Before I begin, this is only a basic guide. This is in many ways how I have conditioned my birds. You will have to take what is best for your scenario…You can and should tailor conditioning to meet your needs/goals. NOTE: I am merely One Man and his methods. I want the Asil Club to learn and grow so please PM with any opinions or issues and I will get it added on or corrected.
Conditioning your bird: (please refer to my Introduction to tape boxing for more guides) I condition my birds around 7.5 – 8 months for birds within the 6.5 lbs to 8.5 lbs range. For bigger birds above 8.5 lbs, I wait until they are at least 1 year old so keeping D.O.B. records is vital unless you have an awesome memory. By the time my birds are fully trained and conditioned they are at least 10+ months. If they have passed all of the requirements, they start to “show” at close to 12 months. (Again these are my preferences and my opinions) To begin with, conditioning first starts with before they are even born. One has to have a healthy and quality pair of parents. This can be accomplished with appropriate housing, lineage, and dieting. I can’t stress this enough. Care for your birds and treat them well. (I will not write more info on how to feed or house your birds…use your best judgment and what you can afford…
At about 7.5 months I start to wash them every other day so that they get accustomed to the method and process. (Please refer to my Introduction to tape boxing on a brief explanation of my method) In between while I have them adapt to the process of washing I spar my birds. I don’t consider sparring conditioning, however, some do so I must include that aspect.
Very briefly though, One 15 minute round for a first timer at 7.5 months or older. Give them 2 weeks rest with very minor conditioning in between this 2 week period if you want, but I don’t at this age yet. At about 8 months 1 full 18 or 20 minute round and again followed by 2 weeks’ worth of resting. If you like what you see near the 8 month mark, you can do minor conditioning (I sometimes start conditioning here depending on the attitude and condition of the bird).
Finally, a third spar with someone else’s birds. 2 full rounds timed at 18 or 20 minutes. This is followed by another 2 weeks rest with moderate conditioning. I did not mention this but repair their feathers. This is done by adding new feathers that you should have saved and stored for this purpose (refer back to Introduction to tape boxing for more guides). During the sparring sessions they will have broken some and lost some. Feathering does three things: Help with flight and agility. Help conceal the bird’s possible weaknesses. Makes your bird look much nicer and well taken care of compared to your opponent (image/name matters to me). In other words, you know what you are doing with your birds.
When conditioning, diet is super important. So feed them a “fighter’s” diet at about the 9.5+ month mark. I cannot recommend what to use. After the 2 weeks following the third spar and if the bird has made it past his exams he is now ready for full conditioning (should be around 10+ months). Now you can wait until they are 12 months or more too just make sure they are not out-of-shape otherwise you may have to repeat some of the previous processes as there will be some “couch-potato” time. Jumping jacks. Simply rest your bird’s anterior chest (near below the neck) in one of your palms and the other palm at the top of his “butt” where his saddles meet his sickles. Now with your palm that’s at his chest, gently push or thrust it upwards in a quarter’s worth of circle motion while gently supporting the butt with your other hand. If done right he should lift-off the ground a few inches and almost perform a kicking like motion with this legs and thighs. His legs and wings are worked out. To start off you can do 35 of these for 2-3 days until he breaks in and then go up to 50. NOTE: He will be shaking and wobbly afterwards from muscle work out. Use this every other day with the following method.
“Chicken run”. You will need: 2 maybe 3 three feet high baskets or jumping obstacles. Bottle of water. Comfortable workout clothes. Stretching for your self-warmups. The bird you want conditioned. The smallest cock/stag that will intimidate the aforementioned bird into a fight. How this works is you hold the small bird in your arms and let the one you want to be conditioned free roam in the ground.
Using the small bird in your hand entice the one on the ground to chase or want to fight it. PLEASE WARM UP BEFORE HAND YOUR OWN BODY. Prior to this you should place the baskets in any fashion you want on the ground about 8-12 feet apart from each other. Enticing the ground bird, have him chase you and the other bird in your arms. Lower your arms so he can see the other bird. You have to speed walk back and forth allowing the ground bird to chase. As you get to one of the baskets slowly bring the bird in your arm to the top of the basket (you want the ground bird to jump and follow you up there to develop strength in his wings). Do this for no more than 12-25 mins or as long as your body can hold up (5 mins maybe enough LOL and drink your bottle of water).