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thai gamefowl is a breed of domesticated fowl - ie chicken -
belonging to the asian, or oriental, gamefowl group, which also
includes the ga noi don breed of Vietnam, the burmese (aka.
pama) of Burma, the asil of the Middle East and India (arguably
the oldest of all asiatic gamefowl breeds), and the shamo of
As its name suggests, the thai gamefowl originated in Thailand. Given Thailand's native name of Siam, the thai gamefowl is also sometimes referred to as the siamese fowl. The Thais, however, prefer their native term for this breed: "Gaichon."
This breed is relatively common in Thailand and small flocks of these birds can be found on most Thai rural farms, where they are usually allowed to free range or to live as semi-feral birds. These farmyard gaichon are often treated no differently from the average egg or meat-breeds of chicken, both in terms of their uses and their value. At the other, much smaller end of this spectrum are the hyper-specialized game farms that breed highly exclusive, pedigreed lineages of these birds. As they are the product of many long years of careful breeding and selection, these gaichon tend to be far more highly valued than their farmyard cousins, with each young bird easily capable of fetching prices of ten thousand baht or more.
Thai gamefowl tend to carry themselves slightly erect, with the tail at about 45 degrees to the position of the body. There are, however, many exceptions to this very general rule. There is also a lot of variability when it comes to body proportions. Some birds are stout, although most are relatively long-legged. Some are thickly-set, while others are not. Some have long necks and some have short necks. Even within the same family line there could be a lot of variability with regard to body proportions.
Eye color for this breed may be light blue, pearl, yellow, or orange. Beak and feet color can be slate, black, blue, green, white, pearl, or yellow. Most thai gamefowl have pea combs, although single combs and other comb styles are also present. Some notable traits that certain thai gamefowl lineages carry include
Out of all the current recognized gaichon variants, the two most prominent by far are the Pradu Hang Dam (Dark Black Tail) and Leung Hang Khao (Yellow White Tail). Although their names are color-oriented, the distinctions between many of these variants often extend much deeper, as a number of them originate from specific parts of Thailand and hold significant historical and traditional importance in their places of origin. The best example of this is the Leung Hang Khao variant of northern Thailand, which is said to have descended from the very rooster kept by King Naresuan.
First Photo: Kieo ("Green") Rooster. Second Photo: Leung Hang Khao ("Yellow White Tail") Rooster.
Sources: Web. Used here for illustrative purposes only. We do not own these photos or the birds depicted in them.
Today, the thai gamefowl can be found in virtually all corners of Southeast Asia. Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and even Vietnam and Indonesia have significant populations of thai gamefowl. This breed has also been exported to places even farther away, including countries in the Middle East, South America, and of course here in the United States.