DanBar Ranch
in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
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What are
 "heritage fowl"?

Older, sometimes famous fowl which are at risk of extinction - with loss of valuable genetics.
About DanBar Ranch Heritage Fowl
Many years ago, as an animal control officer, I was involved in a local "cock fight bust" that resulted in the death of hundreds of healthy, friendly birds which the sheriff's office "rescued".  As I held those beautiful, noble fowl as they were euthanized I knew in my heart that what we were doing was absolutely wrong.

As a student of the history of game dogs, I learned all I could about the history of these ancient warriors. I volunteered to hold about 100 of the cocks for over a year as the case worked its way through the courts. I was surprised at how similar the game cock is to the game American pit bull - friendly and outgoing with humans, combative and relentless with their own species.  The birds won me over and I wanted to do what I could to protect them.

I am NOT a fan of what passes for cock fighting today. It is a complex issue, not easily explained in a few paragraphs. Bottom line BEFORE cock fighting was outlawed, some of the very finest people partook of the old style which put a premium on GAMENESS, not death of the bird.  This includes several presidents of the United States (like Lincoln and Washington), baseball hall of famer Pedro Martinez, actor Wilford Brimley, Will Rogers and hundreds of doctors, lawyers, judges and "working men". Unlike dog fighting, which always tended to attract a criminal element, cock fighting was seen as a a gentlemen's sport and honor of the men, as well as the birds, was an important aspect.

The unintended consequence of animal rights (AR) groups fighting to outlaw cock fighting is that those who did not to be viewed as criminals left, those who did not mind being arrested or ending up in jail took over the sport. AR groups managed to shut down communications between legitimate cockers and the new generation, with the result that the older men could no longer hand down their knowledge and ethics. The result is what passes for cock fighting today - using the birds for what I call "living dice", simply throwing two birds together armed with 3 inch razor sharp knifes on their legs. Gameness has nothing to do with the usually 5 to 10 second "fight" which involves one bird coming down on top of the other first, and stabbing it. Where once fights could go an hour with two game birds, today's "knife fight" rarely lasts more than one pitting of just a few seconds.

So why preserve game fowl?

First, these are tough, healthy, genetically unique birds that have often been used in the past to strengthen commercial breeds. These birds have come down to us from the very earliest days of humanity. They have been revered and admired by all races and all epochs. So how can we allow our generation to be the one to destroy these birds and still their glorious, proud crowing?  They do not need to fight to have value. They are living history, and they are just one more species of animal on the brink of extinction due to humans moving further and further away from "the land". 

Pure Morgan Whitehackles are almost extinct. I hope to keep interest in this old Power Breed alive.  I breed a very small number of very select show and breeding fowl each year. This is not one of those high volume bird yards... I have exactly six breeding pens made up of three families. Getting on the waiting list is highly recommended; first come, first served.



I am taking 2021 to bring in some new blood to my old lines.  Sadly, due to the scarcity of this breed in its pure form, I have had to deal with chickenmen (and woman) who will tell you to your face their birds are pure and then their eggs hatch out some yellow legged or pea combed mutts.  For this reason I don't feel comfortable selling any birds under my name until I have a chance to make sure these new birds meet my strict requirements as pure and worth breeding   I do this to protect you and me. Please be patient. These old birds have been around a LONG time (and so have I).  To those who appreciate the true, game, old bird breeds rather than the hyped up, wild eyed 2 minute wonders they are fighting with a 3 inch knife a Rhode Island Red could win with, these are worth waiting for.  

Having said that it is only fair to warn you that these birds are SOLD FOR PRESERVATION BREEDING PURPOSES ONLY!  If you intend to put these birds in a pit with some leaping lizard with a 3" knife on, DO NOT BUY FROM ME!  These birds are from a historical period in history when solid gameness was admired - and today cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states. Those who continue, live in an environment where speed, ducking, avoiding, and blind luck in the two or three pittings which it takes for some poor bird to get its head slashed off, is what is admired and passes for gameness.  A disgrace!

 Give me a holler:

Due to my inability to get any farm help I am forced to sell my
beloved Morgans.  I want them to go to someone who understands
their importance as a heritage breed.  I have two brood cocks (one 2 years old, one 3 years old) and about a dozen younger brood hens. 
Must take all.  Pick up at farm or you set up shipping.
Sacrifice sale price of: $900.

They come with a list of folks who have been waiting to buy eggs, chicks and adult birds.
Morgan Whitehackles
White legs - straight combs - power birds

My favorite breed and the only breed I keep now. They have such a rich history both here and in Olde England.  This breed has always been referred to as a "power" (as opposed to speed) breed. They were bred for depthless courage (gameness) a hard strike and a slower, more cautious approach to fighting.  Today they retain the calmer, gamer attitude of yesteryear, and can become very tame pets.  They learn to love their owners and will talk softly to you as you approach.  

At left is one of my brood cocks, "Peleliu".

History of Morgan Whitehackle

Morgan Whitehackle chicks

Like the game
 American pit bull,
 the Morgan Whitehackle is an animal which is 
 even in defeat".

This noble nature either appeals to a person or it does not. They certainly do NOT need to be allowed to fight to appreciate their fine qualities.