Xyooj Aviaries
Peb muaj mov plej tshiab muag. 
Home THAI GAME FOWL | OUR FARM | OUR BIRDS | AVAILABILITY | PHOTO GALLERY | CONTACT US
 Thai Game Fowl
 

The thai game fowl is just one in the list of birds belonging to the asian, or oriental, game fowl group, which also includes the ga noi don breed from Vietnam, the burmese (aka. pama) breed from Burma, the asil from the Middle East and India (arguably the oldest of all asiatic game fowl breeds), and the shamo of Japan. As its name suggests, the thai game fowl was developed in Thailand, where it is used in cockfighting. Cockfighting is somewhat of a nationally-recognized sport in Thailand, and many people actually make their living there by breeding or training these birds for competition, or by manufacturing products for use by those involved in the sport.

There are three main forms of competition in Thailand - gaff/knife (ie. artificial spurs), naked heel (ie. natural spurs), and padded/covered spurs. Each form of competition requires certain fighting characteristics on the part of the bird in order for it to stand a reasonable chance of winning. Gaff/knife and naked heel competitions emphasize the usage of spurs, so birds that strike accurately with their spurs have a distinct advantage over those that don't, or can't. However, in padded/covered spur competitions, spurs are not used, so birds instead must rely on the accuracy of striking with their feet and the power that comes with each strike to win. Padded/covered spur competition, with bouts fought in rounds of set number of minutes and with the birds wearing gloves to pad and neutralize their spurs, can be likened to the human sport of boxing, such that it has come to be commonly referred to as 'cockboxing.' All-in-all, it is this third type of competition that is the most humane and also the most effective at highlighting the strengths of this game fowl breed.

Changing with the times. Within the past several years, and as a way of improving the image of cockfighting in Thailand, many officials, particularly those who oversee the various indigenous fowl conservation societies and cockfighting associations, have moved to make covered spur competition the official cockfighting method in the country. As this method is dedicated equally to showcasing the skills of the fowl and to ensuring that every bird is protected as much as possible in the process, it is certainly the best way to ensure that this traditional sport continues to endure.

The thai game fowl comes in many colors ranging from solid white to gray, to black, and even brown. However, the stereotypical thai game fowl has black feathers with a metallic green sheen and blood-red back feathers and neck hackles. It is this stereotypical image of the thai game fowl that most of those who are new to keeping these birds have in mind.

Currently there are several standardized thai game fowl variants, including the Pradu Hang Dam (Dark Black Tail) and Leung Hang Khao (Yellow White Tail). Despite their color-oriented names however, the distinctions between these variants go much deeper than simple physical differences, as many of these variants come from specific parts of Thailand and hold significant historical and traditional importance in their areas of origin. One of the best examples of this is the Leung Hang Khao variant of northern Thailand, which is said to have originated from the very rooster kept by King Naresuan.

Today, there are many associations and clubs within Thailand that are dedicated to promoting this breed. Although some of these clubs deal with the fighting aspects of this breed, many more are dedicated instead to its beauty and contribute greatly to preserving pedigreed lineages and to sponsoring exhibitions of these beautiful birds all across the country. The following pictures show some of the variants of the thai game fowl:

Source: www.thaicockfight.com. The site is no longer active.

Although the traditional and historical roles that the thai game fowl plays in its country of origin are well-recognized and are still very important in their own right, it is ultimately the fighting ability of this breed that remains by far the most valued and most sought-after quality. The thai game fowl breed in general is known for its quickness and fighting intellect, and a skilled bird, or one from a bloodline known for skilled birds, can easily be worth tens of times more than a regular bird; while one that has already won multiple times can potentially be worth hundreds of times more than a regular bird. Such value is not undeserved. In Thailand where these birds are fought, bouts can have purses ranging into the hundreds of thousands of baht, so it is not surprising that birds with the skills to compete at those levels can be worth tens of thousands of baht or more.

In its native land, the thai game fowl is known as gaichon. "Gai" means "chicken," while "chon" means "battle" or "fight." - a testament to the heritage of this breed.

"Soom" means "chicken coop" - just in case you're curious why some thai sites pertaining to these birds have "soom" in their titles.

After generations of selective breeding aimed at producing highly skilled birds, there are currently about as many different fighting styles as there are color patterns. These styles range from the common standup style where a bird simply stands there and kicks, much like how a boxer fights, to the rare and highly effective feather-plucker style.

The thai game fowl's popularity means that today it is not restricted only to its country of origin. In fact, this breed can now be found in virtually all corners of Southeast Asia. Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and even Vietnam and Indonesia have significant populations of thai game fowl. This breed has also been exported to places even further away, including countries in the Middle East, South America, and of course here in the United States.

Photos of thai game fowl and facilities in Thailand. Source: www.thaicockfight.com. The site is no longer active.
Thailand postal stamps honoring the native Thai fowl. Issued: August 01, 2001.
Thailand postal stamps honoring the native Thai fowl.
Issued: August 01, 2001.
 
Further Reading >> Articles
Some important notes. All asiatic game fowl breeds have as natural features the peacomb (rounded comb) and small or nonexistent wattles (the flaps of skin under the lower jaw). There may be some bloodlines within each breed that exhibit the high flat comb and large wattles that most associate with chickens, but these are exceptions. This is a very important point to make because some who are unfamiliar with these breeds believe that they have been "cropped" (ie, their combs and wattles have been removed), but this is not so. These breeds were bred this way and their peculiar combs and wattles are genetic and are a natural part of their makeup.

Asiatic game fowl breeds are typically shown in their native lands as they naturally are, that is, without their combs and wattles being cropped. The standards of perfection, specifically, the Thai standard of perfection regarding the thai game fowl breed, recognizes the birds in their natural states. This may be in contrast to the western game breeds, which tend to be shown with their combs and wattles cropped.
Send email Print this page Home Return to top
Guestbook | Links
Yahoo! | Google | Firefox | MSIE | Disclaimer/Legal
Articles | FAQs | Sitemap
Copyright © 2004-2009. Xyooj Aviaries.
1