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Game Fowl "Guapo"
Game fowl were among the earliest domesticated poultry and thus they compromise some of the oldest breeds on the planet.
If our experience is any indication, you don't need to be a cock fighter
to enjoy these birds, since they are handsome to look at, fascinating
to observe and rewarding to keep. We've had especial luck with Shamos,
they are hardy, intelligent birds, somewhat independent but easy enough
to tame. We have two shamo-mix cocks, Guapo
and Pakman (2),
and three hens, one of whom survived a raccoon attack that would have killed
most creatures. Another of the hens has a tendency to go broody and she
proved to be a dedicated and skillful mom.
We also have a pair of Dark Cornish that are real favorites. Their Indian Asil heritage is quite evident. Cornelia, the hen is probably our smallest bird but no one messes with her because she's a force of Nature! Redboy, the cock, is a burly little gentleman who is quite tame. He looks like a brawler with his heavy build and fierce looking face but he's a pussycat.
We had a great bantam Old English Gamecock named Squeaker (he was the size of a Bluejay with the heart of a lion) who was killed defending his hen from a predator. He will be missed.
We're really interested in Malays
too, but haven't yet gotten any examples.
Some books, etc. of interest
Oriental Game fowl by Horst Schumudde. This is currently the best source of information on these birds, written by a world expert. The pictures (over 200 of them) are probably worth the cost of the book alone.
Review of Oriental Game fowl
Cockfighting Around the World by C.A. Finsterbusch was originally published in the '20's and used to be the go-to book on Gamefowl.There is quite a bit of information on the various breeds but not many illustrations. In the reprint I got the image quality of the illustrations can only be called poor, but under the circumstances, half a loaf is better than none.
Some may be put off by the cockfighting aspect of the book but this would
be unfortunate because there is a wealth of information between the covers
about nutrition, care and breeding that is worth knowing. In our experience
(and we are not cock fighters!) despite what
your feelings about fighting are, cockers are probably the best source
of information about raising, feeding, breeding and caring for poultry
of all sorts for the simple reason that they are the one group of people
who have studied the birds longer and more intensely than anyone else.
Deep Play, Notes on the Balinese cockfight
Cockfighter, the movie With Warren Oates and Harry J. Stanton
Game Bird Farms
(coming soon - in the meantime use the links from each of the Feathersite pages
we have referenced above. Thanks)