Participating in rooster fights as a cockfighter is more than just acquiring a game fowl and entering it in a match. Think of it this way, just because you know how to throw punches doesn’t mean you should enter a boxing match right away without any adequate training and preparation. 

Like athletes, fighting roosters also need to undergo training and conditioning in order to be prepared for their bouts. The training and conditioning stage allows your roosters to become stronger and smarter, reaching their full potential. If you want to have a winning rooster in your hand, the conditioning process is one that you mustn’t skip. Here are tips, tricks, and techniques on how to condition a fighting rooster.


How Do You Prepare a Fighting Rooster?

Undergoing a gamefowl conditioning program can be very challenging as it requires a lot of patience and consistency. If you don’t prepare your fighting rooster, you are sending them to a battle without any weapons. To prepare a game bird for a fight, you must ensure that it has a balanced diet, it is given an array of vitamins and minerals, and it is being trained properly to increase its strength.

What Is the Pre-Conditioning Process?

Preconditioning is a process where roosters are prepared mentally and physically before moving to the conditioning phase. This method involves a demanding daily routine that includes rigorous exercises from the cord, scratch box, and fly pen, then moving to a pit for sparring, then taking a rest. Afterward, the cock will be returned to the cording area. 


How to Condition Fighting Rooster

Conditioning is part of the process of raising a game fowl and it begins from chick to battle day. This step ensures that the fighting cock grows healthy and strong. Healthy roosters have a huge advantage in winning in the pit over sickly battle fowls.

Cockfighters and handlers have different ways of conditioning their fighting roosters, but all of them have one main goal: to put the cock in its best possible shape and prepare it psychologically for fight day. 

Feeding

The first important part of conditioning roosters is the feeding aspect. A cock will not grow healthy if its handler does not feed it with a properly balanced diet. Feeds are primarily the source of energy and nutrition, contributing greatly to the performance of a fighting cock. 

Ingredients

The ingredients of a feed can vary greatly depending on the handler, the breed of the bird, and the locality but most include corn, wheat, oat groats, jockey oats, and mixed grains. Chickens eat grains because grains are the type of food that birds eat more naturally. They are also economical for feeding fowls.

Corn contains the highest energy and is the best food for carboloading a cock but too much of it can make them gain weight. Wheat is the key to developing breast muscle and is best given fermented but soaked works as well. Oat groats with the husk removed make it easy for the chickens to digest. Jockey oats are high-fiber grains, while mixed grains can consist of peas, barley, sunflower seeds, and others.

Including mixed grains in feed can give the fighting bird an ample source of different nutrients, especially minerals. There are also some who include bone meal and fish meal in their feed in the mixing bowl in the first ten days. 

For a lot of handlers, the basic feed which a cock receives in the three to four weeks prior to a fight should vary little from the feed it has been accustomed to. Any drastic change from the normal diet cannot materially increase the strength of the bird, and an entirely new feed formula may even upset the digestive system of the rooster. Instead of making the cock strong, it might end up having less strength than it had prior.

Processing

The way the feed is processed matters too as this is how the fighting birds can effectively absorb the vitamins and nutrients from their food. Some mix up the dry feed and store it in a barrel, then mix in soaked grains just before feeding. There are handlers who soak all the feed grains entirely to eliminate toxins. 

Others ferment the feed as it can make the fibers more digestible for the birds. There are also those who germinate the feed, but this method is best for feeding chicks and unconditioned fighting birds. Cooking is another method but this is usually the last resort in feeding a cock when the other methods are unavailable. If beef and eggs are included in the feed mixture, they should be cooked. The beef must be cooked rare while the eggs should be hard-boiled. 

Water is an important part of the diet to hydrate the cocks. Plain fresh water is preferred, but some handlers give them toast water or barley water. Ensure that there is always clean water within reach of the cocks.

Supplements

Aside from feeding the fighting birds with a specialized diet, supplements are also added to the feed to make up for any nutritional deficiency. Gamefowls are very healthy animals but supplements can help reduce any health problems and help improve the performance of the cock.

There are supplements for general purposes, but there are also some that are formulated for specific goals. Some handlers give their cocks various drugs to strengthen but it can do more harm than good.

Vitamins and minerals are the best supplements to give as they ensure that a cock is in robust health. B complex vitamins can help in blood conditioning and oxygen circulation. Phosphorus and magnesium aid in energy generation, while amino acids help build muscles and tissues.

