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Mike Strecker's Conditioning The Gamecock

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  1. Mike Strecker's Conditioning The Gamecock
  2. Special thanks to Camarines of sabong.net.ph
  3.  
  4. As you can see by the cover of this book I didn't use the word KEEP. The meaning of the word keep, is a two week conditioning period; and there are many people that think one can work with a bird for two weeks and he is ready to fight.
  5. The people that are successful in this game know that the keep is 365 days long. They know that the keep starts in the brood-pen and continues for the next 18 to 24 months.
  6. The breeder that is constantly on top in this game understands this and he culls very heavy. If he hatches 100 stags, he realizes that 20 to 30 will be good enough to make it to the pit, the other 70 to 80 have long since gone to chicken heaven!
  7. In view of this, you must realize that to be successful
  8.  
  9. in this sport you must cull, cull,  cull. !!!
  10.  
  11. If you don't eliminate the birds that are not perfect in every way, you should give this book to one of your friends and take up the game of golf, as you will never make it in this sport.
  12. In genetics we say like begets like," this means that if you are six feet tall and your wife is six feet tall, all your children should be tall.
  13.  
  14. 1
  15.  
  16. Likewise, if you breed a dunghill rooster to a dunghill hen, all their offspring should be good for the stew pot only!
  17. Now you are thinking that if you breed an exceptional rooster to an exceptional hen, all their stags will be aces, unfortunately this is not true.
  18. The Mendelian law of heredity tells us that if you breed two very good specimens together, you should get 20% very good offsprings, 60% average and 20% below average. So if you breed your very best roosters and hens together and get one hundred stags, twenty of these stags will be aces, sixty will be average, and twenty will be absolute dunghills.
  19.  
  20. BROOD FOWL
  21.  
  22. Your breeding stock is the most important fowl on your yard, if you don't have good brood stock, you will never produce ace stags.
  23. Over the years, the biggest complaint I have heard from people is that they ordered a trio and this trio produced junk!   It is a gamble to order brood stock through the mail, it is definitely better to go to the man’s house and pick them out yourself, then if they don't turn out, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
  24. A good brood cock should be medium to high station; the spur should sit low on the leg, just about one inch up from the prop toe. The eyes
  25.  
  26. 2
  27.  
  28. should be a bright red, heavy plumage with a full tail. His body should be like a football, big breast, wide back and tapering down to the vent.
  29. The same goes for the hen; she should be full feathered, good bright eyes, full breast and bright red comb and wattles. A lot of people like to breed from a hen that has spurs, I have found that it doesn't matter, the best producers I have ever seen had no spurs. Remember, a hen with long spurs will break the eggs when she gets into the nest.
  30. The only way you will ever know which hen or rooster is producing the best battle stags is to single mate. Then you must toe-punch or band the chicks and keep accurate records, if you don't, you will only be guessing as to whom produced that ACE stag!
  31. When you set up your brood pens, worm and delouse the brood fowl and trim the feathers around their vents. If either the cock or hen is fat, place them in a coop with deep straw in it and feed only a tablespoon of oats per day until they loose the excess gut fat. Fat cocks won't mate and fat interferes with the hens egg laying.
  32. To get good hatchability and healthy chicks, use Biotin Stress vitamins in all the brood fowls water all through the breeding season.
  33.  
  34.  
  35. 3
  36.  
  37. BABY CHICKS
  38.  
  39. When the chicks hatch, the first drink of water they take should have vitamins and antibiotics in it, mix two bags of a good poultry vitamin and one bag of Terramycin or CTC together dry in a jar, stir this mixture and put one teaspoon of the mixed powder per gallon of water. Do this every day until the chicks are a month old.
  40. Chicks need a protein level of at least 21%, so be sure your chick mash is that high or higher.
  41. At a month old, run Amprol in the chicks water for five days. Then in three weeks, run Sulquin in their water for three days. Repeat every three weeks. Amprol for five days, then in three weeks Sulquin for three days.
  42. When the chicks have been turned out where they have access to insects, bugs, etc. you must worm them. Every three to four weeks put one ounce of Wormal Granules in a pound of mash, make sure the chicks are hungry so they will eat it all in one feeding.
  43. I like my stags to run out as long as possible. When you pen your stags give them a worm pill and spray them with Sectrol to get rid of lice and mites. Always remember to give another worm pill in 10 days, as that will break the worm life cycle.
  44.  
