Posts Tagged ‘shamo

07
Dec
09

Manuel Reynolds’ Hyderabad Asils and Shamos

(As related to me by Billy Sumner and Carr Harris)

by Charles Everett

I had heard about this eccentric old gentleman chicken breeder from Virginia for years before I discovered that I actually possessed some of his blood on my yard. He died nearly 45 years ago: which means he was breeding Asil and Shamo before anyone on this site was even born. He had the most sought after Asil and Shamo on the eastern seaboard. The American cockfighters bought his birds to cross onto their American Gamefowl. None of these people bred them pure, however three young men from different backgrounds, and states, became the sole possessors of Manuel’s Asil and Shamo upon his death.

Manuel imported his Asil from Pakistan and his Shamo from Japan. His were not the first imports of these breeds into the United States, but they were considered to be the best in their day and the Asil are still viewed that way. The Shamo are another story that will be related further in this article.

Today, Manuel Reynolds’ Asil are sold as Hyderabad Asil in the United States. Whether that is because Manuel related to the sole inheritor of his Asil that they were indeed Hyderabad in origin, or whether the name was just attached to them, I cannot say with any degree of certainty. What I can tell you is that his Asil are different than any other Asil in America. Generally, the females come laced, whereas the males show no lacing. They are heavily beetle browed, around 5 to 7 lbs., and of excellent type and constitution. Of all the Asil I have kept, they are the gamest of the game. Unless raised together, the females fight like cocks, and cannot be kept with any other hens. If they are penned with other hens, the result will be death. This is not simply a pecking order thing I’m speaking of. I’m telling you they will kill the other hens.

Pure Manuel Reynolds' Asil hen: today refered to as a Hyderabad Asil
Pure Manuel Reynolds’ Asil hen: today refered to as a Hyderabad Asil


Hyderabad Asil cock.

Assuming Manuel Reynolds’ imported his Asil a century ago, and then there have only been 2 primary breeders of these birds during this time. These birds have not received any new blood during this time, but have been inbred with no disastrous results because of the vigor of the breed, and vast numbers hatched.

Manuel’s Shamo looked vastly different than the Shamo seen today. They did not possess the long legs of the Shamo of today. They had parrot beaks and big thick heads; the scales on the front of the legs are often lifted as if the bird had scale mites (which they do not) and was considered a very desirable trait. Also, they were not as upright as many of the Shamo seen in our shows in America. In there day, Manuel’s Shamo were the most sought after Shamo in America. Today, only one man possesses pure Manuel Reynolds’ Shamo blood: Billy Sumner, of North Carolina.

Recently, I had a conversation with Craig Russell, of Pennsylvania, concerning the Shamo. Craig is the foremost authority on chickens in America today in my opinion. I asked him which he considered to be the more correct Shamo type. Craig lived in Japan for several years during the 1970’s, as well as in other areas of Asia. He stated that when he traveled around to different areas of Japan, you would see birds that people were calling O Shamo with variable type. Some carried their bodies at, or around 45 degrees, while others carried them nearly horizontal. Carr Harris, who knew Manuel Reynolds agreed. Carr further added that the Shamo in America today show the influence of Thais. He stated that this could be seen in the ‘snake-headed’ feature of many Shamo. Both Carr Harris, and Craig Russell believe the head of Manuel Reynolds’ Shamo to be the more correct in type: thick all over, and without taper towards the front.

Billy Sumner still shows the Manuel Reynolds Shamo as they have been shown in America for nearly a century now. He seldom wins today because most exhibitors and judges aren’t even aware that standing in the cage before them is an old strain of fowl, that has been bred pure from imports, which came to our shore nearly a century ago. A breed of fowl kept by only two breeders in the United States in all that time, which in turn has been bred to look, and act, like Manuel Reynolds believed they should be.


This Shamo cock has 1/2 Manuel Reynolds blood. This can be seen most easily in the beak, head, length of leg and neck. Manuel’s pure Shamo stock were somewhat more upright than this bird, but not much.

Up and down the eastern seaboard, American cockers of the early twentieth century used the Asil, and Shamo bred by Manuel Reynolds to bring the added weight, and height to their American Gamefowl. If the actual histories of all the Roundhead breeds on the east coast could be told, I believe somewhere in their background would exist one of Manuel’s birds. He was the quintessential American breeder.

Read the comments below for additional information we have been finding out!

01
Sep
09

August Contest Results

First off, this was one of the best months so far with quality birds.  Trust me when I say there were quite a few that easily could have placed, both of us were pulling our hair out to make our picks, but we had to narrow it down, so here it goes!

Third place goes to GomerParry.

Second place goes to Shamolady.

And first place goes to Mice75.

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks for all the great pics that were submitted this month. If you want to enter your birds in our free monthly photo contest, just go to the Ultimate Fowl Forum, and sign up!

10
Dec
08

Shamo

By Julia Keeling

The Shamo is a naked heel game bird from Japan.  The breed was originally brought into Japan from Thailand in the seventeenth century – the name referring to Siam, the old name for Thailand. In Japan it was developed into a distinctive fighting bird of courage and ferocity.
Its posture is very upright, with prominent shoulders, powerful bone structure, muscular athletic build and sparse hard feather, which all together make it an impressive and striking bird.
The term ‘Shamo’ covers all examples of the large fowl, but they can be further divided by weight into Chu Shamo (adult male weight above 3kg/6.6lbs) and O Shamo (adult male weight 4kg/8.8lbs and above). There is a huge weight range in this breed – from a little hen of 4.9lbs to a huge cock of 12lbs or more.
Breeders in Japan name their own lines after themselves or their areas, but names such as ‘Makino’, ‘Osaka’, ‘Teramoto’ etc, often used in Europe, have no relevance once the line has left Japan. Different conditions, breeding choices and breeders mean that they should not continue to carry such names. All are Shamo.
The breed can be found throughout Japan and although occasionally shown they are kept there primarily as fighting birds, with character and attitude being the vital attributes. Cockfighting is legal in Japan, although betting on the outcome is not.
Colour is of no importance in this breed, although the plumage colour most commonly seen is black/red (bbr) and variations; beak – yellow or horn; legs and feet – yellow (with blackish over-colour being normal in some dark coloured birds); face – red; and eyes silver or gold.

