Joined: April 26th, 2008, 4:57 pm
Location: Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Hugh Norman Keep
[align=center]Hugh Norman Keep[/align]
Health can not be over stressed as it is the basis of most everything that is expected or even demanded of a cock. The apparent health of a cock is what any reasonably experienced chicken man can detect, but there is even more that the eye can see for complete health. It is so necessary to know the life history of the individual cock but sometimes this is impossible and in most cases impossible. Let us suppose that you walked the cock and at one time during his walk life he became starved, listless, anemic and in poor health in general, but when you picked him up in the fall he has had access to fall maturing seed and water from the fall rains, hence he strikes the eye as being healthy. A healthy cock is the cock with a high blood count which is indicated by heavy pimples on his head and face. These appear to be the skin of a rich, ripe, lush strawberry. His head is a rich true red like blood itself. This comes as a result of complete coordination of all that is inside a cock. The flesh of a healthy cock is firm yet pliable, never hard, never flabby or or weak feeling. The skin of a healthy cock is a true greasy yellow or slick white, which ever the breed portrays. Now, in a brief way we have gone from the inside of a cock to the part which meets the eyes, and this is his feathers. Now let us reverse this. If a cock is not in full bloom and does not have live moving feathers which seem to slide on his shoulders and shed your hand when you rub him, he is to be discarded for some later date. Just a word of caution; if the humidity is high just before a rain, even a cock that is not real healthy will shine and deceive you. This cock must be observed several days. The moleskin look and feel is absolutely necessary. When the feathers are as we have discussed, then the skin is healthy, the flesh is healthy, the organs are healthy, hence a cock is at this moment healthy enough to begin training.
Now since we have an apparently healthy cock, let us see if he has always been so. How can we tell? If this cock is narrow and apparently weak or poorly made, he probably is one of those birds which has barely existed through the summer or he has been penned too long as a stag. If he has apparent health but his spurs appear as a stag's spurs, his flesh on his thighs short fleshed and his breast lightly filled, yet his vent and gizzard are heavy with flesh, he is one which has not had proper care and is a bad risk in good competition. Upon examining a cock's skin and feathers.if the skin is flakey and of poor texture and there are cut feathers which show cuts through the silk of the feather, a few poorly made feathers, it is a sure sign that this cock's health and environment have been poor and should be considered carefully.
It seems a bit needless to say but if a cock behaves peculiarly in any manner, has an odor of any kind, an off shade in his complexion, a peculiar crow or cackle or behaves differently to the strain, he is not a perfect cock in health.
Excess in appetite or insufficient appetite for food or drink is a sign of questionable health. It is a real word of wisdom that when you can detect anything at all wrong with a cock, there is for sure much more than you can see with the eye.
Gameness is a point of consideration as this is the element which will determine how sincere a cock will be in the way he tries to do what you have trained him to do. It has often been said with wisdom that a cock does not hit with is feet, he hits with his heart. This is just, of course, a figure of speech but there is truth in it. A cock will indicate his gameness by how he tries to annihilate an opponent. If he is strong yet makes a weak and feeble effort, he is poorly trained or short on gameness, and it is the job of the trainer to determine which. Now as for a completely game strain, there may not be one, but it is the pit behavior that we are concerned about. If a cock claims, scores, strikes and gives you an honest effort under the pressure of battle, you should not worry about what he does beyond this since this answers all practical purposes. I do believe that a game cock will make an honest effort to annihilate an opponent every second that he is aware of his presence. And he will fight an uphill fight the same as when he is ahead. If one owns game cocks, he has a fair percentage of his fights won before he begins. It is a very good guess that high flying, defensive fighting, cocks which act wild and shy are not as game as the opposite type.
