The ability to point-out a show of gamefowl is not, in itself an art, rather it is simply a matter of knowing what pointing is all about and using that knowledge to help overcome the problems that are most commonly associated with the pointing procedures. The following is presented as a more or less guide to a better understanding of the Art of Pointing Gamefowl.
Like man and other mammals, gamefowls are homeothermal, that is, they are warm blooded and are able to control their body temperatures when environmental changes in weather takes place. As a ground-dwelling species of birds, gamefowls are creatures with intense metabolic rates, more so than man and most other mammals. Consequently, due to this high metabolism, gamefowls are prone to suffer from adverse effects of both physical and emotional stress.
Although there are many other factors that present problems during the pointing procedures, stress is probably the single most important factor in preventing and holding a fowl on point. Therefore, the management of stress, both internal and external during the pointing procedure is the number one priority.
What is Stress?
Stress is any physical or emotional strain on the body or mind or both. Physical stress occurs when an external or natural change of force acts on a fowl's body such as extreme heat or cold, overwork, injuries or illness, malnutrition, parasites, excessive handling, and traveling etc.
Emotional stress may be the result of tension, frustration and/or anxiety due to caging, the conditioning period, lack of rest, traveling, and many other factors. Both physical and emotional stress can overlap during these times and the body reacts by increased or lowered metabolism, depending on the type of stress, by changing the body's normal physical functions. This a natural response common to man, beast and fowl.
What Happens when Stress Occurs
When a gamefowl is subjected to either physical or emotional stress the natural response of the body is to produce more adrenal hormones. These adrenal hormones are secreted by glands that lie above the kidneys. When released into the blood, these hormones prepare the body for action by increasing blood pressure and heartbeat and by making more energy available by increasing the glucose blood plasma to its highest possible point.
The increase in the production of adrenal hormones which occurs with stress increases the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates, producing instant energy for the body to use. As a result of this increased metabolism, there is also an increase of excretion or loss of protein, potassium and phosphorus and a decreased storage of calcium.
Many of the disorders related to stress are not a direct result of the stress itself but a result of nutrient deficiencies caused by increased metabolism during the period of stress. Any stress that is sufficiently severe or prolonged will cause a depletion of vital nutrients that have been stored in the liver and tissues. For example; Vitamin C is manufactured by the fowl's body and stored to some extent in the muscle tissues and is essential for the normal functions of the adrenal glands. When stress occurs, the adrenal glands use up all the available Vitamin C and adrenal exhaustions occurs. In other words, they cannot function properly and in extreme cases not at all.
The Management of Stress
A certain amount of stress is useful in conditioning gamefowls. But when it occurs in excess or is of the wrong kind, the effect on a fowl's entire system can be devastating.
There are simply too many factors involved to allow for the prevention of the many types of stress one encounters. Stress and its related disorders, more often than not, are not apparent and may go unnoticed, therefore measures must be taken to assure that these hidden abnormalities of stress are brought under control.
Both physical and emotional stress can be best managed by rest and by replacement of vital nutrients lost during these long periods. This is basically what the pointing procedures are all about.
Fowls should be protected from extreme weather conditions. They should have amole room to exercise and not be caged for long periods of time. They must be wormed and deloused on a regular basis. They must have access to water at all times and handled as little as possible and with care.