In 2011, a couple from Puerto Rico associated with different groups of cockpits asked the United Nations of Cockfighting – an online network for cockfighters worldwide – to support the World Day of Cockfighters and Cockpits on July 10 of that year.
Right away, events on social network were created to support the idea.
That date happened to be the second Sunday of July. So since that year, most countries celebrate Cockfighters Day every second Sunday of July.
To commemorate this year’s Cockfighters Day, we will share with you a comprehensive article posted by Asil Club a few years ago about the basics of game fowl breeding.
It was a long article with 14 different lessons so we will make it a weeklong series, two lessons for each day.
What’s a Strain? A little note about Game fowl history: all game fowl breeds are of man-made designs that first stem from the Wild Red Jungle Fowl of Southeast Asia. Although, through selective breeding, we now have the birds you see today.
A strain is a family of birds that have the same physical characteristics and easily recognizable traits that make them different towards the others in their breed and they must also have the ability to reproduce themselves to be considered a true strain.
Creating a strain is the result of one man’s vision. It is developed through the practice of selective breeding, for many generations with a single family.
The way to know if you have a true strain is when another cocker comes to visit your yard and easily recognize a bird that has come from your brood fowl or the breeder from whom you received them from.
The Breeding Plan. As in making any other type of goal, you would first make a list of steps in order to accomplish your goal successfully. Well creating your own breed is a goal. Actually, it’s a very long-term goal. In fact, the best breeders in the world have been breeding and maintaining the same family of birds for thirty to fifty years, never adding out-side blood of any kind. To develop and maintain your own strain could take as many as five to ten years. My dad says that it can take five years just to see if your going in the right direction and ten years to establish and set that strain to where it’s considered a true family strain. So stick with your plan and be patient, as long as you have good solid brood fowl and select potential brood fowl properly you’ll do great!
In order to become successful in maintaining or creating your own strain, it will be extremely helpful to write out a breeding plan. This is a list of long range-goals written out into a series of steps. The steps you should put in your breeding plan are:
First and foremost, start with the best available brood fowl available. Your breeding goal will depend on the quality of the fowl you start with.
Second, plan your goals four or five years in advance, always looking well into the future.
Third, carefully breed your fowl to meet those goals, by selecting fowl that have individual superiority and good lineage. If you have an individual that looks good but has a poor family history, don’t breed to it. The bad genes will most likely be passed to the offspring.
Fourth, keep accurate records of your breeding and ancestry.
Fifth, mark chicks to keep track of their family line.
Sixth, and perhaps most importantly, make sure to cull anything that doesn’t meet your expectations. Just a little words of wisdom, there are two different kinds of breeders: those who breed for quantity and those who breed for quality. You want to be the quality breeder. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to hatch a lot of offspring, but only so that you have enough to select from. The more heavily you can cull, the better the genetic quality of your brood fowl you will have.
Once you set yourself a long-range goal, break it down into short-term goals. Set your own quality line. If a bird falls below that line, don’t breed to it, cull that bird, and every year raise your line a notch higher. Concentrate on one trait at a time, but be careful not to shut out the other traits that you have worked so hard to perfect. Although, not all improvements are from good inheritance, sometimes it’s from good management and other times it’s purely from a favorable accident. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of something that works in your favor.