Gamefowl is a common name for a class of birds that include turkeys, chickens, pheasants, quails and grouse. They are also referred to by different names such as gamebirds, galliforms or landfowl. There are currently 250 species existing in different parts of the world. Gamefowl hatching eggs is big business in many parts of the world. Breeding gamefowl is no easy task and requires a lot of attention to the task. This has evolved as a profession because of the need for fighting cocks and this market is extremely lucrative. Though this was the original need, many places consider cock fighting illegal and hence today, these eggs are purchased for rearing the birds as pets, for show and for breeding.
American gamefowl were bred for the purpose of cockfighting and raised by many notable figures. Gamefowl is now essentially an exhibition bird with the advent of animal rights movement. They are used for display purposes in show rings. These kinds of exhibitions are very popular today in the United States and Europe. There are online monthly photo contests for displaying gamefowl. The gamefowls that are popular amongst the people in the US are the Blues, Hatch or Spanish Stag, Kelsos, Radios, Greys or Silver Duckwings, Thompsons etc. Other American gamefowl include the Black breasted red, Wheaten, Golden Duckwings, Red Quil, Butchers, White Hackals, Red Pyle, Roundheads, Black Blueface etc. There exist several different species that are specific to the region.
There are specific websites that capture all the necessary information on gamefowl and the eggs. There are comprehensive picture galleries and most of these websites also carry a disclaimer stating that the birds are and should be reared only for the purpose of exhibitions or to maintain them as pets and definitely not for the pit.
The secret to strong and healthy gamebirds is attributed to healthy embryos. Incubation is a critical process that determines the health of these embryos. It differentiates between results of excellent hatching and poor hatching. If a proper incubation method is adopted, good gamebirds can be produced for sale or show. The first step involves choosing quality eggs. Varied eggs are ideal. Eggs that are too small or too big should be avoided. Any damaged or cracked eggs must be removed from the pool of incubation. Eggs should neither be wiped nor rubbed since grime could easily enter through the pores. Room temperature warming in the incubator is necessary. There are two types of incubators – still air and forced air. The former requires a temperature of 102F and the latter requires a temperature of 100F. Fluctuations ruin eggs.
The price of gamefowl hatching eggs depends on the breed of the bird. For e.g. hatching eggs of the Hatch breed on an average are sold at $30 for half dozen or about $45 for a dozen along with the shipping charges. The prerequisite while buying these hatching eggs is the need of an incubator or a setting hen. Gamefowl hatching eggs also come at a lesser price and can be purchased even at $1 per egg.