Radio Kelso

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Pic courtesy of inlandempiregamefowl
Pic courtesy of inlandempiregamefowl

Blue Legged Radio

by Marty Dutcher

The orgin I'm about to tell you is from the originator direct so any disagreements with this should be written to me direct, as they did to the Marsh Butchers. I'm not writing a story about what someone else told me. You are getting it from the horse's mouth as it was originated here on my two farms, one farm for breeding the other for experimenting.

It all started out back in the early 80's when I was living in the Philippines. I saw Jumper Radios being fought in the biggest and toughest pits on all the islands, (Leyte, Luzon, and Negros Oriental) and I wondered where they came from because only the Chinese and rich Filipinos could afford them, not the so called back yard breeders - and they (Radios) were winning much more than their share so if you had money enough to bet on them you would win nearly 75% of the time. But if in a Bacolod City Pit be careful, because in this area they had 90% Greys and the Greys by the rich cockers were hard to beat and they could of been Jumper Greys, maybe bought from Ray Alexander because Ray came yearly to the Philippines at that time and was a personal friend of Jorge Araneta who owned the largest pit in Manila, which I lived only a short distance from.

Many of the best birds in the Philippines came from the USA as well as Richard Bates, an American cocker, living in Cavite and tough to beat. I decided when I returned to the USA during the molt season I'd try to buy a Radio trio. I inquired where these Radios came from and everybody told me they were Jumper Radios. So what did I do as soon as I returned to the USA, I called Jumper and made an appointment to meet him at his farm on a Sunday afternoon. I was not only impressed with him and his set up but his birds also, so I made an offer to buy.

Well, unfortunately he refused to sell me any in the USA unless I payed him up front and only take delivery to my farm in the Philippines. Well this a no-no for any American cocker because my import permit cost thousands and he knew I would not accept such a ridiculous offer so I left without any Radios. My intent was to take only the so called pure Radio eggs to the Philippines and hatch them in the very hot country they were going to fight in.

I inquired at Clear Creek II Pit and Pumpkin Valley and was told that a cocker named Dennis Oakley was beating everyone with his strain of Radios. So the following Sunday I went to Dennis' yard and was really impressed with his Radios that he sparred for me. It boiled down to two pure Bull stags, so he knowing his fowl, I asked him to pick the one he thought would make the best brood cock. It ended up dark red and white legged. It had large diameter legs and the upper part of the leg was really muscled and right away I knew he had plenty of lower power. His eyes were big, his wings tough in back and the spurs were very low on his legs. I asked him to show me his pure hens and pullets and I picked out two of the smallest pullets he had, as in the Philippines many of the Radio hens were geting entirely too big with age, something that I refused to breed to.

This was two years before Dennis became cocker of the Year at Copper State. Thank goodness Jumper didn't sell to me because every bit of my foundation Radios have turned out to be superior - which I accept as pure luck. God was on my side that Sunday. Well, as the years passed Dennis Oakley became Cocker of the Year at Clear Creek II, our local pit, which is tough and if you don't believe me try it or ask Oscar, Ray Alexander, Carol NeSmith and the top cockers in Alabama and Tennessee. Well to face the facts, here is the same blood that I'm sitting on that Dennis beat the big boys with so I was smart enough to ask the genetic experts how to breed them. I had already asked Harry Parr, after reading his book on "The Breeding of Game Fowl" and I asked Dr. Cocker as well as Dr. Goan of the University of Tennessee and also M.L. Fernando a genetic expert in the Philippines, and Gerald Ware of Arkansas.

I knew how to maintain the pure family but I wanted to set a family from a cross because I had so called pure families of William McRae Hatch and Yellow Leg Hatch, Green Leg Hatch, which I understand from Carol NeSmith of Black Water Farms were Sweater McGinnis Hatch and I bred both of Carol's YLH and green legged Hatch to my Radio cock. I have plenty of Tyson single mate pens so I put a pure Radio hen in pen number one and in pen number two I put my Wm McRae Hatch hen, and in pen number three I put a Ray Alexander pure Lacy Roundhead hen, in pen number four I put a pure Carol NeSmith GLH hen, in pen number five I put a pure Carol NeSmith GLH hen, in pen number six I put a pure Oakley Kelso hen. So I bred pure to pure on six hens hoping that if I did get the "nick" I could get repeats. I moved my Radio cock everyday.

