Kelso Gamefowls: Intelligent Winning Fighting Rooster

Kelso gamefowls are one of the most popular gamefowl breeds in the Philippines with it being one of the classic birds used by breeders to develop gamecocks for the cockpits. These birds first arrived in the Philippines in the 1950’s when Walter Kelso succeeded in developing the breed.

Kelso gamefowl

Kelsos are a hybrid breed developed from crossing Madigin hens with a wide variety of roosters that won their fights, regardless of their breed. Most of the early offsprings were failures until one bird was considered a success in 1951 after the rooster won two battles. This in turn became the main brood cock for what would become as the Kelso breed. Today, the bird has become a mainstay for breeders for either developing their own breeds or bloodlines or as their main fighters.

Key Features of Kelso Roosters:

The key features of Kelso gamefowls are the following:

  • Medium-size balanced bodies
  • Strong build
  • Bright red feathers
  • Beautiful tail feathers
  • Straight comb
  • Sleek head

These beautiful birds also have the White Kelso variation that lacks the standard bird’s red feathers and instead having white ones. Additionally, most of these birds are remarkable for their agility and intelligence in fights as they typically sidestep before launching an attack.

How the Kelso Gamefowl Fights

As mentioned above, some of the most notable features of the Kelso are its agility and intelligence that influences how they fight. These birds specialize on fighting on the ground as they aren’t great jumpers. Being ground fighters, Kelso gamefowls are known to sidestep to dodge their opponents and then strike. This sidestepping movement is innate only to the Kelsos and is what gives this popular breed an edge against non-Kelsos.

Many breeders aim to transfer the Kelso’s strengths to other birds and are actively crossing them with other breeds.

Different Kelso Bloodlines

Due to the popularity of the Kelso breed, many breeders worldwide have used the breed to develop their own birds. Some of the most popular Kelso bloodlines are the following:

Jumper Kelso Roosters

Jumper Kelsos are Johnnie Jumper’s Kelso gamefowls that are dominating the cockpits of Mexico. This bloodline is recognized by the yellow feathers, yellow-white legs, and either round or square head shapes.  

The Jumper Kelso is Johnnie Jumper’s take on this gamefowl breed and is well-known to dominate Mexico’s cockpits. This bloodline is distinguishable through the following:

  • Yellow feathers
  • Yellow-white legs
  • Round or square head

Firebird Kelso

The Firebird is the Kelso bloodline of Tanay, Rizal’s Firebird Farm and is developed by “The Kelso Man of the Philippines,” Sir Biboy Enriquez. These Firebird Kelsos come in Red and White Kelso variations that feature the classic looks of their classic predecessors.

The red Firebird Kelsos are one of the choice birds to infuse red rooster traits to other gamefowl breeds, making it a favorite among many Filipino breeders today. Additionally, these birds from Firebird Farm have a proven track record of winning matches in big derby competitions.

Are Kelsos or Their Derivatives Good for Sabong?

Yes. Kelsos have been dominating the cockpits of the Philippines and Mexico and many breeders have also developed their own bloodlines using these birds. This has resulted in a lot of variations of this breed as well as multiple proven bloodlines that are winning their own matches.

Most Kelsos inherit the innate ability of sidestepping to dodge and attack and their strong builds allowed breeders to win matches against other birds. Even other gamefowl breeds mixed with Kelsos are typically great fighters.


The popular gamefowls have a rich history starting out as a mere American gamefowl variant until it was developed into its own breed. Today, many renowned bloodlines are in circulation and are winning their own matches against other birds. What’s more prized today are the White Kelsos that are visually distinct from the standard birds while still inheriting their innate combat abilities.

When betting through Sabong International’s cockpits, bettors should keep an eye out for these birds if they want to bet on sure winners. Although there are other birds that can also fight well in the cockpits and be champions in their own right, Kelsos and their mixes are generally one of the best breeds to bet on.

If you’re looking to breed your own, those from Firebird Farm are a solid choice for most breeders.

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