Mã Chỉ refers to the regular fowl. The word "mã" means saddle feathers. The word "chỉ" means thread. Mã chỉ has long, pointed saddle feathers. Its hackles are pointed, not round. It also has sickles besides the main tail.
The regular fowl is considered a separate breed from the hennie. Cockers also make a distinction of the saddle feather's length, and call fowl that has very short saddle feathers "Mã Kim". (kim = needle)
This is a black fowl with red saddle feathers. The color of the hackle, if not trimmed, would also be red. The saddle feathers are long, dropping down the sides.
This is an example of fowl from the Central. Tall station, upward stance, vicious looks etc. The saddle feathers have needle's length and stay neatly on top of the lower back. This unique type of saddle feathers is also known as "mã kim".
Gà Nòi from Bình Định
Gà nòi from the Central are well respected in Viet Nam. The following is a summary from a document prepared by Lý Văn Vỹ, Đoàn Trọng Tuấn, and Phạm Việt Anh. These gentlemen belongs to an association devoted to preserve gà nòi in the province of Bình Định, Central Viet Nam.
The origin of Bình Định's gà nòi is unknown. Its history also can not be traced due to the lack of documentation.
Bình Định's gà nòi is rather large. Here are some common characteristics:
- Muscular body, tall and strong leg.
- Tail feathers can be up to 30 cm long.
- Some have short spur, some do not have spurs. They fight by the palm of the feet, not by the spur.
- Feathers are scanty, large, long, hard and brittle. (very easy to break).
- The head, neck, chest, and thigh only has sparse feather but the wings are fully feathered.
- The face is lither and usually do not have ear lobe.
- Low and small comb
- The beak is large, short, sharp and strong.
- The eyes are small and deep. Thick eye lids. Eyes color vary: Bông = black mixed with white, Hạt cau = brown with multiple tiny red rays. Some have copper color, other have black, or green.
Bình Định's gà nòi has super stamina. They can endure punishments for a long period of time. Many can endure up to 40 rounds (20 minutes per round with 5 minutes break). There have been many gà nòi from Bình Định winning famous fight in Viet Nam, China, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand due to their dangerous whip. Bình Định's gà nòi has slow development. They need at least 12 months to fully mature. At 18 months, they will normally reach the average weigh of 4.034 kg for cock and 2.870 kg for hen.
Adult cock can reach 5.0 kg but most are from 3.5 to 4.5 kg. Hen are from 3.5-4.0 kg. Cockers prefer the ideal weight range of 3.0-3.8 kg. Cocks in this weight range are known to be most efficient and dangerous.
The document gives the following measurement standard for cock:
- Body length: 22 cm
- Chest: 41 cm
- Keel's length: 13.5 cm
- Leg (Shank, thigh, feet) 31.5 cm
- Thigh: 17.5 cm
Gà nòi from Bình Định also has many different color:
- Ô: An all black fowl is called Ô. It is the most populous type.
- Tía: A black fowl that has red saddle feathers.
- Xám: Fowl that has grey color (the color of ashes).
- Ó: Fowl that has brown color of eagle.
- Nhạn: An all white fowl.
- Ngũ Sắc: A fowl that has a mixture of five color (Red, Black, Yellow, White, Grey).
These are the main colors. Other mixed color fowls such as spangle also exist.
Bình Định's gà nòi has many different legs color. The most common are: black, yellow, green, white, spotted yellow/brown, one leg yellow, the other black or white. etc.
There are approximately 1000 battle cocks that are being trained or used in various level of competition in Bình Định. All counties and cities within the province of Bình Định raise gà nòi and organize its own cockfighting event. Most of the competitions are held in the city of Quy Nhơn, Tây Sơn, and Hoài Nhơn.
Bình Định's bloodline are also spreading to other near by province such as Quảng Ngãi, Phú Yên, Khánh Hòa, Gia Lai, and DakLak.
Battle cocks that have excellent pit record are selected to be exported to other countries or sold to different places in the country.
- Vicious hen are selected base on visual appearance and other factors. Selected hens must be under 6 years of age.
- Brood cock with excellent pit record, age from 1.5 to 4 years old of different bloodline is selected.
- Mating period begin at the end of December and beginning of Jannuary. Nutrition supplement are given to brood cock and hen for one full month before mating. - Spring is selected as hatching season.
- All battle fowls are divided into three weight classes: light weight (3.0 kg and under), middle weight (3.0 -3.5 kg) and heavy weight (3.5 kg and up).
- Each round are 20 minutes long. Break time are 5 minutes.
- Fighting competition are usually organized one month before Tết (Vietnamese New Year) and continue through April.