Long ago, Mister Hatch of Long Island, N.Y. lost three cocks from a group he had brought to a main fight in the city. Two of them were yellow legged and one a green leg. The yellow legs were bred by those who appropriated the roosters for themselves but nothing noteworthy ever came from these crosses. On the other hand, a certain "Army" Fox of Utica, N.Y. got the green leg. This fowl was a large, straight comb, broad backed, dark red, with green legs.
Army later talked with Mr. Hatch about having the cock, and he told him what the green legged rooster was, that all of its family were straight combs. Army said he would send and get the stolen rooster back to Mr. Hatch but Army's friend claimed the cock had died, and that the green legged cock wasn't his type of fighter anyway. Depite this, Army's friend had raised two or three stags from the green-legged cock, and a hen that was in breeding, Pogmore Whitehackle and Henny, and offered to send Army one of the stags.
When the Albany arrived, he was a beautiful, long feathered, large stag, black and red in color. The Albany progenitor was bred to the Slade Roundhead hens and a dozen or so stags were produced. About half of them looked like Hennies, and while aggresively game, they were also better than the Hennies. Tom Foley of Troy, N.Y., had a strain of extras good ginger colored fowl, and Army Fox sent for him and asked for a good cock to breed. Just about this time, Foley crossed one of his Gingers, a spangle (and the only one out of 50 or so to come that color), to fight in the main. He was a big cock and didn't fall in and this rooster was sent on to Army Fox for a brood cock.
Army bred the Dom colored bird to the pullets, or perhaps hens by then, that were sisters to the Henny stags that were out of the Hatch Pogmore Henny cock and Slade hens. A friend of Army called Mister X took the pullets or hens Army had that were bred from the Foley Ginger cock and hens that were ½ Slade Roundhead, and the Hatch-Pogmore Henny. He got, from the Hardy Bros. Of Niagara Falls, one of their Mahogany cocks known as "The Sneak" (due to a habit he had of ducking under his airborne charging opponent) and bred them together.
This mating produced a line known as the Straight Albanies, cocks of uniform conformation and having deep game as well, but at that point still not good enough to compete with the topnotch fighters of the period such as the winning Doms of the South. By breeding a Pine Spangle to the Albany hens, this match created the renown Straight Albany strain that was invincible for the next five or six years. When Army died, a Claret cock was bred to the same Albany hens and other Clarets down to Mr. X's "Caseys" which further improved the fighting Albany gamefowl to a class that kept them as broodstock staples of most gamefowl breeders.
From the Bradford fowl, the Laws, the Clippers, the Cox fowl, and even the Keefer, as well as some modern gamefowl all contain the winning Albany blood.
Despite the multiple crosses with different gamefowl strains throughout its storied history, the Albany fowl today are surprisingly still uniform in looks as some of the most handsome gamefowl still consistent in fighting form and having proven winning records throughout its battelcock lifeline. Few gamefowl breeders from the New York gamefowl community as well as some breeders from the South know of nothing better than the Albany, and even among modern gamefowl, fewer are even its match in the pit.
This gamefowl is one amazing cutter, possessing deep game too. The Reb Williamson Albany is a power hitting rooster that possesses deep game and is very active in the ring. The straight comb Albany is said to be the smarter fighter because it waits for its opponent to make the first move before it reacts, either evading by ducking under the airborne charge or making a counterattack before the enemy rooster can connect.
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