The sport of cockfighting has existed for hundreds of years, but like most
sciences, more progress has been made in the past fifty than all those preceding
years. The average cocks of today could defeat those cocks bred and fed in the
1920's. Why? For the same reasons human beings today are stronger, bigger and
faster than their grandparents: breeding and feeding. Great strides have been
made in genetics and nutrition in the past fifty, and particularly, the last
twenty years. Consequently, average life expectancy, general health, and size
have increased by leaps and bounds. In the animal world horses run faster, cows
produce more milk and beef, hens lay more eggs, and so on.
Cockers of today are more knowledgeable and generally better educated, with more
available information, than ever before. But, while most cockers are great
students of experience, as a rule, they do little to actually study genetics and
nutrition with an eye toward improving the ability and performance of their
fowl. This conditioning method is an attempt to enable many cockers to
"catch up" with the latest scientific developments in nutrition and
training. The research, the
studying, and the experimentation have been done for you. This keep can work for
I have read dozens of keeps, and while I have not seen one written in the last
ten years that would actually be detrimental to your fowl, most have been fairly
similar as to feed and work. You will find that this keep is different in its
approach, than any you have ever used. To be successful, you must follow this
keep closely, in quantity of feed and work, and in type of feed and timing.
This conditioning method is based on the latest studies concerning athletic
competition, and what are cocks except athletes? The principle behind it is
known as "carbohydrate loading". To understand fully how this keep
works, you should know a little about nutrition and its effects. So you can
understand the ideas involved, I will try to simplify them.
The amount of energy that a muscle will be able to produce depends on the amount
of "glycogen" stored in that muscle. Glycogen is a chemical that
serves as fuel for the muscle. The more glycogen present in the muscle, the
longer that muscle will be able to act effectively. Studies have shown that if
glycogen stores are depleted by exercise and a low carbohydrate diet, then
replaced by rest and a high carbohydrate diet, the muscle can store twice as
much glycogen, or energy, as it had originally. No one needs to tell you what
this means in practical terms: your cock will hit harder, and more importantly,
will be able to do it much longer than he would have otherwise. He will maintain
that deadly punch for a greater period of time. I will explain about
carbohydrates, proteins and fats in more detail when we get to the subject of
Finally, let me say that this is the closest thing to a workingman's keep that
you can find. It does not require 12 hours a day to be effective. The maximum
time needed would be I to 2 hours in the morning and the same in the evening.
The quantity of the time spent with your show of cocks is not as important as
the quality of the time. Make sure that your time is well organized and
efficient. This keep does require good cocks in good health cocks that are well
bred and have been fed and cared for properly all their lives. There is no keep,
and especially, no substance, that will make up for lack of care. So if you
bought this keep because you have been lazy your cocks are in poor health from
lack of care then you cannot expect this conditioning method, or any other, to
do them any good.
My feeling on this subject is that our cocks should be in a pre-keep all their
lives well fed, but at approximate fighting weights, worm free and deloused. I
hope you don't have cocks that are any other way. I have fought cocks off
strings, out of fly pens and out of holding pens with no appreciable difference
in performance when this keep is used for the last fourteen days. The important
thing to remember is that fowl are like people, in that they become bored with
the same surroundings. Whenever possible, rotate cocks on a regular basis from
fly pens to holding pens to string walks. This will keep the cocks active and
alert and prevent them from becoming coop-stale. Handle your cocks often, except
in moulting season, to tame them and to determine their weights so that their
feed rations can be adjusted accordingly.
I cannot overemphasize the fact that you should put up only those cocks that are
gentle and well mannered. Life is too short to fool with manfighters besides, it
is my belief that most manfighters are not truly game. However, don't confuse
manfighters with nervous, high-strung fowl. Also, many otherwise gentle cocks
will hit back if mishandled or when they are becoming sharp during the keep.
Like boxers, cocks in training love to snap a few punches at an available
target. In summary, just let me say that if a cock doesn't gentle down, doesn't
stop hitting or pecking when picked up, after a week's gentle handling, don't
consider him for a keep. Kill him, breed him (if you are a fool), but don't put
him up to fight.
