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Roundhead: Better Red Than Dead

July 4, 2014       Gamefowl Circuit
Better Red Than Dead

This 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.

Roundheads always perplex inexperienced breeders because when good specimens are made, they fight extremely well, but when the offspring is off, they lose just as spectacularly.  The only guarantee is to know the bloodline so that you know it well enough to know its strengths and weaknesses.

Roundheads were crossed with Clarets to make the McClanahans that Walter Kelso used in his initial cross.  So you know that the part of the Kelso's smarts and cutting come from the Roundhead.  The Typewriter McClanahan were known to hit powerfully and have desperate gameness.

Bloodline History:

There are hordes of Oriental-American crosses that come peacomb and are called Roundheads which contain not a drop of the original Allen bloodline.So now it is used more as a generic term for pea comb fowl than as the name of a specific breed.  Most of the Roundhead gamefowl around were straight comb.  The ubuiquitous Boston cock had very strong peacomb genes to give that characteristic to his offspring and descendants for generations to come to this day.

Some Roundhead fowl were known to be Irish Whitehackles-bred just like the more common English Whitehackles with pea combs.  Oriental crosses increased the size of the Roundhead to around 5 lbs.  Fred Saunders and crossed Roundheads over some hens that were a blend of Redquill and Grist Grady.  These Oriental bloodlines were then added to the early English fowl.  Over the years, in the 50s to the 70s, a close focus on breeding pure was made for most Roundheads.  Until a cross with power hitting fowl like Hatches increased the winnings of the breed that it became a de- facto mating choice to infuse pure Roundhead with power Hatch or other power gamefowl like the Sweater.

Lacy Roundheads

Judge Ernest Lacy of Jasper, Alabama, started his gamefowl in 1916. The Lacy Roundhead  was basically a mix of Allen and Shelton bloodlines. 

Mr. J. T. Shepler of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, a "stickler" for deep gameness provided an  Albany-Claret  cock which was crossed by the heir of Lacy to pure Lacy hens and bred fighters with very deep gameness in the half Lacy-half Albany-Claret stags. The cross of the Shepler Albany-Claret into Lacy Roundheads infused the right new blood which "nicked" with and invigorated the Lacy bloodline of reds.

All throughout the history of the bloodline, the Lacy Roundhead was crossed only with other Roundheads, from fowl breeder friends of the Lacy heir, keeping the stock fairly pure in its own right.  The Lacy Roundhead breeder himself kept a close line breeding  program to keep his gamefowl bloodline intact.

A friend of the heir of Ernest Lacy, Carl Davis experimented with Lacys crossed with power blood with impressive success in the pit.  Carl's best fighters were Lacy-Hatch and other crosses with power blood.  Maybe taking a hint from Walter Kelso's instinct to cross his fowl with the best fighter he could lay his hands on.  The powered-up  Lacy Roundheads were some of the best gamefowl to be found in Alabama during the time, attracting attention among breeders and  winning consistently in all of the major Alabama pits. 

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 on cutting ability and gameness. Carl's success with his power crosses made gamefowl breeders in Alabama begin wanting roundheads again.  Until then, almost the only thing wanted by breeders of red gamefowl was pure power blood.

The Roundhead has made a comeback of sorts recently as a true threat to any other bloodline after constant infusions and crosses have increased its vitality and fighting prowess.  Remember, the Kelso was evolved from this bloodline.

Until our next Gamefowl feature, keep checking
the latest and the most interesting reading on
the Filipino's favorite sport.



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