  45. 4
  46.  
  47. Trim your stags between five and six months of age. Vitamin K will help the bleeding when you trim, so give one K tablet each day for five days before you trim, or if it is easier, put vitamin K powder in the water for a week before trimming, 1/4 teaspoon per gallon is enough.
  48. It takes a stag about nine months to reach his full growth. By nine months, most stags are in full plumage and have mature bone structure.
  49. Never be concerned if a stag won't show on another stag at under a year old, some breeds just don't mature fast; the Oriental breeds are very slow maturing and should never be fought until they are about two years old. I have found over the years that a slow maturing bird is better in the pit when he does mature.
  50. CRD
  51.  
  52. Before we get into conditioning, I want to discuss the biggest problem Cockers have today, they fight their birds with CRD in them. CRD is a chronic respiratory disease that sometimes doesn't show any symptoms at all, or when starting the keep they come down with a case of the rattles, the cock’s heads turn dark when being flirted and start rattling. Years ago they called this cock house fever, but in fact, it is a condition called stress.
  53.  
  54. 5
  55.  
  56. What is stress? First we must remember that our chickens are creatures of habit, they are used to being in their coop or on their tie-out cord. Then we take them out of this environment that they have been used to for most of their life and bring them into the cock house and start flipping them in the air and running them back and forth on the work bench.
  57. This action is completely foreign to them and their system is thrown off balance and they go into what is called a stress condition, and in this condition disease takes over.
  58. What can be done to alleviate this stress condition? The solution is simple. Five days before you start the keep, give each bird 1/2 cc of Tylan 50 in the breast muscle, then at the same time give another 1/2 cc under the skin in the back of the neck. Repeat this for five days in a row, then on the sixth day, start your two week conditioning period.
  59. In addition to the tylan shots run antibiotics and vitamins in the cocks water for five days before the start of the conditioning period and for five to seven days into the period.
  60. I use CTC, Gallimycin or Tetracycline powder with Vita-Tone vitamins. The reason I use Vita-Tone is that it contains electrolytes and electrolytes are what balance the moisture in a birds system, this will prevent him from drying out too much. Put 1/2 bag of the antibiotic in with a full
  61.  
  62. 6
  63.  
  64. bag of Vita-Tone, mix these together dry in a jar, then put one teaspoon per gallon of water and fill each cock water bowl with this. Make a fresh solution daily; if you will get into the habit of using antibiotics and vitamins, you will eliminate a lot of problems later in the keep.
  65. If you do have a rooster or two in the keep that develop a rattle or squeaky crow, then give ½ cc of either Gentamicin or LA-200 in the breast muscle morning and evening for three days. This antibiotic will usually not throw the cocks off and you can continue to condition them.
  66. If you have tried the above treatment and your birds still get exhausted after a couple pittings, you will have to get a bottle of SPECTAM injectable and give each bird one cc in the breast muscle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the last week of the conditioning period. SPECTAM is expensive, but not near as expensive as losing!!
  67.  
  68. COOPS
  69.  
  70. At this point lets talk about facilities. Facilities are things like your cock house, fly-pens, etc. A cock or stag will condition twice as good in a 4 by 12 foot pen than in a 4 by 6 foot. The bigger the fly-pen the better.
  71.  
  72. 7
  73.  
  74. One should also have some small, moveable pens. These pens can be 2 foot by 6 or 8 foot, a few tie-outs are a necessity. If you don't have a good well built cock house with enough rest stalls for each bird you are conditioning, then sell your cocks and use the money to build a cock house and good big fly-pens. No one can win in today’s competition without the proper facilities.
  75.  
  76. CONDITIONING AIDS
  77.  
  78. There is always much discussion on whether the uses of conditioning aids are essential in the conditioning of a rooster.
  79. When I am asked this question, my answer is no -- not if your fowl are receiving an adequate diet. But, what constitutes an adequate diet for a two year old cock that is spending a good portion of his day scratching in deep straw, and being exercised on the work bench?
  80. Lets take a look at the recommended nutrient levels for a rooster in the above mentioned situation.
  81. First, his daily intake of Protein should be at least 18%. To give a simple explanation; each hundred pounds of feed must contain 18 pounds of digestible protein.
  82.  
  83. 8
  84.  
  85. This brings to mind a situation that happened a few years back. I bought a bag of 20% Protein Pellets at a local feed store. The pellets looked and smelled old so I took a sample to the local college to be analyzed. The protein content of these pellets were analyzed at 9%, the fat soluble vitamins A, D, & E were almost non-existent in this sample.
