Asils (or Aseels)

Asils being Asils!
Photo courtesy of Ricardo Pedraglio


Text by Shahbazin / J. Floyd

What do Asils look like and where are they from? Well, Asils are the ancestors of the Cornish breed, so they look sort of like a more slender, athletic Cornish. The Asil developed in India as a fighting bird, but different than the English games--an Asil is like a boxer (versus a fencer) and is valued for stamina. They are heavy boned, heavy muscled, very hard feathered birds (bare breastbone), with somewhat of an upright carriage. The eyes are a sort of pearl white with a greenish tint and a heavy brow ridge (like a hawk). Both sexes have a small pea comb, but no wattles, and the sloping tail tends to fan horizontally rather than vertically. Hens are poor layers, but very tenacious setters, and will brood for months on end (I usually use Asils to hatch most of my babies as they are the most reliable). Asils are usually very tame and easy to handle, and one of mine ("Ana") is a particular pet that likes to follow me around looking for handouts.

The main drawback to the breed is that thay are pugnacious to an extreme--my hens have learned to leave each other alone, as my dog will interrupt fights, but two-month-old chicks will fight until their eyes swell shut and they can't stand up. "Gez" [the dog] tries to help, but she can only handle just so many at a time, and while she picks one up and carries it away, another couple will be going at it. Fortunately, they are also very hardy, and seldom cause fatalities when young. Are they a nuisance sometimes? Yes. Are they interesting and unique birds that I enjoy anyhow? Yes to that, too. I'll never have lots of them, but I'll always keep a few.


From the UK we have the Old English Game Colour Guide by Dr. J. Batty. Totally filled with pictures of OEGs, both large and bantam, there's no logic to the order of things that I can see, but if you want pictures of many colors of OEG, this is the book for you. It is available from Beech Publishing.

Here's the new book Oriental Gamefowl by Horst W. Schmudde, 2005, 208 pp., AuthorHouse, ISBN: 1420876813. If you want to learn about the history, breeding and maintenance of many breeds of gamefowl, including longtails and long-crowers, this book is for you. Read more about it in the SPPA review.

Another new book is The Game Fowl Colour Guide by Owen Dickey, [2006], 141 pp., privately published. Available from the author at: Owen Dickey, PO Box 1016, Ballymena, BT42 9AH, Northern Ireland. 30.00L plus postage: UK: 2.50L, Europe & Irish Republic: 4.00L; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA: 6.00L. Very nice book if you want to see the range of colors that Game Fowl can be found in. There are 86 full color original images, mostly photos but a few paintings. Most of the birds shown are Irish Game, but there are also some American Game and some Oxford OEGs. There is also a section at the end on Asils.

And I've also discovered A Bibliography of Gamecocks & Cock-fighting, by John Norris & John Palmer, 1995, 34pp., pamphlet, Arnold Books, ISBN: 0-9583250-0-6. The emphasis in this collection is on historical titles.


Breed clubs:

Oriental Game Breeders Association
Eve Bundy
PO Box 100
Creston, CA 93432
phone: 805-237-1010

The Asian Hardfeather Club
Julia Keeling, secretary
Ballashee, Staarvey Road, German
Isle of Man, IM5 2AJ
British Isles
phone: (+44)-1624-801825
e-mail: shamolady@manx.net

The Asian Gamefowl Society or Speciaalclub Aziatische Vechthoenrassen
Willem van Ballekom (Secretaris SAV)
Hobokenlaan 19
5628 VA Eindhoven
Nederland
phone: 040-2417208
e-mail: ASIAGAME@WORLDONLINE.NL

Calcutta Aseel Club
e-mail: calaseel@hotmail.com


Asil Links:

A SPPA article on Asils in the United States

Another SPPA article on Manuel Reynolds's Hyderabad Asils and Shamos

Palm Beach County Poultry Fanciers Association's Aseel page

Shamoman's Fowl

Shahbazin's Asil page

Two SPPA articles on the Asil: one by Jennifer Floyd and one by Sheila Holligon

You can find pictures of Asils on Orchard Poultry Farm's page

Asils at Crowing Hills Farm

Oriental Game Fowl

Gamefowl.org

Fowlafoot Poultry Conservation Farm has Asil.

Asils at Green Valley Stables

The Ultimate Fowl Blog on Manuel Reynolds's Hyderabad Asils and Shamos


A Black-breasted Red (Wheaten) cockerel
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

"Alaric," a North India type Black Breasted Red Asil Cock
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

"Alaric's" head, note lack of wattles and greenish-white (pearl) eye
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

A White Asil cockerel
Photo courtesy of an anonymous friend in the UK

A pair of Blue Wheaten Asils
Photo courtesy of Rev. Rick Thompson

Dark Red Ghan Asils
Photo courtesy of Horst W. Schmudde

A Pile Asil pullet
Photo courtesy of an anonymous friend in the UK

A dark Asil cock
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

A Hamlin Asil cockerel
Photo courtesy of Chad Cartwright

A Silver Asil pullet and cockerel
Photos courtesy of Rev. Rick Thompson

A Kulang Aseel male
Photos courtesy of Christian Cutajar

Brown-breasted Red and Black Spangled Aseel hens
Photos courtesy of Taryn Koerker

A Mottled Asil rooster
Photo courtesy of William Bender, Jr.

"Morrigan," an Asil hen
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

An Asil pullet
Photo courtesy of Shahbazin

Black Asils: a male and a pair
Photos courtesy of Ricardo Pedraglio

Another Wheaten Asil cock
Photo courtesy of Rev. Rick Thompson

A Spangled Asil male
Photo courtesy of Ricardo Pedraglio

Another Spangled male, this time a cockerel

Here's a Blue Mottled Asil pullet
Photo courtesy of William G. Bender, Jr.

A Silver Asil male
Photo courtesy of William G. Bender, Jr.

An Asil from Peru with her partly grown brood
Photo courtesy of Ricardo Pedraglio Florez

A pair of Wheaten Asils
Photo courtesy of William G. Bender, Jr.

A North Indian Aseel cock
Photo courtesy of Outkast, via Chad Cartright


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