A lot of us, cockers, both old timers and beginners, would like to know the magic formula in conditioning gamecocks. Often times, we ask each other the kind of supplements and drugs we use to bring the fowl in peak of condition.
Time and again, I have mentioned that I don’t encourage the use of drugs or stimulants in conditioning gamecocks. However, questions from fellow cockers, specially beginners in the sport, prompted me to discuss this at length.
First of all, it is widely acknowledged that we all want to have an edge over our cock’s opponent in the arena. Different cockers have different systems and methods. Unfortunately, some cockers want to have that edge in an instant. As if conditioning a gamecock can be done using a sachet of instant powder dissolved in hot water for a delicious cup of brew. Sorry, there are no shortcuts here.
The use of drugs in conditioning gamecocks is definitely a no-no.
Stimulants are substances which when injected, produce stimulating effects, both in humans and fighting cocks. For gamecocks, stimulants affect their upper central nervous system and the cardio-vascular (circulatory) system of the body. These substances produce an increase in the cock’s heart rate and activates a sharper response from their senses in just a short time. Thus, the use of drugs and stimulants will most likely fit those cockers who have a very short time in conditioning their gamecocks or when you’re In a hurry. But some push this to the limit and I believe that using drugs to condition the gamecock is the “lazy man’s keep”.
I have learned that stimulants are administered according to their weight and his style of fighting. Shots, drops or pills are given a few minutes before the fight several hours or just before heeling. It depends on the type of stimulant. There are what we call water-based drugs which are fast acting, and there are also oil-based drugs which are slowly absorbed. Most of the time, drugs are given to slow movers and sluggish gamecocks to perk up their senses. Rushers, man-fighters and speedy game cocks are not likely candidates and fowls which are agile and elusive, most specially those that wait for their opponent to charge should never be given stimulants. For very good chickens, all you need is good nutrition, a good keep and enough rest.
When I was a beginner, I had this wrong notion that drugs are really a part of conditioning. Yes, I tried them before, and I tell you, I ruined my fowls back then. To tell you the truth, I used to give stimulants to game cocks which are slow movers and sluggish fighters and to those erratic performers during sparring sessions, and for experimental fowls. To make the slow movers move faster and alert, stimulants did their magic. As a consequence, the cocker will come to believe that the fowl is an excellent fighter although real score is to the contrary. You will realize this, when you start breeding these fowls which won under the influence of drugs.
Drugs and stimulants should be differentiated from vitamin supplements, specially B12. The game cock loses millions of red blood cells after every spar. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver until it is used, and excreted when it is already in excess. B12 is a vitamin that stimulates their appetite, counter stress, and help in the production of blood cells. Thus, giving B12 (in oral or injectable form) does not have the same action as that of a drug or stimulant. Remember that stimulants have a direct effect in the nerves, senses and their circulatory system.
Compare drugs also with hormones. Hormones acts upon the system of the fowl such as muscle and tissue formation, and on the part of testosterone, an increase in the secondary male characteristics. Therefore, hormones are needed for growth and enhances aggressive behavior in gamecocks. They should be administered in series to be effective or what you call “systematic accumulative effect.” Like vitamins and minerals, hormones act as an essential factor in the normal functioning of an individual animal.
Stimulants and drugs deceive the cocker instead of really appreciating the potentials of your fowls, using drugs mainly soothes your thirsts for a win in the pit, after losing several fight using a certain drug, you will most likely try to find another, more potent substance until you find yourself running out of sources and alternatives, and eventually realize that you have failed as a trainer.
Better start it right and do it the correct way. Conditioning game cocks require diligence, devotion and study. It is not for the lazy man.