  86. Now, I do not give you this example to lead you to believe that all bags of pellets you buy are deficient. However, I am saying that conditions such as heat, cold, storage time, etc., will affect and reduce the protein and vitamin content of the feed.
  87. Getting back to what a rooster needs in his daily ration to maintain top physical condition while in the keep. In addition to 18% protein, he needs vitamins and minerals. I will list a few of the more important ones with the recommended levels.
  88. Each pound of feed should contain:
  89.  
  90. 5,000 International Units (IU) of Vitamin A
  91.  
  92. 500 International Units of Vitamin D
  93.  
  94. 7.5 International Units of Vitamin E
  95.  
  96. 1 International Units of Vitamin K
  97.  
  98. 6 milligrams of Vitamin B-12
  99.  
  100. 9
  101.  
  102. In addition, the feed must contain Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, etc. The food substances of importance in the nutrition of all your chickens are Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Water.
  103. Are conditioning aids necessary? If your fowls diet is
  104.  
  105. sufficient in the above listed nutrients, then no, they definitely do not need any supplements. It is my opinion that the perfect diet is impossible to obtain. Let me give you just one example of why I say this. Hard or Eastern Wheat is 13.5% crude protein, where soft or Western Wheat is 10.8%. Oats from the mid-west states are 11.8% crude protein where the oats grown in the pacific coast states are 9%.
  106. This is the type of variables one would have to be aware of to formulate the perfect diet. It is not the intent of this book to confirm nor deny that conditioning aids are required and essential. It is to inform you of some basic nutritional requirements of poultry, the decision to use or not to use conditioning aids is entirely up to the individual, but I have always used supplements, and later on in this book I will tell you exactly when and how to use them.
  107. While we are on the subject of condition, it is very important for everyone to understand that each rooster or hen is an individual and each is
  108.  
  109. 10
  110.  
  111. different in one way or another. So, if you use conditioning aids, the instructions for use are really just guidelines, no set of instructions can work exactly the same on each bird.
  112. For example: some birds are very active, they are scratching and moving all day long. This type of bird naturally needs more feed because he is expending much more energy than a lazy bird that sits on his roost half the day.
  113. As I said before, all the keeps and conditioning aids are very good, but they cannot replace common sense, For example, if your bird is "coming-on" too soon, then you must cut back on what you have been giving him for a few days, if he is not "coming-on" fast enough you must increase. If there was a fool-proof, cut and dried method of conditioning all chickens, then the score board would read all draws!
  114. FEED
  115.  
  116. Ask anyone who consistently shows his fowl in top shape, what his secret is and he will tell you that he is a feeder, not a conditioner. By "feeder," I don't mean just throwing some grain to your fowl. The term "feeder" means providing everything needed to put your fowl in top physical
  117.  
  118. 11
  119.  
  120. condition. The best feed to put your fowl in top shape is Racing Pigeon Feed and 20% Protein Pellets. Mix two parts Pigeon Feed to one part 20% Pellets.
  121. If you have had good luck with a certain type of feed, don't change, as anything lacking in the feed, the supplements will correct. Just remember one important fact, grains (wheat, corn, milo, etc.) are converted to fat in your fowl. Protein is converted to muscle, so you can't build muscle without an adequate supply of Protein in the diet.
  122. How do we know if we are feeding enough protein? We are going to mix 75 pounds of feed, 5O pounds is Pigeon Feed which is 17% protein, 25 pounds is 20% protein Pellets. The Pigeon Feed is 66.6% of the 75 pounds we are mixing. The pellets are 33.4% of the 75 pounds we are mixing. Thus you multiply the percent of the feed by the percent of protein: 66.6 times 17 = 11.32 (the 17 is the percent of the Pigeon Feed) 33.4 times 20 = 6.68 (the 20 is the percent of the pellets).  Add 11.32 and 6.68 together and that equals 18, so this feed is 18% protein.
  123. It is a good idea to add one cup of Calf Manna to each 20 pounds of the above feed mixture. Also keep a can of oyster shell in each of your fly pens, oyster shell provides calcium for strong bones and hard spurs.
  124.  
  125.  
  126. 12
  127.  
  128. PRE CONDITIONING
  129.  
