Dubbing Tips For Show Fowl, Gamefowl, OEG’s
I’ve dubbed hundreds of OEs and gamefowl and the only part of dubbing I look forward to is the way they look when they’re all healed, it changes their appearance dramatically. All you will need is some SHARP scissors or dubbing scissors, something to wrap the rooster in ( a slightly damp towel works good ), blood stop powder ( just in case ), a roll of paper towels, alcohol and a clean bucket of cool water. Clean the scissors and wipe them down with the alcohol, snugly wrap the rooster in the damp towel and if your lucky enough to have a good helper have them hold the bird and keep the head still by holding the comb.
I start with the wattles, pull the wattle down stretching slightly and as close the beak as you can starting from the front working your way back towards the earlobe, remove the wattle getting ALL folds and wrinkles. When the wattle is removed go to the earlobe and pinch up all you can with your off hand, WATCH HIS EAR and remove as much as you can. Repeat the procedure on the other side. I try to leave a thin strip of skin between where the wattles were, if you don’t it’ll look like you cut his throat, But it’s OK, it’ll heal. Now the comb, take your time and decide how much to leave, too little or too much and the bird will not look as good as he could have. These little roosters have a natural line that runs horizontally in their comb, use that as a guide ( I usually cut slightly above the line ).
The first thing I remove is the back part of the comb ( the blade ), cutting as close to the comb’s base as you can, cut it off ( straight up and down ). Then starting at the front ( some start from the back ) as close to the beak as you can begin making the cut ( some like a straight cut, some like a slightly curved cut ). KEEP IN MIND YOU CAN’T PUT IT BACK IF YOU CUT TOO MUCH OFF. When you’ve completed cutting you should have a point at the back, round it off, slightly. Look him over real good to see if you need to go back and trim anything you may have missed. A good clean dubbing job makes a lot of difference at the shows. TIPS, DON’T DUB IN HOT WEATHER, their blood is thin and the game birds bleed a lot heavier.
I dub my roosters at night but early enough that I can watch them for a few hours. They are easier to catch and they settle down quicker in the dark. Sometimes you’ll have one that bleeds a little heavy, when that happens I pull a downy feather from under his vent and put it over the comb and sprinkle the blood stop powder over it. TAKE YOUR TIME, it’s a chore you’ll want to be over and done with, BUT, poor dubbing hurts your chances at the shows.
Some people dunk the roosters head in the bucket of cool water after dubbing, I just use it to clean the dubbing scissors. It takes about 3 weeks for them to be COMPLETELY healed so keep that in mind when getting geared up for the shows.
Alfalfa meal on the feed for a few days before you Dub helps with bleeding, it has natural vitamin K.
NOTE: There are some that like to dub in 2 stages. They believe that you should trim the comb early to keep the rooster small. Then wait until the adult sickle feathers are completely in before they dub the wattles and earlobes to promote longer tails.
A good site with photos http://www.freewebs.com/cajunyankee/dubbing.htm