for it and don’t know how to remove it. Their roosters will be carrying excess weight because of it.
Hold the rooster in your left arm facing left with your left hand running under the breast toward the tail bones. Using your right hand, hold the rooster’s right leg and wing – between where the breast bone ends and the tail bones are, is where you can feel this fat with your left hand. Using your thumb and index and middle finger, you can kind of pinch up in this area. Don’t be afraid to get up in there, you won’t hurt him.
A rooster with no fat, you’ll literally be able to feel the skin on both sides with a small band in between, which is his gut. Most of the time, there will be a little to a lot of excess in this area. If it is not skin or gut, it means that it is fat. Cocks can have as much as more than 10 ounces of fat in the gut area.
Removing this fat without stress or hurting the rooster is the hard part. The first and easiest way is to handle and feel your roosters often. Adjust your feed if they are gaining too much weight or fat. Cutting off the fat off them is a slow process. You need to soften the fat first so they can work it off. Adding about two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of drinking water is a good start. It has no negative effect and you can run it as long as you need to.
Another thing you can do is feed canned tomatoes after you feed them in the evenings. You can feed a tablespoon a day and even soak their feed in the juice. Once you get the fat softened and loosened up, you can start working it off by rotating your roosters into pens for them to scratch for exercise. Rotating them once to thrice a day will keep them active and working.
Once you get the fat off them, you’ll have to monitor closely and adjust your feed accordingly. Your roosters should be handled and moved regularly. Fowls that are stale or bored are not going to be mentally correct.