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Kelso: The Smartest Fighting Rooster AND the Magic of Crossbreeding

June 29, 2014       Gamefowl Circuit
Kelso:  The Smartest Fighting Rooster





Smartest Fighters

Kelsos are very smart fighters.  Unlike other gamefowl, Kelsos don't jump into the opponents knives in the air, but shuffle and weave, or side-step before launching their own air attack.  If a Kelso is first in the air, chances are, the stupid opponent will be jumping into his knives if sasabay siya sa talon.  One-two hit and then it's over.  As experienced by Robie Yu Panis, herself (farm manager and in-house lady gamefowl gaffer) of the Firebird Gamefarm fame, fighting with white Kelsos.

Johnny Jumper, Out & Out Kelsos have been known to be really smart fighters on top of power, speed and multiple shuffle or evasion tactics. 

Some pundits will say the pure breed ones lack cutting ability, but this is from the old days.  Most Kelsos today have already been crossed with good cutters, sothey are something to watch out for!  The new Kelsos still got the speed and gameness of the purebreed Kelsos, but are now deadlier with the cutting and plumage of your preferred cross from whatever gamefowl, from Brown Reds to Roundheads or even the Sweater. 

Walter Kelsos' originals themselves break high, are multiple shufflers but weak cutters when bred pure from those days when cockers were adamant about bloodline purity.  The Kelsos did not gain these amazing gamefowl traits themselves from pure line breeding but from crosses with winning gamefowl that Mr. Kelso would purchase on the spot, during his days breeding fighters.

Look for really good cutting gamefowl like roundheads and brown reds or greys which are also game to the core.  Kelsos may be both yellow and white legged but the white legged ones are preferred by some buyers.  


Bloodline History

The late Walter Kelso ( 1964, bless his soul  ), from Galveston Island, Texas. ( a part of the lone star state with a semi-tropical climate ),  was a champion for crossbreeding.

To improve strains, in a time when most breeder folks fixated on the tradition of keeping their bloodlines as pure as possible, Kelso handpicked winning gamefowl to breed with his stock, something unheard of during his time. 

Kelso entered gamefowl derbies under the name: Oleander, a flower shrub, and his fighters were ALL a series of battlecock crossbreeds.  When his good friend John Madigin died in 1942, Kelso and breeder colleague Bill Japhet inherited all of Madigin's fowl, which included some of the finest Clarets, Madigin Grays, and Texas Rangers.

Kelso improved his fighters by getting winning stocks to breed with his own.  After watching another rooster win, Kelso would buy the winning fighter to breed with his. While other breeders believed that the Holy Grail of gamefowl strains lay in pure stocks, Kelso had different ideas.  He wrote,  "I immediately began infusing new blood in the Madigin hens." 

About 1940, during the Orlando Tournament, Judge Ed Wilkins of San Antonio, Texas, fought a beautiful light blue Typewriter cock that won his first fight easily and was repeated to win a second fight on the same day. Kelso asked for and received this cock.  The Typewriters are a strain of gamefowl created from the cross of a Marsh Butcher cock with two Irish Blue hens from James G.Oakley of Alabama.  The Butcher family is a cross of Grove Whitehackle (Lawman and Gilkerson) and the Marsh Gray Speeders, which are a combination of the old Santo Domingo Grays from the West Indies island of that name and Burnell Shelton's old Knob comb Blues.

Kelso was more focused on getting new traits to improve performance of any breed he owned than keeping a strain as pure as possible.  He mated a new fighter to the sister of his best fighting  gamefowl.  If the cross produced winning fighters, Kelso would add other sisters to the pen.

Duke Hulsey offered to let Kelso have any of the Clipper cocks he liked. Kelso with Sweater McGinnis handling had met Schlesigner in his deciding fight at 1942 Orlando Tournament. Kelso won the fight and the Tournament but had been impressed with the quality of the Schlesinger cocks.

E.W. Law started these Yankee Clippers by crossing his Clarets with Dan O'Connell's Albany fowl. This Albany family was made by mating some hens that were Hatch, Foley's Ginger, Roundhead, and maybe some Pine Whitehackle (Stryker, mostly), with a Hardy Mahogany cock (Jim Thompson Mahogany and Kearney cross).

The Yankee Clipper cock was mated to two of the Left-Out Kelso hens to produce the original Out-and-Out cocks that won 85 percent of their fights in major competition over a six-year period (1947 to 1953). These cocks were 1/2 Yankee Clipper, 1/4 Murphy, 1/8 Typewriter, 1/8 McClanahan.




In Manila, the Firebird Kelso

In Manila, the Firebird Kelso is one of the most prized breeds for infusing red rooster traits into your breeding program.  As broodfowl, Firebird Farms owned by Sir Biboy Enriquez has proven to be the best local provider of birds with a winning heritage and strong track record at big time competitions.  Sir Biboy himself is known as 'The Kelso Man of the Philippines' and that says a lot about his farm and his consistent winning percentage at big derby competitions.







The Out and Out Kelso

Duke Hulsey offered to let Kelso have any of the Clipper cocks he liked. Kelso with Sweater McGinnis handling had met Schlesigner in his deciding fight at 1942 Orlando Tournament. Kelso won the fight and the Tournament but had been impressed with the quality of the Schlesinger cocks.  E.W. Law started these Yankee Clippers by crossing his Clarets with Dan O'Connell's Albany fowl. This Albany family was made by mating some hens that were Hatch, Foley's Ginger, Roundhead,  The Yankee Clipper cock was mated to two of the Left-Out Kelso hens to produce the original Out-and-Out cocks that won 85 percent of their fights in major competition over a six-year period (1947 to 1953). These cocks were 1/2 Yankee Clipper, 1/4 Murphy, 1/8 Typewriter, 1/8 McClanahan.

More often than not, the matches produced worthless offspring and the cock was discarded.  Despite the high rate of attrition, this method of infusing new blood was the primary way of creating the Out-and-Out Kelso family which still stands as the best core bloodline or stock for crossing into better fighters.  It has also created many of the winners in the world's gamefowl circuit.  The Out-and-Out Kelso family has this monicker because the cocks  were marked in the outside web of both feet. The Out-and-Out Kelsos are black breasted reds ( a deep mahogany to light red ) with their white or yellow legs and pea or straight comb.

If you are looking for a good base for your own gamefowl, get a good broodstock Kelso and make magic with other distinguished gamefowl stock for starting your own line of smart and deadly fighting roosters.


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