Posted by: Andreas Vailakis | November 23, 2009

The Peruvian Cock Fight

The cock fight is a pretty common/traditional ordeal in Peru (news to me when I first heard it) and especially in the areas of Ica and Arequipa.  This post serves as an introduction to Peruvian style cock fights and everything you could possibly want to know in its procedures and happenings.

I’ve been to two distinct cock fights in Peru.  My first was in Arequipa (in the south of Peru).  The arena was more of a stadium-style where the fights started at 11pm and lasted until 2-3am.  It was a chilly, seedy place, where women don’t pay a cover (since not many go, as you can imagine).  Here’s an intro video to get a feel of the scene here:

The other fight I went to was in an outdoor festival in the agricultural desert region of Ica (some 4 hours south of Lima).  This was a more make-shift circular pit in a park with a more family feel (as family as a cockfight can get I suppose).  Here’s a video panoramic of the scene (take note of the creative means people took to watch the fight), this was almost a scene from the movies I felt:

In either environment, the procedures of the fight are basically the same.  First the owners of the roosters all get together in the pit to decide who fights whom.

Each bird fights another in a last-man-standing format.  Usually that bird only fights once a night (in a long tournament style like in Arequipa), but in festivals like that of Ica, they do a one day tournament where birds fight several times to announce a winner.

The owners enter from one side, either the izquierda (left) or derecha (right), sometimes carrying their bird covered by a decorated blanket, entering much like a boxer with their own music.

The side they enter is important since this is what people use to determine how to call their bets.  The owners present their birds, have them “shake” with the other bird (basically bring them together to peck at each other) and then return to their corners where they fasten a sharp knife on the back of one of the feet.   Most owners at this point are treating their birds in strange, affectionate ways such as: caressing them, kissing, and blowing on them (and I imagine whispering sweet nothings as well).

During this time (of about 5 minutes), numerous people in the crowd are yelling “izquierda” or “derecha” placing bets with the bookies (that are usually guys around the crowd with black leather jackets) or with each other.  Bets are simple, if your bird is standing at the end of this fight, you win.  They usually range from a minimum of $15 and go as high as $100.

Once all the opening procedures are taken care of, the birds are put in the middle with a white plastic blocker in between them.  The block is lifted and off they go!

Here’s a scene from the Arequipa fight of the stand off /stare down between two birds:

And finally (and of course not lastly), here’s a scene from the fight in Ica.   (not for the faint of heart):

Ah, and funnily enough…at each of these cock fights I’ve eaten delicious chicken sandwiches without even realizing the connection until after the fact.  Makes sense though…


Responses

  1. Lots of guys blog about this subject but you wrote down some true words.

  2. Do you know how to contract to the owners of those birds? I am interesting to get some good bloodlines to breed with my birds. I am in Vietnam.

  3. A Tuan . if you want peruvian bloodlines, i have some for sale , they big rooster. Tuan where do you leave in vn . email me if you want some ok. my email thuantran2000@yahoo.com. neu A Tuan muon noi chuyen thi goi cho minh so dt 614 323 8989 ok

    • just want to know, how much is the prize of that peruvian bloodlines both hen and rooster and to ship that going to philippines.

    • Dear Sir,

      Nice to miss you. We live in Thailand. We are interesting the pure peruvian rooster. We would like to get the quotation of pure peruvian for each item as follows.

      1. Cockfighting ……… USD.
      2. Hen ……….USD.
      3. egg 12 dozen ………….USD.

      We would like to information for the pure peruvian such as fight attact, boodline, ete . In am looking forward to hearing from you.

      Best regards,

      Dr. Budhapon Sawetsakulanond (Dr. Loy)

      Mobile. +66866002716

  4. Wow — how ironic that we were just talking about cockfights on the road in Haiti (where it’s also a big sport) … but since we are Heifer International, it’s not exactly our mission … you are certainly on a big adventure!!

    • Thanks Betty, it’s definitely quite the spectacle to watch (and probably not the most humane). Best of luck in Haiti!

  5. i am looking for to buy peruvian rooster and hen if some one know who sale this fowl please contact me by email(loverooster78@yahoo.com)thank you

  6. i want to buy some bloodline peru rooster if u have any for sale email or call me 616-990-1083

  7. Live in California looking for Peruvian chickens 626-806-2913


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