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KEEPING SHAMO

The main thing to remember when keeping Shamo is that they should mature slowly. A bird of either sex is not adult until about two years old. The stag of ten months will look a different bird after another year. The problems this can bring are:
• The bones can develop slower than the body mass, so if the bird is fed too much protein and/or does not have enough fresh air and exercise as he grows, his body will get too heavy for his legs and result in serious leg problems.
• For the same reason, the breastbone can become bent if a young bird rests on too narrow a perch, and the legs and feet can become damaged from jumping down from too high a perch. Adult birds continue to need wide perches to accommodate long legs and bodies.
• Stags and pullets can run happily together when young, but as soon as they start to mature, maybe as late as seven or eight months old in bigger birds, they can turn on each other. Stags and pullets can quickly kill each other.
So – low protein food and lots of fresh air and exercise; wide, low perches, or none at all; and vigilance at all times re separating birds as soon as necessary.

Despite the aggressive, arrogant bearing, they should be calm and confident with their keepers and easy to handle. The aggression should only be towards other birds. Birds may well occasionally greet their keeper with a ‘friendly’ peck, but this is certainly not man-fighting!

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BREEDING SHAMO

Shamo take so long to mature that it doesn’t really matter what time of year they are hatched. They will eventually reach their potential, even if they develop slowly over the winter.
Shamo are a broody breed, but as hens are heavy and bony they can be clumsy with eggs. Usually better to remove eggs and let another hen hatch them.
Running loose, a hen and cock can have their own space and live in harmony. However, if confined, they may fight. More than one hen with a cock may well fight each other, as well as it then being impossible to maintain accurate breeding records if not breeding one to one. Even if they live in apparent harmony, a heavy cock may seriously damage a hen with his spurs/claws. She should be examined regularly under her wings as she will show no signs of being hurt until wounds are really serious or become badly infected.
This is a breed developed to fight and it is the most important characteristic of the breed, and this is what they will do!

12
Oct
08

Raising Saipan Jungle Fowl

There is not a ton of information out there on this breed, so I thought I would share what I have learned.  If you have experience with these beautiful birds, feel free to leave a comment telling me what you know!  First off, about the only history I can find, I have posted on my wikipedia HERE.  The following is what I have observed over the last couple of years of raising them.

First off, let me say that I don’t have pure Saipans, and practically nobody can say they do either.  There are hatcheries that sell them, but they are mostly shamo, or malay crossed birds.  True Saipans are almost non-existent.  What I describe is what I have experienced with the fowl I have, which are the closest I have been able to come up with, I just wanted to be clear on that right up front.

The main thing that Saipans are known for are their sheer size.  Roosters can cock out nearly three foot tall, and closing in on 18 pounds!  Mine aren’t quite that big, but I am working on it.  Saipans are also very slow growing birds, it takes about 3 years for them to fully mature. These birds have a degree of gameness to them, but not known to be overly game.  If they have been raised together, even roosters have been known to be able to tolerate each other if they aren’t too cramped.  Saying that, if you separate them, including the hens, and try to put them back together again, expect the game to show up in them.  I have seen hens that were willing to fight to the death when new birds are introduced.  The roosters also have a reputation for being manfighters, but the hens are quite docile to people.

As far as laying and hatching, they lay medium sized, cream colored eggs in the spring to early summer, then pretty much quit laying after that.  They will go broody, but from what I have seen, aren’t the best for caring for chicks afterward.  Part of the problem is the chicks off these larger birds mature very slowly as well, and it takes quite a while for them to grow feathers.  I have seen many a baby rooster running around with all the yellow fuzz off him, and only a couple of wing feathers on his whole body!  Saying that, that is how you can easily sex these birds as the hens will feather out much faster than the roosters, so it is pretty easy to sex them once they start feathering out.  If you want any kind of success raising these birds, I recommend leaving them in a brooder for the first 8 weeks of their life minimum, because the feathering factor makes them quite delicate.

Feeding Saipans can be a challenge too as they are very susceptible to crop impactation, so whole grains need to be avoided.  You also need to watch your protein levels very carefully as too much protein can give you problems because of the size of the birds, and how slow they grow.  I know some people feed their Saipans, and other large Oriental breeds rice, and fish as their staple diet.  I haven’t had trouble using standard poultry feed, I just watch their body development, and adjust accordingly.

For more information, check out the Ultimate Fowl Forum!

03
Jul
08

New poultry forum for all breeds of fowl!

Finally, there is a forum where people can discuss all breeds of fowl! From heritage breeds, gamefowl, rare breeds, and everything in between is welcome at the Ultimate Fowl Forum. We welcome people just beginning with chickens, or experienced breeders here, and everyone is treated equally. You will find access to some of the top breeders around the world here, and it is also an excellent source of information if you are having trouble with your flock. We have a wiki, with detailed breed histories, and tons of medical information for treating sick birds.  If you have a minute, pop on over and join our family!




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