Conformation is a very controversial point, but performance has established a number of facts which must be reckoned with. To look at a cock from side view, if his head, neck, and back lines form an angle with the tail greater than 100 degrees, he is an oriental type no doubt. His tail is too low to the ground and if this open space between his head and tail is much less than 45 degrees, it is possible that he is squirrel tailed. Either of these is objectionable. His top silhouette must range between these two angles aforementioned. The legs must come out from the front position in relation to the whole body but not an oriental type of projection. If the legs are far back, cock pitches forward easily and if they are too far forward, a cock has a tendency to rock backwards. It must be a center of gravity position, considering the entire body a proned fighting position. A cock that is extremely wide through the back with massive legs and hips is usually a short bodied cock like roundheads, blues, etc. which have a poor confirmation and roll around in their fighting and lack power. The cock that is shpaed like your mother's old preheated smoothing iron with the wider end forward is a power cock with balance which carries his power. The bird with heavy legs, broad back, heavy hips, thick coarse head, short quick curving front feathers in the wing, quick turning short tail, short strong thick neck, is a poorly conformed bird with poor pit prospects. After the basic consideration of body structure a cock must have a full lengthy strong quilled coat of feathers.
When a cock lifts his legs to meet an opponent, he must have something to carry himself with and this is his wings which must be filled with good, tough, long, heavy-quilled feathers. When he looks as though you could pick him up from behind by the wings life wheelbarrow handles, then he has enough wing feathers. The tail, too, should be well-studded with good straight inside feathers, as this is a cock's rudder and prop against aggression. There have been cocks that were too heavily feathered but usually it is just the opposite. Let us say this: Everything wihich resembles a long legged craine, a short pudgy dunghill chicken, a draft horse, a big dumb coarse football tackle or a big pudgy wrestler is poor conformation for a gamecock. Remember the falcon and hawk swift, manueverable, deadly and more powerful than any feathered opponent according to the weight.
[align=center]Qualities of a Fighting Cock[/align]
Regardless if all the foregoing meets the standards, they are no good unless a cock can fight as this is the fruition of all our efforts. If the cock flips over the other cock a time or two and does not make a desperate effort to kill, he is lacking in pit qualities. This stroke for the kill should be a multiple stroke, a vicious shuffle or buckle as a single stroke cock is outmoded. If a cock feeds his head or his breast without an offensive stroke he is the cock that hits second and usually this cock loses his battle. It might be noted here that if a cock has a few first shots at an opponent and does not damage him considerably, he probably is lacking in cutting qualities. The high-flying cock is usually a weak ground fighting cock and spends lots of energy maneuvering defensively and when the fight comes to a slugging ground fight, is at a loss to compete with the cock which stands on the ground, and pulls back with a watchfulness crushing into the opponent when he comes down. Too, it may be noted with importance that in a bill and strike fight, after five pittings, the cock which rises on another's billhold is an elusive target. The cock that bills and strikes at the same instant, strikes without a billhold or strikes first is with real merit. It is real wisdom to watch what a cock does wrong rather than what he does right. The cock which strikes with devastating hardness involving short strokes which are delivered the instant of the opponent's stroke or an instant before, is a cock of quality. The cock that chews on his opponent, always looking for a billhold and when he gets it rolls over the pit, shuffling until exhausted, is a perfect target for a multiple stroke clever cock. The game cock which has all the looks, health and eye appeal is worthless as a pit cock unless he is a fighting cock, as he is usually a loser.
Flesh should be a main consideration in selecting a cocks for the keep as this is the bulk from which you are to carve and perfect the physique. If you will note it is to carve or take from, not add to. In my opinion, nothing can be added to a cock in the keep unless it would be wind and endurance, as all flesh that is added is not a natural part of him and we must have extra flesh in the beginning of the keep if we expect to carve anything away and yet have enough left. How can one carve a statue from an exact sized piece of marble without a gamble? Suppose the chisel slipped. The are too many slips with thin cocks or cocks that have been scratched down too thin. A cock must go into training from 4 to 8 ounces heavy and he must be treated as an overweight cock. One must choose between feathers, sinue and bone with weakness, or reflex, round, firm alive flesh with strength and vigor.
Temperament is not to be ignored as this is a vital part of the cock's makeup. The same as he inherits his color, red, gray, black or blue, he too inherits his temperament. It is wise to avoid birds with extremely high temperaments this is sometimes indicative of fine brood yard qualities rather than pit. Just a word of caution, do not confuse temperament with alertness. Alertness and being wide awake will come under control when it is handled properly, but temperament is usually always explosive. It is a part of his inherited makeup, the same as color. Disposition relates to the individual and is usually a result of his environment. It too generally is a result of the way he has been handled and responded to it. This too can become a seemingly permanent part of him but this can be taken away from him or added to by the way he is treated. It is wise to discard all cocks with ugly disposition and stubborn tendencies.
