A Guide for the Sportsman, Poultryman and Exhibitor of Rare Poultry Species and Gamefowl of the World
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The book, over 30 years in the making and based on worldwide research about the history and evolution of Oriental poultry races with a detailed description, their origin, distribution and current day breeding status worldwide, is a long needed work while nothing like it has been published for over fifty years. This book provides in detail educational information about the ancestors of domestic chickens, whereby it traces the origin of many ancient poultry breeds, how and where they were developed many generations ago for the purpose of sportsmanship before cockfighting was banned in most countries. But that has not stopped enthusiasts and fanciers to save many of these species from extinction and rather promoting them through a worldwide interest in exhibitions competitions, whereby in Germany alone are national poultry exhibitions with over 40,000 and even to 60,000 entries every year excite the public in tough competitions as covered in this work. Moreover, the reader will learn everything essential about purposeful breeding and preserving these breeds for future generations to come. The over 250 pictures of some 35 breeds shown in this book have been collected from various sources worldwide, many are of birds bred and photographed by the author giving the reader information not available elsewhere, which includes a today’s analysis of the sport of cockfighting as well as extensive information on genetics of the rarest species.

CONTENTS : The Wildfowl; The Beginning of Pure-Bred Poultry. The World of Orientals; Oriental Gamefowl in America, EuropeFrance, Britain, Germany; Australian Gamefowl. Thai Gamefowl; The Thai Breeds; Thai Cockfighting; Ayam Bangkok;  Saipans; Vietnamese Gamefowl Ganoi;  Madagascar Games, Malgache; Russia – Kulang, Dakan;  South America – Brazil, Peru, Ecuador.

The Malays; Asils; Shamos; Kimpa; Yakido; Tuzo; Nankin; Echigo Nankin; Ko-Shamos; Yamatos; Chibi; Tosa Chibi.  Sumatras; Yokohamas; Cubalayas; Japanese Fowl History; Onagadori and Phoenix; Longtail Genetics; Shokoku; Ohiki; Kurogashiwa; Satsumadori; Minohiki; Koeyoshi; Totenko; Tomaru. Cockfighting and maintenance and much more with 300 illustrations in color.

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The subject on Shamos and other related breeds is a very comprehensive and complex one, relatively new and to some extent a mysterious one to the Western world – that is if one excludes the sparsely information in older literature on the famous Japanese Long-tail fowl - and research really has been very limited, probably due to the language barrier. Even books in Japanese have become available only just during the last 15 to 20 years, thanks to the efforts of some fanatic western poultry fanciers traveling the far eastern continent. But the complexity of the breed is mainly because of the multitude of varieties and subspecies developed in various different regions of Japan, as we will see in the following.

But no other country in the world has been devoted as much as Japan has been to the preservation and conservation of many of their national breeds, even to the extent to protect them by law, thus preventing the exportation of such species, ex. The Shamos were put under Japanese government protection in 1941. It is hard to say whether this has been beneficial to the mere existence and preservation of some of these breeds and might be questionable, thereby allowing such breeds only in the hands of the Japanese poultry world but also to greatly restricting the gene pool, which is necessary to preserve such fowl for future generations. However, due to global interest in the environment and economical as well as political interaction, Japanese authorities as well as breeders have become more flexible and encouraging over the last decade to share their rich heritage in rare and fancy poultry with the rest of the world, thereby making the export of hatching eggs and live birds to other countries more possible.

While Malays and Asils were mentioned frequently and on a regular basis in older literature, the Shamos seem to have first caught the attention of writers at the beginning of the 19th century. In Weir’s ‘The Poultry Book’ from 1904 and 1915 we find an account of the breed by Dr. H.P. Clarke of Indianapolis/USA, associating them with the Oriental Gamefowl from the island of Madagascar, the Malgache, a kind of “naked neck Malay” (described elsewhere in this book), but gives little background information about the distribution thereof. A collaborator of Clarke and avid cockfighting enthusiast was the renowned writer Carlos A. Finsterbusch from Santiago/Chile, who in his book “Cockfighting All Over the World” in 1929 traced the roots of the what was called ‘Siamese and Malacca fowl’ at the time and showed pictures in his work of Siamese Malay Games and Japanese Shamos of 13 lbs and more. However, at the same time while apologizing for the lack of detailed scientific fundamental and documented information, resorting to what was known to him already at the time, thereby acknowledging the accomplishments of Japanese breeders of developing a species that ultimately became a national treasure. Although Finsterbusch’s main interest was cockfighting, he recognized the variety in the breed and classified them into 4 groups:   ….. read on inside.


