DUBBING & CROPPING
This is the act of trimming the comb (to dub), and wattles and ear lobes (to crop). Originally this would have been performed rather crudely using a sharp knife, followed by cauterisation of the open wound. The purpose was to remove the loose flesh on the face of the chickens (usually male birds, but sometimes on females) so that when they were used for cock fighting it would reduce the likelihood of damage, reduce blood loss, and enable the bird to fight longer. Cock fighting is illegal in many countries, but the act of dubbing and cropping still occurs, and remains a prerequisite of being able to show breeds such as Modern or Old English Game in many exhibitions worldwide. However, some exhibitions now allow entries that are neither dubbed nor cropped, and they are judged alongside those that are dubbed and cropped.
ABOVE: An upright comb