Natural strength is a great asset and can be likened unto a prize fighter who has 50 wins with 40 knockouts. This is indicative of natural strength can be bred and raised in a cock, and supplemented but a small bit in his training. Some other cocks appear to have all the natural strength but when the real heat of the battle comes and injury is inflicted, he is unable to cope with the situation. This is a short bred undesirable pit cock. Natural strength or weakness is a result of breeding and perfect environment.
Since it is necessary to suggest some equipment in preconditioning it can be brief: An open air pen from 5 to 6 feet wide, 8 to 10 feet long and 7 to 9 feet high with wind breakers or blinds all around the sides from the ground up for 2 to 2 1/2 feet. The top should be half roofed under which a T-type roost pole may be built which reaches to within 30 to 36 inches of the roof portion. There should be a fresh clean 4 inch litter of corn shucks or straw over the floor. Never should this litter be over 6 inches. An easily clean water can, can be nailed to one end of the T-type perch. The T-type perch should be so arranged that the cock never touches the sides or top of the pen. Since the pen is blinded around the sides the cock will rise to the perch to oberve his surroundings, and upon doing so, he will come down to see what can be done about it, thus he continues up and down.
It is well to bear in mind that we are not conditioning this cock but we are roughing him down or up to a physical fitness to condition. The height of the fly pole (not swing) and the depth of the litter are the factors which regulate his work. Therefore, we must be careful to not overwork a thin cock nor a fat cock because the thin cock will never build up and the fat cock can possibly burn up. In an accessible place a feed cup can be placed to feed all cocks in at night and the thin cock can be fed there in the morning, whereas the fat cock can be fed the morning feed in this litter and from the cup at night only until the desirable weight is obtained. You can adjust this feeding habit according to the way the thin cock gains weight and the fat cock loses weight. One must exercise judgment to not overfeed a thin cock and to not underfeed a fat cock as there is danger in either extreme. Cocks must be kept under close observation and if weight is being put on or taken off at the rate of one ounce every three to five days, progress is being made. There is no guess work about the weight. You must weigh these cocks empty. Early in the morning before they have picked up any feed or moisture is the most desirable time to weigh. It is wise to remember that we are trying to have the cocks carry a little excess weight and moisture so that we will have a surplus from which to carve a full rounded physique. There are two plans for training cocks. One to work hard, feed sparingly and spring them by jumping their weight with excessive moisture the last two feeds, but this method we are discussing is to fight the cocks on the drop which most successful cockers do. The drop is accomplished by having and keeping excessive flesh all the way through the training period and pulling the moisture with the last 4 or 5 feeds.
The feed composition for Preconditioning and "Keep" feeding should consist of 50 percent good commercial pigeon chow, 15 percent oats, 20 percent corn chops, 15 percent of barley, rye, millet, wheat, sunflower seed and rice with the husk, all this last 15 percent in equal parts. This last 15 percent mixture is not imperative but helpful and if all can not be obtained, any one or two of them to substitute for this 15 percent will be satisfactory. This mixture above is basic, but it must be supplemented with a noon day feed of variety. A little lettuce once each day, a small chunk of banana can be feed twice a week at noon, a small amount nut meats (peanuts, pecans, etc.) may be fed twice each week, too, a small marble sized ball of ground lean beef may be fed twice each week. It may be made clear here that one day out of every 7 of a cock's entire life must be soft feed. Stale bread and buttermilk or oatmeal and buttermilk are preferable.
Each night feed in precondition in which the grain feed is used, it is desirable to sprinkle the feed generously with a good brand of plain canned evaporated milk - I prefer Carnation. A cod liver oil granule or pellet high in Vitamin A and D should be given every other morning in precondition and every morning after working in cockhouse condition for the first nine days of the cockhouse training. Two weeks more or less a sufficient amount of time to keep a cock in his precondition work, but the precondition feeding program can be continued indefinitely. After a cock has been in precondition, unless he is to be put in cockhouse training, can be switched to a small pen without a high perch and very little litter so that he may loaf for a week. This pen should be a nice clean place on the ground so he may have access to minerals and just relax and be lazy for about a week. This two weeks in a fly pen and one week's rest is a good procedure which will keep a cock in excellent shape indefinitely. It is true that all work and no relaxation can stale your cock or just burn him up. It is equally true that loafing and no work can make him too fat and sluggish.