Horst W. Schmudde, born 1934, raised and educated in Germany has been an avid poultry fancier since early childhood. Already during his college years he acquired and concentrated on the conservation of various Oriental gamefowl breeds while showing and winning accolades at the most prestigious poultry exhibitions in Germany. Following his graduation from college receiving a dual major in engineering he obtained his poultry judge license in 1959, making him one of the youngest judges in the German pure-bred poultry fanciers organizations, becoming ultimately one of the much sought after judges in Europe for over forty years even after moving to the U.S. in 1964. Elected secretary of the German gamefowl club for those years, in the U.S. he then founded the Oriental Fowl Fanciers Association. Over these four decades he wrote numerous articles for specialty magazines on both sides of the Atlantic and he collaborated in the translation of “Poultry as a Hobby” published in the U.S. Due to his profession in engineering working for some renowned conglomerates requiring him to travel to many countries, he was able on his trips to follow his personal interest in those rare and often national cultural poultry races, enabling him to import hatching eggs or live birds and raising them at his home in New Jersey, thereby sharing offspring with many fanciers here and exporting same to Europe and South America to help promoting them on three continents.

... when I heard that Mr. Schmudde had written a book on Orientals, I immediately went about contacting the publisher for a copy of my own. As an avid breeder of Orientals, I waited with bated anticipation for the arrival of my copy of Oriental Gamefowl to show up at my front doorstep via the USPS. I waited a week, not very patiently, until it finally arrived on Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, I devoured the entire book. I can honestly say it was well worth the wait! Truly, Mr. Schmudde has delivered the most informative book on Orientals since Carlos A. Finsterbusch published in 1929 Cockfighting All Over the World.

In compiling the information, Mr. Schmudde used a variety of resources including his own vast knowledge, the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities Bulletin, local first-hand accountants, and older original source material. In covering so vast a topic as Oriental Gamefowl, there are any number of ways the material might be arranged. At first, I was somewhat baffled by Mr. Schmudde’s chosen arrangement. After careful reflection, I believe his arrangement to be imminently practical and a most logical system.

Mr. Schmudde introduces the present state of Orientals in America, Europe, and Australia, in the opening chapters. He follows that with excellent descriptions (including photographs) of the Orientals that are still being used in the pit by cockers. Of particular value are the standards for breeding in this section.

Interestingly, many of these cockers are of Vietnamese and Thai descent. Since the 1960’s these particular people of the East have had a close and visible connection with the West; thus, their inclusion in this section.

Next, Mr. Schmudde re-introduces us to the familiar Orientals of the Standard of Perfection. He also tempts us with lesser-known breeds. His coverage of the Asil in this section exemplifies the depth of knowledge revealed in this excellent text. He describes twelve different varieties, the standard developed by the Calcutta Aseel Club over 50 years ago, and a detailed breeding plan.

Mr. Schmudde then moves on to the long-tail breeds, including the familiar Sumatras, Yokohamas, Cubalayas, and Onagadori. Amazingly, he then introduces five additional breeds. These are followed with a detailed look at four long-crower breeds.

Finally, Mr. Schmudde gives us a glimpse into the world of breeding, hatching, rearing, and housing of Orientals.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the excellent quality of the photography throughout the book. The pictures alone are worth the cost of the book. The print and quality of the paper are superb.

Preservationists, fanciers, and cockers all owe Mr. Schmudde a great debt for the quality of material he has assembled in this one handy reference work. As a breeder of Cubalayas that include birds originally from his strain, I wholeheartedly recommend this new resource.

Dr. Charles Everett 
What an amazing book, I am absolutely delighted with it; it was just what I have been looking for. The old publications by Finsterbusch and Atkinson have been read and read and at last this is new and fresh material available. Thank you very much and congratulations on this wonderful book.

Sean Chubb, So.Africa

Sean Chubb 

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