Cock fighting is a popular pastime in several countries around the world. This sport involves two cocks that are made to fight to the death inside a ring called a cockpit. Individuals who participate in cock fighting train and condition the birds to enhance their stamina, strength, and fighting prowess.

While roosters have their natural spurs, in cockfights, these are often removed in favor of a metal gaff. Learn more about rooster spurs in this article. 


What are Cock Fighting Spurs?

A cockfight pits two roosters in a fighting ring until one bird is unable to continue or dead. Roosters have natural spurs on their legs, however, in cock fighting, these spurs are removed and replaced with a sharp, metal spur called a gaff. The gaff is usually attached to the left leg of the cocks. 

The metal spurs or gaffs closely resemble ice picks with their curved blades. In a match, the two cocks attack each other with the use of spurs. Because of the sharpness of the spurs, the cocks may endure significant physical trauma. Some roosters are able to survive their injuries from spurs but more often than not, they end up dead after a match.

What is a Spur on a Chicken?

A rooster spur is a claw-like growth on the leg of a rooster. Its shape is slightly arched and the end is an extremely sharp point. Spurs on chickens are covered with a hard layer known as keratin. This is the same material that makes up bird beaks, as well as our very own nails. 

Are Cock Fighting Spurs Legal?

In countries where cock fighting is legal, the use of spurs, both natural and man-made, is allowed. Some regions do not strip the natural spurs of the rooster, while others use metal spurs, or ones made using different materials.


Do Roosters Naturally Fight Each Other?

You may think that a rooster only fights with another rooster inside the ring called a cockpit, but that is not actually the case. A rooster often fights with other roosters to display its dominant behavior and maintain its top status.

Why Do Roosters Fight Each Other?

Aside from displaying dominance, a rooster uses its spurs for protection. They use it to protect themselves and their hens from predators such as dogs, cats, or anything else that appears threatening. They will also use them to challenge others over hens, territory, or food.


Are Rooster Spurs Dangerous?

Natural spurs are sharp weapons that a rooster uses to attack if necessary. They are a rooster’s main choice for both offense and defense and both animals and humans can get a swift slice from a rooster if they aren’t careful. There are also some cases where cockfighting enthusiasts or officers who participated in illegal matches have been killed by their own rooster’s metal gaff.


Final Note

Roosters have natural spurs that they use to protect their hens, secure their territories, as well as fight with other chickens over food. Roosters may also attack humans with their spurs for the same reasons that they attack other chickens. The natural spur of a rooster can be removed, and this is often done when it is being raised and trained for the sport of cock fighting.

In place of natural spurs, a rooster is then fitted with a metal spur also known as a gaff. Cocks use the gaff, as well as their beak, wings, and claws, to attack. Cocks endure significant physical trauma due to the spurs. It is common to witness the outcome of a fight with one bird injured and unable to continue or dead. The use of a metal rooster spur is not illegal in countries where cockfighting is allowed.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gambling in Cockfights Illegal?

In areas where cock fighting is a popular pastime and is a legal operation, gambling is an inherent part of the sport. Cock fighting spectators participate in gambling by placing wagers on their favored birds and on the outcome of the fight. Gambling increases the stakes of the match, as well as the entertainment value of the sport.

On the other hand, gambling in cockfights is prohibited in areas where cockfighting is also banned. It should be noted, however, that underground cockfighting and gambling do exist. Local officers often stumble upon a gambling and cockfighting den in one during raids.