After two weeks precondition, we can place the cock in the cockhouse. Now, let us make a survey. Have you eliminated lice and worms? Has the cock's health met the standards? Is he a fighting cock? Is he a game cock? Is he a well conformed cock? Re-read this keep from beginning to end with intelligence and understanding, as this is the yardstick with which you hope to measure your success or failure in the pit. Inasmuch as you have placed the cocks in the cockhouse from the precondition pen, let us use this as a five-day period to accustome the cock to the inside of the cockhouse, since this will be his new surroundings for about two weeks after this introductory stay. Place the cocks in the stalls at night for the night and morning feed. Take each cock from his night stall to the work board, exercise him a few times, rub lightly and generously, but be sure never to make a false move with him or excite him. Do this twice each day, morning and night, and return him to his precondition pen for an all day stay with the same precondition feed and routine. The five-day period, if wisely used, should prevent your spending time with a cock that will later train unsatisfactorily.
[align=center]DESCRIPTION OF WORK ROUTINE[/align]
How to work a cock in the keep is the most controversial subject, but we will discuss our way. Probably all the methods discussed have their merit but we will just try to be reasonable. It is nice to place the cock's breast and front part of the keel in a well cupped left hand with your right hand cupped downward across the back with your little finger touching his tail root and your thumb wrapping around under him towards his vent. With this accomplished you find his legs dangling down and he is sitting comfortably in your hands. Now give him a gentle flirt by raising your left hand quickly and lowering your right hand the same. These two actions combined will give the impression of trying to gently but quickly throw him over backwards. This we can call a flirt as you give im a flirting motion. As the flirt is understood and begins to function watch the cock's feet, they must rise to the head level since a cock will often bill what he wishes to strike and his feet must rise to his head level in order to strike the object he has billed. A cock carelessly flirted will strike short.
The run is accomplished by facing the cock to the left and placing your right hand behind him to his right side and by slightly lifting a part of his weight and pushing him firmly but gently to your left until you have reached a comfortable distance in the direction. Since you have taken him about three or four feet in this direction pull your hand and arms towards you so as to partly circle the cock's head from you and tail towards you. This accomplished you will find the cock partially turned in the opposite direction heretofore accomplished. Now place your left hand behind him gently in the same manner as your right hand was in the beginning, push him back across the table to your right. Thus you have accomplished two runs, so you may continue this alternating process until runs are completed. A cock must never run across the board in an absolute straight run nor a sideways run of 90 degrees. As he is started across the board he must run in a sideways position of about 45 degree angle. Thus he will step one foot slightly across the other. This is his stepping motion which increases the power of an inward blows of a gamecock. This 45 degree angle of the run may be called "quartering" the run.
The climb is a great exercise and can be easily accomplished by standing a bale of shucks, straw, hay or any baled forage against you work table or any object against which it can lean slightly, (about a 65 degree angle). If the bale is stood on the end so as to barely balance itself against and object, the angle is correct. A well padded board about 4 or 5 feet long and 8 or 10 inches wide will suffice if a bale is not obtainable. Either of these pieces of equipment may be arranged as a steep plane up which the cock may climb. Since we have established a flirt, we will take the cock in hand in the same position and pitch him lightly in this manner to the top of the inclined plane or bale. He will learn this resting place and in a few days can be tossed with head up and feet toward the middle of the plane or bale 2 1/2 feet from the floor, and he will climb it hurriedly to his accustomed resting place using his wings and entire body fully. The cock must always be tossed with his head and front of body upward toward top of plane upon which he has become accustomed to sitting. If he hesitated to climb, a light gentle pull downward on his tail will teach him. If he does not respond to this, he is exhausted, sick, stupid or outsmarting you, either of which is bad. A few of these climbs are a great deal of work. Be careful. When a cock opens his mouth enough to insert a grain of corn the flat way, this is time to stop and look our bird over.