Since I am on the subject, I'll attempt to give you a good all around feed
routine, as well as a worming and delousing schedule. Your daily feed for fowl
on your yard should consist of approximately 55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and
30% fat. Since most laying mash is 12% to 15% protein, you will need to
supplement the protein, unless you use the 20 to 30% protein lay pellets offered
by some feed stores. A good all-around feed, and one that is as cheap as
possible without sacrificing quality, is one part scratch (which consists of
cracked corn and wheat), one part 20% laying pellets and one part soaked oats.
For those cockers in the less temperate areas, substitute whole corn for scratch
in the winter. Sure, you can buy more expensive feeds, but for a good sound
all-purpose feed, this mixture can't be beaten. As for supplementing protein, in
moderation, you can use "trout chow", fish meal, or even some high
protein dog food such as Gaines. But always remember use these in moderation.
Because, after all, you are feeding chickens, and the closer you stay to a
natural diet, the better off you will be. A lot of fancy feeds will just upset a
fowl's digestion. The opinions on amounts and times of feeds would fill a book
much larger than this. Adjust your feed in accordance with the weight of the
cock. Whether you feed once or twice daily depends on so many variables, I
wouldn't even begin to try to dictate to you climate, types of pens, breeds of
fowl. Go with what works best for you. One hint though, if you have rather
severe winters, make sure your cocks are fed as close to dark as possible, the
more corn the better, if this is a second feed. It has been my experience that a
cock with a full crop can stand those cold nights much better than one that is
As for worming and delousing get on a regular schedule. If you have string
walks, change the leg bands every Saturday or Sunday or whatever, just do it
regularly. The same goes for worming and delousing. Fowl should be wormed and
deloused every month. In fact, I often delouse and worm any time I have an
occasion to catch one of my fowl running loose on the yard. Any number of good
products are available for getting rid of lice. Several are advertised in your
gamefowl journals and I have heard good comments about most all of them. Most
farm and feed stores carry a brand of lice powder. I know some cockers who use
Black Leaf 40 to delouse, often with a chemical dip, but I don't advise this. I
know of one prominent cocker who completely submerged all his battle cocks in a
delousing solution way over 100 of them. By the time he had finished the last
one, he looked back, and the first ones were beginning to fall over. He lost
every single treated cock that day, and although he is beginning to win again
this year, it took him three years to regain his previous position. So I don't
recommend dips, nor do I recommend Black Leaf 40 for the amateur.
The only worm medicine I can recommend is the Wormal product from Salsbury
Laboratories. If you follow directions on the bottle, Piperzine liquid wormer is
okay too, especially for young fowl. But remember, Piperzine only kills one type
of worm, the roundworm, while Wormal will kill three types of worms, including
the roundworm. Don't be misled by sensational claims in the gamefowl journals
advertising a revolutionary new worm medicine. If a more effective worm medicine
had been discovered, believe me, the commercial poultry men would be using it.
They're using Wormal, and so am I. Some worms hatch on 10-day cycles, so to be
safe, worm on Saturday, and then 10 days later. After that, follow your monthly
schedule to control worms. Just remember that worms, like lice, can never be
completely eliminated, just controlled.
The truth about the
effects of vitamins actually lies somewhere in between. I have had to rethink my
position on vitamins recently. Three years ago, I, along with most scientists,
doctors and nutritionists, felt that all the vitamins a person needed were
contained in a well-balanced diet. 'Using vitamin and mineral supplements was
just paying for expensive urine, the body's way of discarding unneeded vitamins.
However, today most experts agree that extra vitamins can play an important role
in any serious training program, as long as massive doses are not used. It is
quite possible to die from overdoses of vitamins vitamin D, for example. Certain
vitamins such as C and B-12 are water soluble, which means that the body does
not absorb what it doesn't need, and one cannot receive an overdose from these
vitamins. So, in conclusion, let me say that although vitamins and their effects
are still not completely understood, it is clear that cocks under the physical
strain of intensive conditioning can benefit from an extra vitamin and mineral
supplement, such as we advise in this program.
