Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023

A letter from Boot Hill to Ryan

To Ryan,

Enclosed you will find my sparring muffs for my Miniatures, along with some extra rubber bands to secure them a little better n the cock’s legs. I know you probably know this, but i will repeat it anyway.. Do not spar your cocks unless, they are in perfect dry feathers after their moult, preferably in late December or early January. Do not spar them excessively, only to watch their style. Sparring cocks excessively produces several very bad qualities. Namely it may turn them into ‘Duckers’ or make them acquire the habit of looking for a ‘bill-hold early in a match, breaks up tail & wing feathers. And doesn’t teach them nothing.

A cock knows how to fight, let him show it in the pit not in sparring sessions.

As you can tell from the above statements, I am not, nor ever have been an avid fan of Sparring cocks to the extremes. I am totally against it, which comes from years of experience & several bad problems it has caused me. The only sparring I will ever be a party to, is to teach my cocks to score quickly, and only for a minimum few licks & to watch their style… I never… Never let them roll & tumble. I leave this type of fighting for the pit, when they are armed with gaffs.. However I hand-spar each cock that is up in a Keep every day, in order to make the cock on the ground learn to come up to meet the ‘Catch Cock’ that is in my hands. (Never letting the ground cock hit him too solidly, just make him come up and throw his lick. I must admit that I am religious in this practice, as I do it nearly every day because, It is good exercise for these cocks, but more importantly, it makes the cock use the same muscles, he will be using in a real fight & it will teach a cock to keep his eyes on his opponent. Not the man handling the cock. In other words, it teaches the cock not to be averted by the crowd & have no fear of another handler. Plus, it helps enormously to gentle a cock to where he will not be afraid of you & he gets acquainted to your close presence to him.

Also Ryan, make sure cocks to be sparred, are completely empty. and i like to have mixed into the 2 days of feed mix, prior to the regular sparring. Dextrose and estrone, so they will be very strong & aggressive.

Ryan, if I ever tell you something which you already know, forgive me as I just want you to think about everything you do to or for a gamecock in order not to run into problems I have experienced along the way.

I quit hand-sparring, six days before ‘fight day’…. buttttt nearly every day for 4 to 6 weeks before ‘fight day’…


Your ole Texas Buddy,

Boot Hill

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