A lot of handlers also give their gamefowls crude protein to repair muscle and increase their power. More sophisticated enthusiasts increase the strength of their fowls by using the amino acid composition of their diet and supplements. This is because even if crude protein is included in the diet, it can still lack the amino acid needed to power up the muscles.

Amount

The amount of feeding is important to ensure that the cock is just at the right weight and not over or under. Typically, handlers feed fighting birds around 40g to 45g of feed with supplements but of course, this measurement can be adjusted accordingly.

Fighting birds that did not undergo a pre-conditioning process can be given 30 to 60 grams of feed according to what they need. Those that lack a body can be given feed measuring 50 to 60 grams with additional protein supplements. In hot weather, the measurements can be changed accordingly to accommodate the rooster’s needs.

Feeding Schedule

Establishing a feeding schedule is also crucial because it helps prevent overeating which can cause health problems. Try to stick to a regular feeding schedule as much as possible.

For most handlers, the best time to feed a game cock is in the morning before they start their day. This way, the birds will have time to digest their food and get all the vitamins and minerals they need to power through the day. If they can’t be fed in the morning, the next best time to give them their feeds is in the evening, before going to sleep. 

There are also handlers who prefer to not feed the cocks in the evening. This is so that by the next morning, the cocks should be empty and hungry, and therefore you can establish a morning feeding program for them.

Fowl’s Droppings

During the conditioning phase, take note of the cock’s droppings every day. They should be firm but soft, not hard, and not dried up but not watery either. The droppings are a sure sign of the cock’s condition and his ability to assimilate his food. If his droppings are not right, you will need to adjust the mixture and measurements of his food.

Exercising

Just like how it is for humans, exercising is important for fighting birds as well to keep them active. Various exercises can keep the game cock in top physical condition and can also help in stimulating the mind. In older birds, exercises can even improve their cognitive function. 

Some exercises that you can do with your battle cock include tug of war or chasing games. Changing up the exercise routine is imperative so that the fighting cock doesn’t get bored.


How Do They Train Fighting Roosters?

The majority of handlers and cockfighters agree that it is more challenging to condition young birds compared to older ones as young birds are generally unpredictable. Even so, with a lot of patience and consistency, you will be able to condition your fighting rooster and get it ready for fight day. 

Training your birds regularly using the same methods each time can help them learn more quickly and retain what they’ve learned. Make sure to reward your fighting cocks for good behavior in order for them to continue in that matter. 

Here are some conditioning and training tips gathered from cockfighting experts:

Start Training Early

The earlier you start training your gamefowl, the better they will be at learning and responding to the training regime you have set up. Additionally, if you start training them early, you will be able to adjust as needed and correct areas where you may be lacking.

Have Proper Training Facilities and Equipment

It is not enough to set your fighting roosters on the ground and have them fight random objects as a form of training. Certain facilities and equipment are needed to ensure that your roosters will be trained properly for them to reach their full potential. 

You probably have a cock house already but if you don’t, you have to build one. Another thing that you need to have are fly pens. The number of pens you need should be as many as the number of cocks you plan to put up. Fly pens should be covered with only the front open.

Next, you will need regular coops with washed gravel for flooring, called sand coops, as well as regular coops set on the grass, which are referred to as grass pens. Lastly, you will need cooling-off pens for the cocks to rest in after workouts. 

The fly pen is where most of the work is done. Two days at a time for a total period of three weeks should be enough. Start using the fly pen four weeks before fight time. Make sure to keep the rooster active in the fly pen but don’t leave him there for too long. Break up the training sessions by moving him to the grass pen or sand pen. Some handlers like to put their rooster in the fly coop two-thirds of the time for the first two weeks.

A spar pit is important as well in order to allow the cocks to become familiar with lights and sounds. This is also where you can train the birds to be alert all the time. After walking them around the pit, they can spar for a while in the pit before returning to their coop.

Use Various Training Techniques

There are many methods available in order to train cocks for fight day. Scratching is one of the most effective training techniques as you can use different materials depending on whether you want your rooster to do a light or heavy workout.

Banana leaves can be used for light scratching while corn husks are good for heavy scratching. To get the best results, make sure that your roosters are hungry while scratching at the scratch box.

One of the best ways to train a gamefowl is by using the catch cock technique. Using your own made catch cock, you can let the birds practice how to strike on air and on the ground before feeding them in the morning and in the afternoon. This can help them develop endurance, striking power, and stamina, and help them improve their cutting ability as well.

