I started with gamefowl at the age of 8 or 9 I think. My uncle gave me a rooster and 12 hens, I messed with them like a kid, then at the age of 12, I meet a few people that showed birds in a derby and I realised that hey! there’s more to this thing! It looks to me as an art form of breeding, conditioning, handling and then I meet this man Mr Franklin Mullis, my mentor.
I started by getting gamebirds from where I could possibly get is from different farms, walks around our house or buying 2 birds every now and then for 20 to 25 dollars. When Mr Mullis saw that I was so serious about it. I was whipping some of the older guys with these yard breed game birds that I had. Surprisingly, Mr Mullis started giving me some of his good breed stock to which I still have some of that fowl as of today. He showed me how the way he breeds them, pretty much got me off on the right foot.
Hence, my operation turned into a full-time job that took me a minimum of 6 people to run it. We normally do all the things here with my boys and I am so blessed to have friends who happen to have outstanding game-fowls.
“no good will ever come out from the bad stuff. if you do tgood, the good gets back to you and if you do bad, don’t expect good things come your way.”
I usually take care of the baby chickens when I get off from my day job and then at 3 am I would start picking up some eggs on the farm, feed broodstock and then get a couple of hours sleep, woke up and mess with a few cocks at the cock house. Then back feeding the yard and I’ll do some things whatever else time allows me for the day. If I ran short on time, my son would pick up my slack when he gets home from school. As usual, I’ll go straight to my work when my son gets in. I am blessed to have 3 yards for my fowls at different locations, this way they’re spread out rather than have a thousand birds on one place. We have about 600 heads here and the other yards have about the same amount including brood, babies, and show birds. I also have blood banks in other states where my best bloodline is on other farms in case of the catastrophic event may occur like hurricane and tornado and if ever to lose all my stock in a particular place, I still have my same bloodline on a safe place back in just a few days ready to breed again.
Mhar Delaben: That’s very interesting you’ve said about all of this Luke. Now, what can you say about this jealousy in this industry?
Luke Jarrard: My thoughts on jealous people, I don’t think much of it literally. I think we should all support each other as the old timers do, this is a gentleman’s sport if you can’t respect that and can’t support your brothers you need to find something else. This sport has enough challenges as it is 90% of chicken people are awesome than the other 10% are not even worth calling themselves as gamefowl people, this is my only my views and opinion on dealing jealous issue.
On the side note, here’s a couple of good old time things to remember!
No good will ever come from bad stuff, if you do good you will receive good and if you do bad don’t be surprised when bad things come your way!
If a person doesn’t like their situation and you do what you have always done, you will always get what you always wanted, so keep doing the same things and expect the same, if you want different results, get close to the people you wanted to be and let them help you. Don’t be afraid to change.
Mhar Delaben: Tell us about your best bloodline?
Luke Jarrard: As most folks know about my signature line. Firstly, that would be my 60sec Kelso and second to that is my old Machine Line Cardinal Club Kelso. I had them for more than 25yrs now and I always produce 80% of my winnings every year in any weapons for many years. I do have lots of lines that I raise for different folks all over the world and whatever they may be they should always produce 70% of winnings and be better otherwise they will have to go out of my program, so if I have it, you know the real deal. I’ve been blessed to breed, raised, and produced winning gamefowls ever. I think you should always have your fowls fitted in any weapons as possible when legal. Never thought that I could able to say that but I am truly blessed to have it that way, I’m very happy and always thank the Lord above.
Mhar Delaben: Is there particular questions that anyone could ask you about?
Luke Jarrard: Here’s the thing I get asked all the time about conditioning fowl, Well it’s the simple best care you can give them 365 days a year that’s the most important thing! But some of my friends say that I’m crazy, I got a program for my brood fowl cocks and hens before breeding season. Every year I condition the cocks just like we use to do for going to derby when it was legal and I do the hen’s same way rotating them, scratch them, give all the meds before breeding starts and even spar a few hens!
“If someone just started out, the best advice that I can give is to reach me and contact me and get one of my books, that’s it!”
A general health check and then they’re ready for breeding. I fly the cocks start at 10 flys all the way up to 100 flys, run them by hand the same way I give to the cocks and a few drops of red cell to get them moving and the hens I start on with Bulldozer De Gallos, 2 weeks before breeding 2 capsules in a gallon of water and give them twice a week, this method has given me a really high hatch rate last 3yrs.
Mhar Delaben: How do you keep a record of your fowl?
Luke Jarrard: I kept records in several ways: Marking toes, bands, wing and leg band but the most important thing is this I learned years ago to keep 3 different record books in 3 different places because one of my friends cock house burnt up and he lost all of his information we knew most of the marks and all of the broodstock but the young chickens running the range we only knew few of the old marks so ever since I am keeping 3 books in three places after breeding season I give one copy to a good friend of mine to keep just in case I die, or house burns etc. and on the other two, one is my old book got 10 plus years of breeding the other book is of just my Kelso fowl and breeding records for them, and another thing I made me a little deal on the computer that I can put each year’s marks bands etc.
I back it up onto flash drive so I should be able to keep everything no matter what and my friend has a copy of last 5yrs of breeding and book of broodstock just in case I die and so my son will know what to do. It also has a direction for him and how I want things to get done after my work is finished here on earth!
Mhar Delaben: What advise would you give to those who just started breeding?
Luke Jarrard: If someone just started out, the best advice that I can give is to reach me and contact me and get one of my books, that’s it! , it has detailed information for all cockers no matter what experience they may have. It saves them thousands of dollars and years of trial and error, there’s over 100 yrs experience in it. They really need to acquire the best birds they can as possible, but most importantly get the bloodlines you like then see how good you can make them no matter where they came from. Find good people that can help you and don’t expect everything for anything the more you help, the more help you can get. I’m telling you how many birds I’ve worked for through the years from guys that don’t sell birds but they always need help just remember that and good luck I’m always available to help in any way I can. ~PW
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