cockfighting Glossary

Cockfighting Glossary

Battle Cock: A rooster two years or older who is used for cockfighting.
Battle Royal: Occurs when two or more roosters are pitted for fighting at one
time. The bird who stays standing the longest is the winner.
Battle Stag: A rooster under two years of age who is used for cockfighting.
Cock: Another name for rooster.
Cock-match: See cockfight.
Cockpit: A round or square arena in which the cockfight is contained. The handlers, referee and birds are in this enclosure during the fight.
Cocker: The name used to describe a fan of cockfighting.
Cockfighting: The pitting of two or more roosters in a fight.
Cockfighter: A person who takes an active role in a cockfight, such as the handler or feeder.
Conditioning: The training of roosters for fighting. This often includes various exercises, practice fights, a special diet and a regimen of muscle enhancing drugs, such as steroids.
Comb: Fleshy tissue on top of a rooster’s head
Cupple: Occurs when a rooster takes a blow to the neck or back during a cockfight making him unable to stand or walk.
Derby: When two or more owners enter several cocks into a competition. The birds fight in pairs, and the owner whose birds win the most fights wins the derby.
Dub: To remove the comb and wattle off of a fighting cock with scissors, dubbing shears or other cutting tools. This is done to reduce the bird’s weight and to reduce chance of injury and bleeding during a fight.
Feeder: A person who trains and conditions birds for fighting.
Gaff: Metal extensions fixed on the spurs of the rooster. They may be pointed, or sharpened along the edges depending on the cultural tradition of the cockfighters.
Gameness: A characteristic valued in fighting birds that leads them to continue to fight despite exhaustion or serious injury.
Gamecock: Another name for a rooster used specifically for cockfighting.
Gamepit: See cockpit.
Hack: A gamecock who will not fight when exposed to another cock.
Handler: A person who handles the roosters during the cockfight.
Keep: A certain method of conditioning cocks for fighting—typically for a period of two weeks prior to a fight. Details of keeps are often written in a book or pamphlet.
Long-Knife: A weapon used in certain types of cockfight. A long-knife is usually three inches long and tied to the left foot of the bird.
Pitting: The physical act of placing two or more roosters beak to beak at the start of a cockfight.
Short-Knife: A weapon used in short-knife cockfights. It is shorter than the long-knife, ranging from 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches in length, and tied to a roosters left foot.
Sparring: The act of two roosters using their feet and spurs to fight each other, usually in the context of testing birds for their gameness and fighting ability.
Sparring Muffs: Leather covers that resemble boxing gloves. They are placed over the birds spurs during practice fights.
Spur: The natural bone-like appendage located on a rooster’s leg—this is his natural weapon.
Wattle: The fleshy growth hanging from the head or neck of chickens.
Wortham's Rules: The shortened term for “Modern Tournament and Derby Rules”—the most commonly used set of cockfighting rules.