The Cockhouse may be any size you desire. I constructed a small twelve foot by sixteen foot cockhouse that is cool in summer Dry and warm during rainy season . The fly pens are near or connected to the cockhouse for convenience. The following components are necessary to effective train the gamecock.
Rest stalls should be at least twenty-two inches square. Cocks can move about comfortably and will not damage his feathers in the size stall. I use two inch by four inch blocks about six inches long with a tree branch across for a roost pole. When you black out your cocks for the rest period leave these poles in so they will drop better. In the rest stall you can use a little wood shavings or carpet to allow you to check their dropping much easier than hay or other type of litter.
The scratch pens should be at least thirty inches square, made of plywood and one inch wire in front and top. Use good sand in the pens with leaves or pine needles to work the cocks legs. I like to use three scratch pens and three cool out pens with a little pine wood shavings so they will rest before feeding.
The work bench should be about four foot long and twenty four inches wide with foam rubber padding at least one inch thick. I use carpeting tacked down tight to keep the cock from slipping. The bench should be about as high as your waist.
A climb board about twenty inches square on top with foam rubber and carpet will make a good platform for your cocks leg conditioning program. The climb ladder should be about six inches long and eighteen inches wide with one inch foam and carpet tacked down tight. A small pen next to the platform will house the hen in full view of the cock. This will encourage him to go up the climb board to the platform to see the hen. Start the cocks close to the top when they are hungry to allow them to eat a little grain to entice him to get up the incline board. This leg exercise is old fashioned but it forces the cock to stretch and reach out which will help him reach out and cut someone when the time comes.
ENVIRONMENT MOISTURE CONTROL
A show of cocks will come to point as soon as each cock is dropping only gut moisture. Gut moisture is when a cock’s droppings are a small white bubbly spot about the size of the tip of your little finger. To get a cock to drop only gut moisture you must control the moisture in the environment. To accomplish the above is easy to say but the forces of Mother Nature can play havoc with the best laid plans. Rain, cold, heat, and humidity are the forces that you must control. One of the best ways to do this is to have an airconditioned room in your cockhouse where you can control the moisture and rest your cock the last three days.
If you can afford to equip your well insulated room with a humidity gauge and a dehumidifier or a humidifier depending on your area’s weather conditions you will be far ahead of most cockers. The room temperature should be maintains tat seventy-five degrees and humidity at sixty five to seventy percent. These conditions ill vary depending on your local weather conditions., however you should provide a comfortable temperature for the cocks. The humidity percentage should be maintained at sixty-five to seventy percent for best results.
Use a good container with a tight fitting lid to keep your grain fresh. I mix only a weeks supply at a time.
VITAMINS - TABLETS - SHOTS - ADDITIVES
VITAMINS & MINERALS: A D E K C B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B12
MEDICATIONS : Worm & Anti Bacterial Mediacations
STEROIDS: OOOOPS! Sorry I don't use one. But you may want to use it if you want.
SHOTS: Build up ( B-12, B-Complex, Vitamin C, Amini Acids and Electrolites),
ADDITIVES: boiled egg whites, brown sugar , banana , milk, Rice
If you have a cock that is too fat feed him oat graots and barley soaked in tomato juice. . Feed only one teaspoon morning and Afternoon for three days. Then feed regular keep feed for two days. Continue to alternate during Preconditioning . If he does not drop the weight, , throw him out.
Grass, Cocks should be put out on tie cords during the Pre Conditioning and Conditioning period, and Keep them for about five hours per day when weather permits to keep them fresh. No grass during Point Week.
1. Feathers – do not fight cocks with blood feathers.
2. Select cocks that have not been fought or cut if you can.
3. Cocks must have good flesh, if skinny get rid of him.
4. Cocks must have good full breast, long legs and good station is a must.
5. If to fat (check pen bones, if hard or if pen bones are too wide throw him out) you may try my suggestion of tomato diet, it has worked well on fat cocks for me.
6. Check toes, if crooked or swollen, do not keep him.check feet for planters warts(kulabo). Dig them out then pack with Sulphur and Vaseline, after cleaning with alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Use gauze to keep the wound clean. Change dressing and add medication every three days. Always take the best, do not save them for another day. Fight the best each time and you will win.
