Oriental game fowl are noble and beautiful birds. The cock is elegant and lithe, and as a heritage breed, is an asset to any breeding flock. Some of the readily recognized breeds in this category are the Asil and the Malay. These cocks are stunning birds with an excellent ability to protect the flock. They are immediately noticeable by their brilliant plumage, nearly vertical posture and flowing tail feathers. Training the birds is the same as for any chicken breed, and it requires a knowledge of the hierarchical arrangement of chicken culture.
Things You'll Need
- Heat source (optional)
- Chick feed
- Gamebird feed
- Chicken vitamins
- Fresh greens, fruits, treats
- Oats, barley, millet and sunflower seeds
- Egg, cooked and chopped
Prepare insulated barns for these breeds using hay, as most are not cold hardy. Start chicks on standard chick feed and move to layer or gamebird feed after six weeks. Provide fresh clean water at all times. Chicks need a heat source, if not raised by the hen, until they are four weeks old.
Purchase chicken vitamins for the birds (only supplement if necessary -- use vitamins sparingly). Provide access to pastures, and supplement their diet with fresh greens, fruits, and treats such as mealworms and corn. Supply free-choice, good-quality chicken feed or gamebird feed. Add oats, barley, millet and sunflower seeds to the diet. Add chopped, cooked egg if the birds enjoy this.
Watch for crowing, posturing, mock-fighting and an interest in the hens. Oriental game roosters start to mature at three to five months. Crowing is the hallmark of a rooster reaching sexual maturity.
Assume the dominant role in the flock. Never allow a cock to breed a hen in front of you, as this is a sign of his dominance in the flock. Move the bird off of the hen with gentle action. Discipline challenging cocks by making a loud "ugh" or "no" sound. Hold the bird and do not let him down until he ceases struggling -- this is pressure-and-release training. Never allow a cock to threaten or attack you. Discipline immediately by saying "no," picking him up or asking him to sit. Put pressure on the bird's back until he sits. Hold him there until he calms, and then release the pressure.
Tips & Warnings
- Always consult an expert poultryman for training naturally aggressive birds or fear-aggressive birds. Roosters are quick and can cause serious injury to a person (particularly face and eye injuries). Be careful of allowing some roosters around children, as children may be perceived as threats to the flock. Never allow roosters to fight each other, as this can cause injury or death to the birds.
- Understand that roosters will continue to challenge. Never strike, hit or lose your temper around a rooster. Understand the bird is many times smaller than you and can be easily frightened or injured.
- Raising roosters for the criminal market (cock fighting), is illegal in most countries, including the United States. Be careful that the roosters do not engage in territorial fights. Separate the birds immediately, never allow them to "work it out," and consider castrating and/or removing the spurs of aggressive cocks.
- Trimming or removing the cock's spurs will render him unable to defend his flock from predators.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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