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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:29 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Htul wrote,
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You could equally say the same of silkies - yet, few would entertain the notion that silkies were the product of a separate domestication event from some sort of hairy flightless extinct proto-silkie that was a completely different species from a RJF.


William J Plant did entertain the notion that the asiatics should be classed as a separate species and be called gallus pluma cruris refering to feathering of the leg shank or shin.
with feather evolution it shows plumaceous(downy)feathers are the predecessor to pennaceous(vaned- flight feathers)
the chinese silkie could be the oldest pure breed in existence today.
I have taken malay/silkie crosses to auctions, where people with poultry knowledge are astounded when they are told they are not langshan crosses.
with the ease of domestication of the chicken by man we may well be the reason for slowing or ceasing the basic evolution process from runner to glider to flyer .
evolution needs to be looked at with a very open mind.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Htul wrote:


As to why humans would selectively breed such a fowl?

Consider the following extract from the Poultry Club of Great Britain's website (http://www.poultryclub.org/breed-galler ... d-feather/)

"The Asil is probably the oldest known breed of gamefowl, having been bred in India for its fighting qualities for over 2000 years. The name Asil is derived from Arabic and means ‘of long pedigree’. In different dialects it can be spelled ‘Asil’, ‘Aseel’ or ‘Asli’. In its native land the Asil was bred to fight, not with false spurs, but rather with its natural spurs covered with tape, the fight being a trial of strength and endurance. Such was the fitness, durability and gameness of the contestants that individual battles could last for days. This style of fighting produced a powerful and muscular bird with a strong beak, thick muscular Neck and powerful legs, together with a pugnacious temperament and stubborn refusal to accept defeat."

I believe therein lies your answer...

malay have been used to increase the size of asil breeds. the oldest artefacts show bankiva breeds used for fighting and these crossed (back) to malay have started the kulang style asil. man did not breed malay to fight. malay have evolved to their present form and mans domestication has stopped their extinction and with the movement of early austronesian people have helped their evolution to bankiva types.


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:33 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I'm with you there, hbhh: the malay had already evolved these traits before domestication. Why is it that no Bankiva breeds even come close to the Oriental's type, strength and proportions, even though they are/were subject to the same selective pressures in the pit, for as long if not longer than the Oriental? The Spanish game, regarded by many as the archetypal 'Bankiva', and perhaps the oldest lineage if fowl there is, remains more or less unchanged (in type) from the Persian and Roman gamefowl, and more or less unchanged from G. gallus. Why has it not developed an Oriental type when fought naked heel for millennia like the Oriental?
The Bankiva has not changed markedly in type since domestication. It seems possible that the Oriental remains more or less unchanged also.

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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Hi all,

george wrote:
The Spanish game, regarded by many as the archetypal 'Bankiva', and perhaps the oldest lineage if fowl there is, remains more or less unchanged (in type) from the Persian and Roman gamefowl, and more or less unchanged from G. gallus. Why has it not developed an Oriental type when fought naked heel for millennia like the Oriental?


Because Oriental Gamefowl were not subject to the same to the same selection pressures as Spanish Game. Spanish Game are matched for weight with bigger birds being discarded. Spanish Game are dubbed and Pea Combed birds are not allowed.

You cannot say they are exposed to the same selection pressures when Oriental Gamefowl breeders allow Pea combs, do not dub and do not breed to match weights (giving larger birds an advantage).

I think the main reason English Gamefowl authors of the 1900s subscribed to the Gallus giganteus theory is that they flat out refused to believe that Asian cultures were advanced enough to practice selective breeding with gamefowl. I have even read English authors who claimed that the English invented Spanish Gamefowl as well.

Oak


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Oak wrote:
Because Oriental Gamefowl were not subject to the same to the same selection pressures as Spanish Game. Spanish Game are matched for weight with bigger birds being discarded. Spanish Game are dubbed and Pea Combed birds are not allowed.

Even with these slight modern differences in selection, which may or may not not have been consistent throughout history, there should be at least some convergence of traits. The basic selective forces are the same or at least very similar. Shouldn't the Spanish have developed greater robustness and strength towards the Oriental type (and I'm not just talking about comb type as this is relatively unimportant in a gamecock), at least in some degree?

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You cannot say they are exposed to the same selection pressures when Oriental Gamefowl breeders allow Pea combs, do not dub and do not breed to match weights (giving larger birds an advantage).

Not dubbing doesn't automatically produce a pea-comb, the genetics must be there to start with. My inclination would be that oriental gamefowl breeders don't need to dub as the majority of fowl were pea or walnut combed to start with. If their fowl were single-combed they would.
Not breeding to match weights doesn't necessarily increase size, the small Asil is an example. Obviously cultural prejudices also play a major part.

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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:10 pm 
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george wrote:
Oak wrote:
Because Oriental Gamefowl were not subject to the same to the same selection pressures as Spanish Game. Spanish Game are matched for weight with bigger birds being discarded. Spanish Game are dubbed and Pea Combed birds are not allowed.

