Friday, September 11, 2015

The Sweater Gamefowl History

Photo Source:

Worldwide gamefowl breeders always want to know how each bloodline fights, and how they match up against each other.  Most gamefowl breeders won't even tell you which rooster is the best. But knowing how each bloodline fights gives you the edge to ascertain the character of the gamecocks.

The Sweater is that winning breed that brawls its opponents into submission.  They have excellent strength and power that their relentless attacks simply overwhelm their opponent.  Infusions into their bloodline made them the most feared opponents they are today.  The can fight on the air and on the ground. They have very long feathers, especially at the tail and are red breasted with yellow legs.

Sweaters-bred roosters are on demand for cockfighting. Its history has many versions so far but the most outstanding comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker, who knows the parent fowl all along. Here’s the story how the Sweaters originated.

Sweater McGinnis gave Walter Kelso a yellow legged Hatch cock whose bloodlines are thought to trace back to Harold Browns McLean Hatch. Mr. Kelso bred this cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be
outstanding pit cocks. Then, Cecil Davis, a friend of Mr. Kelso had access to Mr. Kelso’s best fowl which he got one of the cocks (from Doc Robinson who also walked cocks for Mr. Kelso. The cock was yellow legged and pea combed) which Mr. Kelso raised from the Sweater McGinnis Hatch cock and bred of his own into five of his out-and-out Kelso hens. The offspring from this mating were the foundation of the Sweaters.

On the other hand, the original Sweaters were bred by Ira Parks, who was Johnny Jumper's brother-in-law, a very fine man and an excellent breeder of gamefowl. Ira, Johnny and Cecil were at the hub of a group of cockers in northern Mississippi
and Tennessee and several of this group got sweaters from the original mating. Some of his friends have bred the Sweaters without addition of outside blood and have them in their purity today. Other breeders have added infusions of other blood to their Sweaters.

The famous line of Sweaters which is popular today came from Roy Brady, who got some of the first mating of Sweaters, to Sonny Ware, to Odis
Chappell, to Carol Nesmith and the Browns of Mississippi. Odis Chappell let a
number of friends in addition to Carol Nesmith have his Sweaters, so the blood has been distributed rather widely in central Alabama and has excellent blood. For some line of Sweaters produces occasional green legged offspring, usually pullets. Roy Brady said, some Hatch was bred into this line which also carry small amount of Radio blood.

The Sweaters are typically orange-red to light red in color, with yellow legs and pea combs. Dolan Owens of Booneville, Mississippi, acquired some of the early Sweaters and has bred them to uniformly dark, wine red in color, straight comb and white legged.

These two lines of Sweaters show almost no resemblance but the fowl can be bred toward different standards by different breeders in which the two lines will be like two different breeds.

Lastly, Sonny Ware bred some Radio into the Sweaters making them pumpkin in color which most people preferred this color better and breed more for cockfighting.


  1. sweaters are picture cock easy to sell..

  2. How was Dink Fair known for sweaters bloodline ?