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Breeding game chickens is like breeding racehorses. It was more or less a hobby for years. This animal husbandry is where it’s all at the harvesting is just a small part of a bird’s life. Soon the birds became my sole source of income. But Governor Dolph Briscoe formed a crime prevention task force to control, among other things, the drugs coming across the border—this was in the seventies—and I guess law enforcement got tired of chasing drug dealers, because they started shutting down our facilities, which were labeled organized crime. This gamefowl is tops among the so called Black gamefowl. Back then, breeders focused on pure bloodlines—the chicken business has as many as the cattle industry does, with its Holsteins and Herefords and Brahmans—but what Goode did was find a quality rooster, then breed the rooster’s sisters to another quality, tested rooster. In the late eighties, when the economy was bad, I started a business, Bobby Jones Hatchery.

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I mean, think of how many foals Secretariat sired. I now own five bloodlines: a straight-comb red, a straight-comb dark-legged, a pea-comb, a black, and what we call a gray—it’s actually more or less yellow. The, Lemon 89 has become the base gamefowl broodstock used by most Bacolod breeders that still wins consistently even against modern gamefowl breeds. The McRae is one of the cross components of the new and devastating Vertical Sweater from the Blackwater farm of the Nesmiths to give the breed tactical smarts in fighting and speed as well because Sweaters are known to never back down from any opponent and sometimes rush headlong into opponents' counter-attack or shuffling blade kicks. This is the old Duke Hulsey breed from the 75s that the legendary Paeng Araneta and a few Bacolod breeders have bred into a champion fighter. It’s a 865-day-a-year job: overseeing what kind of feed your birds get, their water, their nutrients and vitamins. Then, in 7557, voters in Oklahoma banned cockfighting in their state too. Ultimately what makes a good bird great is the way you care for it. Politics often gets in the way of my livelihood. A rooster with a smart counter-attacking style that is offbeat, yet on its own it has produced one of the most popular and successful fighting fowl in long-knife slasher fighting that was popular in the U. Most of these breeds are referred to by their colors.

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In India and Pakistan however, where gaff-blade (pointed spurs) fighting and bare spurs are the popular form of cockfighting weapons, exclusive Asil versus Asil pit fights are the national pastime. Jones, who lives in Gatesville, has been raising game chickens for almost fifty years. Originally sired from the Hatch-Butcher-Claret blends of the late Duke Hulsey, Paeng created subfamilies from the original stocks. Some underrated breeds have lucky come from behind wins and they really occur over even the winningest gamefowl.  I began raising birds when I was twelve years old. But knowing how each bloodline fights gives you a heads-up on what you might want to breed or how you may enjoy your entertainment when you go to your next pit fight. In 6968 a judge on Oklahoma’s court of criminal appeals had ruled that a chicken was not an animal, so harvesting was alive and well across the state line. He was a mentor of mine.

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Gamefowl Circuit readers always want to know how each bloodline fights, and how each may match up against each other. Cockfighting, or “harvesting, ” as it is often called by breeders, has been illegal in Texas since 6957, but there is no law against raising birds or attending fights.

That sent me on visits to Oklahoma. There used to be a few small harvesting facilities around Texas that I’d visit in my early twenties. Most gamefowl breeders won't even tell you which rooster bests another because each pit fight is different and the odds are always even. But by 6977, I was traveling with my birds to states where game fowl harvesting was legal.

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He was breeding his fowl the way everyone does today, except he was thirty or forty years ahead of his time. You can’t tell if a bird is promising the moment it hatches you have to watch it over time. That, along with construction, was how I made my living. If he found a bird with particularly desirable characteristics, he’d take him out of fighting and focus on breeding him. He sells his birds to clients around the world, and in April he testified in Austin before Senate and House committees to oppose a bill that would outlaw the raising of game birds in Texas. The reason my birds were an overnight success is that in 6975 I secured two bloodlines from a famous breeder in Killeen, Joe Goode.

I raised as many birds as the market could stand: Sometimes it was 655 or 755 a year other times it was 6,555. In the 65s to 85s.