A gamecock is a type of rooster with physical and behavioral traits derived from breeding for cockfighting. Gamecocks are usually much more territorial, have less prominent combs and wattles (which may be removed entirely in a process called dubbing) , and have hard feathering. There are numerous chicken breeds which fit the gamecock type, but a gamecock is not in itself a breed. Today, cockfighting, like most blood sports, is illegal in most of the world, but exceptions exist. Gamecocks are bred for traits that make them less suitable for barnyard use, and are kept today in the developed world primarily for exhibition purposes. There are several breeds of chicken, such as the Modern Game and Old English Game, which fit the gamecock type but are not directly used in cockfighting.

Alternate uses

The term is popular as a nickname for many U.S. athletic teams. For example the teams at the University of South Carolina, Jacksonville State University in Alabama, Sumter High School (Sumter, South Carolina) and Screven High School (Sylvania, Georgia) use the name. A fighting cock is also the symbol for the UKs Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Also, the male sport teams of the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras are named "Gallitos" ("Little Roosters") after gamecocks. "Gamecock" is sometimes used as a nickname for people who are considered fierce fighters. During the American Revolution, General Thomas Sumter earned the nickname in his battle against the British forces in South Carolina.

See also

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