  130. How long does it take? The answer lies in the individual bird, if he is not too fat or too thin, two weeks may be enough. If the bird is in poor condition when you start, it may take four to six weeks to bring him to top condition.
  131. If I have a bird that is too fat, I place a red clothes-pin on the door of his coop, if he is too thin I place a blue clothes-pin, this way when I go by to feed I know whether to feed less or more by just looking at his mark.
  132. Lets say you want to enter a derby in 4 weeks and you have pre-selected 10 cocks. Bring these birds in the cock house and saw their spurs to a length of about 1/2 inch, cut the feathers from around the vent, spray each bird with Spectrol Spray to get rid of any lice or mites. At this point I also give each cock 1/4 cc of Ivomec just under the skin, Ivomec gets rid of worms and lice and won't throw the birds off, we repeat this shot in two
  133.  
  134. 13
  135.  
  136. weeks. Weigh each bird and mark his weight on the rest coop he will be in during the conditioning period.
  137. Now put each bird in his rest coop and give them all the bread and milk they will eat, this cleans their system out. Leave them in their rest coop over night and in the morning, spar each bird two or three buckles, turn the birds lose two feet apart, this teaches them to score fast.
  138. Put four inches of good clean straw or shucks in each fly pen and after sparring, put the cock in his fly pen. At this point we put a hen or pullet in with the rooster and leave her with him for the next week. Just throw the feed into the straw morning and evening for this week, put just two ounces of feed morning and evening per fly pen, that is one ounce per bird twice a day, this will get the cock down a few ounces below his fighting weight and that is what we want.
  139. I like to take a thin cock and build him up rather than a fat cock and reduce him, a cock that had to be reduced the last month will be too weak to win.
  140. Now the hen has been in with the cock for a week we will take her out, get the hen at night, never go into a coop during the day when a hen and rooster are together, the rooster will naturally think you are after his
  141.  
  142. 14
  143.  
  144. hen, this causes man fighters! So always take the hen or cock out of the coop at night.
  145. At this point it is three weeks before the derby, bring the cocks into the cock house and weigh them, give them all the bread and milk they will eat and rest them overnight. The next morning spar for two or three pittings. Turn the birds lose just two feet apart, this will teach them to score quickly.
  146. Don't be impressed with the high-flyer, wing-floppers type, watch their legs to be sure they are hitting up under the wings. The best rooster man I ever knew would put short gaffs on the birds when he sparred, this way he could see when they would hang and knew if they were cutting.
  147. When sparring, I grade each cock between 1 and 10, an ace cock that spars like an ace every time will get a 10, an average one will get a 5. Keep a record of how you graded each bird, after a few sparrings you will see which are the better ones, as they win score high each and every time.
  148. The next week we just move the birds from the fly pen to the small sun coop, to the string walk, then back to the fly pen. In the morning throw one ounce of feed into the straw in the fly pen, if possible, go out at noon and move the cocks to the small wire sun coops and leave them there for two hours, then to the tie cord for two hours, then back in the fly pen where
  149.  
  150. 15
  151.  
  152. you will throw two ounces of feed for the evening meal for the next two weeks. Do this every day
  153. LAST TWO WEEKS
  154.  
  155. During the last two weeks we give the birds supplements, I will list them and explain what they do for your rooster:
  156. B-12 Tablets - Stimulates the appetite, adds necessary constituents to the blood, which gives him oxygen and prevents anemia.
  157. Conditioning Tablets - Provides all the remaining vitamin/mineral requirements. Makes up for anything lacking in the feed.
  158. Cod Liver Oil Capsules - Insures an adequate supply of Proteins and Vitamins A, D &  E.
  159. Vita-Plus with Iron - A highly concentrated vitamin, amino acid supplements.
  160. Hi-Cal Liquid.   A concentrated caloric supplement to store energy in the birds over the last few days.
  161. The above items are available by calling Toll-Free: 1-800-765-0065.
  162.  
  163. 16
  164.  
  165. Now that you understand what each item does, you can see that this supplement will provide everything needed to bring out the best in your rooster.
  166. REMEMBER TO FEED AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY, IF YOU FEED AT
  167.  
  168. SEVEN IN THE MORNING, THEN FEED AGAIN AT SEVEN IN THE
  169.  
  170. EVENING KEEP CLEAN, FRESH WATER IN FRONT THROUGH THE
  171.  
  172. CONDITIONING PERIOD.  WE DON'T TAKE THE WATER UNTIL THE  
  173.  