Even with these slight modern differences in selection, which may or may not not have been consistent throughout history, there should be at least some convergence of traits. The basic selective forces are the same or at least very similar. Shouldn't the Spanish have developed greater robustness and strength towards the Oriental type (and I'm not just talking about comb type as this is relatively unimportant in a gamecock), at least in some degree?


Whether the selection pressures were consistent throughout history or not, Spanish Game breeders do discard any large heavy set birds that appear. There is a cultural aspect to this practice (I will not go into the practical reason for match weights on BYP), the Spanish like birds that "compete" in the air. More muscle and strength produces birds that "perform" on the ground. The historical use of Gamefowl is entertainment not just competition and cultural differences produce different rules and preferences that are in effect different selection pressures.

In answer to your question, the birds that you describe may be competitive but they would be of little interest to the Spaniards who value birds that compete in the air. Too much muscle and the birds do not get off the ground. Simply put, the Spanish don't breed those birds because they don't like the way they perform (even if they did win).

george wrote:
Oak wrote:
You cannot say they are exposed to the same selection pressures when Oriental Gamefowl breeders allow Pea combs, do not dub and do not breed to match weights (giving larger birds an advantage).

Not dubbing doesn't automatically produce a pea-comb, the genetics must be there to start with. My inclination would be that oriental gamefowl breeders don't need to dub as the majority of fowl were pea or walnut combed to start with. If their fowl were single-combed they would.


I agree with the first part of your statement but Pea-comb was available very early in the history of European fowl and I can only assume that there was a cultural reason for not having the trait in gamefowl. For example, peacombed birds might have been seen as defective while cockerals with large single combs were seen as masculine and therefore better fighters.

george wrote:
Not breeding to match weights doesn't necessarily increase size, the small Asil is an example. Obviously cultural prejudices also play a major part.


Speaking simplistically a good big one will beat a good little one. The heavy muscle seen in Oriental Game is a definite advantage when there are no match weights or culture wanting birds to perform in a certain way. I don't know of any Asil that run into 2lb range.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Oak, you make a good point. I think we can agree that cultural prejudices play a large role in shaping the type of gamefowl used in a certain area. However, I think it is only part of the story. Any variation that provides a fitness gain for the purpose of the breed will be strongly selected for, in spite of cultural prejudice and regardless of whether the breeders are aware of this selection. It may be slowed by cultural effects, but winners are bred from and 'perpetuate their like'. In my opinion this has a greater effect on breed type than cultural practice (in gamefowl) but indeed they go hand in hand.

Evolution happens on a large time scale. Under a single species origin model for G. gallus domesticus, the evolution of the Oriental type would have been gradual, as advantageous mutations occurred and accumulated over a few thousand years. Such a time frame should also have allowed the Spanish type to evolve gradually, at least in some areas other than gameness and aggression. These gradual adaptive changes would have gone relatively unnoticed by each successive generation of prejudiced breeders. Indeed, the Bankiva type would have preceded, and no doubt shaped, these prejudices. Why should there be no parallel evolution of the Spannish and Oriental types, even to a small degree?

Under a multiple-species model for the origin of G. gallus domesticus, where the two types are derived in part from two ancestor species, these cultural prejudices would have allowed the preservation of the Bankiva type. The Bankiva type traditionally used in an area would be favored and regarded as 'correct' as each successive generation perpetuates what they are familiar with, while alien features are discarded. The vastly different Oriental type would have been obviously alien, and mostly excluded from the breeding pen.

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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Hi george,

I don't think either of us will convince each other in this matter, but that's OK.

I say that winning is not the only selection pressure imposed on Spanish Game. You seem to think that winning traits like heavy muscle would overcome any preferences Gamefowl breeders had.

My position is that the breeders had complete control of their own birds evolution and that heavier muscled birds that do not perform in the air would not have gone unnoticed.

It is an interesting theory that Spanish Gamefowl do not increase in size because they are pure Bankiva. In effect the theory implies that artificial selection does not work on the Bankiva species. We both know that if breeders wanted to select for a larger heavier muscled Spanish Game, they would eventually get larger heavier muscled birds.

Regards

Oak


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:08 am 
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Hi Oak & George,
in selecting for heavier birds the genetics of each type have their limitations. as in red jungle fowl in the wild don't get bigger each breeding season. with the natural selection process of the biggest strongest male breeds with the females, over the centuries wild rjf would be as big as emus. to breed the biggest male silkie to the biggest silkie female of each generation you wont end up with 10kg silkies.
mankind is the worst loser in any competition he has dreamt up. rules and regulations have been created so the original organisers can maintain the upper hand(eg the Americas cup).
gamefowl have had these regulations applied for this very reason -we are bad losers-
crossbreeding to heavier breeds was a way for challengers to get an upper hand over organisers.
some nations like the Japanese and Persians made allowances. sumo was developed so small judo competitors didn't have to get thumped by monsters. different classes of asil were developed so the wide variety of village chicken could be fought on an even basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:06 am 
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Gallant Game
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hensbyshenhouse wrote:
... as in red jungle fowl in the wild don't get bigger each breeding season. with the natural selection process of the biggest strongest male breeds with the females, over the centuries wild rjf would be as big as emus.


