New Opportunities for Gamefowl

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by varidgerunner, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Suffice it to say that there are several people out there that fancy gamefowl. The Show Off Your Games thread is evidence of that with nearly 600 pages. We do not need to get into areas that violate forum rules, but we can't deny that gamefowl were selected for their intelligence and athletic abilities. Their former uses insured a culling program far surperior to what many breeders can carry out. This made them a very strong type of chicken, and that has proven itself with their many historical genetic contributions to many breeds that we enjoy today. Who knows when they may be needed in the future, with some of the diseases we have today.

    If they are relegated to purely fowl bred to a show standard, many believe that many of their qualities could be lost forever.What if we could develop a competition that would showcase their talents in a socially acceptable manner. A points based show, with a portion scored on physical characteristics of course, but with competitions designed to judge qualities that have long been desirable traits. But not the old way, I'm pretty sure that greyhounds had to quit using real rabbits in the little basket that they raced after, and greyhound racing itself is out of favor, but without racing greyhounds are just skinny dogs. I'm thinking of maybe some kind of race, through a maze maybe. A sweater to keep their wings shut and let them hop up on a perch for a treat, not unlike competitive mule jumping. Maybe some kind of weight pulling competition. People do a lot of things with their animals, shutzhund, competitive rabbit jumping events even. It's a shame we can't figure out a way to keep these birds around and enjoy them that would be acceptable and maybe even become popular.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  2. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would probably be beneficial to have some input on a project of this nature, from someone who actually knows what traits need to be showcased in order to preserve them. I'm thinking strength, speed, and agility, but maybe intelligence as well. Don't know how to do it, but endurance would be important. Then you have gameness, or courage. That would be difficult to quantify in a socially acceptable, humane manner. Maybe after being nice and tired from being benched, raced through a maze, a little high jumping and some weight lifting you could see how he likes looking at the rooster in the mirror. Maybe the rooster in the mirror could be what he lifts a weight on a pulley trying to get to. Chicken olympics. People watch stupider things on TV every day.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I suggest more than one type of competition to approximate a triathlon. My games were selected for pit quality in the pit only after surviving the rearing phase on a walk which these days is largely replaced by the cockers hand and eye which does not always yield the same results. Walk reared birds had to see to their own nutrition, reared their own offspring, had to contend with parasites and either evade or even repel predators. With respect to predators that had to be quick to run and fly, both of which are measurable.

    Flying ability could be a competition which would require training to get birds to fly from point to point as required to facilitate measurements.

    Sustained use of legs for jumping and dodging could be measured somehow with running up a staircase trying to stay on a shaking surface for a given amount of time like a bull ride which would also require training.

    A dimension of smarts could be in terms of how long it takes birds to find food items and bird may need to fly or jump through obstacles of some sort to find items. Mine do some funky stuff chasing grasshoppers.


    No matter how you do this, in the end you will still be selecting for at least a slightly different set of attributes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  4. JShubin

    JShubin Overrun With Chickens

    I've thought about this a lot... I have always wanted to show off the abilities of my fowl but no humane competition exists other than showing (which is mostly cosmetic).

    I have been thinking of a way to exercise my fowl with a treadmill like contraption. And I think this idea could be used for competition. Imagine two opposing treadmills with a fence or glass separating two running roosters. The roosters would be so eager to run towards eachother they would keep running. The rooster who possesses a higher degree of gameness and stamina would last the longest, therefore winning the competition. I figured this could take a long time so I think adding incline to the treadmills or possible little built in hurdles to jump over would decrease the time it takes for a rooster to fall off or give up. Obviously the whole thing would have to be inclosed in a cage to avoid them from going around...

    [​IMG]
    Quick drawing showing the concept.


    This is only one idea which doenst address other abilities, like flying or strength.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I wonder if we could make so you had a rooster looking dummy that real rooster could chase for a similar result. I have seen the long distance chases back and forth that clearly where tests of endurance.
     
  6. JShubin

    JShubin Overrun With Chickens

    Yeah I thought about that but the excitment of a competition requires two simultaneous competitors... For example Drag racing can be done with one car at a time, only comparing numbers, but it would be boring.

    I think a tug o war between roosters would be interesting... Have the roosters harnessed, facing eachother, with the rope managed by pulleys so as they try to get nearer to the opponent the opponent is pulled backwards until the leading rooster crosses the centerline. The problem with this is, most roosters are tethered out on a yard next to other roosters, so they may just stand there thinking that its a normal day.
     
  7. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I even thought about high tech stuff like a interactive computer touch screen with shock force sensors and accuracy scoring. I'm not that high tech but I know it exhists. Video games for roosters! I thought about something similar to your treadmill design, but withpulleys lifting a weight, that could be increased and decreased and handicapped for the competitors own weight.

    My idea for a "jump pen" would be a cylinder about two or three feet in diameter of 2x4 wire. roost poles could be inserted at different heights with a cup of meal worms. Dump 'em in the cage and measure their vertical lift.

    Care would have to be taken to avoid what some states would consider "training for illegal purposes". A rooster dummy might not fly with your authority types, but I don't see how they could say anything about tasks performed for treats. If you could ever get something like this to take off, then you might be able to get more realistic with your competitive events. Legal precedents would already be set, so it would be harder to accuse the "third time chicken olympic champion" of doing something illegal. Something like this would probably garner a lot of interest from the general public, and it could be used to turn around the dark image that people in this country have for "gamefowl" in general.

    Never ceases to amaze me, that people could look at a pen full of bantam silkies and think nothing of it, but if a man wants to raise "gamefowl" people automatically assume the worst. This idea would at least give people something to "justify" their birds exhistence, besides the unbelievable idea that, "I just like to look at them."
     
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  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Use of a dummy will not fall within the realm of known training for illegal purposes. At least not within the typical realm or reality.
     
  9. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any ideas on training birds to fly a distance flight? The problem would be getting them back after such a flight.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Follow links and see some of the videos. Both youtube ID's are mine. So trained birds can easily be trained to come back to you and with some of mine they will actually fly up into your hand.


    First concern chicks / juveniles flying in house.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/centrarchid1?feature=watch


    Balance are adults flying outside.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/FlyingChicken1000


    I use birds in very public settings where tameness and flying ability come in handy for demonstrating behavior and promoting interactions when birds and public.
     

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