Breeding Theories By Lawrence Sangaree
The breeding of game fowl requires, among other things, a lot of thought, time, experience and a great deal of patience, as well as foresight. Remember, I said the breeding of game fowl, not near games or just game acting fowl. They all come in an entirely different category. First, let's discuss the breeding game fowl; I mean real honest win or die trying game fowl. They can be bred and they can be perpetuated. However, to breed this kind of fowl, you first must have them available to breed from, and mortally wounded. Their eyes reflect the fierce determination that is in their heart. That determination is what makes a gamecock a gamecock. He's determined to win--to completely and savagely wipe his opponent from the face of the earth.
Let's say you do have that kind of game chickens, and don't get me wrong, they can be gotten. The old Kearney Whitehackles were one of the families of really game fowl. They were slow and not considered to be the best fighters in the world, but their gameness could never be questioned, and that alone made them very popular. There were and there are other families of deep game fowl that are considered to be just as game as the old Kearney's, but that is beside the point.
Say you have a family of pure real deep game fowl. Now remember that even the gamest of game fowl will sometimes throw a bad one, and bad breeding practices will increase the chances of this. One instance of bad breeding practice is to put all your hens and pullets with one cock and just set all or some of the eggs. That is known as flock breeding and is definitely a method no game fowl breed would practice. It is best to single mate, but not entirely always necessary. If you have single mated before and have hens that are already proven by single mating and you have no doubt of their ability to throw game stags, then you can put these hens, say two or three or four, but not over that, with your brood cock, assuming that he too, has been bred before and his progeny were desirable types. This then, is a brood yard of proven selected individuals. The offspring from this yard after being culled deliberately and ruthlessly can be saved back for future brood stock. Of course it's wise to fight the cocks you intend to breed later, if of course you cannot tell which of the hens each stag is from, and this is very unlikely with pure-bred game fowl. If the stags were from a single mating it is an entirely different matter, as here, you can breed a brother to the stags you have fought, one that has not been injured in battle, provided of course he is of good confirmation and with plenty of nervous energy. Save this stag of your selection back and breed him as a cock over his mother or one of her full sisters that has thrown good game stags. The old cock can be bred back to his daughters, and I would go over each one with a sharp eye for conformation and strength. These two assets usually go hand in hand. You'll want the ones that are the most active, but not necessarily the most quarrelsome, although if they are quarrelsome and have all the other assets--breed them.
Now--after you get offspring from these two yards of your own breeding--that is the stag over his mother or her proven full sister and the cock over his daughters, which are sisters to the stag, but bear in mind that I said breed the stag when he becomes a cock and the pullets would also naturally be considered hens by then.
The get-from these two yards would then be cousins and you can take the ones selected for breeding and breed them cousin to cousin. Or you can take the offspring from the old cock and his daughters mating and breed a stag from this back over the old hen, mother to the cock over the other yard, and therefore, by the same token, take a cock from mating of the other yard and breed him to the hens from the cock - daughter mating.
Using this method you can have several families of the same strain and none of them be too closely related to breed together and throw strong, active offspring. You will also be able to keep this family of fowl pure using this method and also keep them game.