Duryea Whitehackles

Home | History

Yellow Birchen | Duryea Whitehackle

Wardell Pumpkin Gleeson | HH Moore Claret

What are the Duryea? I have read and been told that they were a cross between a Herrisford Brown Red, and a Yellow Birchen. I tend to believe this story. Others do not and if you read the history at the bottom of the page it gives reason to think otherwise. In all truthfulness, I'm not sure that anyone really knows and the men that did are not alive today. I know they are very old family of birds, that are quite rare as a pure family. The Dureya fowl, like the Yellow Birchens were used to develop many different families of chickens that we have today. According to Oconnor, the grandmother of the Clarets was a hailstone spangled Duryea hen.

In the early thirties, Mr. E.S. Hatch and Mr. E.T. McLean were on the floor of the stock exchange. That Mr. Hatch gave Ted McLean fowl is testimony enough of their friendship, as it is well known Mr. Hatch did not let many go. At the time, Mr. Hatches' fowl consisted of four basic bloodlines. These were the Kearney make up of the two strains Mike Kearney brought from Ireland, namely (1) the "beasy" Breasted Light Reds (Whitehackles) and (2) the Brown Breasted Reds, plus (3) the Herman Duryea fowl (commonly called Boston Roundheads) which he added when he worked for Mr. Duryea. With these bloodlines Mr. Hatch incorporated (4) the green leg Thompson (Jim Thompson) fowl. I might say here that from then 'til now, the strains made up of these four bloodlines are what Ted and I call the "straight stuff."
notes from THE MC LEAN HATCH by Harry Parr (1977)

Texas Durea. Duryea stag
Texas Duryea Duryea stag

Dureya pair hailstone pullet
Duryea Pair
Hailstone Duryea

Kincannon Duryea hailstone pullet
Kincannon stag
Kincannon pullet

Chocolate Durea. Duryea pullet
Chocolate Duryea cock
Duryea pullet

Durea Stag. Hailstone Duryea pullet
Duryea stag Hailstone Duryea
Chocolate Duryea stag. Hailstone Duryea pullet
Chocolate Duryea stag Hailstone Duryea

All above birds belong to The Fall Creek Ranch. Bart Boewe.

Notes from Histories of Game strains:

The Duryea white hackles, the greatest family of gamefowl in this or any other country, that were according to O`Conor obtained by Duryea from a steamship agent in or near Boston and maintained in their purity by Duryea strictly by inbreeding for 30 years or more, during which time Duryea fought mains by the score and lost but one that one when his cocks took sick Mike Kearney was Duryea's feeder and caretaker,etc.

In the past fifteen years we have at every opportunity questioned anyone we thought might have some information of this regard to either the Kearney or Duryea in the following we are going to tell you a few of the things we learned. Mike Kearney`s son Harry is still alive and while none of this information came to us directly from Harry, a considerable amount of it came from him indirectly.

Several years ago in Troy, we met a Boston cocker who's name we have forgotten and who has since passed away. He was well-known on the game and was an ink salesman. Tom Kelly of Watertown knows who I mean. At any rate this man told me he visited Kearney on Long Island one time and told him he would like to see a pure Kearney white hackle. Mike reached in a peb and brought out a typical white hackle except he had a round head and pea comb, he told mike he didn't know whitehackles came pea comb. Mike said some of his did and offered no further explanation. It`s a well know fact the so-called Duryea fowl came both straight and pea comb. After Kearny`s association with Duryea when a pea comb cock was shown it was assumed by most men it was a Duryea cross, or a so-called straight Duryea.

Today, Harry Kearney confirms the fact that their whitehackles came from Ireland with both pea and straight comb just as Mike said previously to the ink salesman. Further more this came indirectly from Harry and his dad. Mike preferred their brown reds to their whitehackles because they were gamer, stronger, and harder hitters, but the whitehackles were better cutters.

They ran a saloon and had no where but a small back yard in which to breed and raise fowl until Mike hooked up with Duryea. At that time he took complete charge of the breeding and fighting of his fowl. Duryea had the fowl on his estate at Red Bank, New Jersey, and he maintained a large racing and breeding stable in France. Mike mated the yards at Red Bank and generally ran things with the fowl to suit himself. Duryea very much disliked a brown red chicken and forebode Mike to have any of then on the place. For that reason Kearny bred only a few and those few away from Duryea`s place.

Duryea also had at Red Bank some fowl he got from Frank Collidge of Boston which we believe to be Boston round heads. They were oriental cross of some sort. According to Kearney they were very strong fowl, good cutters and fighters, but not bitter {game} enough to suit Kearney. However as Duryea liked them, they bred some and used them along with their whitehackles and some crosses of the two.

If the above is correct as we have every reason to believe it is, acutely there was never any such thing as a long inbred strain of Duryea fowl anywhere but in O`Conor's mind. O`Conor claimed Duryea lost but one main in thirty years while another writer in the warrior of that era contended Kearney probably lost more mains than any man that ever lived, in view of the above both men were wrong Duryea lost many mains and Kearney had a share in both the winning and the losing mains. As we stated above for a period of five or six years the warrior contained reams and reams about the Kearny and Duryea fowl. Gamest on earth, best winning family in history, etc. when probably the truth is the so-called Duryea fowl were nothing more than Kearney white hackles and some crosses of them on some jap or asil crosses from Frank Coolidge.

All fowl raised and sold by The Fall Creek Farm are raised for historic reasons, for brood fowl, and show only! We will not sell to anyone that will use the birds for illegal purposes. Any mention on this site about fighting chickens is for historic and educational purposes only. It is your responsibility to abide by all local, state, and federal laws once you receive any birds from us.

2005-2010  Bart Boewe