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Asil Chicken Breed: Complete Guide

When it comes to fascinating histories, chicken breeds have some surprising stories to tell. Some chickens are bred with eggs or meat in mind. Others like the Asil, also known as the Aseel, were created for another purpose: cockfighting. Despite the dark history of the Asil chicken, they are making a comeback as ornamental or companion chickens on farms. If you are interested in learning more about this striking breed, then keep reading this complete guide on the Asil chicken.

white asil chickens in india

Quick Facts About Asil Chickens

Here is a brief glimpse at the characteristics of the Asil chicken:

OriginIndia and Pakistan
Weight3-6 lbs (Hen); 4-9 lbs (Rooster)
PurposeCockfighting, Meat, Ornamental
Lifespan8-10 years
ColorsDark brown, spangled, white, black-breasted red, fawn, gray, wheaten
Egg Laying40 medium eggs per year
Egg ColorCream
Comb TypePea
Cold HardinessHigh
Heat ToleranceModerate
PersonalityIntelligent and aggressive towards other chickens; can be socialized to interact with children and other animals
Care LevelModerate

Origin of the Asil Chicken Breed

aseel rooster

The Asil breed — also spelled Aseel or Azeel — is thought to have originated in India and Pakistan, though there are some strains that are found within Southeast Asia as well. For as long as anyone can recall, the Asil/Aseel chicken was bred for one thing: dominance in the cockfighting ring. The breed continues to be prized for its absolute skill at fighting. As such, it is highly sought after in various parts of the world where cockfighting is ongoing.

In Arabic and Hindi, Asil or Aseel means “pure” or “of the highest caste.” When you consider what this breed is capable of when brawling with another rooster, the name seems fitting.

Around 1750, the Asil made it to Europe, where the popularity of the breed soared. Breeds from the United Kingdom started to change the breed a little further, contributing to their strength, agility, and musculature. By the 1800s, the Asil chicken was also seen on American soil, thanks to a man named Dr. H.P. Clarke. Later, in 1931, Dr. D.S. Newill imported more Asil chickens into the US.

In 1981, the American Poultry Association accepted the Aseel as a standard breed. There is currently a breed standard in place for several varieties of this amazing breed. Sadly, these days, they are not as common in America or Europe, earning their place on the Livestock Conservatory Priority list.

Asil Chicken Physical Characteristics

The Asil chicken is sleek, muscular, and intelligent-looking. These birds are not fluffy like many other breeds of chicken; they look narrow and thin. Yet, if you pick them up, they are heavier than you would think. There are several varieties of Asil chickens, each with their own unique look. For instance, one Asil rooster may have long, streaming tail feathers and a large comb while another will have nonexistent tail feathers and wattles.

Generally, the standard calls for these birds to have a round skull, short, hawkish beak, yellow legs, and red comb.

Here is a look at the known Aseel variations:

Kilimookku Aseel (Parrot Beak)

One of the biggest, most recognizable variations of this breed. Parrot beak Asil have short, thick beaks, long tail feathers, and a proud stance and gait. Their attitudes tend to be warrior-like. The Kilimookku variety also comes in many colors, including white and black, golden brown, red, black and red, black and yellow, gray, and white.

Reza Asil

The variety often chosen for cockfighting, the Reza Asil rooster can stand up to 50 cm tall and weighs around 6 pounds.

Madras Asil

madras asil chicken

Their beaks and tails are shorter. These Aseel rely on their long spurs to fight.

Sindhi Asil

madras sindhi asil chicken head

Heavy, tall, and highly aggressive, Sindhi Asil are compact and have short tail feathers. They are bred primarily for cockfighting.

Kulang Asil

Extremely large (standing up to 2 feet tall) and weighing between 10-15 pounds, this rare form of Asil that can be confused for the Shamo breed. They have a smaller comb but long black tail feathers.

Other Asil chicken varieties include the Javanese Aseel, Bantam Asil, Lasani Aseel, Amroha Asil, and Mianwali Asil.

Asil Chicken Personality and Temperament

While the Asil chicken breed is known for being very aggressive, there is a lesser known side to them. Yes, they were born to attack other chickens. If you release an Asil into a flock of chickens, whether the others are Asil or not, they will attack. It’s not play-fighting either. They aim to maim — which spells trouble for any chicken in their path.

Both Aseel roosters and hens are aggressive. As such, you cannot mix Asil chickens that have not been socialized with other birds. The danger is too great.

Now, here is where the lesser known facts come in. Asil chickens may be aggressive, but they are also intelligent. They have fire that can be tempered and trained. With enough socialization from a young age, Asil hens can be desensitized to other passive breeds. Keep them away from other Aseel and you will have no problems.