All cocks should be hand sparred once a month. Use a reject, But one that has the right to live. Using your leather gloves hold your spar cock by the wing and drumstick. Show your good cock the dummy head down and go and easy to let your good cock hit. Move your catch cock away fast. Start with the head twice and the tail ones. After he has hit the catch cock you can evaluate his aggressiveness and placement of legs. You want him to attack any time he sees feathers and you want those legs out in front. Your cock should land in a hitting position to continue to fight quickly.
You will hand spar cocks for the first eight days of the keep every morning before you work them. Keep several catch cocks of different colors to be used for this purpose. By hand sparring you will see your cocks become more aggressive and will hit from any angle. As the keep progresses you can better evaluate each cock using this method. evaluate the cocks to go into final selection.
You can spar too much and cause many bad habits. I would rather have a cock that has never been hit than one that has aparred too much. The day before the prep or prekeep, weigh and match each cock you have selected. Put a leg band on one cock and none on the others. Let thim face off and pick until they get good and mad.flush them three or four times, then set them down real close, approximately three inches apart. Let them hit acouple of good hard buckles and pick them up, wait two minutes and repeat the entire procedure. Now record the evaluation grading the cock with the band, A, A+, or B, etc. band the other cock and grade him. Do not ever spar your cocks from the long the score or if they stand facing off but won’t hit, pick them up and spar them again starting all over. This method, three sparring matches will give you a good grade on each cock and in conjunction with hand sparring your cocks will hit whenever he sees feathers and that is good.
A) Cocks should be sparred under lights.
B) Cocks should be traveled and then sparred away from the home.
C) Spar cocks with noise using two different radios on different station.
D) Dont Allow cocks to spar for a long time 4- 5 buckles is fine . Rest twenty seconds and repeat three times.
Select all A+ cocks, if you are going to a five cock derby select six, a spare . Go with your best, do not save them to fight later. Using this keep and conditioning product with the best cocks you have, you will be competitive and no one can make a living betting against you.
The objective is to get your cock razor sharp. The method of working him will help or hurt him depending on what you do and how you do it. Each cock is an individual and can stand only a certain amount of work. All work in this keep is based on this principle. I will suggest maximum exercises, but if a cock can not accomplish this amount, do not force him. Some will be able to reach the maximum with no trouble, these are your best prospects so watch them close. Once they show fatigue during an exercise period go three more repetitions but do not go beyond the maximum recommended amount.
Most cockers have to work so the light work is done in the morning before going to work. The serious training is done in the afternoon when you have time and when the cock will usually need to be conditioned to be competitive in the afternoon or night fights.
Each morning get your catch cock out and hand spar your good cocks in the fly pens or in the cock house. Use the pen if possible, but remember if they see their neighbor they will hit the wire and hurt their feet. If this happens use alcohol and hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound, then pack it with sulphur powder and vaseline. Do your hand sparring in the cock house if they start hitting the fly pen wire.
In the afternoon you will try to put wind, stamina, and agility ,speed and power in your cocks for the knife by working his legs and wings. The principle method used in this keep is stretching and massage, and this excellent for the knife and promotes good cutting ability.
The following leg exercise program is designed to improve the cutting ability of your cocks to be fought in the knife or gaff. Using the old climb board method is the best way to condition the muscle used in cutting. This exercise forces the cock to pull himself up an incline, stretching the leg muscle much more than the conventional figure eight running on the bench. You should place a hen in a small wire cage at the top of the climb board so the cock can flirt the hen. This exercise should be increased gradually to a maximum of ten climbs. The cock should be introduced to the board during the prep and prekeep at a close distance where he can see the hen and gradually increase the distance until he can climb the full distance of the board.
After your cock has completed his climbs you want to massage his legs using the following technique. Raise the cocks wings as he stands on the work bench and in a downward motion, rub each leg at least ten times. You should also rub his breast and back muscle, applying gradual pressure to increase circulation which will help prevent soreness. A cotton glove will keep you from damaging your cocks feathers.