The stretch may help a great deal to overcome some of the poor or improper work which has been thrust upon a cock. First position, turn cock's head straight from you on the work table, stand cock firmly on the table with his tail toward you, cup your right hand palm up and thumb pulled in tight as though you were expecting to pour a few drops of water in your hand, turn left hand facing your right cupped hand, slide right hand firmly under the cock between his legs, lay left hand gently across cock's back as if to rub raise cock upward with right hand, left hand resting and securing cock between hands. Assuming that you are standing within two feet of your work table while all the preparation is being made for the stretch, pull the cock bact toward your right hip and with an upward circular motion with the edge of the table in mind, point the cock's feet toward this point on the table which you have had in mind. Now hesitate or stop the forward motion of the cock within 4 to 6 inches of the table and the cock will reach full length with his legs and will try to pull himself with his wing power to the table. When he has made sufficient effort to reach the table, let him go to it so that he will feel that he has accomplished his aim. A slight effort is all he will make perhaps, but some cocks will make more effort than others. As soon as you get the feel of the stretch yourself, all cocks will cooperate more as they learn what you wish them to do. It is best to perform the stretch while cocks have energy left and are anxious. Three to five of the stretch exercises are enough at each working period. An added feature to the stretch exercise is a little easier accomplished and should not be overdone. It is this; as you have through working and rubbing your cock and are starting towards the stalls or scratch pens, you may put the cock on the floor, take him gently by the tail and lift a small portion of his weight by his tail, walking him at the same time from you and you will find his toes slightly touching the ground; he is now digging or stretching to carry himself foward. You may let him pull himself with your giving gently to his pull until you feel that he is relaxing a bit. A little of this exercise has very definite merit but shoud be suspended the last three days of the keep.
Rubbing your cock is as vital as any feature of training and it is well to bear in mind that we as average men are about forty times as large as a gamecock. An elephant is possibly forty times as big as a man. How hard do you wish an elephant to rub you? Rub as though you were rubbing a sore part of your body on which the skin is sore, not like the bone was aching. Do not rub a cock down the back so firmly that his legs kick downward and stretches his neck twice its normal length. Easy and gentle does the job. Remember this about rubbing and working a cock; common sense is an abused pharaseology and yet it has its place, but let us say it this way. Consider the cock as to what he does for himself and to himself under natural circumstances. He can chase a hen a half a day when he wishes to, but I say when he wishes to. If a cock does not wish to cooperate with you in his work, his breathing is heavy and thick, he is wild, stubborn, fat sick or overworked. Maybe you are advancing your work too rapidly. Observe him closely as you will have to be the judge. Patience, consideration and time will usually bring about good results. Remember too, a cock does not necessarily share your zeal and zest to win a cock fight. He does not know how many days he has to get ready nor how much you wish to whip and opponent. Do not let your strength, energy or ambition run away with you to the extent that you will overwork or abuse your cocks. Regularity, system, perseverance, patience and good judgment are the basis of the formula to successfully training game cocks.
It is absolute folly to assume that one can train ten cocks for fourteen days and raise the curtain at the end of fourteen days finding ten cocks ready for battle. Most usually you will find five or six of the ten cocks which will be ready and give a creditable performance. The others need another week or two and some cocks may never get ready. Then there is the cock to consider wich may get ready to fight once in a lifetime. If you have these very difficult cocks to train, they become a nuisance, and do not deserve the time and effort given to them. However, these difficult cocks can be trained when understanding what you are trying to do.
[align=center]SELECTING FOR BATTLE[/align]
Selecting for battle is a complete survey of all the details before mentioned and assembling them in your mind as well as on paper. Then make up your mind which cocks you choose to fight using standards of perfection as your guide. Do not compromise with much short of perfection. The cocks you select for battle must be all that you can think about a cock which is good on a reasonable basis. Finally his flesh must be firm, not hard, yet not soft, a well contracted or small vent and feel lighter that he really is but not dehydrated or dry, not listless feeling. He must be wide awake, anxious and looking for an opponent. It is well to remember that a complete mental note must be at hand about each cock in final selection. Selecting and training a game cock is a job for the mentally alert. A cock which feels like a firm rubber rooster is in full flesh and should be able to fight.
