The last picture here is of my old boy, hes pritty much content to lie around and let his son take charge now.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Birds mature very slowly, sometimes taking at least three years to put on all their weight. With each strain, different health problems may develop. Proper diets are very important for good growth, and fertility.
When raising chicks, keep in mind that they grow slowly. To much protein in their diet, can cause them to go down on their hunches. Keep birds in the brooder for at least eight weeks (or until they are fully feathered). You may also want to brood naturally hatched chicks, as mothers are not usually very good at rearing their young. Keeping perches out of the young chicks brooders will help prevent leg and breast bone damage.
Saipan Jungle fowl are not winter hardy, and shouldn't be expected to live in cold temperatures without providing heat.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
THE SAIPAN JUNGLE FOWLby B.W. Saylor (1977)
The writer spent four years in the U.S. Navy and was all over the South Sea Islands. Most of the islands had wild chickens; the island of Ulitha, close to the Philipines, had some little black chickens that could fly up and over the tree tops like quail, and they were about the size of a quail. One day I saw a six foot lizzard grab one and "chomped" twice and swallowed it whole, live and still kicking.
The best fowl I found were on the island of Saipan. These had long legs and necks, the cocks stood tails low, head high. They were black reds with grayisn, platinum, red cock hackles, tail feathers were redish gold. Cocks weigh six pounds or more. The hens were white on breast with black and white lacing on the upper part of the body. These chickens were game and would strike without a bill hold. They had small peacombs and some had no comb at all; not wattles. They had a big dew-lap in the center of the throat.
A cock would have a certain area to run over and would have several hens scattered in this area. If another cock crowed in the vicinity, he would come charging out like a mad bull. There would be about four or five hundred yards between each cock's area and in this no-man's land, the bull stags would run. I have seen as many as two dozen together, and they would run like this until they were about two years old. Then one of them would challenge some old cock and take his hens and area.
I questioned all the jap prisoners, and they said the wild chickens were there when they came on the island. I then went to the old Native Polynesian Chief and he said his ancestors brought the wild chickens with them when they first came to the island two or three thousand years ago. Most scientists think all domesticated fowl came from the straight comb Red Jungle Fowl - I say they are wrong and I think I can prove it.
I brought back five baby chicks from Saipan in 1945. Three of these had no comb and some even to this day have no comb. After 30 years of breeding and studying them, I believe the pure ones never had a comb. So I am going to start breeding the no-comb to no-comb to see if I can not get them back pure again.
Now for the proof I referred to -Everyone knows you can not cross a cow and a horse. No doubt they come from the same ancestors, but it is too far back, perhaps a billion years. A cow and buffalo will cross, so their ancestors branched apart just a few million years ago no doubt.
Now the Saipans and the Red Jungle Fowl are extremely hard to cross; out of three setting of 30 eggs, I got one chicken, so I would say their ancerstors branched apart before the cow and buffalo did. The Guinea fowl are more kin to the Saipan than the Red Jungle Fowl.
I have an 8-month Saipan stag running with five Guinea hens and I saw the stag mating with them so I set 10 eggs and hatched five chicks; all were fertile but some died in the shell. I think if the stag had ben older all would have hatched. They look like a turkey and a voice like a peacock. No comb and center wattle like the Saipan and are larger than either parent.
I believe there were two strains of chickens; the Red Jungle fowl that took to trees and the Saipan that took to the plains. Finsterbusch and others thought there must be such a wild breed of fowl they called Gallus Gigantus but that don't quite fit the Saipans so I'll just call them Saipan because that's the last place on earth that they run wild. They do get some bigger when fed commercial feeds.
No one knows where the Polynesian natives picked these fowl up - probably Samoa or some island on the way. It would have to be a place without trees and low grass as they developed their long legs from running and the long neck from looking over the grass, and if they ever had a comb, it would have got hung in the grass and got caught. The ones without a comb ould have got away to breed more. They being a plain fowl, they won't roost in trees. Some will sit lenghtwise on a 2x4 roost, will not roost on damp ground if there is a log or shelf in the pen they will get on it. They can hear much better than other fowl. They wil recognize my step before they can see me, and if a stranger approaches they will hide.
I would say all our domesticated chickens have some Saipan blood - some more, some less. I think the straight comb fowl would have more Red Jungle blood and the peacomb more Saipan blood. All game chickens will cross easily with the Saipan, so they would all have to have Saipan blood. Only the pure Red Jungle Fowl won't cross, or they are extremely hard to cross.
The Japs had let losse thousands of chickens on the islands - all kinds, some games, white leghorns, etc., you name it they had it. These crossed the wild chicne out. When I left Saipan in 1945, I doubt there were more than a dozen pure wild ones left and one more year would have been the end of them. So what I have, I would say are the only pure wild ones on earth.
I do not have any Saipans for sale and if and when I do, will advertise in The Gamecock. I have only sold three pair of these fowl. I sold Clarence Boles a apir in 1948 or 1949. I had several letters from him and he did quite well with the crosses. I lost everything in a fire, records, books, etc., but I think it was the latter part of 1948 that I sent these to Clarence in California.
Another man got a pair but crossed them with Malay. W.M. Watson of Florida got a pair and kept them pure. When he died I got these back. Boles was the only one that fought any, other than myself. I have only fought a few. I think five pittings is the longest fight I've ever had, one or two pittings most times. The half-bloods are the only ones that have the wild instincts. A blind 1/2 breed will whip any cock because he knows exactly when he is within reach of his opponent and will get him everytime.
I plan on taking some to Copper State within a few years but before I die I will sell some as I don't want the breed to die out.
The Saipan Junglefowl was likely introduced to the island of Saipan by Austronesians seafarers.
It is thought to have been brought into The United States of America by returning American servicemen at the end of World War II including B. W. Saylor, who wrote "The Saipan Jungle Fowl" in 1977. Although the birds encountered at that time were both domesticated and wild on Saipan, it is thought that the wild ones were feral and descended from those brought in by the original human inhabitants. An alternative theory is that they were brought in by the Japanese as occurred in other locations such as Taiwan during the Japanese colonial occupation.
There were also feral junglefowl introduced to the Solomon Islands which are descended of normally proportioned, wild birds imported from Indonesia and beyond. The combination of the Comoros Island Giant Junglefowl and the domestic descendants of the Red Junglefowl produced the Saipan, Shamo, Malay, Koeyoshi and Asil.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The bird in this picture is a perfect example of its breed.
The "Saipan" bird is tall and upright, resembling the Malay, the Shamo, the Asil, or other oriental gamefowl, that are Asian in origin. The Saipan is either pea combed or flat combed and is absent of wattles, having a simple dewlap instead. The rooster is most often Black Breasted Red and the hen Wheaten in color, but there are variations such as white and other color combinations. The hens make excellent mothers, with a strong tendency towards broodiness. Often hens that were raised by the same mother will communally hatch and raise chicks together. Though quite tame, intelligent and non-flighty, they are very alert and survive very well in situations where animal predation is a significant barrier to raising chickens. They lay a limited number of cream colored eggs yearly, though Saipan jungle fowl are relatively long lived and fecund. Saipan jungle fowl are known to have been used as fighting cocks in cockfighting and are often bred into strains of gamefowl to enhance size and ability for naked-heel (fighting without artificial spurs) cock fighting competitions. Both the cocks and hens tend to be aggressive with other poultry, as well as towards two and four legged intruders that they do not recognize