Friday, September 02, 2005

The ''Sweater'' Gamefowl History

by Johnny Jumper

One of the breeds of gamefowl most in demand today are
the “Sweaters”. There are several versions of how they originated. The
following account of their origin is “straight from the horse's mouth”. It
comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker who knew the parent
fowl; when, where and by whom they were bred. The following is their version
how the Sweaters originated.

Sweater McGinnis gave Walter Kelso a yellow legged Hatch cock whose bloodlines
are thought to trace back to Harold Browns McLean Hatch. Mr. Kelso bred this
cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be
outstanding pit cocks.

Cecil Davis, who was a friend of Mr. Kelso, walked cocks
for him and had access to Mr. Kelso’s best fowl. Cecil got one of the cocks
which Mr. Kelso raised from the Sweater McGinnis Hatch cock and his own hens.

Cecil got this cock from Doc Robinson, who also walked cocks for Mr. Kelso. The
cock was yellow legged and pea combed. Cecil bred him to five of his out-and-out
Kelso hens. The offspring from this mating were the foundation of the Sweaters.
They were called Sweaters because the Hatch cock from Sweater McGinnis was their
grandfather. As the above indicates, in breeding, they would be ¾ Kelso-¼ yellow
legged Hatch.

The original Sweaters were bred by Ira Parks, who was Johnny Jumper's
brother-in-law, a very fine man and an excellent breeder of gamefowl. Ira,
Johnny and Cecil were at the hub of a group of cockers in northern Mississippi
and Tennessee who were friends and cocking partners. Several of this group got
Sweaters from the original mating. Some of these friends have bred the Sweaters
without addition of outside blood and have them in their purity today. Other
breeders have added infusions of other blood to their Sweaters.

The line of Sweaters which is bringing the breed such popularity today came from
Roy Brady, who got some of the first mating of Sweaters, to Sonny Ware, to Odis
Chappell, to Carol Nesmith and the Browns of Mississippi. Odis Chappell let a
number of friends in addition to Carol, have his Sweaters, so the blood has been
distributed rather widely in central Alabama in recent years. It has been
excellent blood for all who got it. This line of Sweaters produces occasional
green legged offspring, usually pullets. When asked about his, Roy Brady said
that at one time some Hatch was bred into this line. This line is said also to
carry small amount of Radio blood.

The Sweaters described in this article are typically orange-red to light red in
color, with yellow legs and pea combs. Of interest, however, Dolan Owens of
Booneville, Mississippi, acquired some of the early Sweaters and has bred them
to come uniformly dark, wine red in color, straight comb and white legged. In
looks, these two lines of Sweaters show almost no resemblance. This is an
example of how a family of fowl can be bred toward different standards by
different breeders and In a few generations the two lines will be like two
different breeds.

Sonny Ware bred some Radio into the Sweaters making them pumpkin in color. Most
people like this color better and breed to that end.
The ''Sweater'' Gamefowl History


Blogger julio alvarado said...

well it seems possible to make the strain "so called sweater" but then again to me , those rooster are awsome i always new they had hatch on them. so can we reverse the cycle and bring back the original sweaters back but this time green legged

12:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's not something you can just say and will magically appear it take various years of breeding to get a rooster like that and to keep the line pure but with green legs it takes a long time

5:22 AM  
Blogger WL R said...

It really doesn't take that long. You breed the green leg daughters back to their daddy that is producing the green leg pullets and you'll get a green leg stag eventually. Once you do, just breed him to a green leg hen or pullet and they'll never come anything but green leg from there on out.

11:37 AM  

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