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Home : Thai Gamefowl : Our Farm : Our Birds : Available Stock
Our farm is situated in the western part of the piedmonts of North Carolina, near the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Located "out of the way" and surrounded by woodland that harbors an abundance of wildlife including deer, oppossums, raccoons, foxes and coyotes, our farm for us serves as an escape from the workings of everyday life. There is even a natural spring nearby that feeds a small stream running through our land. Our farm here in North Carolina was established in the late 1990s, but our experience with raising these birds goes back much farther. We have raised thai gamefowl for close to four decades. One of those decades we spent raising this breed in its native homeland of Thailand.

As any experienced breeder will tell you, breeding and maintaining good quality stock, regardless of the type of animal in question, takes a lot of hard work, diligence, and persistence. By focusing most of our time and attention only on our thais, we can make sure that we have devoted as much effort into caring for this breed as we should.

The climate in our area range from wet and cold in winter to damp, hot and humid during the summer months. These widely varying conditions require us to take extra precautions when it comes to our birds. Even though Gaichon have proven to be very hardy birds, they still are from a tropical climate, and therefore adequate shelter during the colder winter months should be provided to ensure that the birds stay strong and healthy.

Our farm is divided into a number of sections, each of which generally serve a single purpose. For example, the breeding section of our farm is where we house our breeding pairs and is where our breeder hens lay their eggs and hatch their chicks. Each section is made up of clusters of pens that contain the roosts for the birds and the feeding and watering stalls, and large, fenced-in yards into which the birds are let out on a rotating basis to play and forage.

The pens that house our birds are purpose-built and fall into four general categories: breeding, individual, nursery and brooding. Breeding pens are where paired breeder birds are kept. The size of each breeding pen is about 5 ft by 15 ft. Each of these pens is equipped with a nest for the hens to lay their eggs. The hens also incubate their eggs in these pens until the eggs hatch. Individual pens are where we keep our young adult birds, or those breeder birds that are currently not being bred. These individual pens are about 5 ft by 5 ft. Nursery pens are where we keep our newly hatched chicks and their mothers. The chicks and hens will usually stay in these pens for only about a week or two, after which they are moved to a brooding pen. Brooding pens are where we keep older chicks until they reach adulthood. Brooding pens are about the same size as breeding pens (5 ft by 15 ft), with one significant difference: each brooding pen has openings that allow the chicks to exit and go out to forage.

We breed our birds in pairs housed in separate breeding pens as opposed to the one rooster and multiple hen arrangement favored by some breeders. This is very important in selecting future breeding stock as it allows for more accurate tracking of the parentage of our birds. This one-rooster, one-hen breeding arrangement inevitably results in a very low production of eggs, and hence the reason why we cannot sell hatching eggs or chicks.

We usually let our hens hatch their own eggs and rear their own chicks rather than use incubators and mechanical brooders. Sometimes we may foster the eggs of one hen to another hen to hatch and to raise, but this only occurs under special circumstances, such as when a hen abandons her eggs, or is known to be a bad mother or poor sitter.

As soon as the eggs hatch, the hen and chicks are moved to a nursery pen where they will remain for about two weeks. Within this time, the chicks will grow their initial wing feathers, which will help keep them warm as well as aid them in moving about. After this time, the chicks and hen are moved to a brood pen. Throughout the next several months, the chicks are let out during the day to forage and range, which helps to build muscles, increase bone strength, and improve coordination. The hen is usually removed when the chicks reach about two or three months of age, but the chicks will usually be kept together as a batch until they are about six or seven months old.

Our birds are raised on a base diet of corn and specially formulated chicken feed. To this base diet we add other grains such as wheat, oats, millet and unhulled rice grains when available. We also allow our birds, especially our chicks and juvenile birds, to free range and forage to allow them the opportunity to take in other food items such as grasses, leaves and insects.

From top left to bottom right: corn, mixed grains (wheat, oat, barley, milo, sunflower seed, corn), specially formulated poultry feed, rice, eggshells, vitamin and electrolyte supplement.
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