Stag derby is very popular in the Philippines and it is one event where both big and small breeders of fighting cocks usually join. It has become a venue to showcase the innate gameness of young roosters and also an opportunity for small breeders to fight big breeders in a more or less equal footing.
Age Requirement For Stags
To qualify for stag derby the fowl must be aged 8 to 10 months or depending on the age requirement set by the organizers of the tournament. Other requirements will be the weight as the fight must be between two stags with basically the same weight range.
There are many advantages to fighting stags in derbies and some of them are the following.
1. The Stags Are More Or less On Equal Fighting Chance
This is the reason why even backyard breeders can afford to fight in a stag derby. The young roosters have basically the same age so there is no one that can have extreme advantage. Most if not all of the stags are first timers in actual fight with a blade so the odds of winning or losing are almost even.
2. The Stags Will Just Use Pure Instinct, well most likely
The genetics will show in a stag derby and the youngling will fight only according to how its instincts will dictate. Since they are still young, they still do not have the deep gameness that can be expected from an aged cock. It is normal in stag derbies to see some of them running away after just receiving a few heavy blows and this is especially true when they got injured.
Once a stag runs away, the game is already lost especially when it refuses to peck the opponent. Conditioning stags is not easy especially if the bloodline has a late maturing tendency. This is why it is said that all cockers are at the same equal footing as no one is really sure of the disposition the stags will show when it starts to bleed.
3. You Get To Fight Them At A Young Age So You Save On Time And Money
Aside from the relatively equal footing, you also get to test their mettle early on. This saves a lot of time
and money spent on aging them to become cocks.
4. The Bloodline is also tested immediately in the pit
The ultimate test on whether the bloodline is good or not is always the pit and nothing else. The cock can be excellent in sparring but when it comes to the actual fight might exhibit losing characteristics. So the actual fight with blades is always the ultimate barometer.
With stags, you get to see immediately if the bloodline is what you want or not. What you saw in the fight is actually a glimpse of what you can expect from them even when they age so you can decide early on if you have the right stock or not. But admittedly, there are some bloodlines that perform better when they are fully aged. This is one of the many reasons why some breeders don’t want to fight in a stag derby.
Since stags are not expected to have fully developed their gameness due to young age, the fighting chance of regular and even small breeders are said to be at par with bigtime cockers. There is truth to this as the scientific training of battle cocks done by long time big breeders really make a difference when the gamecock reaches adult age.
5. The creation of early maturing gamecock hybrids
When stag fighting became popular several years ago, big time breeders started developing a new hybrid that has early maturing features. They experimented and infused several gamecock bloodlines with different genes to produce an early maturing hybrid that can dominate stag derbies. if before it is normal to see stags running away after getting hit, now most of them have deep gameness.