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North Meets South

Posted by gamecocksunlimited on June 9, 2013


THE NORTH MEETS THE SOUTH By Joe Z (Dec 2004 The Gamecock)

Many years ago I wrote an article in which I stated that there were horses for courses and cocks for heels. My deduction and observation was that some horses were sprinters and were bred only for short races and other horses were bred for long races. Anyone associated with horse racing know what I was talking about.

The same thing was evident to me as a game fowl breeder that traveled extensively and personally witnessed the difference in weapons used throughout the world.

In the northeast where I began, we bred for medium station, hard-hitting fowl that would single-stroke and occasionally multiple-stroke. The cocks would hit to the head and neck and hit on the rise. They were mostly ground fighters and would seldom strike the body. These cocks were for the 1 ?? gaff. In some areas the 1 ? inch heel was used.

I know that some people think that the one-quarter of an inch didn?t make a difference, but it did. The 1 ?? could reach the vital organs and the 1 ?? seldom did. The cocks bred for the 1 ?? gaffs were a little faster and broke a little higher and sometimes cut to the body. Some of the cocks bred for the 1 ?? heels could win in long heels and some could win in fast short heels. The cock?s bred for long heels were generally higher stationed, faster, would break high, and shuffle to the body. This makes sense because most of the damage was to the body with the long heels. It is very difficult to point a long gaff successfully at the head.

Down through the years, with the advent of interstate highways and airplanes, the north and south became more accessible. The interchange of northern fowl became more prominent and the better southern cockers and others that fought long heels began to use many short heel families to improve their fowl. Most of the southern cockers began to hit with more power and would multiple stroke instead of shuffle.

There is probably no prominent family of southern or long heel fowl in existence today that does not carry one or more strains of northern fowl in their make-up.

The prominent and successful breeders have used Hatch of some type: Leiper, Butcher, Albany, many different Whitehackle families as well as Northern Brown Red blood, Kearney or Wingate Brown Red blood to improve them for modern use in long gaff or knife.

When I asked about the best cocks in the world. I recall the immortal words of Billy Ruble ?Northern cocks in the hands of Southern breeders.? This is not to say that there were not any good breeders in the north because if that were true, then there would not have been good fowl for the southern cocker to blend in to his fowl to produce the modern well-bred fowl of today to suit their needs.


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