Posted by: Lydia | April 5, 2010

April 4

The quest to become más Dominicana led me to attend my first cock fight today, which despite its sordid reputation is a very professional affair. I neglected to bring my camera this time, so nosotros will have to wait until the next fight for all the wonderful and muy tipico latinoamericano photos of the owners proudly holding their cocks (ha ha). These are some impressive animals… cock-raising is a serious affair, and a prize cock can fetch up to 30,000 pesos. Environmentally sustainable income generating activity, anyone? (for non CEDE PCVs, that is one of our program’s goals).

The ladies got into the fight gratis, however our hombres had to shell out 50 pesos each to view the carnage. All in the name of acculturation, right? The only other women in the joint were either bookies (all of the bookies were female) or there to sell beer, so needless to say we got the best view of the cock ring (ha ha ha) while the guys had to sit in the peanut gallery.

Before the fight the cocks have spurs taped to their feet, are checked for illegal enhancements such as razor blades in the feathers, and weighed to ensure an even match. A cock is also selected as the one used to incite the competitors right before they fight (apparently some cocks are more aggravating than others). Also, the cocks have their crests shaved off when they are young and all of their leg and under-wing feathers plucked, so they end up looking more like that feathered species of velociraptor than a chicken.

Immediately before the match two attendants bring out the cocks, weigh them again, use the aggravating cock to excite the participants, and then off they go. I assumed these would be pretty quick and bloody affairs, and that once one of the cocks was blinded it would ensure a rapid end to the fight, however these guys can go on pecking and stabbing with their spurs for a looong time. One of the fights lasted a good half hour. I feel bad saying this, seeing as animals are fighting to the death for my entertainment… but once you hit the 15 minute mark and you aren’t betting on the game, it gets kind of dull (unless there is a stunning comeback where a blind cock manages to matar the other one, which happened during the first game). The best fight was only about 7 minutes long, during which one cock managed to sever the neck of the other with his leg spurs. To my surprise, chickens really don’t bleed that much.

As far as things that are illegal in America go, this is probably one of the tamer vices, ethical ambiguity aside.



  1. What do they do with the expired cocks, eat them? Waste not want not, LOL.

  2. Yep, they eat them afterwards.

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