Monday, January 27, 2014

Gamecock Rooster

Gamecock Rooster
A gamecock or game fowl is a type of rooster with physical and behavioral traits suitable for cockfighting. The first use of the word gamecock, denoting use of the cock as to a “game” a sport pastime or entertainment being in 1646. after the term “cock of the game” used by George Wilson in the earliest known book on the sport of cockfighting in The Commendation of Cocks and Cock Fighting in 1607. Game fowl are more closely related to their wild cousins "jungle fowl"; a shy wild chicken from forests in South Central and Southeastern Asia. Game fowl are physically more similar to jungle fowl than domestic chickens and are bred to retain these physical attributes as well as the jungle fowl's natural territorial instinct. This instinct among sexually mature males is the driving force behind their desire to dominate  other males that would compete for breeding rights in their territory. Hens also will often have an above average need for territorial dominance. In some bloodlines the hens must be kept separate, just as with the cocks. Domesticated chickens – in contrast – have been bred over many generations to cohabitate on farms or other smaller pieces of land. Because of this change in environment, the aggressive attributes found in wild chickens (and modern game fowl) are not desirable for farm life. The "gameness" or fighting spirit has been bred out of domestic chickens. Domestic chickens are primarily bred for egg and meat production.
The roosters will fight each other regardless of human contact; it is their natural instinct to fight. There are numerous chicken breeds that fit the gamecock type, but a gamecock is not in itself a breed. Today, cockfighting, like most blood sports, is illegal in most of the world, but exceptions exist. Ireland, England, the U.S., and Spain are well known for the quality of their game fowl.
A gamecock may undergo physical conditioning in preparation for a fight. The conditioning process is sometimes referred to as a "keep" and is designed to, among other things, tame the cock so that he can be handled during a fight. The primary purpose of a keep is to ensure that the bird is physically and mentally fit for its upcoming match, similar to the conditioning a boxer or wrestler goes through. The keep usually includes a special high energy diet as well as physical exercise.
Prior to physical conditioning, a gamecock that is to be fought or shown is often groomed. The comb  and wattles  is usually trimmed at around a year old. This process is called “dubbing. The feathers are sometimes groomed as well. The sickle feathers of the tail may be trimmed or any long feathers that a cock might trip on during a fight. In some cultures the feather trimming is much more extensive. The feathers of the chest and the back are sometimes shorn completely off. The reason for this extensive trimming is to help prevent a bird from overheating during a longer match. The reasons for this vary among individual game fowl enthusiast. Some trim their birds according to a tradition and others do it because they believe that losing the “bulky” feathers improves mobility during a fight.


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