Original Post from Trout Fisherman, March 5th 2014
“…there’s an agreement that if the birds in India require any restocking at all, Ron will be called upon.”
You can’t beat natural Jungle Cock, but make sure your source is legal, says Ron Taylor of Bransford Game Fisheries
While walking around Bransford’s trout lakes you can’t help but notice the many bird aviaries dotted around, housing 184 breeding birds. The story of how they arrived here is interesting to say the least.
Ron has been hooked on fishing since three years of age but his career as a bank manager saw him jet off to the far east, India to be exact. While there he befriended an angler who showed him where the Indian Grey Jungle Fowl with their much sought-after Jungle cock neck feathers were. These birds obviously hit the spot with Ron who has always been passionate about fishing and wildlife. He even reared poultry during the war so an affinity the Jungle Fowl was always on the cards.
The forests in India where these birds live, was being destroyed with many pheasants killed. Being a member of the World Pheasant Association (WPA) he was naturally concerned, especially after he went to Hardy Pall Mall to buy a cape and discovered they were now very rare.
He then used his contacts in India to see if he could get some of these birds back to the UK, which he succeeded in doing.
He began breeding the birds and is now able to cope with 500 eggs at a time. In fact his is the only commercial flock that’s legal in the world. Jungle cock was in dire straights and was virtually extinct in 1978 but the 28 aviaries at Bransford have
In fact there’s an agreement the if the birds become extinct in India or require any restocking at all, Ron will be called upon with the Standard Chartered Bank Ltd providing the funds to get the chicks over there. This is a deal involving the Indian Government’s Department of Forest and Wildlife. But the poaching of these birds in India has noticeably declined since Ron has been providing his quality capes.
Watson’s Fancy with it’s distinctive jungle cock cheeks.
The danger with Jungle Cock feathers is that they are prone to splitting because the male – in his attempts to attract a mate – turns his head around briskly which can split the feathers. To counter this, Ron has managed to breed cocks with tougher feathers!
He urges all anglers to only source Jungle Cock from authorised sources, which don’t deplete the natural bird stocks. The illegal trade of Jungle Cock is being monitored by the police so watch out!