  174. 13TH DAY.
  175.  
  176. DAY ONE
  177.  
  178. THE MORNING FEED IS ALWAYS THROWN INTO THE STRAW IN THE SCRATCH PEN. THIS WILL WORK THE COCKS LEGS NATURALLY AS
  179. WE DON'T RUN THE BIRDS ON THE WORK BENCH.
  180.  
  181. If the derby is on Saturday, then start day one on a Sunday. derby is on Sunday, start day one on Monday.
  182.  
  183.  
  184. 17
  185. •     Bring birds in from the fly pens about 30 minutes before evening feed time.
  186. •     Spar two or three buckles, turn them lose 2 feet apart. Grade each bird and bring into cock house.
  187. •     Weigh each bird and mark his weight on his rest coop.
  188.        
  189. •     Rub and massage each birds legs, body and down his back for 3 or 4 minutes, this will relax him and also improve circulation.
  190. •     Give each bird a Cod Liver Oil capsule and 1/4 cc of Ivomec just under the skin, under the skin anywhere is fine.
  191. •     Fill their cups with bread and milk, when they finish, put them back in the fly pen.
  192. DAY TWO
  193.  
  194. The morning feed is always thrown into the straw in the scratch pens.
  195.  
  196. At noon move cocks to small wire coop for two hours, then move them to a tie cord for two hours, then back to the fly pen.
  197. About 30 minutes before time for the evening feed, bring birds into cock house.
  198.  
  199. 18
  200. •     Fly each bird 10 times (put your hands under each wing, take a step back from work bench and let him fly to the bench.)
  201. •     Then rub and massage the bird’s legs and down the back for a minute.
  202. •     Then give a conditioning tablet and put him in his stall.
  203.        
  204. •     Put two ounces of feed in each cup and on the feed put half a dropper of Vita-Plus.  After they finish eating, put back in scratch pen.
  205. DAY THREE
  206.  
  207. In the morning throw one ounce of feed into straw in scratch pens.
  208.  
  209. If possible, go out at noon and move to small pens for two hours, then to tie cords for two hours, then back to fly
  210.  
  211. pens until 30 minutes before feed time.
  212.  
  213. •     Bring birds into cock house and give them 15 flys.
  214. •     Rub them down for a minute or two.
  215. •     Give each bird one Cod Liver Capsule.
  216. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus.
  217. After feeding put cocks back in fly pen.
  218.  
  219. 19
  220. DAY FOUR
  221.  
  222. In the morning throw one ounce of feed into straw in scratch pens.
  223.  
  224. At noon move birds to small pen for two hours, then to tie cords for two hours, then back to fly pens until 30 minutes
  225.  
  226. before feed time.
  227.  
  228. •     Weigh each bird and mark his weight on his rest coop.
  229. •     Give each bird 20 flys.
  230. •     Rub birds down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  231.        
  232. •     Give each bird a Conditioning Tablet.
  233.        
  234. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus. After feeding put cocks back in fly pen.
  235. Morning feed in straw, if straw is bunched into one corner, rake it until it covers the entire area.
  236. At noon move birds to small coops for two hours, then to tie cords for two hours, then back to scratch pens.
  237. •     Bring cocks into cock house and give 25 flys, at this point the birds should take the 25 flys without breaking their beak or getting tired.
  238.  
  239.  
  240. 2O
  241. •     Rub down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  242.        
  243. •     Give one Cod Liver Oil capsule.
  244.        
  245. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus. After feeding put back in fly pens.
  246. DAY SIX
  247.  
  248. Morning feed in straw.
  249.  
  250. Move birds at noon if possible, as you can see, the cocks start to gentle down from all the moving and handling. In the pit, a gentle cock will watch his opponent and not the people.
  251. •     Bring birds into cock house and give 30 flys.
  252. •     Rub them down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  253. •     Give one vitamin B-12 tablet.
  254. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus. After feeding put cocks back in fly pens.
  255. DAY SEVEN
  256.  
  257. Morning feed is still one ounce thrown into straw or shucks.
  258.  
  259. At noon bring the birds into the cock house and put them in their rest coop;
  260.  
  261. 21
  262. Let them rest until about 30 minutes before evening feed, then spar them for three buckles. Grade each bird, if a bird hasn't scored a consistent high grade at this point, throw him out of the conditioning program and try him the next time. An ACE cock will spar good every time you spar him!!
  263. •     After sparing, rub down, no flys.