[align=center]POINTING A COCK FOR BATTLE[/align]
Point a cock for battle in the minds of most cockers is a real job for a magician, but this is not the case providing real judgment and knowledge have been used in the keep. It is well to assume that if a cock has been abused during the keep and dealt with unintelligently, he then can not overcome this in a week much less two or three days, hence, it is impossible to point him in the last few days of the keep which are allotted to his job. If cocks have come good all through the keep, they will point easilty when properly fed, work tapered and complete rest period. A little less feed and much more rest are the formula for pointing cock for battle. If your keep has been good, do not have too much worry about pointing your cocks. Details on pointing are to follow with your feeding routine. Holding cocks to point for battle is accomplished by two things alone. 1. Know what days and approximate hour he will fight. 2. Stagger your work and feed. If you are fighting in a multiple day event then point the cock for each separate day as if this were the only day you are to fight. If you are fighting cocks for four days, you are to assume that you are fighting four separate derbies. If you should choose to fight a cock a day later than the day scheduled, feed him the night before the fight same as the other cocks you wish to fight the same day, After the cock is pointed to fight one day and you fight him the following, it is wise to observe him closely by the standards laid down in this keep and do not use him unless he meets with the requirements. If he has lost a couple of ounces in weight and does not seem wide awake, it is well to discard him. After a cock is pointed for battle, he is usually his best for six to eight hours afterwards, but there are frequent exceptions.
[align=center]HEELING A COCK[/align]
Heeling a cock can be made an extremely controversial subject but since this keep for the greatest amount of benefit to those who use it, we will pursue the facts as this writer sees them. A two and a quarter or two and three eighths inch **** for a cock up to five pounds, four ounces and a two and five eights or two and three-quarter inch **** on all cocks above five pounds four ounces may be used. A high pointed jagger type **** is the most desirable. The **** should be snugly, not tightly,fitted to the stub of the spur and leg. Thus fitted, the concave flange will rest snugly to the light packing around the leg and the socket will fit the natural shape of the spur. When a **** is fitted in this manner and your cocks do not cut, it is well to assume that you need another pair of gaffs. Never try to set a **** according to your whims or fancy. If you twist the **** or over pack it, top or bottom, to do the job, there is a greater possibility that after the cock strikes a few blows the **** has take its natural set or slips back on the leg like the designer created it to fit. This being true, it warrants the purchase of a different pair of gaffs if a different set is desired. It is true that one of several pairs of identical gaffs will cut, whereas the others do not seem to do as well. A real strong fighting cock usually makes a pair of standard type gaffs good, but one must not depart too far from the conventional type. A good cock, a nicely made pair of gaffs well fitted and snugly tied on will usually serve the purpose well.
[align=center]CARING FOR A FOUGHT COCK[/align]
Caring for a cock to refight soon is a pet subject with this writer and it has proven a real worth while endeavor. Pardon the personal comment, but this writer campaigned during the year of 1954 in what is considered the country's major competition areas with about forty cocks, and won or made a considerable showing in all events entered. Some of these cocks were fought six and seven times and one of these cocks which proved to be outstanding was fought thirteen times in one season. Let us see what we have done to the cocks in the process of training. We have take him from a slightly overfleshed cock down to a perfect physique which required taking off flesh and removing excess moisture. And too, it is well to remember that his nervous system has been tuned to almost a breaking point. Assuming that this has been successfully accomplished, now let us reverse the process of training. Put your cock in a nice pen on the ground without much litter and feed him generously of things as different to the keep feed as possible. Keep the corn out of his diet unless it is severely cold. In short, give him plenty of rest, pleasure and feed. In a few days his weight will rise about three to six ounces above his fighting weight. By weighing and thoroughly examining the cock when empty and deciding he has regained his moisture and original flesh, he may be put either in the keep or the preconditioned pen as previously described. If you stay on the job, and exercise your best judgment with your cocks, they may be fought seven or eight times a year if not badly injured and retrained each time if this plan is pursued.
