Cockfighting is a blood sport in which two roosters bred specifically for aggression stand in a small ring from head to toe and are encouraged to fight to the death. Although illegal in all 50 states, cockfights continue across the country, in all kinds of communities, and among all kinds of people.
In organized cockfights, the natural fighting instincts of roosters are exaggerated by breeding, feeding, training, steroids, and vitamins. A bird may go through several months of training before fighting, which may mean running long obstacle courses (and even treadmills) and practicing fights with other roosters. Just before a fight, most of the bird’s feathers are plucked and the breeder cuts off the animal’s baleen, the ridges under the beak so that the opponent cannot pluck them.
TYPES OF FIGHTING COCKS
Since ancient times, roosters have been used for the blood sport of cockfighting. Due to campaigns by animal welfare and animal rights activists, cockfighting is now illegal in the United States. Proponents of this sports claim that roosters are territorial and aggressive by nature. They protest that the roosters are well cared for and often cite cultural reasons for preserving the sport. Animal welfare organizations denounce cockfighting as barbaric, arguing that roosters are bred solely for enhanced aggressive qualities that contradict the bird’s natural state. Stories of cocks full of steroids and forced to fight with knives on their legs are often corroborated to demonstrate the bloodthirsty aspects of cockfighting. The types of roosters used in these controversial battles vary.
The Cock Pit
Known as gamecocks, gamecocks are placed in a ring called a cockpit where they will fight until one of them is killed or seriously injured. The roosters are conditioned like professional boxers for the fight, which can last from a few minutes to half an hour. Sticks are placed on each of the roosters, with the fight only ending when one of the roosters sustains major trauma or dies. Law enforcement agencies in the United States have found more than $100,000 in cockfights. Nearly all roosters caught during cockfights are euthanized because they are too aggressive to live safely with other birds.
The Fighting Cock
Without realizing it, the United States has supplied a large number of game birds to the cockfighting industry. The hunting rooster is a prize bird that can sell for up to five thousand dollars. They are usually selected from the Miner Blues, Hatch, Claret, Black, Round Head, or White Hackel varieties. They are valued for their durability, strength, and “don’t back down, don’t give up” mentality. The hunting rooster differs from farm chickens in both size and plumage. In preparation for a fight, the feathers are removed from the bird’s chest and abdomen to make it more streamlined and effective. These American breeds are popular in the Dominican Republic, where cockfighting is a legal tradition and sport. These roosters are idolized and valued by their owners for their lucrative potential. If the rooster dies in the fight, they take it home and eat it for dinner.
The Old English Game
The first cockerel breed to be bred in Britain was the Old English game. Known for their hardy nature, these roosters have their combs and wattles removed in a process called “doubling.” After being folded, the bird would look more fearsome and less vulnerable to damage. The Old English Game Fowl is still bred by modern fanciers who continue to double pigeons for show purposes. If left alone, adult Old English bantams will often fight to the death, so they are often kept isolated.
Reza Asil’s cock
The Reza Asil is a large, long-legged rooster from Pakistan and India. Known for their combativeness, Asils often fight for fun as chicks and to the death when fully mature. Asils have a distinctive upright stance, drooping tail, and well-defined muscles, which rank them as good fighters. Asils are very tame and trusting of humans. Perhaps, as a result, the breed is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Critical List.
How are roosters trained to fight?
A diet of almonds, cashews, and ground beef, healthy exercise, and the occasional injections of muscle-building hormones and antibiotics—this is what it takes to nurture a tough rooster.
Diet is important. Roosters weigh about five pounds and must weigh within two ounces of each other to fight. The author of the tutorial suggests feeding roosters a combination of oats, wheat, split peas, long grain rice, corn, popcorn, and barley from November to April.
The claws of a rooster are tied with a cloth for the test fight. While roosters fight with their claws, and an extra set of claws, in real battles, they will only use their beaks for the test battle. Shahabuddin lets Galway out of his hen house and feeds him his breakfast of bird food.
So how do these poultry farmers and gamblers create bloodlust among these impassive species? This is how you do it:
As mentioned above, these roosters are raised on a nutritious diet of almonds, cashews, and ground lamb, along with a dose of muscle-building hormones and antibiotics. Ironically, his dinner consists of boiled eggs, nuts, and cereal.
A vet or poultry specialist will be appointed to care for the roosters 24/7 to ensure they reach the ideal weight, around four to five pounds. But his ultimate weapon is his limbs, which have a sharp blade attached to make his blows deadly.
According to the TOI report, such a ferocious rooster sells for about Rs 4 lakhs, but if it wins, the owner supposedly earns Rs ‘crores’.
Traditionally, roosters are classified into the following categories:
- degas (eagle)
- Kaaki (raven)
- Pearl (peacock)
- nemali (peacock)
How do I make my rooster aggressive?
If the rooster attacks you, raise your arms and move them, and I will defeat mine. This makes you look fierce and even bigger to him. Take a few steps or even run towards him. DO NOT walk away from him or turn your back on him until he has surrendered to you.
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