  264. •     Give each bird a Conditioning Tablet.
  265. •     Fill each cup with two ounces of feed and half a dropper of Vita-Plus.
  266. After feeding put birds back in fly pens.
  267.  
  268. DAY EIGHT
  269.  
  270. Morning feed in straw.
  271.  
  272. Move birds at noon to Small pens, then to tie out cords, then back to fly pens.
  273. Thirty minutes before feed time, bring birds into cock house.
  274.  
  275. •     Weigh each bird. At this point the bird should weigh 2 to 3 ounces more that the first time you weighed him, he should feel like a cork in your hands, not like a lead weight.
  276. •     Give each bird 40 flys.
  277.        
  278. •     Rub them down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  279.  
  280. 22
  281. •     Put two ounces of feed in each cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus. After feeding put back in fly pens.
  282.         At this point, the cocks should be "eager eaters," they should bang the bottom of the cup when you feed them.
  283.         DAY NINE
  284.        
  285.         Morning feed is one ounce in the straw.
  286.        
  287.         Move birds at noon.
  288.        
  289.         Thirty minutes before feed time bring cocks into cock house.
  290. •     Give each bird 50 flys.
  291. •     Rub down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  292. •     Put two ounces of feed in each cup and half a dropper of Vita-Plus.
  293. After feeding put back in fly pen.
  294. DAY TEN
  295.  
  296. This morning we take all the straw out of the fly pens. The cocks have worked their legs enough, if we keep the straw in the pen any longer the birds will get muscle bound and cut short in the pit.
  297.  
  298. 23
  299. The morning feed will be in their feed cup. Put one ounce of feed in each cup and hang the cup on the fly pen, they are not used to eating out of the cup in the fly pen, so you may have to show them where it is.
  300. If you have time, move the birds at noon, if not, leave them in the fly pen until 30 minutes before feed time.
  301. •     Bring cocks into cock house and give 40 flys.
  302.        
  303. •     Rub each bird for 2 to 3 minutes.
  304.        
  305. •     Give one Conditioning Tablet to each bird.
  306.        
  307. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup. Today we start the Hi-Cal, so add half a dropper of Hi-Cal to the feed. After feeding bring birds back to fly pen.
  308. DAY ELEVEN
  309.  
  310. Morning feed is one ounce in the cups in the fly pens.
  311.  
  312. If you have time move the birds at noon, if not, leave them in the fly pen until 30 minutes before feed time.
  313. •     Bring cocks into cock house and give 30 flys.
  314.        
  315. •     Rub each bird for 2 to 3 minutes.
  316.        
  317. •     Give each bird one vitamin B-12 tablet.
  318.        
  319. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup with half a dropper of  Hi-Cal.
  320.  
  321. 24
  322. After feeding bring birds back to fly pen.
  323.  
  324. DAY TWELVE
  325.  
  326. Morning feed is one ounce in the cups in the fly pens.
  327.  
  328. Leave birds in fly pen until 30 minutes before evening feed time.
  329.  
  330. •     Bring cocks into cock house.
  331.        
  332. •     Weigh each bird, they should now be at their fighting weight
  333. •     Fly each bird 20 times and rub them down.
  334. •     Give one Conditioning Tablet to each cock.
  335. •     Put two ounces of feed per cup with half a dropper of Hi-Cal. After feeding bring birds back to the fly pens.
  336. At this point we change feed to what is called a pointing feed, so tonight we put one ounce per bird of cracked corn (corn chops) in a jar and fill the jar with water. If you have six cocks up, then put six ounces of the cracked corn in a jar, and soak it over night.
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  338.  
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  340. DAY THIRTEEN
  341.  
  342. Morning feed is one ounce of the soaked cracked corn, feed birds in cup in the fly pen. Now put the same amount of cracked corn as you did last night on to soak, this is what they will eat tonight after it has soaked all day. Leave birds in fly pen until noon, then bring them into the cock house and put them in their rest stall. At this point we start drying the cocks out, we have kept water in front of them all through the conditioning period until now, so do not give them any water, just let them rest.
  343. •     30 minutes before feeding time give each bird 10 flys.
  344.        
  345. •     Rub each bird down for a minute or two.
  346.        
  347. •     Then drop the bird into a drop pen for 10 minutes, then back in his rest stall.
  348. •     Give each bird one ounce of the soaked cracked corn {half as much as you usually feed.) Put half a dropper of Hi-Cal on this feed.