[align=center]COCKHOUSE DO'S AND DON'TS[/align]
Assuming that the preconditions and selection of birds to train have been intelligently handled, we will now set forth on a fourteen day routine of work and feed.
Take your cock from the overnight stall to your work table. Give him six runs across the work table. The work table should be an old half-bed mattress or even a new one, which is better. Three good flirts two feet high, one stretch exercise, two climb exercises. Rub him generously and freely without quick jerking motions and any excessive hand waving about his face as this is the time that you must make a good or bad impression on the cock. Now drop this cock in a cool out pen where there is no draft and allow him to become normal in respiration and scratch about a little while you are working another cock. As you have finished with the second cock, remove the first cock from the cool out pen and place in the overnight stall, continue this process until all cocks are worked. Now feed two rounded tablespoonful of oatmeal and buttermilk which has soaked overnight. Give one cod liver oil pellet or ganule after morning workout only. At nine or ten o'clock in the morning rub all cocks down generously and pitch them into fly pens or scratch pens until time for their night work. All cocks should be fed as suggested in the keep for the noon day feed.
Repeat same work and feed routine at night.
Work, one stretch, five flirts, five climbs, 6 runs. Feed grain, a level tablespoon in the morning, well rounded tablespoonful at night, Flollow your same cooling and scratching routine as described for the first day. This is his first grain feed of the keep with a cod liver oil pellet in the morning only, lettuce, nutmeat or banana at noon.
Repeat same work and feed routing at night.
Two stretches, five flirts, five climbs, ten runs. Repeat same stretch and cool out routine as described in second day, except increase his grain feed to a well rounded tablespoon in the morning and a heaping tablespoonful at night. Now the cock is on full feed, and the only thing that will vary for the next few days is the amount of work which you will give him, unless upon cloose examination you find that he is not throwing his grain and if this is the case, cut his grain a little for one more feed until he does begin to throw it.
Repeat same work and feed routing at night.
Two stretches, ten flirts, five climbs, ten runs. Cod liver oil pellet in the morning and repeat same feed and scratch routine as last mentioned. Work night and morning.
Three stretches, ten flirts, ten climbs, fifteen runs. Cod liver oil pellet in the morning and same feed and work routine as before. Work night and morning.
Three stretches, ten flirts, fifteen climbs, twenty runs. Cod liver oil pellet in the morning and same feed and work routine as before. Work morning and night.
Three stretches, fifteen flirts, fifteen climbs, twenty-five runs. Cod liver oil in the morning and feed all cocks two or three tablespoonful of oatmeal and buttermilk night and morning with same noon day feed as mentioned before Continue same cool out and scratch routine as before established. Work night and morning.
Three stretches, twenty flirts, twenty climbs, twenty-five runs. Cod liver oil pellet in the morning and feed one rounded tablespoon of grain mixture in the morning and heaping tablespoonful at night. Continue same cool out, scratch and rubbing routine as before established. Work night and morning.
Fourth stretchs, twenty flirts, twenty-five climbs, thirty runs. Cod liver oil pellet in the morning and same grain feed, same cool out and scratch routine as for eighth day. Work night and morning.
Four stretches, twenty-five flirts, thirty climbs, thirty-five runs. No cod liver oil pellet for the remainder of the keep. Add one-fourth of the white of a hard boiled egg, morning only, to the grain feed (egg white). From this day for the remainder of the keep, do not use fly pens or high roost perch poles nor liter over two inches deep, as we are beginning new to store up energy and taper off on the work of the cock. Use same feed, cool out routine as before described. Cock may be left all day in a medium sized scratch pen. Work night and morning.
Two stretches, ten flirts, tenty climbs, twenty run. Feed, cool out, scratch as described in tenth day. Work night and morning.
One stretch, two flirts, ten climbs, ten runs. Feed one-fourth of the white of a hard boiled egg per cock with your regular morning and night grain feed. Scratch thirty minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon. Leave in overnight stalls for the rest of the day. Work night and morning.
