The Fascinating Story Behind the Legendary Claret Gamefowl

The Fascinating Story Behind the Legendary Claret Gamefowl

For gamefowl enthusiasts and breeders, the Claret is one of the most sought-after and prized breeds of gamefowl. But what is the story behind the creation of this legendary fowl, and why is it so highly valued? In this article, we will explore the fascinating history of the Claret, from its origins to its abilities.

Origins of the Claret

The Claret was produced almost by accident, when a pair of fowl were thrown into a barn, and the female stole her nest, hatching nine stags and three pullets, all deep claret-wine color. It was not entirely accidental that they were endowed with superior fighting ability, for on both sides, particularly on the female side, a pedigree of superior fowl existed. The mother was a Herman B. Duryea Whitehackle whose sire won 19 battles, 14 of them in hands of Michael Kearney and 5 in England and Ireland for the Earl of Cromwell.

The sire of the Clarets was produced from a gray cock that fought at about 4.02. This particular cock belonged to a comparatively unknown boy at that time (in cocking circles) who brought the cock to Mr. Deans to fight for him. Deans fought the cocks in good company several times. He won in such a creditable manner that Mr. Deans procured the cock for his own and then bred him to one of his good red hens, heavy in Mahoney blood. Mahoney lived with Mr. Deans for some time and died at his home. This produced the red cock that became the “daddy of the Clarets.”

Characteristics of the Claret

The Claret is a beautiful gamefowl with deep claret-wine feathers, and it is highly valued for its superior fighting abilities. They have a unique way of fighting, flying into their opponent with no beak hold, their heels pointed like an expert swordsman's rapier. They don't want to bite their opponent, just want to measure the distance and kill them. Clarets are intelligent, realizing their killing prowess is in their kick, and their beaks are primarily to feed themselves. They watch and feint to get their opponent out of position, then fly into them to tear them all to pieces without getting a scratch themselves, if possible.

Clarets cannot be produced synthetically, and there are few pure Clarets left in existence. It is not uncommon for breeders to mistakenly believe they have a pure Claret when, in fact, they do not. Only an expert can tell the difference between a true Claret and an imposter. Clarets are the aristocrats of the chicken species, with lot of feathers, are frail chickens except in leg and wing power; but have more kick than anything their weight.


In conclusion, the Claret is one of the most highly prized gamefowl breeds. Its fascinating history and superior fighting abilities make it a sought-after breed for enthusiasts and breeders. While there are few pure Clarets left in existence, they remain a symbol of excellence in the gamefowl world. For those who are fortunate enough to own one of these aristocrats of the chicken species, the Claret is a true treasure.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.