Does anybody have any pics of these fowl id love to see them
Does anybody have any pics of these fowl id love to see them
The Narragansetts by frank shy -I
The only thing certain about breeding gamefowl is uncertainty. Over the years I have inbred, line bred, cross bred and just plain bred. Each method has one thing in common, namely, uncertainty; and the number of surprises, disappointments, and occasional successes, have been about equally divided between all the systems. Long ago I came to the conclusion, after countless painful experiences, that every mating is experimental and hence uncertain, even to the extent of the same cock being bred to the same hen. Even here the offspring will vary from one year to the next, though the probability and the extent of the variation usually is less than in other mating. Accordingly, all my mating is on a hope and prove basis: hoping for the best, but demanding pit proof before coming to conclusions.
For these reasons I was reluctant to comply with our editors request to write the breeding composition of the NARRAGANSETT fowl for fear that readers might consider it dogma or the proper method to follow, whereas I am acutely aware of my disappointments and failures in the past, and even more uncertain of what will transpire in the future. In this fear I am not alone. During the past 40 YEARS I have known INTIMATELY MANY OF THE GREATEST BREEDERS OF GAME FOWL IN THE UNITED STATES, and I know that each and every one of them lived and lives in fear and uncertainty as to what qualities their next year’s crop of stags will possess.
This fear is fully justified, for they all have reached the peak and they have all come down. Some few come back and reach the peak again. A greater number come down and stay down. It seems to be a matter of the man and the chicken judgments he possesses and applies, rather than the method followed. With the widespread interchange of fowl which exists today, everyone has access to the fowl of his choice. Accordingly, it comes down to what each individual does with fowl after he gets them rather than what the fowl were when acquired. If ten men each received a cock of identical breeding, and hens each, which were all full sisters, you can be certain that at the end of live generations of breeding, the offspring would be radically different from each of the ten men, no matter whether they followed identical breeding practices or ten different ones. It’s all up to the man, his ideas, and how he makes each and every mating. In fact the mating he made last spring is of infinitely greater importance than what the fowl were when he got them so far as determining what qualities the current crop of stags possessed.
NARRAGANSETT BY FRANK SHY -II
Now that this lengthy preamble has been concluded, let’s get down to the breeding composition of the NARRAGANSETT fowl themselves which was the subject the editor asked me to write about. Please understand that the practices followed here are what actually were done. Not what should have been done, or what others said was done. I’ve heard more versions as to the composition of my own fowl from people I never saw or were ever on my yards than you could shake a stick at. When something went sour, they knew exactly the source. When things went right, they knew where that came from too. In 99percent of the cases there wasn’t a drop of the blood which blame or the credit.
The NARRAGANSETT fowl have been bred from their inception in 1936 to a standard of performance and to a lesser extent conformation and appearance rather than to an adherence to certain so called bloodlines or family names. The standards for better or for worse were my own. Every man has them. Some are better than others, as pit performance demonstrates, but they all differ to some extent. These fowl were bred for short heel (1 ¼) fighting exclusively. Any qualities they possessed which might be advantageous for long heel or slasher fighting were purely coincidental. Since most readers enjoy old names and dates, let’s start back and be specific.
In 1936 Mr.E.S. Hatch sent me a little blinker cock which had won several bottom weight round headed light red cock with yellow legs and few spangles in his feathering. I bred him to a big coarse Dyer Claiborne hen. The offspring were chickens, and that’s about all you could say. Game and strong but that was about it. The following year the Hatch cock was bred back to his own daughters. Most of the offspring came spangled, some with yellow legs but most of the pullets were light green legged, the red in the feathers was light wheaten color. These stags were game and tough but poor fighters low headed and could not cut butter.
In 1938 these inbred ¾ Hatch pullets bred to a Saunders (Boston) roundhead cock belonging to M.J. BOWEN Falls, Vermont. These BOSTON R.H. came to Mr. Bowen via Henry Bradford, Sr. of Bennington, Vermont. As I look back upon them no, 30years later, these BOSTON R.H. were the greatest true family of fowl I have ever known. What a pity it is that I , or someone had not perpetuated them. Perhaps Texas, Alabama, the Pacific coast and everywhere got them. Perhaps some of you read this. Wherever you live, might recall them for they were wonderful in any heel in any pit. Old M.J. BOWEN was the poorest breeder that ever lived, and by 1940 run them down terribly through injudicious, then added other so called Saunders blood from another source which did perk them up through hybrid vigor, but at the same time destroyed some of their sterling qualities.