Every keep I have ever read mentions drying cocks out before they fight by
limiting their water intake. Some of the directions are moderate and some are
radical. Cockers thirty or forty years ago often gave their cocks no water for
the last two days! In to-, day's fast-paced competition, I know of no surer way
to get them killed. Cocks need moisture in their bodies to convert glycogen to
energy. Exactly how much water a cock needs is determined by so many factors it
is impossible to predict with any certainty but I will say this, give your cocks
all the water they will drink during the keep. Believe me, the cocks are better
judges of what they need than we are. In fact, in extremely cold weather, you
may want to encourage cocks to drink by giving them warm water or warm water
mixed with powdered milk. Always keep water by your cocks during the keep, up
until 24 hours or so before the fight, when you want to regulate every bit of
their feed and water intake. Consider this fact: when a cock loses 2% of his
body weight in water, his ability to perform begins to deteriorate. In other
words, he is riot fighting up to his potential. Two percent of a 5 pound cock's
weight is 1.6 ounces, a little over one and a half ounces. SO, if you bring a
cock into a fight with all the moisture he needs in his tissues, he has a much
better chance. And that, my friend, is the name of the game.
When pressed, most cockers will describe a cock on point" as a bundle of
nerves, bobbing, clucking, moving a cocked gun. I define a cock on point as
being a cock that is ready and at the peak of his health, strength and
well-being. For years, I have corresponded with a prominent cocker who has
continually pressed this idea on me: "Fight your cocks when they are ready,
not when you are." This means taking cocks to the pit when they are at the
peak of their mental and physical well-being.
"Pointing" is a natural thing. It is the end result of several
contributing factors: the cock is empty, he has been rested force rested, and he
is sexually and physically frustrated from inactivity. As a result of all these
factors, his blood sugar level is way up, his energy is at its peak and he is
not only ready, he's anxious for an outlet, he wants to fight. Often a cock
"on point" is described as "corky" to describe a cock that
is light and bobs like a cork on water. There is really no way to describe a
cock on point but I guarantee you'll know it when you feel him. This is not
something to be taught, it must be experienced.
Sparring can be a valuable tool for the cocker if done properly. First, it is a
tool for selection it allows the cocker to get some idea of how a cock will
fight. Secondly, a cock can learn some things during the course of a session,
good habits as well as bad. Thirdly, sparring can be a valuable outlet for a
cock's pent-up energy, allowing him to vent his rage and delay his coming on
point too early.
Some cockers use a catch cock and attempt to "teach" a cock to hit at
a cock's tail even if he can't see his head. Also, some cockers tie a catch
cock's legs to see if he will score on a down cock. I am doubtful if either of
these practices does the slightest bit of good, because I think the
aggressiveness of the cock is determined in the brood pen.
However, cocks, to a certain degree, can be taught to score quickly. This is the
way. First, bill your cocks really well, flush them and set them down
close together, close enough so they'll get at one another very fast. Let them
have a good pitting, enough to make them really mad, but don't let them wallow
and break feathers. After a 15 second rest, flush them and set them down about
three feet apart. Now, here is the important part: when the cocks break, catch
them immediately. Then without rest, set them down 5 feet apart, let them break
and catch them. This time set them down 8 feet apart, let them break and catch
them. Set them down again 8 feet apart and this time let them mix it up good.
The purpose of this type of sparring is simple: the cocks will begin to score
more quickly and break higher. Also, you are not giving them enough time to get
tired and start ducking. If you let cocks spar until they are very tired, they
will learn to duck really quickly, and this habit must be avoided.
To attain maximum condition, a cock must be worked, and worked hard. Not all
this work should be forced work, or hand-work-most of it should, in fact, be
natural work, the kind a cock will do in a good fly pen with litter. He will
scratch and fly up and down many times a day, complementing the handwork you
give him. I feel that it is impossible to get a cock "muscle-bound" as
some keeps would allow you to believe. It is quite possible to make a cock sore
and stiff by overwork. That is why this method allows a cock to "rest
up" from his conditioning program two full days before his fight. This
"rest" period serves several purposes. First, if the cock has sore or
stiff muscles, this time allows those muscles to regain their original
elasticity, yet retain the strength that has been developed. Secondly, blood
sugar begins to rise with the decrease in work, beginning the pointing process.
