Gamefowl is a term used for a breed of chicken, descended from Red Jungle Fowl, which were once used for cockfighting. Though cockfighting is illegal, the gamefowl are maintained as a poultry show breed. Mature gamefowl are crossed with laying, brooding and meat birds to encourage the development of specific genetic traits, like colour. Breeding gamefowl is a process that takes some time and dedication, and should be done responsibly. Never breed gamefowl that are sick, or poor quality.
Buy high-quality gamefowl stock. Do your homework before you buy the stock. Buy into breed lines that are producing winning show birds. Purchase a cock that is from a different bloodline than your hens.
Pen your chickens in flocks. You can run as few as two or as many as 12 hens in a flock. If you are running a single flock you can allow them to free range in your garden. You should never, however, allow two cocks to share a living space.
Trim the spurs from the cocks to prevent them from hurting you or the hens during breeding season. Large spurs can lance and kill your hens during breeding if they are not trimmed.
Watch your hens for signs that they are being bred. They may be missing feathers on the neck or back or you may see the cock riding the hens.
Crack the hens' eggs to see if they are fertile. In a dark room, shine a torch directly into the egg. Look in the yoke for a bloody spot. This indicates that the egg is fertile and, that with proper incubation, it should hatch.
Allow a broody hen to sit on the eggs or incubate them in a forced-air incubator. Incubated eggs should be kept at 37.2 to 37.7 degrees C (99 to 100 degrees) for 21 days.
Cull chicks that do not have desirable traits, that are weak or that are sick. Do not keep birds that are not of the highest quality in your breeding stock or you will produce more poor quality babies.
Things you need
- Gamefowl stock
- Chicken pens