NARRAGANSETT BY FRANKI SHY III
Subsequently he added Kozygarten blood, which really raised them several notches, and it was this blood which formed part of the Boston Bee fowl which Kansas City used with such success and is still present in most of their fowl. Well its too bad, but so far as I know the old Boston R.H. blood of the 1930’s is all gone now, or so diluted that it would be impossible to bring it back, but it was so strong and good that even few drops of it is desirable.
Well, I seem to have gotten off the track again. Anyhow, when the offspring were really something, and sound as a nut. ’Wish I had ‘em today. Then in 1940 I bred these ½ Boston 3/8 Hatch 1/8 Claiborne pullets to a ½ claret1/2 Kozygarten stag. And I was made! The offspring could cut like a razor fight like you know what, and do everything else right. These were the stags which won the National Stag Tournament at Troy in 1941 with an 8-1 record against nationally known cockers like Hatch, Murphy, Marsh, Burns, Al Jones, McNerney. O’Connell and his Albanys Then a year later my own bird dog killed the cock and I was dead.
To digress for a moment, in 1938 I bred this same Boston R.H. cock to some reputedly McNerney pullets which came brown red, with a tassle. The offspring were sensational, but only a flash in the pan. In later years I tried inbreeding them, line breeding them, crossing them and all the rest no avail. After four or five years I was compelled to abandon every drop of the blood, though to his day if I show a gingery colored fowl which performs exceptionally well, someone from the Troy area will ask me, “Does that cock contain some of the old McNerney blood?” I tell him that there’s no a drop present, but I am sure the fellow does not believe me.
By this time, I can hear many people say, “OK. I know about the NARRAGANSETTS. They are basically Hatch, Old Boston R.H. and Claret.” The trouble is that while such statement WAS true 30years ago, it is completely fallacious today. All too often people conclude that the beginning or the so called origin of a strain carries on indefinitely.
NARRAGANSETT BY FRANK SHY IV
Such is seldom the case. Fowl change with each and every generation; no matter how hard the breeder endeavors to retain their autonomy or what breeding system he follows. Remember always that the mating you made last year and the year before exerts vastly more influence upon your offspring than the basic fowl you had 30years ago. And you are or should be interested in your 1969 crop, not ancient history.
Many commercial breeders stop their account at the time of their greatest glory whether such moment was last year, five, ten, fifty or 100years ago. The point is that it is last year which counts, so far as you are concerned, and the other years diminish in proportion to there are. In other words, what fowl were 100years ago has about one percent influence upon what fowl are today, and other remote dates proportionately.
In the case of the NARRAGANSETT fowl, there is some small proportion of the basic 1940 in them today, for which no apology is made, but the proportion is so small that it would be erroneous and deceptive to say that it comprised the basic or foundation blood lines today.
Following the peak in the early forties, the fowl carried on with fair but diminishing success for several years despite my best efforts to preserve them. During that period all manner of breeding practices were employed to revive them or to stop their declining fortunes. In-breeding, line breeding cross breeding all failed. I tried infusions of more HATCH right from the fountain head, the best CLARET I could obtain, and all the rest. Finally I tried a shot of the old BOSTON ROUNDHEAD or such of it as remained at that date, which was about 1948. Glory be! The fowl came to life again, and enjoyed fair success. Then in 1950 THOMAS W. MURPHY sent me a cock, and a new era started.
The MURPHY cock was a light ginger in color. I can’t tell you anything about his breeding other than “he has plenty of winners on both sides” That’s how MR. MURPHYS described him and that’s all I know or ever will know. If others wish to make guesses or fancies that’s up to them. Probably one reason MR. MURPHY sent him to me was because this particular cock came light ginger or pumpkin in color, whereas he preferred the dark mahogany color in his fowl. At any rate this pumpkin was a cutter and fighter out of sight and passed such qualities along to his offspring. A certain amount of this cocks blood is in my fowl today. Not a whole lot percentage-wise but certainly far more than of the so-called original of 1940. I say this not from sentiment or prejudice but rather to record the fact that the more recent the infusion the greater the influence.
NARRAGANSETT BY FRANK SHY V
Two years later MR. MURPHY sent me another cock. At this time he was at the top of the ladder, having won ORLANDO, THE LALLY, THE CLAYMORE all in the same year, and this stag was from his per yard. I called him “The curlew” because of his ling curved beak but he was a holy terror and transmitted power which is still talked about and perpetuated in this section of the country. There some of the “Curlew” in my present day fowls but not as much as I would like since he died after the first breeding season and I was unable to make repeated infusions of this blood as I like to do which will explained later. By this time the fowl were on a high plane and doing a lot of winning.
