Cock fighting, a long-standing form of popular entertainment, is organized during traditional festivals throughout Vietnam. Cock fighting, which is a popular game that attracts most men, is both an entertainment and a confrontation. This game has been widely played throughout Vietnamese history for a long time since the Ly Dynasty (in the 11th Century).

How to Train a Fighting-Cock

Raising roosters for cockfighting requires heavy investments in time and labor. Professional trainers choose young chickens carefully, individually preparing their food and drink, bathing them, separating them from hens, and training them in fighting positions. A fighting cock must be so acquainted with its owner that it will allow only the owner to hold him. Fighting cocks, which come from three main species, are colloquially called “sacred chickens” or “combat roosters”. Black roosters with a red comb and a long neck are full of stamina and will fight to the bitter end. White roosters with ivory-colored feet and round yellow eyes are hot-tempered and perform “lightning battles”. Also popular are “five-colored cocks” coated with black, yellow, brown, red and blackish blue feathers. They fight with flexibility and often run away if they lose.

fighting-cock for cock fighting

Characteristics of the Fighting-Cock

The roosters must have a natural tendency to fight. For the most combative strains of cock, aggression also occurs in chickens from 6 weeks. Fighting cocks are selected and trained to develop their fighting tenacity, both their ability to resist pain and their willingness to beat the opponent. These characteristics vary from one race to another, from one strain to another, and of course from one individual to another.

Depending on the rules used in the regions, they can have a weight ranging from 1 kg to 6 kg. There are several weight classes that are indicated during the fight at the edge of the velodrome: PR = Close weight under 7 pounds, P = Small, M = Medium, ML = Medium, G = Large.

A Cock Fighting Match

The owners prepare a 1.5m-wide ring walled by a 20cm-high bamboo screen. Spectators stand outside the screen. Only the owners of the fighting cocks are allowed to enter the area to care for their animals. A rooster loses if it leaves the ring twice and does not return.

Cock Fighting in Vietnam

Before a cockfight begins, owners agree on the terms among themselves. They compare the size, weight and combat achievements of their roosters. If one rooster has longer spurs, its rival is allowed to wear artificial spurs. After the discussion and agreement, the owners bring their birds into the ring. The cocks are kept in two separate halves of the ring until a signal is given to start the fight. Cocks usually attempt some trial feints to gauge their competitor’s reactions before giving mortal thrashings: a double kick against the rival’s body, a cut to the neck using spurs, or pecking out the rival’s eyes.

The fight continues until one bird is defeated. Contestants time the rounds by burning an incense slick or draining water can with a hole in it. Vietnamese cockfights have two forms of compensation. In one version, the loser pays an agreed-upon sum to the winner; in the other, the loser forfeits both money and the defeated bird. The amount of the prize the winner receives is small, but the admiration and enthusiasm of hundreds of spectators is the pride of the winner.