Peru or Bust, one couple's journey to represent USA abroad and aid in ways small and large.

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Cockfighting is alive and well in Peru..

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Yet the losers of some of the matches seen definitely are not. Surprisingly though, many of the bouts end in tie, with both sides taken away to see another day and probably another bout. Here’s how it works from what I’ve seen and the folks I’ve talked to:

1. Folks wanting to compete bring there cocks under their arms to the event or in a special transport case, ‘coliseums’ are nothing more then a 12-ft diameter circular knee high cement wall surrounded by 3 or 4 layers of really quickly constructed seating that might come down at anytime. Really enjoy the locations of the events, sometimes in a privately closed off patio, sometimes an old garage; last month I went to the bouts on the 3rd floor or an unfinished set of cement housing units.

2. Like many Peruvian events there is quite a bit of delay getting things going and time to share a beer with neighbors. The competitors have a small lease around the foot of their rooster so that they can put them on the ring floor (made up of a thin layer of sand) to get used to the surface and see the size of all the cocks in comparison to one another. They also weigh the animals because they always want to pit two roosters against one another that are equal stature and weight.

3. The judge gives a bit of opening words and explains the rules. Each fight will only last 6 minutes (in other events, it might last 8 or 10 minutes), and if one animal goes down in under a minute, the winning bird is crowned ‘pollón’ (or grand chicken) of the night and the owner wins a big money prize (in our case it was S/. 1000, or about $350). If both bird are still bouncing around after the 6 minutes, the event is a tie and both birds are retrieved while all money waged is given back to those who bet. Betting usually does not go through a bookie but it’s just straight-up among people in the crowd. A 3rd party (known by both betters) may hold the money bet while the match happens.

4. The judge is approached by the two people interested in fighting and reviews the weights and heights of birds. He gives the okay and owners attach w electrical tape the ‘points’ to the back of each of the roosters legs. These points are mainly a very hard plastic barb about 1 inch long (and a tad thicker then spaghetti) and sharped at the tip. Sometimes they are made out of fiberglass and sometimes they have a metal inner core to reinforce.

5. The roosters naturally want to fight an unknown animal (apparently) and when the 2 birds are quickly brought to the ring with the judge behind them, then gathered crowd goes wild. The owners lift up their respective birds and rub their beaks to one another to kind of piss off the animals. They are dropped at opposing sides of the coliseum ring and typically go straight towards each other. They’ll jump to use their points, they’ll stretch their necks to use their beaks and go after the back of the neck of the other. They are really pretty fast and you need to pay attention to catch the action. Typically there is not too much blood and actually typically the bouts results in ties w each side looking forward to fight another fight (some say they make soup out of birds that might loose, but the pigs around here need to eat alot and I can see them tossing dead bird parts there too).

Sampling of the bout and crowd:


Written by galbavy

July 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

Posted in Animals

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One Response

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  1. Whoa

    Aaron Browne

    July 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

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