Well, much to my surprise, out of two of my Wm McRae hens, when her pullets were four months old they had blue legs which I understand now but didn't at the time until Gerald Ware and Harry Parr explained recessive genes and XX and XY genes. So naturally I bred back all my Blue legged daughters to their father a white legged Radio but much to my surprise still only half my pullets came blue legged. So I did it the years of 1988 thru 1991 and in conjunction with breeding back all the pullets ot their father after the 4th generation, I bred a blue legged Radio stag to a blue legged Radio pullet and I'm now convinced it is from the Genetic trait Blue to Blue that usually produces Blue and has been set as a family as I'm getting repeats and have decided now to produce Hybrids that would be a 3-way cross consisting of 1/2 Radio 1/4 Hatch and 1/4 Kelso. I'll have 64 single mate pens all breeding hybrids because the best combination could be 1/2 Radio 1/4 Hatch and 1/4 LRH. If I had a Harry Parr Grey stag I'd use him on top of my other breeds including my pure Radio pullets.

I saw a show of cocks fight at Clear Creek I that was only 1/4 Grey and he beat them all going 5-0 and ended up with the pot. Ray Alexander did the impossible and went 11-1 in the 12-cock short knife in the toughest pit in the world using Harry Parr's pure Grey cocks on top of Ray's pure Democrat hens. I'll try to catch him some day using Harry Parr's pure Grey cocks top of my pure Radio hens also on my 1/2 Radio 1/2 LRH hens. I have never had any 4-way crosses on my yard period. That's what they have in the Philippines and many don't know it but when American cocker's imported battle cross fowl into the Philippines for a specific derby, many of them imported a 3-way or 4-way cross, something that I have never ever used for breeding.

If the Lord is willing and the creeks don't go dry, I'll be in Mexico with my Blue Legged radios and crosses in 1992. So I have a lot of people to thank because it was pure luck on my part and I feel that most the credit goes to the most famous breeders of alltime, the great Wm McRae. He put something in his Hatch blood that was instrumental in getting blue legs because my pure hens and their daughters had greenish legs with a blue tint. Please do not misunderstand me as it makes no difference to me what color his legs are as I had one coming one leg white and one leg blue and they are barn burners but I really believe by using this Blue Legged Radio cock in producing a two or three way cross, could and should, make the best battle fowl. And once you hit the "nick" be satisfied and make repeats the way.

No way can I tell you with accuracy what went in this excellent Hatch blood and anyone that tries is completely hear say as all Hatch families have so many different bloods in them I doubt anyone knows. But I do know from experience, that whatever Mr. McRae put into his was the right blood. My opinion is for sure Blue face Hatch and McLean Hatch, because a lot of the offspring had greenish blue tint on their legs. So my expectations was to experiment and breed for 3-way battle fowl only, as it was pure luck how I got a true family of Radios. I started out only trying to get a battle cross of 1/2 Radio 1/2 Wm McRae and after much experimenting found the right combination. Now after four generations was a 1/2 + 1/2 and I was smart enough to produce this end of it not as a family and have found out that the blood from a 3-way cross is the best for battle fowl. Without the family to begin with you can't get the 3-way cross. Remember, it's very dangerous using Hatch blood as a cross, as there are many, many Hatch families that are croses to begin with so don't give up, try them all. I have never once bred a brother to a sister so I should not end up with a bag of worms and many unknowns. Many cockers who think they have a 2-way cross probably have a 3-way cross.

So I will end this true Radio story by admitting it was pure luck and admit it was a team effort not by me alone and hopefully it can be one of the best pure families that you can cross to your best families and end up being some of the best battle fowl of the 1990's. Forget about the 1960's, as competition today is by far the toughest ever. And hopefully they will not do to this breed what they did to the famous Marsh Butchers and stil call them Marsh Butchers. Come see me and I'll show you the "proof of the pudding." Good luck!