Furthermore, despite their instincts to fight anything with feathers, these birds are fiercely loyal and affectionate towards their humans. When raised alongside children, Asil chickens have an almost dog-like demeanor, playing with little ones and even protecting them from dangers. For this reason, people have begun to keep an Asil chicken as a companion on their farms.

Are Asil Chickens Good at Laying Eggs?

Unfortunately, no, Asil chickens are not good for egg production. Rather than raising Asil chickens for eggs, most people use them for meat or companionship. Hens are on the low end of the production scale, coming in at 40-60 medium-sized eggs each year. For bantam Asil, this number tends to be in the single digits — around 6-7 per year.

Interestingly, while Asil hens are not particularly good at laying eggs, they are wonderful for hatching them. If you have chickens who refuse to sit on their eggs, an Aseel momma is exactly what you need. They are fiercely broody and will let next to nothing — not even snakes — get between them and their babies.

How to Care for Asil Chickens

one white asil chicken in india 1
one white asil chicken in india 2

The Asil is a resilient breed. They would have to be, due to their disposition. These birds are no more susceptible to certain diseases or health conditions than most other breeds. When raised in ideal conditions, the Asil will live between 8-10 years. Make sure you are taking them to the veterinarian regularly, providing them with high quality food and fresh water, and doing some preventative worming.

That will keep your Asil chicken and every other member of the flock happy and healthy for many years to come.

Here are some other tips to help you set up the ideal environment for an Asil chicken:


The Asil is hardy, but they tend to do better in cooler climates. They will also be fine in the heat, but they may be less energetic in more humid conditions. That said, some varieties that are raised in Southeast Asia may be better suited for the heat.

Coop and Run

You are going to need a lot of space for these large chickens. Ensure you have at least 19 in x 19 in (50 cm x 50 cm) of space per chicken in the coop if you plan on raising an Asil. They prefer perches that are about 1.5 inches wide, high up and away from the floor. So make sure the coop has enough vertical space. Furthermore, the coop needs to be ventilated, but you do not want it to get too cold in the winter. While these birds are better suited for the cold, they do not have dense plumage to retain a lot of heat.

For a run, there needs to be plenty of room. Asil chickens can fly, so you will need to cover the entire run with mesh or a tarp to ensure they do not escape.

Flock Size

As mentioned, Asil chickens are not exactly friendly towards other birds. They are independent and prefer to be alone throughout the day. Even if you have a mixed flock of chickens that the Asil is familiar with, they will not participate in the flock. At night, however, Asil chickens do want some company in the coop. Most of the time, Asil chickens are kept in pairs — one hen and one rooster — to ensure they do not get lonely or cold overnight.


Being that the Asil breed is considered a game bird, they tend to love free ranging rather than being confined to a chicken run. These are independent, intelligent chickens who are most happy when they can do their own thing. When they are displeased, they tend to scream — loudly — for hours. So, if you want a quiet, content Aseel, make sure you have plenty of land for them to wander.

Give your chickens a high quality chicken feed and supplement with fruits, vegetables, and other treats, like cracked corn in the winter. Clean water should also be available for these birds throughout the day, especially when it is hot and humid out.

Asil Spurs

If you intend to keep an Asil rooster, then you are going to need to know how to deal with the spurs. In the past, Asil owners would wrap the spurs before cockfights so that the chickens would not hurt one another right away. The spurs are known to open fatal wounds. Fortunately, there are safe ways to remove the spurs from your roosters, making these birds much safer to be around.

How to Socialize an Asil Chicken

asil cock head

So, you want to get yourself an Aseel. Be prepared to commit time and energy to their socialization! These birds, being that they are game birds and highly aggressive, are not always the easiest or most pleasant to handle. That being said, if you can win their trust and socialize them the right way, you will have a charming feathered companion to follow you around the yard.

Interacting and visiting the chickens is important. Make sure they can see and smell other scents, familiarizing themselves with their new home. Do not overwhelm them right away. Short bouts of handling is enough. When the time comes, introduce your Asil to the flock by setting up a parallel run. This ensures that the chickens learn of one another without any needless bloodshed.

If you have not socialized a chicken before, then it is highly recommended you enlist the assistance of a certified Asil breeder.

When welcoming a newcomer to the roost, be sure to quarantine them for 7-31 days to ensure all unwanted diseases and parasites have been dealt with. Ideally, you would receive your Asil as a chick and be able to work on introducing them to people early on. Asil hens will more easily socialize than the cockerels or roosters, but patience is required all the same.

Final Thoughts on Asil Chickens

There you have it — everything you needed to know about the Asil chicken breed. These chickens were born for cockfighting, but they are more than aggressive. Towards people, including children, they can be excellent, protective companions. Asil chickens may not be ideal for loading you with eggs, but they do have a decent amount of meat. This rare breed is unique, intriguing, and it provides a special challenge for even the most experienced chicken keeper.