Thirdly, it allows for the glycogen content in the muscles to increase.
Some cocks will not be able to take the work of this conditioning program. That
in itself should give you some idea as to whether your cocks are really quality
fowl. It has been my experience that truly well bred cocks won't fold under the
pressure of the work. Rather, they will rebound and thrive on such activity,
eager to work.
While realizing that volumes could be written on this subject alone, I think
that it is sufficiently important to touch on at least the major points. In
fact, I believe that the majority of 3-1 and 4-1 derby scores that you see can
be attributed to the lack of attention that most cockers pay to this chore.
After all, your derby show is only as good as your worst cock. If you approach
the selection of your derby show with the attitude that "Well, this cock
isn't so good, but maybe I'll get lucky and meet another weak cock," then
you might as well stay at home. Always select the best cocks you have to
condition. Your first step in
selecting is to examine the overall health of the cock. Eyes should be bright,
feathers slick and oily, and he should just give off an impression of active
vitality. Examine feet and legs for sores or bumbles, the breastbone for sores,
and the mouth and head for blisters. Check to make sure the cock is lice-free.
He should, in your judgment, be within two ounces of fighting weight. It would
be difficult to take more than that off in two weeks without weakening the cock,
or put more than two ounces on with a rigorous training schedule. Check for
broken wing or tail feathers. Do not fight cocks with badly broken feathers. For
a bent feather, where the shaft is bent but not broken, carefully straighten the
shaft, and apply a small piece of tape to the feather. Usually, this will
prevent further damage, at least temporarily.
If, in your opinion, the cock is in good health and near his actual fighting
weight, then set him aside as a definite possibility. After you have narrowed
down your selections to a workable number, weigh them, match according to
weights, and spar. This is where the real selection process takes place. The
good selector will be able to separate the duds from the aces, or at least the
good cocks from the poor ones.
If possible, have two other people actually pit the cocks, so you can be free to
observe. Watch how the cocks move, where they are aiming their licks, how
accurate they are. Are they well balanced, do they land-.in position to hit
again, do they have to have a bill-hold to hit, do they duck, are their licks
delivered with snap? During the rest periods, how hard are they breathing? Is
either rattling? The answers to these questions should determine your choices.
How many cocks to actually put up is a decision you must make, although this may
be determined by the number of your available cocks. I would personally hesitate
to enter a conditioning program without at least two cocks more than were
needed. For example, for a 5-cock derby, I would put up seven or eight. If you
put in two hard weeks of work on a show of cocks, it is heartbreaking to have
one of your cocks come down with a cold the day before the derby and have to
miss it. Remember Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will, and at the
worst possible moment! So, be prepared. I
can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. About three years
ago I had up six stags for a 5 stag derby. The morning before the derby I went
to load my stags, and lo and behold, one stag was beat up, slip-bill and bloody,
and one other was missing! After much head scratching, I finally-figured it out.
What happened was this: the evening before the derby, one stag had gotten out of
his holding stall probably I hadn't latched it securely and immediately began to
fight with the closest stag through the door. When darkness fell, the stag that
was loose had stopped fighting and wandered outside (the door of the cockhouse
was open for ventilation), into the woods-where he either died or was eaten by
varmints. To make a long story short, determined to fight in the derby, I picked
a stag off a string walk, loaded up and left. Know what happened? You guessed
it. I won four and lost one the substitute! I still tied for the derby, but that
one fight cost me about $3,000 in prize money. So don't let it happen to you put
up enough cocks to make up for these emergencies.
Most knowledgeable cockers will admit that there are many drugs and additives
that can increase the performance level of your fowl IF, and this is the big if
you know how to select the correct drug, administer the proper dosage, and give
it at the proper time. A "drug", whether you realize it or not, can be
simply defined as any substance that can alter any one of the thousands of
chemical actions that take place in the body. Alcohol is a drug. So is aspirin.
