Wingate Brown Reds
Joe Wingate brought over from Northern Ireland a pure strain of chickens in 1870 into his Alabama farm. These birds were mostly brown red in breast and feather color, with some showing ginger colors, but all showing dark legs and hazel eyes. The hens in particular were sharp and stylish looking, all of them dark brown or ginger and some showing straw neck feathers. The stock were medium stationed and many grew spurs.
One of the Irish hens among his brood was Joe's personal choice and he even had the chicken set up and mounted when she died as a memento of her best breeding days. This stuffed and preserved progenitors of the Brown Red bloodline is still on display but it looks nothing like the modern generation hens of the Wingate bloodline of Brown Reds. The cocks of this family were not big cocks weighing in at 5.4 lbs. or under. Joe Wingate made the effort to improve the bloodline by crossing with an English hen, mahogany colored and with dark legs, then line breeding to the original line to keep the stock intact and with new vigor. The line from this mix was brown feathered or ginger red breasted, had dark legs and hazel eyes like the original Irish gamefowl he shipped in. They were broad backed and not heavy, though strong boned.
These fighters were quick off the drop, fast and strong in the mix-up; with the cocks just rushing at their enemy with wild cutting attacks that don't stop. They break for defense, but don't fly high.
The line breeding with the English hen made for heavier fighters, around 6.2 lbs. Then, to further enhance the Wingate stock, Mister Holly Chappell from Alabama, took a winning fighter from one of his trips to the South and brought it back home to breed with hens that were north Britain and brown red crosses. Friends with Joe Wingate, he lent Joe one cock from the cross and this was bred to a Brown Red hen from the mahogany chicken cross. After reducing the new cross a bit, Wingate bred the Chappell experiment into his own Irish stock. The final offspring becoming the beloved Wingate Brown Red speed slasher we all know and love. Joe Wingate passed on in 1924 and left behind a broodfowl that many cockers still treasure as a pure bred stock as well as a base for breeding a better gamefowl.
The color brown-red , just as black-red comes from the English pit description of fowl to be fought in the pit. Breast color always is first named as it is not trimmed in any fashion. So the literal description of a brown-red is a brown breasted fowl with a red top.
Brown Red Fighting Style and Favorable Crossing Matches
Brown Red has speed and more speed, with cutting to boot – the advantage of this dark fowl. Coming dark-legged, dark-eyed and with characteristic black feathering, this family is a sight to behold, since Brown Reds show more of the razzle-dazzle shuffling action type of fighting, although their drawback is their seeming lack of gameness and stamina.
However, because of other infusions made by breeders, there already are Brown Reds that are game enough, lasting for more than 10 minutes. In the drag fight, these fighters are defensive and very calculating, uncharacteristic of a typical Brown Red.
Because the Brown Red is already fast and pugnacious, crossing with a quarter of Hatch, Asil or Jap, gives them added power hitting, endurance, and the wits to fight drag fights against superior opponents.