Coming from the legendary Duke Hulsey, the progenitor of the Lemon 84 was a medium-stationed gamecock. Rafael “Paeng” Araneta christened it the Lemon 84 because of the number in the leg band of the original rooster which was 84. The rooster with leg band 84 was peacomb, unlike other Lemons of Hulsey that were all straight comb. The Filipino strain was produced when Mr. Paeng Araneta mated the Hulsey 84-banded Lemon cock to two of his Lemon hens that also came from “The Duke.” The pullets were bred back to the father and he chose two lines and from there did brother and sister mating. He then chose the best pullets from the two, breeding back again to the original 84 Hulsey cock. The Lemon 84 is the first Filipino gamecock strain that won the international derby in 1972.
Batchoy Alunan died in 1980. He was responsible for breeding the straight-combed lemon, hackled low-stationed cocks called the Batchoy Lemon. After Alunan passed on, his trusted handler Joe Laureño took some Lemon chickens to his farm as a parting gift from the Alunan family. He managed to preserve the line of the Batchoy, getting 2 broodcocks and 13 hens and restarted the Batchoy bloodlines.
The Lemon 84s actually came from the original 84 cock. The original 84 cock was lent to Batchoy Alunan for a while and Joe made sure they bred it to some of their own lemons. Since Batchoy passed away, Joe improved the bloodline with crosses and blends that made his lemons more than a match with the best of the reigning competitive bloodlines of today. Joe recreated the Batchoy Lemon of his mentor by mating back the daughter pullets to the purer parent, and other forms of in-breeding to recreate 90 plus percent of the original as possible. To keep from losing vigor in his stock he also resorted to the inevitable cross with new blood at some point. Then slowly culling the new offspring with non-pure Lemon blood so that the original pure stock of Lemon would remain.
Joe and his son Johnny have won the prestigious Balbina Breeders Cup twice already. Fighting in the major derbies as JVL, the Batchoy Lemons of Negros are always feared as a dark horse especially in big fights.