Ensuring a gamefowl’s performance in the ring starts with looking after its health, and making sure that it transitions through the seasons of its life smoothly. Before it gets to the conditioning stage, it first has to go through a set of practices in pre-conditioning. Let this short read guide you into gamefowl preconditioning and maintenance.
The Practices in Gamefowl Preconditioning & Maintenance
Gamefowl preconditioning is an important introductory step into conditioning. It’s the gradual shifting and improving of gamefowl care that readies your poultry for the more stressful conditions and practices in conditioning.
The following changes are part of the practices in gamefowl preconditioning:
Changes in Feeding
There’s a gradual switch from pellets and grains to those that are formulated to prepare the chicken’s health and body for the training that comes with conditioning. These are:
- Power pellet
- Conditioning grains
- Multivitamins and minerals (feed mix)
- Cracked corn
Avoid suddenly changing feeds as this may confuse the chickens. In some poultry farms, feeds are given or thrown into the soil for extra minerals. This also trains stags to search for their food.
New Activities & Exercises
Exercises and activities that will be part of the 21-day conditioning regimen are introduced during gamefowl preconditioning. A gentle introduction is a must so that stress can be avoided. This can be done through building habits such as regular sparring. Experts also suggest that there should be a healthy rotation of sparring and activities (scratch box, running pen and fly pen) every week.
Taming Wild Gamefowls
Training wild gamefowls can be difficult and dangerous. That’s part of gamefowl preconditioning is ensuring that gamefowls are tamed. A good practice for taming wild gamefowls is by stroking its feathers every night.
Routine Support or Gamefowl Maintenance
Stags will have to undergo new rituals deworming, bacterial flushing and delousing. These are done once every month. Medications that can help them cope with the changes are:
- B-complex (injectable)
- Amino acid (injectable)
- Iron (injectable)
- Calcium lactate
Structures & Equipment
Make sure you’re equipped to help your gamefowls to be ready for the conditioning. The following list of structures and equipment are what you need for preconditioning.
- A tee-pee or an inverted “V” housing that’s 2 ft. in width and 4 ft. in height.
- A sparring area with lighting and a sound system that emulates that of a fighting ring helps prevent stress during actual fights.
- A scratch box is advantageous for strengthening the thighs, knees and feet of stags.
- A running pen with a 2 ½ ft. width, 10 ft. length, 3 ft. height and a net is also instrumental to strengthening a stag’s thighs, knees and feet.
- A fly pen is for wing strength, with specifications of 4 ft. width, 8 ft. length and 8 ft. height.
- Keeping rooms are where chickens pegged to fight are kept for 3 days. It’s built to be dark and cold so that stags may rest. Some farmers would install air conditioning for extra cool temps.
Read more tips on gamefowl preconditioning and maintenance with features from UNAHCO.