By Johnny Jumper

"Cecil brought me a rooster to train one time...and this rooster was very noisy. He was happy, happy all the time. So, I trained him and uh I'd exercise him and he was just so noisy. He had a great mental attitude. So, I named him Radio. I gave him the name Radio cause he talked all the time. And that...that name has stuck with those chickens since 1962. And course people call "you the man that invented uh come up with the radios?" and I say well I come up with this one rooster you know and so I bred him to 1 kelso hen then I bred him back to 7/8 of him and that's how the...and I still have that family to this day. We call them Radios but they are red chickens with yellow legs. Their basic bloodline was 1/2 whitehackle I was telling you about and 1/2 murphy. They come from Mr. Murphy up in New York. That's what the rooster was made up out of, but we still have them today and they have such a great mental attitude. That's so important...the mental attitude." THE KELSO FOWL by Gus Frithiof Sr.

I have before me at this time letters from W. A. Kelso, Col. John Madigin, J.M. (Milo) Frost Jr., a letter from Gilbert Courtois, who fed the Kelso cocks for 25 years and many letter from my good friend John J. Liberto, Galveston, Texas, who made hundreds of single matings for Mr. Kelso; also helped him with brooders and incuvators for 32 years. In writing this data on the Kelso fowl I am not drawing upon hearsay and my imagination for facts, but rather upon my long association with these great cockers and breeders.

Mr. Kelso was not the kind of man who went around telling everyone he came in contact with how he bred his chickens. The only reference I ever came across from him was a letter that was published in The Gamecock magazine for April, 1964. He had written this letter to a personal friend, who sent it in for publication a couple months after Mr. Kelso's death, Febuary 1, 1964. It was in regards to the breeding of one family of his fowl, the Oleander Peacomb Fowl.

In the letter about the Oleander Peacomb Fowl he stated that he bred a Blue Judge Wilkins Typewriter - McClanahan cock to two Tom Murphy's straight comb Whitehackle hens and produced the two red, "Left Out" marked hens that were later bred to a "Yankee Clipper" cock that Duke Hulsey gave him, which produced the original pea-comb fowl that won an average of 85% of their fights from 1947 to 1953.

The above mentioned Blue Judge Wilkins Typewriter - McClanahan cock was bred out of my two Typewriter hens, bred to the McClanahan cock I brought down to Mr. Kelso's place, and bred there and NO OTHER Typewriter cock or hens were bred there, and NO OTHER McClanahan cock or hens were bred down there. When I left Galveston, Texas, I left Mr. Kelso a large number of stags, bred out of my Typewriter hens and the McClanahan cock I brought down there to breed to my hens. Kelso fought my fowl (young cocks) against Bobby Manziel, deceased, and they won a great main, fed by Turley Stalcup of Tennessee. Mr. Stalcup wrote me of the results of that main and asked me for hens bred the same way.

I have many letters here from John J. Liberto, who helped Mr. Kelso for 32 years with his fowl, in Galveston, Texas, and he assures me that the only Typewriter hens of and the McClanahan cock (Austin-Claret-Smith Roundhead) was ever bred at Mr. Kelso's, or by him down there.

Hundreds of men have written me about the Kelso Clarets, some saying they have them, others wanting information on them. Although Kelso had many of Madigin's fowl he never bred any of them pure, as he always wanted his own strain of fowl and bred towards this goal. I know this will surprise many, but there is no such fowl, as Kelso (Madigin) Clarets. However, some of his "Battle Cocks" contained some Claret blood.

I fed a 13-cock main for Mr. Kelso against Gilbert Courtois, New Iberia, LA, which was fought at the Club Belvedere, near Erath, LA, which ended in a draw. Gilbert Courtois had won many mians at that time and was rated the Champion of Louisiana. The Kelso cocks I trained were half E.H> Hulsey (Pumpkins), one quarter Smith Roundheads (DeJeans) and one quarter Madigin Claret.

Kelso made a main against Smutt Griffiths, Victoria, Texas; Jeff Lankard, Goliad, Texas, and others in their combination. It was a "show" of 21 and 17 pairs matched. Sam Bigham and Henry Wortham visited Kelso's cock-house and he extended them the courtesy of examining his cocks. When Kelso asked them what they though the results would be they replied, after prompting - that they felt I had "Drawn" the cocks too much and that the cocks Kelso was meeting were absolutely perfect. After Wortham and Bingham left the cock-house we soon heard the bets of 100/60 and 1000/six hundred offered. Madigin drove up and asked why the big odds. I told him that the experts had felt of Kelso's cocks and thought we had no chance. I then handed Madigin some of the cocks and he looked them over. As he was leaving the cock-house, Mr. Kelso asked him what he thought about them. He replied, "I am going to break these smart betters." J.M. Frost had an interest in our main, but withdrew his support and went with the opposition. The final score was Frithiof-Kelso 11 and Griffith-Lankard 6. We won the only hack after the main and Kelso and Madigin won a great deal on the main as they were my only backers.

