Roundhead gamefowl is one of the many popular bloodlines of fighting roosters that are highly popular today. In this article, we explore the history and fighting style of roundhead gamefowls and the different bloodlines developed over the years.
Roundhead gamefowl is a fine fighting gamefowl is one red that cuts deep, is relentlessly game, and when crossed with power, becomes a natural born killer. For broodstock owners, a Roundhead bloodline gives them all the RED they need.
Roundhead Gamefowl Profile
When good specimens are bred, roundheads fight extremely well, but when their offspring are off, they lose just as spectacularly. Knowing your bloodline well enough so that you know its strengths and weaknesses is the only way to guarantee success.
It was Roundheads crossed with Clarets to make the McClanahans Walter Kelso used in his initial cross. You know the Kelso’s smarts and cutting stem from the Roundhead. Typewriter McClanahans were known to hit hard and have desperate gameness.
Roundhead Gamefowl Bloodlines History
There are hordes of Oriental-American crosses that come pea comb and are known as Roundheads which contain not a drop of the original Allen bloodline. Consequently, it has become more of a generic term than a breed name because it covers all pea comb fowl. It was the Boston cock that had very strong pea comb genes, passing them on to descendants and offspring for generations to come. Most Roundhead gamefowl around was a straight comb.
The Roundhead breed initially started out as Irish Whitehackles with pea combs, the same breed as the more familiar English Whitehackle. Fred Saunders and Grist Grady then added Oriental bloodlines, increasing their size up to 5 lbs. During the 50s to 70s emphasis was placed on breeding pure Roundheads. It wasn’t until a cross with powerful fowl like Hatches increased their success that these birds became a popular choice for mating in order to infuse pure Roundheads with Hatch or another power gamefowl such as Sweaters. Boston Roundheads and LAcey Roundheads are two of the best roundhead gamefowls.
A trio of gamefowl was transported from England by one of the steamers at East Boston Docks in 1864 when John Hardwood served as a head stevedore for Cunard Steam Ship Company. The company kept the fowl for three months before giving them to Hardwood, who paid the shipping charges. The address and shipping bill was lost.
Hardwood gave his friend Ned Gill a fowl, which Ned used to breed and fight. These fowls were named ‘Gill Roundheads’ or ‘Boston Roundheads’, and were light red with black breast, more or less streaked with ginger. The hens were a light wheaten color, all having yellow legs. The imported trio featured small roundheads, pea combs, and heavy feathers. After Ned’s passing, John Mc Coy of Marblehead, Massachusetts acquired some of the original Gill’s fowl and crossed it with that of John Stone’s Fowl. The progeny from this union was taken by Frank Coolidge, then passed on to Dr. Duryeas. Mr. Duryeas’ Boston Roundhead strain had been utilized for breeding the vicious Sanford Hatch strain, as well as Franky Shy infusing a fine Boston Roundhead from M.J Bowen in 1933 into the Narragansett strain.
The majority of them are yellow legs, but they also have white legs. Red eyes, wheaten or pale yellow hackle, medium to high station, and an average weight of 2.0 to 2.4 kg. Boston or Allen roundhead, except sometimes with black spurs. They are either from India or Pakistan and mature in about 10 months. They are oriental fowls.
Long-heel knives are the best choice for old-time roundheads. Roundheads are aggressive, fast fighting, feet out, and deadly, sure-cutting cocks. They can fight both on the ground and in the air. They are smart, sidesteps, and agile heads-up fighters. Their leg power is very strong and devastating, especially in the first buckle.
The Lacy Roundhead was a mix of Allen and Shelton bloodlines developed by Judge Ernest Lacy of Jasper, Alabama, in 1916.
As a “stickler” for deep gameness, Mr. J. T. Shepler of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, provided an Albany-Claret cock that was crossed with pure Lacy hens by the heir of Lacy to breed fighters with very deep gameness in half Lacy-half Albany-Claret stags. Shepler Albany-Claret crosses with Lacy Roundheads infused the right new blood that “nicked” with and energized Lacy’s line of reds.
It was kept fairly pure in its own right throughout the history of the Lacy Roundhead bloodline by crossing it only with other Roundheads from friends of the Lacy heir. To keep his gamefowl bloodlines intact, the Lacy Roundhead breeder kept a close-line breeding program.
Carl Davis sought to perfect the gamefowl of Ernest Lacy by experimenting with crosses of power blood – a method inspired by Walter Kelso’s preference to use the strongest fighters he could find. The result was notable: Lacy-Hatch and other crosses with power blood became some of Alabama’s best gamefowl in their day, highly sought after by breeders and proven winners in spots all over the state.
When these Lacy fighters went to the drag pit with a power cock in a fair and even match, they would win four times out of five based on their cutting ability and gameness. After Carl’s success with his power crosses, gamefowl breeders in Alabama began to request roundheads again. Prior to this, breeders of red gamefowl wanted only pure power blood.
Roundheads have made a comeback after constant infusions and crosses have enhanced their vitality and fighting prowess. Remember, the Kelso evolved from this bloodline.
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