Since the use of drugs during the conditioning process requires so much
knowledge and experience in dosage, timing and the effects of the drugs
themselves I can only recommend the use of two drugs for the average cocker.
These two drugs are testosterone (male hormone) and vitamin B-12. All the
successful cockers I know use one or both of these, whether they will admit it
Testosterone, used in moderate and sensible doses, will help activate the
pointing process by stimulating certain functions of the body that relate to
physical and mental development of the male sex drive. Given in prolonged,
massive doses (which you should never use), it will promote the growth process,
causing accelerated muscle and bone growth.
Vitamin B-12 is a good, all-around the therapeutic drug. It promotes good
appetite and soothes the nervous system. You cannot overdose on B-12 because it
is "water-soluble", meaning the body passes off what it cannot use. In
fact, some people swear by B-12 as a sure cure for a hangover! B-12 is
especially helpful in traveling cocks because it seems to calm them without any
The use of these two drugs with this conditioning method is completely optional.
If you are unsure about administering them, then by all means, don't do it.
Chances are, your cocks will do just as well without them, especially if you
have doubts about their usage. As you become better acquainted with this method,
you may want to try them later.
If you decide to use these drugs, you must follow my directions on dosage and
timing. This is very important. I believe you should never give more than ¼ cc
of any drug to a cock in keep. Remember, a cock has a small body mass compared
to humans, so dosages must be adjusted accordingly. Always use a small gauge
needle to avoid bruising or otherwise harming the tissue of the cock. Give all
injections in the breast muscle, not near a bone. The ideal needle seems to be
the disposable type used by diabetics. Most drug stores carry it and you won't
need a prescription to buy it. Just ask for insulin syringes. Never use one
needle for two different drugs, and dispose of the syringe after three or four
One cautionary note on the use of testosterone (male hormone) prolonged or often
use of this drug may cause the cock to be sterile later on. You see, by
injecting the male hormone, the body's natural production of testosterone may be
discouraged. In other words, if you use this drug on a cock in keep more than,
say, four times a year, he won't lay eggs next year, but he might not be fertile
when bred to hens. So, don't use it more than a couple of times a year on any
cock you intend to breed. I don't usually breed battle cocks, so I don't have
Since I don't want to promote anyone's products I won't recommend any particular
supplier of testosterone or B-12. You can obtain either drug from advertisers in
the gamefowl magazines or from a vet.
As I said before, there are drugs that will produce incredibly sharp cocks, if
given at the proper times with the proper dosage, but if you make one error in
using drugs, you will have incredibly dull cocks at fight time. So, I think if
you are a beginner and/or do not have a lot of experience and knowledge, you are
better off without the drugs. Remember, consistency is the key to an 80% win
average, and I guarantee consistency will be easier without the use of a number
At a later date, if the demand for such a book is sufficient, I will offer a
complete guide to the use of drugs on gamefowl.
There are as many theories about transporting cocks from Point A (your cockhouse)
to Point B (the pit), as there are Polish jokes. Common sense and a basic
knowledge of fowl should be your guides. Gamefowl sleep from dark until dawn,
(The exception being, of course, when your mother-in-law visits. Then they crow
all night.) So, when you travel from Point A to Point B you want your fowl to
obtain the maximum rest; in other words, to sleep through the trip if possible.
The logical method, then, is to travel your cocks at night, allowing just enough
traveling time to arrive at the pit when your cocks would normally be waking up
at dawn. If you live within a four to six hour drive of the pit, and if that pit
conducts its fights during the daytime, that's exactly what you want to do.
If you insist on traveling your cocks to a pit more than 8 hours away, you must
realize that you are facing a number of problems and you are placing yourself at
a distinct disadvantage with the other, closer entries. If you really want to
fight at Sunset and it's 1000 miles away, my advice is:
Condition at the pit.
Fly your cocks down on a chartered plane.
Move to Louisiana.