STRETCHING LEG MUSCLES
After completing the climbing exercise, it will be necessary to massage and stretch the legs on your cocks. Cradle the cock in your arms and gradually pull, apply steady pressure to stretch his leg muscles. Be careful not to pull too hard. Stroke each leg about ten times to stimulate circulation and reduce soreness. As you stretch the leg, massage his joints with your fingers which will help your cock maintain his natural cutting ability.
The last three days of your leg exercise program you will use a mixture of two tablespoon of Epsom salt to a pint of warm water and alcohol. Massage your cock legs with this solution every morning to prevent soreness. To prevent the cocks leg shank from drying out, you should rub them with a little olive oil, then place them in their rest stall to be fed. After the cocks have been fed, dark them out to allow them to rest for the last three days of the keep. Take them out every three hours during the day to allow them to dump and loosen up by placing them in a fly pen for five or ten minutes each time. This procedure will prevent leg cramps and will insure maximum cutting ability.
On fight day you will dark out your cocks and if you do not have access to fly pens you will have to give him a complete rub down and leg massage every four hours when you take him out to allow him to dump. When your cocks moves in the drop pens watch his toes and if they curl up when he moves he is doing fine, so keep up the good work. As you pick up your cock, his legs should not be contracted under his body, they should hang long and loose. When on point the cock will be very quiet and will not move much.
Only the cocks breeding will put cutting ability in your chickens. The above leg exercise program will help maximize his natural cutting ability.
COMPLETE RUB DOWN
After the climb board you must give him a good complete rub down. Put him close to you with your left hand on his back holding both wings up with your thumb and fingers. Using a glove on your right hand, palm flat and fingers straight rub from his breast to his vent gently but with pressure. Rub his side going down his thighs and drumsticks using your fingers to raise his wing. Now rub his back from his wing joints to his tail. Massage his wing joints then turn him around and get the other side. This completes one rub down.
You will use this method of working your cocks throughout the keep and they will be ready to win for you in either the knife or gaff. The wing exercise method I use is based on the isometric principal of exercising against force. This method is easy to learn and will provide your cock with the necessary exercise to be effective in the gaff or knife. Face the work bench and back away about three feet to start. Your cock should have been introduced to the work bench during the prep and prekeep. You will start by giving your cock a few grains of dry feed on the bench, place a hen in a small wire cage on the bench to encourage the cock to pull himself to the bench. Hold the cock under his wings and release him and drop him in one motion so he has to pull himself to the bench. As he learns to fly to the bench, back up two feet each day, a good cock will pull himself ten feet he learns what you want him to do. Each cock should be able to get ten flies to the bench and you should not expect more as this is a very demanding exercise.
If you have a cock that is not working hard enough, you can use the tail method of flying the cock. Back up three feet from the bench and slide your hands to each side of his tail and as soon as his feet hit the bench, pull back so he thinks he fall off the bench. This method causes the cock to contract his wings rapidly and is an excellent method of working the cocks that are mean or on the verge of being a man fighter. This method allows you to keep the cock under control at all times so he cannot hit you. Most cock can handle five of these files. The key to determining how many flies to give a cock is to watch his beak, when it opens and he is showing signs of fatigue he has had enough. DO NOT OVERWORK your cock.
After you have worked your cock you should give his wings, breast, and back a good rub down. Ten strokes on the back and breast will make him feel good, also massaging his wing joint will help him relax. The massage and flying techniques are difficult to understand, so if you need additionalhelp, call me.
To develop additional strength and agility use a parallel fly technique.
The probability of winning ranges from a scale of 0 to 18
As a general rule, during new moon and first quarter when the night is generally dark, dark legged and dark feathered roosters are top winners. During full moon and last quarter of the month when the moon is bright at night, the yellow legged or white legged and light colored roosters are top winners.
From the experience, the Horoscope is 80% accurate. A rooster with the right color under the Horoscope may lose, if the other rooster, with wrong color, has superior kaliskis or other pre-ordained sure winning qualities.