Around 1956 Ed Piper in Hot Springs sent me a Blue Face hen which was infused into the line with great success. About this same time a great old time HATCH cock(not the Blue Face variety) made his contribution albeit a brief but enduring one.
In 1962 a wonderful inbred Ruble-McGinis cock made his appearance to exert a lasting—to this day—influence. In 1964 an inbred Hatch Repeater cock was introduced with excellent results. And that’s just about the composition of today’s NARRAGANSETTS.
By this time I can hear many people say “with all these different fowl, how can you possibly keep things and know what you’ve got?”Brother, you aint heard anything yet! For every one of the fowl mentioned heard dozen or more you have never heard about.
They have been tried and discarded by the score. I keep a meticulous record of every eggs I set. All pens are single mated—one hen, one cock. If the offspring prove inferior, out they go, every drop, every feather just like tearing pages out of a book.
So far this account has been concerned principally with strain names and dates, which is about as far as most histories go. In my opinion such a recitation is of little value other than to satisfy a superficial curiosity. The important this is, what do you do with this good or bad stock after you acquire it? The bad part is easy: out it goes lock, stock and barrel, every feather, every drop. To do this requires the keeping accurate, permanent records which 99 percent of the cockers do not do. Give the trial mating a fair chance. You would not have made them in the first place unless you felt they had possibilities. But once you are satisfied they are not what you want; eradicate every feather from your yard. You will make other mistakes and suffer further disappoints nest year and the year after, but don’t make the same mistake twice or perpetuate previous foul balls.
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It's from the book..."The Best of Narrangansett 1985".
Got it from the ads in Gamecock mag.
I believe "Wood Enterprise", in the gamecock sells these books.
How many did Frank Shy raise in a year? I read that he only ,maintained a few for his personal consumption....was it something less than a hundred stags a year? I really admire his philosophy when it comes to gamefowls and i could say that i've read his articles over and over just for the fun of really absorbing what he was saying.....and all made a lot of sense (chicken-sense) to me.
i remember drinking narragansett beer growing up in new england, name of a town, area, indian tribe,common name in new england. etc....
Last edited by nicogamefarm; June 4th, 2012 at 01:56 PM.
What do these fowl do as cocks that is so much different than when they are stags
i agree lots of folks talks narragansett up north...they would always say franks shy is pound for pound king of stags...second class when he's showin cocks
like alot of pi breeders, i breed for stags not cocks, last 5 or so years, attitude towards breeding has changed among breeders here, frank shy was ahead of his time.
architecture of stag derby credited for the booming economy of cockfighting in the Philippines.
breeders who sales don't need to wait 2 to 3 years to sale his chickens instead 5 to 6 months he or she can already make income same with the makers o feeds so the fast cycle for money help a lot to the lowest and highest investor and workers to make or earned good clean money not like politics. hehehe
mike you still have this bloodline? clear some space...
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I was in New England last sunday and visited our friend in the cocking world. SS still breed his favorite chocolate grey, JM albany and Harry Parr mclean hatch. He was also a claymore champion then we went to our friend LB who still have this line narragansett unfortunately I forgot to ask this line and also to take pics. I got a striker whithackle and a blueface cock from SS and I got a pair of Herbie Mckenna whitehackle from LB I guessed this the purest whitehackle you can get around New England. Thanks.
RF STALLION, wouldn't mind having a Narragansettfowl in the pi, it would be nice to walk by a tie cord or broodpen seeing a fowl from my home, bred by a great breeder, before i retire having a narragansett, marsh butcher, & a jsears fowl on the farm, so much history. if your friend sells let me know, thanks jwolf
Where can I buy frank shy books..... Thanks .........
Good question jupong...I did see "The best of Narragansett" advertised in the Woods enterprises's add in the Gamecock magazine but cant find the other Frank Shy books anywhere...And believe me I've looked hard...At every website thats ever sold a book I think..lol ..yfis
Advertised as best of Narragansett but they send conditioning the gamecock and modern breeding of game fowl books when you order it.
This coming sept.23 there will be a meeting by the New England breeders assoc. in Ct. We will be attending this meeting for a cause. There will be a mini auction in this meeting. Donors are R. Alexander, J. Mcwhite, J. Sears, M.wyant, R. Coker and S. Shallcross a claymore champ. We will meet alot of old timer from NY and New England. I am looking forward to L. Bunker who I beleive still raises the Narragansett and an authentic whitehackle. Thanks.
RF Stallion,great to see some pictures from this meeting on Sept 23, post a few, if LBunker selling broodfowl be interested in purchasing a Narragansett, wish I could attend, sounds like a very enjoyable time (I could take the time to visit my family). JWolf
rare photo of Mr. Frank Shy at his home.