If you plan to haul your cocks more than 8 hours at a stretch forget it. You are
not going to compete on an equal basis with any local cocker at the pit, even if
your cocks are better than his. Ever wonder why it's so tough to whip a guy on
his own turf? Think about it. With the number of fine local pits in the country,
it shouldn't be necessary for anyone to travel that far to enter a derby.
If you fight at night, take heart. All the other entries do, too. Personally, I
don't think you gain anything by moving your cocks to the pit a day early. The
fact that the cocks are in strange surroundings will nullify any advantage you
achieve by hauling them at night. The best you can do is hauling them as empty
as possible and hope for the best. Let me add a piece of advice here. Whenever
possible, haul cocks empty or at least when their crops have been emptied. If
they are traveled with feed in their crops, they will not digest this feed and
it will often sour.
As was mentioned previously, the principle behind this conditioning method is
"carbohydrate loading". To accomplish this, we must feed a low
carbohydrate-high protein feed up until the last two days of the keep when the
"loading" process begins. To "load" a cock, work will be
dropped off and the cocks will be fed a high carbohydrate diet to increase the
amount of glycogen in their muscles. Although this all sounds complicated, it
really isn't as you'll see when we' get into the feed and work.
The whole point of a keep is to put as much feed through a cock as possible
without increasing his weight. We want to avoid upsetting the fowl's digestion
at all cost, so we will only feed natural feed during the keep feed that is a
regular part of a chicken's diet or feed specifically formulated for a chicken.
To insure proper digestion, a fowl must have good, hard grit to help grind his
feed'. Granite grit, not oyster shell, must be available to your cocks at all
times. The best way to provide the grit is to keep • cup of it in your fly
pens. You may even want to mix a handful in your cocks' feed during the first
week of the keep. Make sure
all your feed is both fresh and clean. Musty and dusty feed will throw your
cocks off completely, if necessary, wash the feed before mixing it.
Your regular keep feed should include the following:
To mix your feed, use a large bowl, shallow enough to stir the ingredients. Put
in two parts pigeon feed, one part corn, one part oat groats and one part lay
pellets. Mix well and add the correct amount of chopped hard-boiled eggs. Never
feed raw eggs, the whites coat the intestinal tract and hamper digestive
absorption. When this is thoroughly stirred, add enough buttermilk or cottage
cheese to moisten the entire feed. Alternate between cottage cheese and
buttermilk for moisture. Both are beneficial because they are high in protein
and provide needed bacteria for digestion. Mix no more than one day's feed at a
time and store in a refrigerator so that it will remain fresh. This is the feed
you will use up until the last two days of the keep. For the last two days, you
will use scratch grain (chopped corn and wheat), lightly moistened with water.
Each feed, morning and evening, will consist of approximately 1 1/2 ounces of
the mixture, except where noted. Remember treat all cocks as individuals. No two
are alike. I can't emphasize this fact enough. This is especially true when it
comes to the amounts of feed. The 11/2 ounces is merely a guide cocks should be
weighed each morning and evening and feed adjusted accordingly. Weight control
is something you must pay close attention to, and it is something you must learn
by trial and error. It simply can't be taught. The best advice I can give you is
this. Hold a cock in your hands and feel back toward the vent, between the end
of the breastbone and the pelvic bones. The flesh there should be thin and firm.
It should not bulge; if it does, the cock is fat. Don't hesitate to skip a feed
or two if the cock doesn't show a good appetite and willingness to clean his
feed cup. Don't be surprised if the cocks drop an ounce or so during the first
few days of the keep. This is natural they should rebound soon and be trying to
peck the bottoms out of their feed cups.
After the feed is measured into the cups, I sprinkle a little vitamin supplement
over the feed mixture. You can use any number of products for this Vitapol and
Headstart are two products I have used with good success. Both are available
from the gamefowl journals or most good feed stores. This supplement should be
used up until the last two days.
As I have stated before, there is no substitute for good, hard work in a
training program. Handwork for the cocks will consist of "flys" to the
board. Your work board should be approximately waist-high, lightly padded and
out of view of the other cocks to keep them from being excited. To train a cock
to the board, stand a couple of feet from the bench and lightly toss him to it.