Using lights and sounds is also good in order to familiarize the roosters with the noise during game day. You can do this by walking the rooster around the sparring pit and playing loud sounds. The tailing method of training can also help develop their natural strength. Hold the tail of your game fowls and make them fly and hit each other by breaking in the air and down the ground.

Spar Regularly

Sparring allows a cock to learn and develop its fighting style to make them a clever fighter. Sparring is a vital part of the conditioning phase but unfortunately, most cockers don’t make the most of sparring sessions. The first few sparring sessions can be rough but by the third or fourth session, you will be able to judge your rooster’s fighting technique and this in turn can help you assess what kind of fight you will be able to use your cocks.

Do a final sparring session 48 hours before the fight time. This final session serves as a tune-up session that keeps the rooster on the edge. Do only two rounds as you would not want their muscles to get stiff or sore.


Fighting Rooster Conditioning and Training Schedule

A consistent schedule will help you and your rooster get used to the entire process of conditioning and training. Additionally, if you stick to a schedule, you’ll be able to see the results of your hard work and also figure out which areas you need to improve on before the fight day. Check out this sample schedule that you can adopt to train your rooster:

  • 6:00 AM – All roosters are in their respective pens. Training inside the pen can start with the “catch cock” method. 
  • 7:00 AM – For feeding time, roosters are fed with a balanced diet of 50% conditioning pellets, 50% grains, as well as vitamins and iron.
  • 10:00 AM – The cocks are transferred to the flying pens to help them build strength and power in their wings.
  • 2:00 PM – The gamefowls are transferred to the grass pen to make them relax.
  • 4:00 PM – From the grass pen, the cocks are transferred to their respective coops and resume the catch cock routine.
  • 5:00 PM – Afternoon feeding time. The cocks are given the same measurement of feeds that were fed to them during the morning.
  • 9:00 PM – One by one, the cocks are brought to the sparring pit for light and sound familiarization and sparring. After the spar session, the cocks are returned to their pens to rest and be ready for workouts again the next morning.

How Do I Make My Gamefowl Stronger?

To make your fighting chickens stronger, ensure that they have a balanced diet of nutritious foods. Roosters require higher protein and less calcium than laying hens, so their diet must be high in protein as well as contain ingredients that can increase their energy and strength. You can also give them supplements in order to fill in the nutritional gaps. 

Next, you should train your fowls consistently. Doing so can stimulate them, making them smarter and stronger. Provide them with plenty of exercises, spar with them, and reward them for good behavior after. Some prefer to isolate their gamefowls from other animals fourteen days before the big day but you may end up losing all the preparation that you built them up for. Instead, treat your fowl with a lot of love and care and make it rest to save its energy before the event.


Final Note

Fighting roosters need to undergo a conditioning period to be strong and ready for fight day. Conditioning cocks requires a lot of patience and consistency when it comes to feeding and training them.

The diet of a cock plays a vital role in its overall health and power. Give it nutritious food that’s high in protein and can supply its energy levels. Aside from a specialized diet, supplements can also be given to the rooster. Supplements that contain amino acids, folic acid, b-complex vitamins, and the like are the best ones.

Training and exercise should not be skipped as well. This is where your cock learns and develops fighting techniques after all. Use equipment and facilities that can enhance their attacks and reflexes.

With these tips and tricks, your gamefowl will be at its peak at the hour of battle. Soon, you may have a winning fighting cock in your hands.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grain mix for gamefowl?

A mixture of whole oats, cracked corn, wheat, and other grains are the best feed for gamefowls. Flesh and fat can be acquired by the fowls in a short period of time but strong bone development and strong ligaments require time. Giving them oats helps in prolonged slow growth and late maturity. 

What is the best conditioning feed for gamefowl?

The best conditioning food for gamefowls can vary depending on the handler, the breed of the bird, and the local grains available. Corn, whole oats, jockey oats, and mixed grains combined with power pellets, multivitamins, and minerals are the best to give to fowls in the conditioning phase. In the last week of conditioning, honey can be added to the feed mix for increased energy.

What is the best injectable for gamefowl?

BEXAN XP is an injectable vitamin-B complex fortified with folic acid + liver extract for gamefowls. It enhances blood circulation, resulting in an increased appetite, and speeds up the growth of body tissues.