Gamecock Priming – a Pitter’s Guide

It is common for enthusiast to like releasing gamecock in the pit. Specially if the rooster is very good. Though it is fact that many pitters don’t even know how to prime a gamecock or a stag properly. They thought priming is very simple that anyone could do it. It maybe simple but game fowls respond differently to different approach of priming.

To prime a gamecock, or a stag, properly, one must know what are the elements that make a gamecock ready and primed. With such elements carefully taken, poor priming are eliminated and with enough experience best priming on all different scenarios may be achieved. Best priming results are acquired with a series of activities and on an incremental manner. Bit by bit you make the gamefowl to have some stretches, comfortable with the pit, focused with the right amount of anger, alert and ready to fight against any cocks around. all in all  incrementally we make the gamefowl physically and mentally ready before the release.

The Walk

It would realy give the gamecock to stretch a bit and a chance to adjust with the new environment  (pit) if the pitter let the gamefowl walk for awhile. The battlecock will observe the new environment, the crowd, the lights and the physical environment, and soon must adjust to it.  Take note one of the objective of pitting is to make the gamecock feel that he owns the place.

It is also the best moment to initially gauge the battlecocks current psychological status regarding the cockpit. If the  battlecock is somehow shows symptoms of being afraid to something in the pit, the pitter may now do his trick to make the gamecock more comfortable with the surroundings. Usually if the gamecock is conditioned mentally, with an infusion of right amount of game blood  and in good health, the battlecock would adjust to the surounding easily.

The Teaser Cock

Although called a teaser, a good pitter must know that it’s purpose is not always to tease, there are times that the teaser is the one needed to be pecked and shuffle to making the fighter a bit proud. Many pitters ruin the gamecocks ability thru overly teasing or teasing continually for some time and with the wrong moment to tease.

The partner

Choose a partner that realy knows what to do when priming. Your priming method will be difficult if your partners do not know your signals as you will be shouting for every activity on priming. Remember pit is noisy when you are priming because the crowd is now calling their bets and even you shout your partner may still not understand you.


After letting the gamefowl walk and the initial observation, the teaser may now be shown to the battlecock and the reaction is now assessed. How the gamecock respond to the teaser cock? Is he alert? Is he focused or perhaps overly craving for a fight? Adjust what you want the gamecock to be by,

  • Teasing the pit fighter while facing the other, sideways and in the back
  • Scratch the cocks together (start with 5 seconds and add some more time of scratching every repetition)
  • Walking a bit more to relax a little bit as well as to stretch some more if he is overly craving for a fight, scratch the cocks together (start with 5 seconds and add some more time of scratching every repetition)
  • In some cases, you may need the teaser cock to do a no-contact shuffle in the back of the fighter. This will make the gamecock alert.
  • On the latter part of priming or in any part of your priming activities, you may need the fighter to peck or shuffle a bit to the teaser cock if you want the fighter to cool a little bit and feel more proud.

The Opponent

Halfway of the priming, you may bring the fighter to the opponent for the introductory carreo and to assess it’s current status with the opponent and adjust accordingly just like above.  You may repeat the introductory carreo for your subfinal assessment and adjust accordingly.

The Phosphagen System

If you are using the phosphagen system for your gamecocks, you might wanna give the battlecock a minute of rest before releasing, otherwise your expensive creatine supplement will be worthless along with the effort of giving such. Read more about the phosphagen system for more information.

The Time Limitations

Time for warming up (priming) the battlecock varies from associations and cockpits, usual range will be 1.5 to 3 minutes in most cockpits and association. Make sure to know and to adjust your priming activities with the time allowed.

The bets

If time is realy constrained you may want to assign the bets to other person. Being busy with the bet will ruin your priming activities and also ruin your focus, assessment and judgement to do the job. Unless there is enough time and with enough experience it would not be a problem priming the gamecock.

The Release

Release the battlecock with the preferred distance according to fighting style in the right moment. It is better if you release first. For a fair releasing

You may ask the opponent that you would both release the same time with a nod as the signal for release.

Or you may ask the sentenciador (referee) to allow only the release after you nod. The referee will then take care of it. Before nodding to the referee make sure you are on the spot where you will release the gamecock. You release the gamecock as soon as you see the sentenciador’s signal.

Because unfair releasing of battlecocks occur in smalltime events, the latter will add a better protection against unfair releasing because technically no fight shall take place until the referee gives the signal. So if ever the opponent’s released his chicken without the referee’s signal and rushed to your gamecock while you are holding it, the fight could be ruled out as void or “no contest”. You may even sue the opponent for damage.


For man-fighters you must release the gamecock a bit far from you and the other people. Also release the battlecock with a distance that gives you a space to go to the pit-door in case the gamecock sues you.

Release Area

Make sure also that the opponent released his gamecock on the allowed area on his side, this is marked by a line in the pit. If the opponent released his battlecock beyond this line, the applicable rules are.


The fight shall be ruled out as void or draw or “no contest”. This rule is implemented on most cockpits nationally in the philippines, specially applied on regular hackfights, local fiesta events (all not covered by any association where association rules will apply).


The opponent will pay you a fine equal to the minimum center bet. Also the opponent will be fined, payable to the association and/or reprimand, suspend or disqualify the opponent(pitter) for releasing apply. This rule is implemented in associations under the umbrella of national and international federation. Also in some cockpits where management adapts such rules for better implementation of fair and just fights.

No Contest

On mid 2000s, the following rule is applied and may be used in some cockpits.

The opponent could not win because of the violation, so his score could only be a draw or a lost. Meaning you could either win or draw.(you can not lose the fight).

The bets will be declared as void or draw or “no contest”

And a fine ammounting the minimum center bet.

Priming and releasing are just two of the many duties and responsibilities of the pitter must know. To be a more effective pitter you may want to read the pitter’s duties and responsibilities for more information

About The Total Gamefowl

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is a team of talented and passionate people. Collaborated and united to form their best and optimized standard principles and methodologies regarding current and future gamefowl arts and disciplines.

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