Uses: Originally Cock Fighting, now exhibition.
Eggs: 5-20 tinted.
Weight: Cock: 1.8 – 2.7Kg, Hen: 1.35 – 2.25Kg.
Bantam Cock: 1130g, Hen: 910g.
Colour: No fixed colours (British Poultry Standard).
Useful to Know: Once used for cock-fighting, they have a desire to fight even from an early age which requires careful management of stock. A poor layer but good sitter. Not suitable for beginners.
Photo: Black Red Asil Male. Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson.
The Asil (called Aseel in America) comes under the Asian Hard Feather category and is the oldest known breed of game fowl. Originating in the South Punjab / Sindh area of Pakistan and India, the Asil is a powerful, muscular bird that were purposefully bred for cock-fighting over a period of more than 2000 years. The Asil will fight to the end. It was bred to fight using its strength and its own spurs. Other game fowl were sometimes equipped with artificial (metal) spurs to inflict the most damage but the spurs on the Asil were often wrapped in tape so the fight became one of endurance, sometimes lasting more than a day.
A feisty breed, Asil youngsters will often spar from just a few weeks old. Hens can be aggressive with one another and mature males will fight to the death so special management of stock is required in order to keep them separated. They are generally not aggressive towards humans although care should be taken with males as with any breed.
The Asil doesn’t have fixed colour varieties in the British Poultry Standard. The American Standard of Perfection lists Black Breasted Red, Dark and Spangled varieties.
Take care with males at all times they can be very aggressive towards one another. Hens do not lay many eggs (up to about 40 per year), but will go broody easily and are good sitters.
The following books are available. Links take you to the Amazon or other sellers’ pages for the books.
- Popular Poultry Breeds – D. Scrivener – P.21
- Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds – C. Ekarius – P.74
- British Poultry Standards – P.47
- American Standard of Perfection – P.193
- UK: The Asian Hardfeather Club: Julia Keeling (Secretary) 01624 801825
- Please leave a comment below if you can provide further information or have a question about Asil Chickens.