I used 3 of J.M. Frost's Pipeliners in the main and the rest were E.H. Hulsey-Smith Roundhead-Madigin Claret crosses.

Sweater McGinnis teamed up with Tom Averyt (feeder for Hill McClanahan), J.M. Frost Jr., (Pipeliner and Frost Greys), Judge Ed Wilkins (Typewriters) and other backers and challenged Kelso to fight them for a thousand dollars on each battle. We fought at Austin, Texas. We defeated the combination 8 to 3. I used one Madigin Grey that won and the rest were E.H. Hulsey-Coutois-DeJean-Smith Roundhead-Claret crosses.

When Kelso fought a main against Madigin in New Orleans his cocks were Roundheads from Louisiana. Madigin won the main 11 to 6. The Madigin Clarets completely outclassed the LA Roundheads.

Kelso fought four E.H. Hulsey cocks and one Madigin Grey cock against Judge Edward Wilkins at Austin, Texas late one season. Wilkins used 5 cocks, one half Marsh Butcher and one half Typewriter. The Hulsey cocks were pumpkins (Yellow Birchen color), all lost, the Madigin Grey won.

In 11 mains and hacks after the mains, I fought Wilkins over 150 battles. He told me only 5 cocks of this sum were, or had any Butcher blood in them, and this should refute the allegation of two of the "self appointed experts," who wrote articles for The Gamecock that stated that the Wilkins cocks were either 100% Marsh Butcher, or one half Butcher.

Appearing in August, 1946 Grit & Steel is a report of a 9 stag main, page 36, between Walter Kelso, Gilbert Courtois feeding, and Maurice Cohen, San Antonio, Texas, fought at Berg's Mill San Antonion, Texas. Won by Kelso 6 to 3. Kelso used 5 stags bred by John Liberto, Galveston, Texas.

In the Febuary issue G&S, page 67, 1948, is a report of a main fought between Regels & Co., Alice, Texas, fed by Lee (pop) McGinnis, "Skeeter" Alford hadnling, against Walter Kelso, Gilbert Courtois feeding and handling for Kelso. Score 5 to 4 for Kelso. Kelso used 4 cocks bred by John Liberto, Galveston, texas.

The reason I mentioned the mains fed by myself and those fed by Gilbert Courtois for Mr. Kelso, was to show the readers that Mr. Kelso was NOT FIGHTING COL. JOHN H. MADIGIN CLARETS in any of his important mains.

Upon the death of Mr. Madigin, September 16, 1942, Mr. Kelso fell heir to his fowl, which surprised many, as all thought Mr. E.W> Law would inherit them. Madigin didn't relish Mr. Law selling fowl and perhaps, this influenced his decision. Madigin's instructions were that Frank Heiland, who fed his cocks for many years, was to be given a trio of Greys and Bill Japhet, son of his old time friend, Dan Japhet, was to be given some of the fowl if he wanted them.

Kelso had "Sweater" McGinnis with him at the time. McGinis didn't like the Madigin fowl and was busy killing them. He did fight some of them at Waco, Texas and most lost.

When I was with Mr. Kelso, Col. Madigin would bring down a dozen or more cocks and I would place them in big pens to "freshen them up." After they had been on green grass for a month I would put them up and work them out and fight them in New Orleans Tournaments for Madigin. He would bring his green legged Regular Greys and Red and White Clarets, usually an equal number of each color. Madigin told me many times that his Red and White Clarets were the same identical fowl, bred exactly the same, contained the same blood-lines.

Madigin had a dozen hens down there in large pens (Kelso's place) and we went after them while I was with Madigin. However, when I went with Kelso there were no pure Claret fowl down there and I doubt that Kelso bred from them.

