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Getting fighter cocks 'on a high' this Sankranti: Breeders in Andhra give roosters Viagra & other steroids

Typically, cockfights are an integral part of the Sankranti celebrations, particularly in regions like undivided Guntur, Krishna, and the Godavari districts. As the festival approaches on January 14, 15, and 16, illegal arenas have sprung up across the state.

Getting fighter cocks 'on a high' this Sankranti: Breeders in Andhra give roosters Viagra & other steroids AJR
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First Published Jan 7, 2024, 2:42 PM IST

In the lead-up to the Sankranti festival in rural Andhra Pradesh, the world of cockfighting is in turmoil. A viral disease, Ranikhet, has weakened many champion roosters, leaving breeders scrambling for solutions. In a desperate attempt to prepare these birds for the upcoming fights, some breeders have resorted to unconventional methods, feeding them a concoction of Viagra, Shilajit, and steroids.

Typically, cockfights are an integral part of the Sankranti celebrations, particularly in regions like undivided Guntur, Krishna, and the Godavari districts. As the festival approaches on January 14, 15, and 16, illegal arenas have sprung up across the state, where trained roosters engage in intense battles while spectators place bets on the outcomes, resulting in substantial monetary exchanges.

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The Ranikhet outbreak has significantly impacted the roosters, leaving them unfit for the rigorous fights. To rejuvenate the birds quickly, breeders have turned to Viagra, Shilajit, and a cocktail of vitamins. While these substances may temporarily enhance the birds' performance, veterinarians caution that the long-term use of such drugs could harm the roosters and lead to dangerous mutations, posing risks if these birds are consumed by humans.

Reports indicate that breeders are administering aphrodisiacs meant for human use to stimulate hormone levels in the roosters. However, the actual effectiveness of these drugs in boosting the fighting spirit of the birds remains uncertain.

Explaining the situation, a breeder revealed the challenges faced after the disease affected the poultry industry, compromising the strength of fighting birds. Describing the need to prepare the roosters for the Sankranti festivities, he detailed the strategic use of these substances just before fights, emphasizing their impact on the birds' weight and agility.

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