Red, Canary Islands are part of Spain, so the spanish game influence is pretty big. Anyway, the Canarios are a bit bigger ( around 4 + ) than a regular jerezano or peninsular spanish game, also the way they fight it´s a sign that that some crossing might have happened in the far past, maybe oriental influence, maybe oeg influence, maybe both... anyway, I hold the highest regard for spanish cannarios, even better than jerezanos in my opinion. They fight them in naturals or postizas of bigger size than the official size on the mainland which is one inch. Some of the best bankivoid birds in the world.
The only place in Spain and its territories where cocking is still fully legal is the Canary islands yet in spite of this and the fact that they have some of the very best facilities to be found anyplace, they have very poor quality fowl.
The Canary fowl are not Bankiva.
The Canary islands fowl have a very poor reputation over here in Europe. There has been a considerable amount of fiction written about them over the years by those not residing in Europe. Here is one such quote "Many believe that some of the best of all this type of fowl came from the canary islands." Here is the source of the quote .... SteelGame.com Forums
Here is another quote from a guy by the name of Pedraglio from Peru ....
"The canary historian, Mr. Viera y Clavijo, in his " Natural History of the Canary Islands', writes: Our islands are bred to English or English rooster breed to be allocated to the fights, being them superior to the country. The arrival of the British to the island roosters was during the seventeenth century, creating the existing Spanish rooster, a different kind with its own characteristics and a different lawsuit. Larger weight and strength that its original.
The old canary was shaped like the Jerezano fighter and Asturian, but riñla game, as we have written. Larger and corpulence. Develop a greater stake in the fight."
"El canario es de aspecto arrogante, esbelto, valiente, heridor, inteligente para la lucha, pendenciero y malintencionado.
El historiador canario, Sr. Viera y Clavijo, en su «Historia Natural de las Islas Canarias», escribe: En Nuestras islas se cría al gallo inglés o de casta inglesa para destinarlos a las peleas, por ser ellos superiores a los del país. La llegada de los gallos ingleses a la isla fué durante el siglo XVII, creando con el gallo español existente, un tipo diferente con características propias y con un pleito diferente. De mayor tamaño, peso y fortaleza que sus originarios."
The Canary fowl are not Bankiva. The Canary fowl show a mixture of different breeds. But what those breeds are or where they came from is not known. Due to the geographic location of the Canaries it being almost one thousand kilometers by sea from mainland Spain they could have come from anywhere. ....
For what I know the canary game fowl is a headhunter like the tipical spanish game fowl but crossed with some degree of oriental this is why they are as strong as the american game fowl for the gaffs just smaller weighting from 3-8 to 4 pounds.
Nice pictures Eddie thanks for showing them to us. I have to disagree on your statement about the quality of the Canarios, they are second to none, at level with any of the best battle fowl being shown in any pit in the caribbean, the americas or mailand spain itself. I´ve had them, still keep some blood and they are some of the best ones. Your assertion is based on mixed and many times misstranslated information from here and there, for instance you talk about Ricardo Pedraglio´s book, well Ricardo is a close friend of mine, and I had in my yard two of the best hens he has ever had, cannary ones ( his words ) while in transit from my country (ecuador) to his (peru), he lended them to me for over a year to breed out of them and boy the offsprings were some of the best spanish fighters that have ever been seen around. The breeder Jose Carlos Rodriguez from Cannary Islands, was Spanish Champion for three years in a row, and it´s a known fact that penninsular cockers almost never go to the islands to particiapate in tournaments because of the canario´s superiority. They are bankivoid indeed, not pure bankiva, I never say so, on the other hand it´s supposed that some oriental cross might have been done way back in the past, and certaInly oeg too, but the biggest influence is the spanish game of course this is a fact not fiction. They are head hunters as well as body hitters,some show defensive styles and fight in postizas of 35 to 45 mm, the average weight is four pounds.
Regarding the history of the Canary Islands.......
The islands were visited by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Carthaginians. According the Roman author Pliny the Elder (1st century AD), the archipelago was found to be uninhabited when visited by the Carthaginians, but they saw ruins of great buildings. This story may suggest that the islands were inhabited by other peoples prior to the Guanches. King Juba from Numedia is credited with discovering the islands for the Western world (1st century AD). Although the history of the settlement of the Canary Islands is still unclear, linguistic and genetic analyses seem to indicate that at least some of these inhabitants shared a common origin with the Berbers of northern Africa. The pre-colonial inhabitants were known as Guanches (originally the name for the indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife). From the 14th century onward visits were made by sailors from Majorca, Portugal and Genoa. In 1402, the Castilian (Spanish) conquest of the islands began.