Madigin believed that fowl bred in Canada, where he bred his fowl, and brought down to Texas, would improve them, because of the difference in climate, minerals in the ground and in the grass, would be beneficial to them.

Sweater McGinnis brought down to Kelso's place a Peacomb red, yellow legged cock, heavy plumage, long wings and broad back. He was bred to Kelso's "out and Out" marked hens and single mated to the little buff, straight comb, Murphy hens. This cock was called the "Sweater" cock.

McGinnis got a Regular Grey Madigin cock from Kelso. John Liberto, Galeston, Texas, had been breeding the cock to his Pipeline (Frost) hens for Mr. Kelso. A Perfection Grey cock was also bred to Pipeliner hens for Kelso's use. The original Madigin Perfection Greys were out of a Madigin Regular Grey named "Perfection," bred to Red Clarets hens.

When Walter Kelso (Oleander Club), Gilbert Courtois feeding, won the Sunset Derby in 1952, he fought 6 Yankee Clippers (Claret-Albany's), 3 Claret crosses and 3 Griffin cocks. The Bob Angelle trophy was given to Gilbert Courtois. (May issue G&S, page 17, 1952.)

May 6, 1953, Kelso (Oleander Club), Courtois feeding, won a main against Mr. Halff, J.D. Perry feeding, at Nine Mile Club, 6 to 4. Kelso used some of his "Little Murphy" cocks and Oleander Reds, which were Typewriter-McClanahan. Old Murphy, Yankee Clipper and Claret blood. June issue, Gamecock, page 44.

Mr. Kelso obtained from Billy Ruble, a peacomb, Brown Red, dark legged cock, twice a winner at Hot Springs, same day, and he was bred to the dark legged hens Tommy Murphy sent Kelso. The cocks were very game but average fighters. Tommy Gillespie, editor of the Game Fowl Breeders Journal, had been trying to get some Kelso fowl from the caretaker on Kelso's place. Kelso told his caretaker to sell them to Gillespie and keep the money.

The Ruble cock was then bred to Kelso's best Buff, straight comb hens and the cocks were satisfactory. Best "Left Out" marked little hens.

John Liberto let Kelso breed his dark wine red, straight comb yellow Pipeliner (Frost cock to his buff, yellow legged, Murphy hens). Sweater McGinnis fought the cock twice. After Sweater left Kelso's place to go inot the army Gilbert Courtois bred him for Kelso for a few years. Kelso won mains and derbies with this mating. Later a son of the Pipeliner cock was bred the same way with excellent results. The blood of this line of fowl was in his later fowl, his very best fowl.

Mr. Griffin from Alabama was walking stags for Mr. Kelso and he sent Kelso a bright red, single comb cock, that was a sensation, a five-time winner, called the Trosclair cock, because Trosclair had walked him; he was also called the $1000 cock. Griffin also sent Kelso a dark red, peacomb, white legged cock, extra good. Some offspring from these cocks was raised and they were satisfactory.

A Hennie Mathesius Hatch cock was bred by John Liberto to his Pipeliner (Frost) hens and Kelso used many of them with good results.

Mr. Armand DeJean, Opelousas, LA, gave Kelso some of his Smith Roundheads and Kelso gave them to John Liberto. Later Kelso got some of them back again. I think some of the cocks I was fighting for Mr. Kelso carried this bloodline.

One of the Grey cocks Kelso used for his Grey colored cocks was from Carl Van Wormer, Houston, Texas. He was a Shake and fought several times. Van Wormer rented Col. Madigin's place in Houston, Texas, after Mr. Madigin's death, from Madigin's daughter. When I visited him there he had fowl from E.W. Law, Dave Ward, Frank Shy (Narragansett) and some Albany fowl (Old Albanys). Van Wormer joined me in 5 mains, all of which I won. I let him have a Madigin Grey cock, sire of 5 cocks I fought against E.H. Husley and Henry Wortham, at Arcola, Texas, in our $2000 main. Four of my Grey cocks won - the 5th cock met a 9 time winning Hulsey cock, they went up, came down flopping, dying and it was called a draw. Wortham said they were the best Grey cocks he ever saw fight in any pit. I don't know for sure if that Grey cock Kelso got was out of my cock, or form E.W. Law stock.

This is the true way Kelso bred his fighting cocks and they were TOPS.

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