Rub him and repeat the process. Soon he will get the idea and will willingly fly
to the board, even straining against your hands, from as far away as 8 feet.
About six feet is the ideal distance to have the cock fly to the board. Just
hold him under the wings, back up, and let him go. This is the work I refer to
After cocks are hand-worked and fed each morning, place in fly pens with clean
litter. Make sure fresh water is always available to the cocks while they are in
the flypens. In the evenings, bring the cocks into the cockhouse, work them, and
then place them in their keep stalls. It is a good idea to always allow the
cocks ten minutes or so to cool off before feeding. Allow cocks ample time to
drink after feeding-up until the last day.
|Day 1 - (Sunday)||Morning: Spar cocks when empty, put in keep stalls. Evening: Worm and delouse. No feed today.|
|Day 2 - (Monday)||Morning: 10 Flys Evening: 10 Flys|
|Day 3 - (Tuesday)||Morning: 20 Flys Evening: 20 Flys|
|Day 4 - (Wednesday)||Morning: 30 Flys Evening: 30 Flys|
|Day 5 - (Thursday)||Morning: 40 Flys Evening: 40 Flys|
|Day 6 - (Friday)||Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys|
|Day 7 - (Saturday)||Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys|
|Day 8 - (Sunday)||No work today. No morning feed. Spar about 10:00 a.m., then place in fly pens. No work in the evening. Regular feed. If you are using the drugs, give ¼ cc of testosterone and ¼ cc of B-12.|
|Day 9 - (Monday)||Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys|
|Day 10 - (Tuesday)||Morning: 60 Flys Evening: 60 Flys|
|Day 11 - (Wednesday)||Morning: 50 Flys Evening: 50 Flys|
|Day 12 - (Thursday)||Thursday Morning: No work. Feed scratch grain, moistened with water for next two days. Place in fly pens. Evening: No work. Same feed as morning.|
|Day 13 - (Friday)||Morning: No work. Take cocks out of keep stalls, handle and rub, then return and feed. Darken stalls. Evening: If cocks are to be fought Saturday feed three-quarters of the regular amount. If fight is Saturday night, feed a full feed. Give ¼ cc of B-12 and ½ cc of testosterone.|
|Day 14 - (Fight Day)||Morning: If fight is during the day, no feed. If the fight is at night, feed three-quarters of the regular amount.|
the last two days of the keep, you must begin to regulate moisture intake to
insure the proper pointing process. Watch the droppings carefully they should be
moist but firm, not dry.
Your first chore upon arriving at the pit is to secure a cockhouse, preferably
one that can be darkened completely. Clean out all stalls you intend to use and
replace the old litter with fresh. After this is done, one by one put your cocks
out in small (approximately 21 x 21) wire pens to stretch and empty out after
their trip. Make sure the ground is swept clean under the pens. If the pit
weighs in derby entries, take each cock and weigh him in before putting him in
the cockhouse. To avoid searching, it is a good idea to write down the leg band
number and/or weight on the door of each stall as the cock is placed in it.
Completely darken the cockhouse, and avoid disturbing the cocks until it is time
If the pit allows you to weigh and record your own weights, you can gamble some.
Obviously, you want your cocks to meet the smallest (lightest) cocks possible so
you can "under-weigh" your cocks as much as you dare. I have known
cockers that would weigh their cocks in two ounces light, hoping they would lose
that much between then and fight time. (I have also seen cockers have to cut
every feather except wings and tail off the cock to meet weights, too). So, to
be safe, record your cocks at least one-half ounce light on your sheet because
the cocks will lose at least that much.
The most important thing you can learn when you are conditioning cocks is that
each show represents a new set of difficulties, a different series of problems.
Be flexible, use your common and "chicken" sense. But remember, above
all, you must have good cocks to win. There is no substitute for quality fowl or
for quality care. To be in the winner's circle, you must have both. If problems
arise, you can email me and I will do my best to answer your questions.