One stretch, one flirt, one climb, two runs. Scratch five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon. Leave in overnight stalls all day. Feed one fourth of the white of a hard boiled egg per cock with the regular grain feed night and morning. It is desirable to cover the coops loosely so that plenty of air may be had, but make the coops as dark as possible to keep the cocks perfectly quiet and calm all day. Make as little noise and as few trips to the cockhouse as possible. The noon day feed on this day shoudl consist of a few bites of the white of a hard boiled egg and two or three picks of yellow cracked corn. No lettuce, no banana, no nutmeat on this day.
Feed the cocks one fourth of a feed if the cocks fight about noon, feed one half of the feed if they fight in the afternoon. If he fights at night, feeda full morning feed and a bite or two of corn and egg white at noon. Keep cocks dark and quiet untill time to heel. Just before heeling, the cock may be dropped into a scratch coop long enough to kick about a dozen or so strokes, then he is ready to heel.
Grain feed night and morning every day except first and seventh day of keep. It will take from two to two and one-half pounds of feed a cock through fourteen day keep. Use the same mixture as use in the precondition and mix in a large can so all feed may be mixed at one time for all cocks through the keep. For example, if you have one cock use about two pounds of mixture -- four pounds for two cocks -- six pounds for three cocks, etc. Now, this is important to avoid any quick change of feed. And too, after the first four days of the keep, you will begin to add to this can of mixed feed. From the fourth day on, every time you use feed from your mixture, you will replace the same amount with good clean yellow corn chops. The corn chop mixture will consist of ninety per cent yellow corn (common field variety) and ten per cent yellow pop corn. When the corn mixture is added to your original mixture, stir well to blend the corn in. As you add corn each day fro the amount of mixture removed each day, you will approach a full mixture of pure corn. After the fourth daysame as the case of adding the corn mixture, you will add one heaping tablespoon washed clean oats which have been soaked in condensed milk all day or night, whichever the case may be. These oats are added to your mixture after you have put the proper amount of feed in your pan, washed it with clear water and are ready to feed your cocks. One heaping tablespoon of oats above mentioned to every six cocks. A generous amount of medium sized granite grit must be fed at all times can be discontinued last three days. Stir these well into your feed mixture and add a little condensed milk, but discontinue milk after tenth day of keep.
A mixture of one-half condensed milk and one-half water may be given generously to replace drinking water for first ten days of keep. Give your fat cocks the milk mixture one day and plain clean water the next, however your thin cocks may have the milk mixture every day for the first ten days of the keep. Bear in mind that cups and feed pans must be well cleaned and sunned when milk is used. After working cocks in the morning for first ten days of keep, a cod liver oil pellet may be given. A pellet which is high in Vitamin A and D is necessary. After the ninth day you may begin to feed white of hardboiled egg to every for cocks. The twelfth and thirteenth day white of an egg maybe fed twice each day, night and mornong, in same proportion as mentioned above. All feed should be washed before feeding but well drained. When milk is being fed, it can be added after washing feed. Milk is to be discontinued in all forms after the tenth day. Oaks maybe soaked in water from the tenth day on until the fourteenth day. Water should be kept before the cock all through the keep except the last two days. The twelfth and thirteenth day after you have fed night and morning, place a cup of water and close the cocks up. Try to encourage moisture through drinking until the last two days and particularly the last two feeds. No water at all on fight day. Never change water source nor type during your keep.
When cocks do not turn out well, there is usually no single thing to blame but there are many things too small to attract much attention and they have added up against your cock. It is rarely ever the feed if a conventional pattern is followed. It is nice to see cocks jump at the stalls and pound the feeding cups, but if he looks and acts axious at all times, he is too hungry - increase his feed. If he sits idly around and does not show life and vigor, decrease his feed. Observe him closely , he maybe sick. Meat maybe fed three or four times during the keep at noon preferably, but night feed will do. A ball around the size of a marble. Boiled lean beef well ground and fed at noon on the twelfth day of the keep is good. Never make an abrupt change in feed. If anything is to be added or taken away from the feed, do it gradually. Work and feed should be eleven hours apart such as, seven o'clock in the morning and six o'clock at night. Once a routine is established, it is wise not to vary it, even ten minutes one way or the other. Routine is of the greatest importance.
If you wish to convert this keep into a short heel keep just add about one third more work and rest one more day at the end of the keep which will make a fifteen day keep instead of a fourteen day keep.
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