wellsaid sir..............Originally Posted by MudflopHere is my take on moisture. Not taking away anything from others comments. All are helpfull.
Gut Moisture and Flesh Moisture are two separate things. Gut moisture is not problem during the feeding or before showing. They can dump our loads or lots of water like droppings with little brown pellet sized turds. It don't matter as the end result is what maatters. However, on flesh moisture if too wet they fall apart quickly when hit and are too sluggish to move around in the pit. They will hit harder, but they can't get their aim accurate. Now if they are too dry they will break way up than every before throw a thousand licks, but none could penetrate as they can't stretch far enough. Watching the droppings is a good indicator, but a conditioner needs to learn how to feel the cocks and each type of family also will have a different feel. It takes practice. When holding the cock try moving the skin slightly below the crop with your fingers on the breast if it moves easily without being able to be lifted too much the moisture may be right. It the skin is very loose and could be lifted they may be too wet. If the skin is hard to move when pushed with your fingers they may be too dry. Another indication of being too dry if the legs don't move backward too far and the leg muscles are too firm. This is how I check my birds, but knowing your cocks and knowing how to upload moisture and then feeding dryier feed and withholding a little water to pull out the moisture from their muscle cavities will make them feel wider and bigger yet the weight stays the same. Every conditioning facility must have a good set of scales as in a normal cock is at least 55% of body weight to be moisture. When a cock is being worked, then rested and fed properly and watered. His system will automatically upload enough moisture for his normal nourishment plus a little more to compensate for the work that took out some of his flesh moisture. This is why we work the cocks in increments so they will continue to upload adequate moisture into the body muscle cavities and into some bones to compensate for the next working session. When we begin the process of working less they will begin to drink less yet still hold the moisture in muscle cavities. When we change into drier feed and withhold water, they will pull the moisture from their muscle cavities to properly digest the drier feed. Watching the droppings is a good indicator of how much water is being utilized in the digestive system. Some obtained from the water provided and some from the muscle cavities. You can tell as the muscle cavity moisture when pulled will widen the cock and if widened too much will have a hollow feel somewhat like a volleyball air up a little too much. They must feel wider and not hollow and not too heavy or what is called leady. In addition the muscles will feel puffy and somewhat springy. This takes practice and once you find it you will never forget it as the fowl will show at least ten times better than a normal spar. In addition they must be coming up on point when walking up the stairs to the pit. On point is when their legs are drawn closer and their tail bone closes a bit from being empty and their guts and body organs drawn upward towards the front of the body. The gizzard then rest under the left leg and can be felt by rubbing slightly the body inside of the left leg. Don't over do it as the gizzard is very sensitive, but rubbing slightly with your finger tips you will feel it if it is in place. It feels as the outside edge of a silver dollar. When you learn to feel for the gizzard, you will know when you are about to let loose a well condition, on point fighting machine. Sorry for so long as these things are hard to explain. Hope this helps.