Bacolod breeder Bagyo Gonzales is a humble man who admits that he was taught a lot by the late veteran breeder Otic Geroso.
But aside from the tips that he learned, Bagyo also did a lot of breeding experimentation in the farm. And he said that many of the things he is practicing right now are the results of trials, errors, and successes.
However, in terms of medication and supplementation, Bagyo just asks around, especially those at the feed store. He would inquire about new products as well as the medicines and supplements that are good for a certain fowl condition. Then he would try it on his flock and just find out what works. But of course, he keeps a record of his observations.
Bagyo also believes that a good looking rooster is not always a good fighter. That is why, he says, that one should not always rely on the looks but to always consider the bloodlines. Experience has taught him that if you have found the bloodline that you like, that is when you start breeding them to produce the battle crosses.
Game fowl health is of utmost importance at Bagyo’s farm. Their place is naturally cold and is always raining, so protective measures are in place so that the birds are not sickly especially when they are still young. Bagyo’s birds are hen hatched and the ranged when they are a day old. But at night, the chicks are gathered in closed teepees so that they are sheltered from the rain, winds, and the cold temperature at night.
When derby time comes, Butch selects the best birds from their flock and confers his choices with his uncle. Bagyo says that among the birds that they have set aside for conditioning, they eliminate birds based on a couple of criteria. Firstly, the birds should maintain its robust body conformation throughout the conditioning period. And secondly, the chosen birds should improve in their performance every time they are sparred.
Since Bagyo’s handler and gaffer is also his nephew, he is always confident that Butch would always do a good job.
Bagyo has come a long way in his breeding. While enjoying their last championship, that episode wasn’t the end but rather a new challenge to work harder not just to maintain but also to surpass their past achievement. The trophy, however, gave this team the much needed confidence that they have what it takes to make it into the big league.
Aaron Gonzales may be reached in Bacolod City through Mobile No. 0918-388-0615.