|Courtesy copy with permission from Grit and Steel Magazine MARCH 1977 Issue|
In England in the 16th Century I have read of a family by the name of Nunn or Nunnely. They bred a family of fowl called Yellow Birchen. From these have come some of our best seed of our noble game cock of today. This blood went into the Earl Derby fowl. At various times they were called Gingers, Greek Fires, Canary Whitehackle, etc. I have seen Punkin roosters all my life and never seen one that couldn't cut and fight. This Yellow Birchen blood went into the Claibornes - hence to Allen Roundheads. It went into Duryeas - Lowman, Groves, Gilkerson - Morgans and various other Whitehackle families. The old time Clarets also came Punkin.
The Redquill - Allen Roundheads, Shawlneck, Albany Bighams and others have this blood in their make up and will throw punkins if inbred. So if you wonder where the punkin came from when one pops up in your Reds, Brownreds, Hatch, Whitehackles and even Greys. You can see how strong this blood is and why it is there.
Most of these fowl, when inbred will revert to a punkin (pumpkin) and vary from dark to light, golden to a very vivid bright red. Then occasionaly will come White. Now these Birchen fowl were described as coming Red Punkin and White. Pearl-Blue slate and yellow legs. No Green or dark legs, no brownred, grey or other colors. This describes the old time Phil Marsh Butchers as owned by Pete Frost, Sam Bigham and others. Usually only the hens have the blue legs and they come out of Pearl legs, Mamas and Sires. Only about 2 or 3 percent come White and few Yellow legs in hens. Nearly all the hens are light Wheaten in color and very uniform in appearance except for the leg variation.
One year ago I saw one of the gamest punkin cocks I ever saw at a brush meet and was informed he was Yellow Birchin out of stock from Gus Frithiof. Went through 2 1/2 hour grueling drag fight that required gameness to the core. A salute to Gus.
The old Marsh Butchers will import this Punkin color to everything bred and now maybe you can see why Henry Wortham, Jack Walton, Sweater, Sam Bigham, Madigin, Shelley, Clay, Perry and others of the 1930's - 1950's showed so many pumpkin cocks. I have left out many. They import hybrid vigor to everything crossed with.
I can't understand it either but that's the way these old inbred Butchers are. No Brownreds, Blues or dark legs though. Punkin is the one color which will not breed 100 percent to color.
When crossed they will import the vivid dark or light gold in everything I have tried them on, and add to aggressiveness, cut and gameness. Above all, they can be inbred without becoming crazy, high strung, etc. I have only found three families of fowl in 30 years that I could inbreed more than once and remain game and uniform. Smaller, yes, but no loss in courage from these. Only from such fowl can you have a solid foundation to build on.
The Pictures are taken from the website of Ron Lutz, i have same stock of materials because i buy it pure from him the Yellow Birchens, the man on the Picture is Ron Lutz, this is his website click this..
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