THE WINNING SCALES (KALISKIS) AND OTHER PRE-ORDAINED WINNING QUALITIES
There is also in some measure a degree of plausibility to the view that the fate and fortune of the roosters, as with men, are pre-determined and written in their scales, as in the palms of the hands of men, and in other signs of other pre-ordained winning qualities.
A. Winning Scales
1. The whole unbroken scales at the knuckles, (buo sa kamao),
found after the fifth scales downward from spur level. These should be
balanced in the two feet, and the more whole scales downward the better.
Roosters with this scales become multiple winners.
2. Whole-unbroken scales at the level of the spur or at the last upper scale covered by feathers.
3. Tres Siete - With three scales at the outer fingers, with the third scale upward in level with the seventh scales at the middle finger counted downwards. By far, this is the most superior scale that has never lost in battle.
4. Diamond inset scale (sudya) embedded anywhere in front or back of the legs in the front knuckle or upper part of middle fingers and inside fingers, or after the first of the middle finger. This is bad if embedded after the fifth scale (el quinto) of the middle finger unless both fingers have it. This is also bad if located at the outer finger, particularly after the 3rd of the 5th scale, unless balanced in both outside fingers.
5. Double inside scale in front of the leg touching the spur as if supporting the spur.
6. Tres Andanas - Front leg scales with 2 unbroken lines from top to bottom
7. Three (3) scales only on the small back fingers.
8. Broken scales on the last scales of all fingers.
9. Uno y media - Broken scale or diamond inset (media) after the first scale of the middle or inner fingers.
10. Baretahan - A post-like composite of downward unbroken scales in the middle of the leg separated by two downward lines from the side scales. It looks like an unbroken post in the middle of the front leg.
11. With no longer inner fingers than the outer fingers.
12. A rooster with black balls. This character is carried in the bloodline.
13. A rooster with a small feather in the middle of the hole at the end of the inner wing.
14. Dagit Lawin - A rooster dropped by the hawk while still a chick.
15. A rooster with a large feather in the middle at the back of the ass (the heart shaped structure where the tail feathers are attached).
The Art Of Heeling
Heeling is the important aspect of cockfighting. It is the
knife (tari) tied to the gamecock that kills the opponent. It spells the
difference between victory and defeat.
The most important lesson, which practically all big time heelers know, is to use short and long blade. The measurement of the length of the blade should be limited only to the shank of the leg and should not include the ball joint of the leg.
A shorter blade kills faster than a longer blade, especially in drag fights and close fighting. A short blade has no disadvantage in air combat because the vital organs of a rooster is not far from the outer part of its body.
The position of the knife depends on the character of the legs, whether it is tihaya, regular, or kubkob or piki. But in any kind of legs, one rule of thumb based on geometrical precision should be followed. The direction of the blade should be aligned with the direction of the inner left leg to which the blade is being attached. When brought downwards with the nails of two inner finger touching, the end of the blade should be pointing to the base of the right leg. Pushing the leg a little forward to bend the knee, the end the knife should be aligned to the middle of the body starting from the scrotum. Pulling the leg backward and elevating it higher, the direction of the blade should be aligned with the direction of the left leg. If the points to an upward direction to the left when raised upward, it should be aligned to the direction of the inner leg by lowering pillow (paunan ).
When standing with the knife already attached, the direction
of the blade should be in-between the direction of the outer and middle left
leg finger opposite the blade. If it is aligned to the middle finger, then
it is placed too-inclined inside (masyadong pasok ). If it is aligned to the
middle finger, then it is diretsa. If the tip of the blade is pointed to the
left, then the sight is out (labas). All these types should be avoided. If
the blade is too inclined inside, it is poor in killing in the exchange of
blows on the ground. If it is diretsa or labas, it does not produce deep
To check if the inclination in the correct position, put a string from the front leg across the left and the middle finger to the back and on the top of the knife (tari). The string will show the proper alignment of the direction of the blade.
The tip of the knife (tari ) should be horizontally on the same level of the spur.
Cockfighting, being a favorite national past time in the Philippines is here to stay, with it's intense thrills , joys, and pitfalls. It is hoped that above lessons could be of help to other cockers, big or small, now and in the generations to come.