Gamefowl Line Breeding | What is It?

Gamefowl Line breeding

Line breeding is an inbreeding method that many gamefowl breeders use to maintaining their respective breeds and bloodlines. As this is technically a form of inbreeding, albeit not exactly being the same, it is meant to fix a breed or bloodline and will naturally result in producing defects and mercilessly culling them. This one, however, is more focused on fixing breeds be crossing a first generation with a distant relative with the same desirable gene. In summary, gamefowl linebreeding is the strategic application of inbreeding to develop a breed to be even better at cockfighting.

Line breeding Vs Inbreeding

J9 White Pearl
J9 White Pearl, a well-maintained bloodline. Source: Sabong TV

The main difference between line breeding and inbreeding is that the latter is strictly the following:

  • Mother to son
  • Father to daughter
  • Brother to sister

Inbreeding is basically the popular form of incest in human terms and is all about close relatives. In animal breeding, this mainly refers to incest within five generations. This is done to increase the probability that two copies of a particular gene will be identical. Bad genes can be forced to surface and culled while desirable genes can be maintained.

Gamefowl line breeding is more selective and deals with distant relatives from the first-generation. The purpose is to increase the influence of a particular ancestor in the next offspring and increase the reliability of producing a superior bird than with simple inbreeding. Breeders tend to outcross after line breeding a few times to prevent a bloodline from being too linebred.

J9 Grey
J9 Grey, a well-maintained sabong bloodline. Source: Sabong TV

Basically, inbreeding is meant to lock in the good genes and cull the bad ones while line breeding is meant to maintain a bloodline before outcrossing to revitalize a line before it suffers from inbreeding depression.

Cons of Gamefowl Line Breeding

While line breeding increases the chances of offspring inheriting good recessive genes, it also increases the chances of producing undesirables. This is possible when breeders missed a bad gene and was unable to cull it early on, resulting in unplanned heavy culling efforts.

Other cons are the following:

  • Lost of vigor in offsprings
  • Lower resistance to diseases or parasites when common ancestor happened to have the same weakness
  • Requires heavy knowledge on the line and the common ancestor
  • Can limit a bloodline and end in a dead end when line breeding early

Gamefowl line breeding is extremely difficult for beginners and breeders should focus more on outcrossing before delving here. Inbreeding is arguably the next step to weed out bad genes and improve a line then maintain it with line breeding. Breeders should avoid line breeding until they either have full knowledge on a line or have successfully weeded out most undesirable genes through inbreeding and heavy culling.


Many gamecock breeders line breed to develop their current bloodline before introducing new blood from other breeds to revitalize it and allow the offspring to inherit new traits with increased vigor. Long-time breeders will know how to do this and will typically develop excellent gamefowl bloodlines. Still, even heavily linebred bloodlines of two different breeds can create “failures” such as the Cornish that are absolute rubbish in the cockpit but serves better as broilers.

Dark Cornish Chickens
Dark Cornish Indian Games. Source: Livestock Breeds YouTube channel

When starting out gamefowl line breeding, breeders must already have a good line that they want to maintain and aim to cross it soon. Taking too long can diminish a bloodline’s quality and going too early can result in unplanned culling. It is also best to have a good understanding of recessive and dominant genes before starting out.

Most of the gamecocks you’ll see in Sabong International’s cockpit will have been linebred, outcrossed, and linebred again to have their wonderful features you see today. Less experienced gamefowl breeders won’t usually be able to produce good lines that won’t perform well in the pit so keep this in mind when you’re out betting.d

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