Breeding Basics: Cross-Breed and Pure-Breed Fighting Cocks

Pure-breed fighting cocks

An important part of breeding basics is to understand the difference between cross breed and pure-breed fighting cocks. This is as important to the breeder as it is to the cockfighting aficionado whose only concern is to fight gamecocks and not really to breed. There are many reasons why it is important to distinguish the two kinds of breeds and this is what this article would like to discuss.

Pure breed fighting cocks

Pure-breed fighting cocks refer to those produced through in-breeding methods. In-breeding occurs when you mate the same family of chickens with one another. But the in-breeding process is not random since it is scientifically exercised based on sound in-breeding standards. This method is characterized by mating father to daughter, mother to son, grandfather to granddaughter, grandmother to grandson, brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters and so on.

There are three types of in-breeding and they are called intensive in-breeding; when full brothers and sisters are mated. Moderate in-breeding; happens when half-brothers and half-sisters are mated;  Mild in-breeding; This is done when the in-breeding is between first cousins. (These three types of in-breeding will be discussed in another article for more clarity.)

The purpose of in-breeding is to produce the same genes that a desired gamecock bloodline has. It refers to both phenotype and genotype. In-breeding is done to make a certain bloodline solid or to purify the genes from other strains that may have been part of the genes of one of the parents. As the in-breeding goes deeper, the more that the desired genetics are produced in a family of game fowls.

But in-breeding has its setback and it comes in the form of throwbacks. With in-breeding, the purpose is to produce similar looking gamecocks both in color and also fighting style. When suddenly another color appears among the descendants, it is called a throwback and a sign that an ancestor’s genes became active in the descendant. Throwbacks are not necessarily bad and can also be a good thing.

If the throwback gamecock displays excellent fighting skills, it can be made into another bloodline as what other seasoned fighting cock breeders are doing. Throwbacks in gamecock bloodline is not the same with atavism as the latter pertains to faults or physical defects such as knock feet, crossed eyes, and other deformities.

Pure breed roosters are not really meant for fighting and this is true especially with seed fowls. The main purpose for which they were bred is to be used as broodcocks to produce more of the same line. But there are breeders and cockfighting aficionados who also fight pure breeds and a good number of them registered wins. Generally speaking however, most breeders do not use a pure breed for fighting purposes because it is not easy to conduct in-breeding and succeed with it.

Cross breed fighting cocks

Cross breed fighting cocks are also called battlecocks by most cockfighting aficionados. Cross breeding gamecock bloodlines is perhaps the easiest to do because all that a breeder should do is to select two fowls coming from different families and to mate them. Cross breeding happens when you mate unrelated rooster and a hen. The resulting hybrid is called battlecross or battlecocks. The term “battle” in itself is already an indication that the resulting cross is for fighting.

Cross breeds are not intended for breeding generally speaking. But if they happen to exhibit excellent fighting skills and registered several wins, they also end up as broodcocks either to be used to infuse vigor in a pure bloodline or to produce another pure bloodline through in-breeding such as mating the champion cross-breed rooster with its half-sisters whose brothers also posted excellent winning record.

Most of the fighting cocks fought in derbies and hackfights are battle-cross. Very few are actually fought in its pure form because it is believed that pure strains of roosters do not possess the deep gameness that can be present only in battle-cross gamecocks. But as mentioned, there are some breeders who became successful in fighting pure breed fighting cocks although it is not known for how long they registered wins. It is also impossible to conduct in-breeding perpetually as it ultimately results n the deterioration of the bloodline.

Cross-breeding is a mating method applied by breeders when they want to see particular characteristics in a gamecock like height, body conformation, and most especially fighting skills. It could be a simple straight cross where two different pure strains are mated; Three-way cross where a pure strain is mated to a cross of two strains such as pure sweater mated with Kelso-hatch hen/broodcock hybrid. The resulting offspring will retain the quickness coming from its Sweater genes plus the power of Kelso and the deep gameness of Hatch all in one battle-cross hybrid.

Four-way cross is one of the most common forms of cross-breeding. This is because most of the commercially available gamecocks and pullets are the result of straight crosses. As an example, there is a four-way cross when you mate Sweater/Hatch with lemon 84/Kelso. The resulting battle-cross should have 25% each of the characteristics of the four bloodlines coming from its parents.

The problem is it is possible to come up with different colors as well as fighting styles including other differences in phenotypes because a particular bloodline can dominate in terms of color, height, gameness, and also fighting skills.

An entire book can be written when it comes to the techniques used in producing cross-breed and pure-breed fighting cocks. Serious cockers should therefore consider learning from expert breeders and to buy books that can help approach breeding in a scientific manner to avoid problems as well as wasting time and money.

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One Response to Breeding Basics: Cross-Breed and Pure-Breed Fighting Cocks

  1. noriel says:

    hello? im noriel from bulacan. how can i know the bloodline of the fightingcocks? thankyou. :)

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