I think this piece of history gives not much hold to the assumption that the Canarian gamefowl in a less or more degree have been influenced by Oriental gamefowl. At least not in ancient times. Ofcourse, it is possible that in modern times Oriental gamefowl have been introduced. Size/weight wise maybe some -indigenous- Bankiva gamefowl from the Philippines have been introduced ? I dont see much other options. The look of those Canarian fowl to me does not show much Oriental features. But I am happy to learn.
Well putting aside some old reading you can watch several videos of the canary gamefowls in youtube.com, those fights are from last year at least and you can get your own conclusion. From my point of view I agree with Pablo they are good headhunters like the tipical spanish gamefowl and the only difference that I see from the original spanish game fowls is that they are stronger for the oriental infusion.
Hi Pablo you bring up some intresting questions and each one of the need to be addressed in a seperate post.
First one, Pablo there is no mistranslation in the fact that Mr Pedraglio has claimed that English game became established in the Canary isles and he quoted the source for this claim as being in the book from historian Jose de Viera y Clavijo which was published in 1772.
Pablo it was the British who appear to have been the source of much misinformation when it comes to game fowl.
They claimed that English game cocks were actually bred in to Spanish fowl. This is in spite of the fact that these fowl at the time of the Peninsular War 1808-1814, were bred to fight in long gaffs up to about 3 1/2 inches long and they had been for a long time before that.
Do any of you know of anyone who would be stupid enough to breed long gaff fowl in to fowl that would fight in short sharp natural spurs of say 3/4 of an inch ? LOL
But what about the Canary isles fowl ? ... They are bigger than the real Spanish game. It just so happens that the fowl of the Canary isles are indeed actually about the same size range that the English game use to be during the peninsular War so in terms of size they are just right.
But many of the stereotypical fowl of the Canary isles have a big head and this is something that is associated with the Oriental fowl. English fowl in spite of all the Asil / Oriental bred in to them over the centuries still have quiet a small head.
Even though the modern cocks of the Canary isles use long spurs, the fact is the fast setting glue used for postizas is only a modern invention. During the time of the Peninsular War even the cocks of the Canary isles would probably just have had their own natural spurs only. This would also make it very unlikely that even they used English fowl.
I have left no known stone unturned in trying to find a historical documented link which could be verified that connect the English game fowl to the fowl of the Canary isles but so far there is nothing.
There is an incredible amount of books written about the Peninsular War. With amazing detail but there is no mention of cockfighting at all.
Charles Esdaile is a leading authority on the Peninsular War and here is a quote from a review from his latest book on the subject ....
"after twenty years' work with a team of seven researchers consulting some 700 books and documents in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese & Catalan,"
Two years ago I sent him an email in order to find out if he had ever found anything about English game fowl being sent out to Spain during the Peninsular War and here is the edited short version of his reply to me ....
"Dear Eddie (if I may?),
Thank you for this note. All very interesting, but I am afraid to say that this is a new one on me. While I would not rule out the possibility of fighting cocks being taken out to the Peninsula, I have never seen any mention of this, nor indeed any mention of cockfighting either.
All best wishes.
One other thing you probably do not know this but during the Peninsular War the Duke of Wellington had Light Infantry from Portugal in their ranks known as the Cacadores who he referred to as the "fighting cocks" of his Anglo-Portuguese Army. They were nicknamed the "fighting cocks"
Hi again Pablo just to ge to the final part of the points you brought up, both mainland Spain and the Canaries each have their own seperate events.
Jose Carlos Rodriguez was just champion of the Canary isles.
Just for those who might not know this, in the Canaries there would be no limit the to the lenght of the natural spurs or postizas made from natural spurs used.
The Canary isles have just introduced plastic spurs up to 40 millimeters just like the spurs used in Latin America and also the Caribbean.
They have a 10 minutes time limit on the Canary isles with spurs about 40mm long. Weight from about 3 lb 8 oz to 4 lb 12 oz
They have a half hour time limit in the Peninsula with natural spurs just 20mm long. Weight of real Spanish Game is from 2 lb 12 oz to 3 lb 12 oz.
If you check out the videos from the Canaries there are some cocks with just natural spurs and others with postizas made from natural spurs or plastic. One cock with just his own natural spurs against another one with postizas and a cock with one natural spur and one plastic spur etc. That is completely unprofessional.
Not so long ago they had a short spurs tournament on the Canaries, it was natural spurs 22mm and the weights were from 3 lb 2 oz to 4 lb 8 oz and a twenty minutes time limit.
This event was attended by some cockers from the Peninsula who transported cocks for the lighter match weights all the way by boat which is close to one thousand km and if I recall this correctly they beat the Canaries fowl and it caused much uproar.
I don't think they ever had another short spur tournament after that.
They are trying to improve the Canary isles fowl by using pure Spanish cocks from the mainland but in my opinion this is just a wast of time in the long run. The smaller cocks that they have seem to be the better ones.