  349. •     Then turn the lights out and let them rest until morning.
  350.  
  351. Tonight hard boil one egg for every two roosters, remove the yolk and put the whites in a plastic bag and add a small amount of water to keep the egg whites damp.
  352.  
  353.  
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  355. FIGHT DAY
  356.  
  357. If weigh-in time is in the morning then just before you weigh them, drop them out in the drop pen for a few minutes until they dump. At this point his droppings should be firm, not loose. The old saying says you should be able to throw the droppings against the wall and they will stick! If at this time the cocks are real active in the drop pens and their droppings are firm, they are on point.
  358. If weigh-in isn't until this evening, at the regular morning feeding time give each bird one third of an egg white with half a
  359.  
  360. dropper of Hi-Cal on it.
  361.  
  362. Then let them rest all day until just before weigh-in, then drop them out for a few minutes and weigh them in.
  363.  
  364. After the birds have been weighed and banded, put them in a dark stall until their number is called.
  365.  
  366. IMPORTANT
  367.  
  368. Most of us have to travel our cocks quite a distance to the pit, it is very important to give your cocks two hours rest for every hour they were in the car. That means if you drove five hours to the pit, the cocks must be rested ten hours at the pit!
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  370. 27
  371. The best way to travel a cock is to leave your house about four hours after his evening feed, drive at night to arrive in time for morning feed. Then he can rest there all day for a derby that night.
  372. If the derby drags on until late in the day, go out every hour and give each cock three pecks of egg white with Hi-Cal on it. The Hi-Cal is a food supplement which will keep his strength up.
  373. You should always take a bottle of Adrenaline with you to the derby, then if one or two of your birds do go over (loose their point), you give them 1/2 cc in the breast muscle as soon as they call your number. It takes about 15 minutes for the Adrenaline to be effective, I am not big on using drugs, but if the bird has gone over, this is your only chance to bring him back on point.
  374. When your number is called, drop that cock in the drop pen for a couple of minutes before you heel him. In the pit, get your bird down fast, watch your rooster and don't look or listen to the crowd. Be quick to handle your bird. During the count, check your birds gaffs, eyes and beak, clean them if you need to. Always pit a blinker with his good eye towards his opponent.
  375. When you get the winners home, give each cock one cc of  Combiotic in the breast muscle, then give them all the bread and milk they want.
  376.  
  377. 28
  378. Repeat the Combiotic shot every day for the next four days, this will prevent infection that may otherwise kill the cock.
  379. STRYCHNINE
  380.  
  381. Many Cockers like to use Strychnine, some do real well with it, others don't. One important thing to remember is never use Strychnine when the weather is above 70 degrees, strychnine works much better in the cold weather.
  382. If you want to use Strychnine, get the Liquid Conditioner. This product contains Iron, Quinine and Strychnine.
  383. IRON increases hemoglobin, which transports oxygen through the birds' system.
  384. QUININE stimulates the appetite so birds eat better.
  385.         STRYCHNINE stimulates the central nervous system, which increases his reflexes and reduces the shock factor, which makes him harder to kill.
  386. The Liquid Conditioner can be used instead of the Vita-Plus, the first seven days of the conditioning period put three drops on the evening feed. On the eight, ninth and tenth days put four drops one the evening feed. On the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth days put five drops on the evening feed.
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  388. 29
  389. Use both Hi-Cal and Liquid Conditioner together on the days it says to use the Hi-Cal.
  390. If it is a night derby, put five drops and the Hi-Cal on the egg whites for the morning feed. Some people put five drops down the throat just after they weigh the chickens in, use your own judgment on this. Remember Strychnine works better in cold weather than in hot weather!
  391. REMEMBER THAT THIS CONDITIONING PROGRAM OR ANY KEEP YOU MAY USE IS ONLY A GUIDE, NO ONE CAN TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT AND WHEN TO GIVE ALL YOUR BIRDS ALL THE TIME. YOU MUST USE COMMON SENSE, IF YOUR COCKS ARE COMING ON TOO FAST, GIVE THEM ONLY BREAD AND MILK FOR ONE FEEDING. IF YOUR BIRDS ARE NOT COMING ON FAST ENOUGH, GIVE A CONDITIONING TABLET AND A B-12 TABLET EACH DAY FOR TWO OR THREE DAYS.
  392.  
  393. Best of Luck!! Mike Strecker
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