Natural selection does not favour the "biggest and strongest", it favours the "fittest" - true, on an island with no predators, fittest may end up meaning "biggest and strongest" - hence the evolution of moas, but it is not true for every environment.

hensbyshenhouse wrote:
... to breed the biggest male silkie to the biggest silkie female of each generation you wont end up with 10kg silkies.


Perhap not 10kg within a single person's lifetime - but given a reasonable time-frame, 5-6kg could easily be achiveable from even pure silkies (and with 100s or 1000s of years to play with, 10kg would not be out of the question at all)


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:35 am 
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Hi hensbyshenhouse,

hensbyshenhouse wrote:
...gamefowl have had these regulations applied for this very reason -we are bad losers-
crossbreeding to heavier breeds was a way for challengers to get an upper hand over organisers.


I agree. I also think match weights do take away the incentive for cross breeding to heavier breeds. However, they also prevent the idea that Spanish Game do not increase in size due to their Bankiva ancestry, from being tested.

hensbyshenhouse wrote:
...with the natural selection process of the biggest strongest male breeds with the females, over the centuries wild rjf would be as big as emus.


Thick Oriental style muscle would prevent wild fowl from flying making them vulnerable to land predators. Big birds also need to eat more which is another disadvantage in the wild. The size of RJF is limited by selection pressures not because the species has reached a self imposed genetic limit.

Oriental breeds still retain the instinct for roosting in trees even though their bodies may be too heavy to reach them. This indicates that their large body size probably evolved quite recently, most likely after domestication. Domestic ducks for the most part, also grew larger and lost the ability to fly under domestication. Predation and food supply are not issues in captivity so even without conscious selection, larger individuals will emerge.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Htul,
Quote:
Natural selection does not favour the "biggest and strongest", it favours the "fittest" - true, on an island with no predators, fittest may end up meaning "biggest and strongest" - hence the evolution of moas, but it is not true for every environment.


this is the proof of breeds having their limitations to size. if a rjf can not jump/glide to the nearest branch to escape predators because of his size, he doesn't get to breed.

Quote:
Perhap not 10kg within a single person's lifetime - but given a reasonable time-frame, 5-6kg could easily be achiveable from even pure silkies (and with 100s or 1000s of years to play with, 10kg would not be out of the question at all)


silkies were first mentioned and brought to the attention of the western world some 718 years ago by marco polo. who knows how many centuries prior had the chinese been breeding them. with mans passion to make everything bigger and better, I think they could be 10kg by now if their genetics would allow it


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Hi Oak and George,
evolution and genetics is a genuine catch 22 situation for a lot of species. if you can be the biggest of your species and can beat every competitor for breeding rites, you may be too big and slow to escape predators and then not get to breed. over the last 3500 years, what animals, without mans intervention have actually evolved to be bigger and better. to look at ancient art wild animals were comparable in size to what they are now.
rjf spend their days nesting and foraging on the ground. their nights are spent roosting in trees to escape night predators. malays in their natural habitat would show the same behaviours, they are the same species!
enviroments for these types, with local predators and available food sources are determining factors for the genetic variance of their size. this genetic variance is still evident and limits size in the species today. mans intervention with hormones and drugs can still only change it to varying limits.


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:00 am 
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Hi guys this is an interesting debate.

Folks there are theories and there are facts.

Gallus Giganteus is a Victorian invention.

The history of the Asil in the West was based on a claim made by Victorians that the Asil breed was mentioned in "The Law Codes Of Manu". Recently this literature has been translated into English and there is no mention of the Asil breed or anything about chickens at all.

This would come as no surprise to a Poultry Historian an Archaeologist or a Scientist.

All of the ancient images of chickens are of Bankiva type only.

Ancient layers of archaeology reveal the small Bankiva type only.

The larger size chickens only appear in the newer layer of archaeology. It is the same everywhere.

Regards Eddie


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 Post subject: Re: Gallus giganteus
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:20 am 
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Hi Eddie,
the term gallus giganteus maybe a Victorian invention, however the actual malayiod type bird is not.
Ludger tom Ring the younger's painting 'kitchen still life' depicting a malayoid fowl was painted some 267 years prior to the Victorian era.
I certainly cant imagine the british inventing the malay type fowl and then taking them back to asia and india.
the refining of the bird to the show standard is a Victorian era product, however the malayoid bird's existence pre-dates this time frame.
what is evident now is the non-agreeance of who came from who. the asil breeder will say their birds are the original malay types and of course the malay breeder says otherwise.
the term gallus giganteus may be the 'correct' name to be adopted by the original malayiod fowl.
but who is it? malay, asil, thai or another.
to look at the question of what 2 birds do you breed together to get a malay or asil or whatever may give us an answer to the original malayiod bird.


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