By: Full Drop
1924 Joe Wingate laid aside his life's work and joined his ancestors. From that time on the once great family of fighting cocks that he had built decined. Though many may boast of having them today, old timers know that the claims have little or no foundation.
Back in 1870, Wingate brought over from north of Ireland a single comb strain of chickens. In color they were mostly brown red, some showing ginger color and all showing dark legs and hazel eyes. The hens were sharp and stylish looking a dark brown or ginger some showing straw neck feathers. They were medium stationed and many grew spurs. One of the Irish hens was a favorite of Joe's . He had her set up and mounted when she died. This mounting hen is in existence today but looks nothing like the hens of the so-called wingates you see in these later days.
The cocks of this family were not big cocks being in condition 5.4 or under, brown or ginger red, dark legs and hazel eyes. Broad backed and not heavy, though strong boned. They were single stroked cocks fast and strong in the mix-up not high flyers, rushing wild hitting cocks they now want to call Wingates. Did Wingate add any new blood to the above family? Of course he did he added the blood of an English hen he brought over, a mahogany colored hen with hazel eyes and dark lead colored legs. He bred this hen under the Irish cock and then bread some of those cross back into the original line. The infusion of the English hen `s blood increased the poundage until off and on a cock would weigh 6.2 or 6.4.
Holly Chappell enters the picture, Chappell while down in Alabama on one of his trips to the south got hold of a standout cock and brought him home. He bread him over his hens that were understood to be north Briton and brown red crosses. Wingate and Chappell were friends, wingate got one of the cocks out of this cross and bred him over a brown red hen. After reducing the cross some more, he put the blood of the Chappell line into the Irish family. That is the layout of the Wingate Irish brown reds as the old-timers up here in the hills recall it.