Traditional sports, aged a few centuries, do not live anymore in the urban region. This is due to the commercialisation of sports events and the ability to watch anything from anywhere. But still, there are a few ancient sports and games living through the efforts of rural champs. Rooster fight or cock fight is one such golden example. This sport has its roots in many countries across the world. But now, the scenario is different. There are regulations and controls which strictly put a check on those who conduct and play such games. Is the control on rooster fight really for the welfare of birds? Let’s look further on the famous Seval sandai – Rooster fight in Tamil Nadu.
Seval sandai – Rooster fight in Tamil Nadu
Photo by Eric Kilby
The rooster fight or cockfighting, as commonly known, is banned or controlled in many parts of India. This is mainly because of the complaints stating that the birds are injured or killed as the result of this sport. Not always, but this game does involve risks of injuries and death of roosters.
There are variations in the game throughout several Indian states. In Tamil Nadu, the game is conducted in open fields, with a white line marking the boundary. Unlike other states, in Tamil Nadu, the birds are allowed to fight with bare nails. The nails are just sharpened, no sharp objects are attached. This lowers the risk of injury to the birds.
The game is conducted in several rounds with breaks in between. If the bird moves out of the boundary or falls on ground, it loses. The victorious bird is awarded several prizes. This game intends to grow a spirit and encourage poultry farmers. But with an introduction of gambling and gang wars surrounding the fight, there are bans and controls to monitor the events.
Broilers – the meat producers
With a change in lifestyle, there comes a change in food habits. Poultry farming has seen a tremendous growth these days with an increasing demand for meat. Due to this twist of choice, country chicken of native breed are reducing in number.
Broiler chicken farms are prescribed to grow chicken under strict rules. But there is no proper evaluation to check whether they do everything right. Hens are packed together within small area and they are not allowed to roam around freely. They are forcefully fed to increase meat weight and such hens mature well before their normal age. These chickens are mainly grown for meat and eggs, which are less nutritious than country chicken which are grown naturally.
As the corporate culture creeps into every household, such artificial foods enter the kitchen and fall into our plates, bringing several diseases. Broiler hens, which are bred without following proper guidelines, are held responsible for obesity, hormonal dysfunctions, early puberty, infertility etc.
The healthy country chicken
There are natural chicken breeds which are native to our country. When people lived in villages, cattle and fowl were members of the family. Native breeds of cows, goats and chicken thrived and lived healthy. As the population moved towards urban points, residential areas became tightly packed. They became totally unsuitable for vegetation and farming. As a result, hens were forced to breed inside cages! And cows were imported from abroad!
A natural breed of country chicken will take a longer time to mature and have less meat when compared to broiler chicken. This forced people to switch their choices. But still, a chicken that grows by nature will always be nutritious and cause no harm.
Ancient traditions were created with the welfare of humans in mind. Our ancestors lived close to nature. Cockfighting was meant to protect native breeds of cocks and hens. With proper regulatory guidelines, the sport can bring up healthy chicken breeds and encourage farmers towards natural poultry farming.
Featured Photo by Space Ritual