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Name does not make a bloodline

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Calling a chicken by a new name is easy. Creating a real bloodline is the hard part. Some people call a flock of chickens by a new name without setting a new bloodline. Sometimes the flock is just a family of an existing bloodline or at times it is even just a cross. In originating a bloodline, the process is involved and must be observed.

Dr. Andrew Bunan, the Philippine's leading authority on gamefowl genetics underscores this process in his books Lihim sa Pagbuo ng Sariling Linyada ( 1st and 2nd editions).

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The process begins by crossing two or more bloodlines until you succeed in putting in a particular generation the traits you want in your bloodline to be. Then you start setting this cross into a new bloodline by continuous brother-sister mating for a number of generations. The books by Dr. Bunan are a must reading for serious gamefowl breeders.

In the 2nd edition of “Lihim” Dr. Bunan listed examples of original Filipino bloodlines created by some of our good breeders. On the list are Zamboanga white and Zamboanga black of Boy Primallon; lemon 84 of Paeng Araneta; lemon guapo of Juancho Aguirre; super lemon of George Corpus; Blakliz of Rey Bajenting; bulik of Gengen Arayata; toliz whites of Tony Lizares; white hatch of Art Lopez; and DVH black of Dante Hinlo.

Dr. Bunan said that although famous American breeds can attract the interest of buyers, in the end, it is the ability of the bloodline, not the name that really counts.

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Where do you belong?

In breeding the gamefowl the bottom line is that you enjoy what you are doing. Whether you breed for business, hobby, passion, or whatever, it is important that you enjoy doing it.

It is equally important that you define what kind of a breeder are you so you can plan your activities accordingly, whether you are an originator or a replicator.

There are already a few Filipino gamefowl breeders who can be considered originators. A vast majority, however, are replicators or mass producers of bloodlines acquired from others. This is the path of less resistance in gamefowl breeding.

When you merely mass-produce bloodlines created by others you by pass the tedious process of setting a new one. In case you got your bloodline from a big shot breeder you also enjoy the luxury of telling everybody that this bloodline came from the breeder so and so. Then you bask in the grandeur of such names as 20 grand Kelso, 5k$ sweater, cash line, and the likes.

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It is also easier to sell chickens that belong to bloodlines that are already household names than new ones originated by local breeders.

The big question, however, is whether replicators can be rightfully called a gamefowl breeder in the strict sense of the word?

On the other hand, breeders who create their own bloodlines will have to hurdle all the intricacies and hardship in setting breeding goals and achieving the same. After which, they still have to settle for the relative obscurity of their new bloodlines.

The upside, though, is the immense satisfaction these creators feel once their breeding goals are attained, moreover, if appreciated by others.

Rey Bajenting (November 2015, RB Sugbo Magazine)

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