Doc Robinson Hatch
Doc Robinson Hatch by Daniel Thornton
Now, I will first start out by saying I never had the chance to meet with the man being born in a time too late. But one of my main curiosities even as a young boy has always been the history of gamefowl and other fowl, and my father was the main source of history regarding many of the local strains in the great states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. From the bit I have gathered, The Doc Robinson Hatch originated from the Stewart Yellow Legged Hatch blood, created by Clarence Stewart from the "Bonecrusher" Jack Walton Hatch.
The information from my father speaking from personal experience and information passed to him from Donnie Roberts who showed under the Pine Burr entry in many derbies along side Doc Robinson and Peck Brown, is that Doc was always looking for new hatch birds to improve his lines. Whenever Doc saw a bird in the pit that he liked, and thought could improve his he would buy it and take it home, and my father said upon stepping into Doc's yard that he had two different hatches. The light side and dark side, separated on each side of the yard and the birds looked completely different. The dark side were more uniform with a dark mahogany color, green and blue legs, and had a straight comb with the occasional lemon hackle around the bottom of the hackle. The light side were very light lemon hackled birds with yellow legs and a pea comb. However they also could have green, slate, blue, spotted, or even green on one half and yellow on the other legs. They were Doc's primary power chickens, I was told a story of a man named Jerry who conditioned a manfighter cock, and in doing so the cock flew up and hit him in the head knocking him out for two hours. And Doc regularly crossed these two from my understanding.
And within those were individual strains. There were many lines, the main one I remember is the Red-Bandeds and the information my father told me regarding the Red-bandeds is that the Red-bandeds received their name due to descending from a hen with a red leg band, Doc Robinson took five cocks out of her and showed them at Sunset winning every fight. And another strain, though from Donnie Roberts (which were the Red-Bandeds) is The Rag hatch blood. Their name came from how they looked as chicks, they were always raggedy with poor feathering and a ugly coloration until they grew up into the dark mahogany colored fowl.
On more than one occasion, my father told me stories of a Doc Hatch cock owned by Donnie Roberts that one year molted and developed a few white specks in his breast. The next year he got more spots, and every year he gained more until he was almost solid white. Other people who have inbred their Docs have also found that they will occasionally throw a spangle. And my father also mentioned that he himself who received birds from Donnie (who got them from Doc) as well as a friend of his who received Donnie's birds have had the Docs molt out into hennies on more than one occasion. So I would say this could be a very good reason for why many peoples Doc's can range from small station to tall station, 4lbs 12oz to 6.5lbs and come both pea and straight comb, light, dark, even the people who claim to contain the same blood originally from Doc himself without anything added! And if anything I would say it goes to show even further that the old breeders were less concerned with color, purity, and uniformity like today's breeders and more concerned with their gameness and fighting ability; making one of the greatest hatch strains to this day.
I know there is a lot of controversy behind this strain, as many believe they have the Ray Hoskin's blood (and based upon this, they very well may have a touch) while others do not. And people can choose to believe what I have said or not, but when my father was friends with both Peck and Donnie (who inherited Doc's birds after his death to my understanding) receiving birds from both and seeing them first hand in days-gone-by and I meeting Peck myself; I choose to believe it.