Art and Science of Trimming


In wintry locations, trimming the comb and wattles (and ears) is mainly about preventing frostbite during winter season.

For breeders, untrimmed are more desirable as they can see how their newly acquired gamecocks look and determine what possible bloodlines might it have that the original breeders infused or cross with.

For hackfighters, untrimmed are more desirable as they can decide whether not to trim or to trim what style. As hackfighting is an art by itself. Making your gamecock appear to be mediocre (e.g. young, sickly, short, thin, ugly feathers, broken or missing wing feathers) give you advantage at matching by looking at each other gamecocks.

For derby cockfighters, trimmed are more desirable as they can fight their newly acquired gamecocks without waiting for trimming cuts to heal. And to make the weight lighter by the weight of the wattles, ears, and comb.

For stag derby cockfighters, trimmed are more desirable as stags will be fought from 7 months old. From 5 months, sparring begins as at this age most will be game already. Trimming must be done before 5 months in this scenario.


Actually, the best time to trim will be at 2 months old. It could be younger or older as long as they already have their comb and wattles protruding even just a bit. At this age, blood loss is avoided as the cuts will be small and might not even bleed. Just white cut skin after a cut is done.

For adult gamecocks, trimming is done between last moon and new moon of the month. This is due to the gravitational pull of the moon being greater during full moon resulting to rise of sea level or more bleeding. Sometimes, you have to trim first the wattles then let them heal before trimming the comb. This is to prevent possible risk of losing your gamecock on uncontrolled bleeding.

You have to know when your gamecock can take the bleeding for trimming all wattles, ear and comb. Half of the time, the gamecock will be dizzy from blood loss but will be active in a couple of hours or more. And another half of the time, the gamecock will not show signs of blood loss dizziness.

Comb, Wattles, Ear Lobes. How?

Face the young stag or adult gamecock towards you between your legs.

For the wattles, put you left hand over its shoulder and behind its head. With your left hand fingers, hold the beak up so that he will be facing the sky. From this angle, you can easily cut the wattles with the tip of sharp scissors. Just cut one wattle along the jaw bone closely so that it will not grow back. From the throat to the beak. Then the other wattle. There must be two straight cuts. Along the jawline. One cut for left wattle. Another cut for the right wattle. This will result in clean cut.

Be careful not to break the neck or not to suffocate the throat when doing the above procedure.

For the comb, put your index finger between its beak and your thumb on back of its head. The left face will be toward you. Cut from back to front closely so that it will not grow back. This will result in clean cut.

For the ear lobes, it can be done at 4 months of age. Just hold an ear away from the head then cut. This will result in clean cut.

Feathers. How?

For battle and even brood pen, trimming the feathers are also desirable to the eye and effective way to make the feel of the gamecock on your hand more obvious and to prevent the sperm from getting caught on the feathers.

The feathers on vent area is best when cut to the skin. Bald. This will help brood cocks to inseminate effectively. Also cockfighters will have easy feel of the gut area where the fat can be felt before it gets worst. It also make the gamecocks easily bathe in water.

The feathers on the side thighs need to be cut about quarter of an inch or less. This helps cockfighters to have a better feel of the body.

The feathers on the saddle need to be cut from underneath about quarter of an inch or less. Leaving on the saddle feather that will hang just above the wing.

Also the leg feathers can be trimmed – bald or about quarter inch or less. Most hackfigters will consider it if it will help them gain advantage on matching by looking at each other gamecocks.

The feather trimming described above is popular in the United States. And the Philippines as it leaves enough feathers on the back for the referee to grab during the fights.

For south american feather trim, just cut all feathers to the skin (bald) in all the areas above. Then cut feathers on the back and saddle about quarter inches or more. More feathers in the keel and breast needs to be cut to the skin – bald.

Cockpurs. How?

Cockspurs need to be cut or trimmed every now and then. Leave about 3/4 inches if you are using american socket. Leave about 1/4 to 1/2 if you are using filipino fork or filipino socket.

For brood gamecocks, short spurs also protect the ladies from getting hurt during natural insemination.

Cockspurs can be cut using a metal saw. Saw a little near the tip of the spur. About 1/8 inch deep or less. This is to prevent bleeding when you make the real cut. Then make the real cut on the opposite side to the little cut on the tip.

Cockpurs can also be ground off using a machine. Apply constant pressure and stop to the proper cockspur’s length. No bleeding is to be expected.

Tail. How?

The tail feathers – all of it, can be trimmed as desired.

Derby cockfighters rarely trimmed the tail. If they do, it actually to make the gamecock more beautiful with sense about the tail being a rudder for the flight of the gamecock. Leaving the primaries intact. Removing the sickle tail feathers. Including the down like feathers near the base of the tail.

Hackfighters most often than not will make the tail ugly by trimming with scissors or by breaking by hand for a more natural look. Sometimes, the tail is cut and just a 3-4 inches of it remains.


Trimming feathers also avoid external parasites or make it easier to spot these little creatures (e.g. lice, mites).

Trimming fleshy parts (e.g. comb, wattles, ear lobes) also avoid external parasites (e.g. fungi).

Trimming cockspurs prevents breakage when it grows too long.

Trimming tail also have the same health results as trimming feathers.


In the old days, the old english game have their wings and tails cut before a fight. This for fighting style purpose.

poultry gamefowl chicken gamecock


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