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Jipu 雞譜

Jan 28, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Jipu 雞譜 is an anonymous book on fightings cocks (douji 鬬雞), and at the same time the only traditional text specializing on this topic.

The text has a length of 51 paragraphs instructing the reader about the physical standards for fighting cocks (head, crest, eyes, etc.), breeding and raising, incubation eggs and feeding of chicken, and of adult cocks in particular, diseases and their treatment and prevention, as well as recommendations during and after a fight. As for breeding, the most important selection criteria were the head, feather, and bones and muscles. Apart from the right type of fodder, owners of fighting cocks had to pay attention to water, sun, the soil, and the influence of seasons on the daily care for the animals. In the summer months, for instance, shadowy places were to be offered, and the bird fed with sorghum (gaoliang 高粱) and bean sprouts (douya 豆芽).

The texts describes a dozen of diseases and provides suggestions which are still used nowadays.

The Jipu is transmitted as a manuscript written in 1787 in a perfect standard calligraphy style. It was transcribed and annotated by Wang Zichun 汪子春 and published in 1989 by the Nongye Press 農業出版社.

Sources:
Wang Zichun 汪子春 (1985). "Xishi chaoben Jipu chubu yanjiu 稀世抄本《雞譜》初步研究", Kexue tongbao 科學通報, 1985 (15): 1186-1188.
Wang Zichun 汪子春 (1986a). "Jipu zhong guanyu ji de siyang guanli jishu: Jipu yanjiu (2) 《雞譜》中關於雞之飼養管理技術——《雞譜》研究(二)", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 1986 (1): 391-395.
Wang Zichun 汪子春 (1986b) "Jipu lun ji de jibing he fangzhi: Jipu yanjiu (3) 《雞譜》論雞的疾病和防治——《雞譜》研究(三)", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 1986 (2): 283-289+294.
Wang Zichun 汪子春 (1994). "Jipu tiyao 《雞譜》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 4, 895-896.
Wang Zichun 汪子春 (1995). "Jipu 雞譜", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 151.