America’s Favorite Poultry Magazine Pigeons! All About

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BackyardPigeonse-editionPoultryAmerica’s Favorite Poultry MagazineAll aboutPigeons!PLUS:PigeonsStrikeA PoseEXPLORE PIGEON TYPESfrom Rollers to RacersHousing & feedinga well-designed loftkeeps your birds healthyRaising Pigeons FOR PROFITimproving lives whilerunning a pigeon businesswww.CountrysideNetwork.comPigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com1

Contents // Pigeons e-edition4From the Editor86Backyard Poultry SocialConnect with Backyard Poultry onsocial media.Pigeons Photo EssayPigeons strike a pose for photographerBret Hartman.14Meet & Greet: Kenny CooganOur Pigeons e-edition featuredcontributor.Get to Know PigeonsThis adaptable bird has been valuablethrough the ages.18From Rollers to RacersExplore pigeon breeds and types.7142Backyard Poultry

24Flock PhotosFeaturing photos from our readers.26How to Properly House andFeed PigeonsGood pigeon loft design can help yourpigeons stay healthy.30Meet the English Pouter PigeonYour guide to fancy pigeon breeds.35Peace, Love, and PigeonsTips for improving others’ lives withyour pigeon business.2635Pigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com3

from the editorUnsungHeroesIremember the first time I visited theOhio National Poultry Show and sawthe rows of pigeons there for the competition. Yes, I knew pigeons were morethan the street birds you see in the city. But,I was shocked at the variety in front of myeyes. There were pigeons with almost nobeak, some with frilly feathers everywhere,others standing tall and proud. I have beenfascinated by them ever since.Aside from the show circuit, pigeons haveplayed an important role throughout itor,Pam Freemanand are, arguably, some of the most important birds around. They have been, and stillare, a food source. But beyond that, homing pigeons allowed folks to communicatevia long distances well before the internet.They’ve been war heroes thrust in the heatof battle and trusted with saving lives. And,they’ve provided entertainment through thesport of racing.Pigeons are the unsung heroes of our backyard flocks. Enjoy learning more aboutthem!EditorialSteph Merkle, Content Directorsmerkle@backyardpoultrymag.comPam Freeman, Editorbackyardpoultrymag@gmail.comEditorial AssistantsSamantha Ingersoll, Ann TomCirculation & MarketingEllen Grunseth, Marketing gAlicia Soper, Advertising 748-1388Kelly 748-1389Sue 392-4436General ManagerMike Campbellmcampbell@backyardpoultrymag.comBackyard Poultry’s Main CoopBackyard PoultryP.O. Box 566, Medford, WI 54451www.countrysidenetwork.comSubscriptions (U.S. funds): 24.99 per yearBackyard Poultry SubscriptionsP.O. Box 1848, Carson City, NV 89702(970) 392-4419Photo Credit: Pam FreemanOn The CoverManaging pigeon breeding will allow yourbirds to be ready for a show.4Backyard Poultry (ISSN 1559-2251, USPS 023-374) is publishedbi-monthly by Countryside Publications, P.O. Box 566, Medford,WI 54451. Periodicals postage paid at Medford, WI andadditional mailing offices. 2018 Countryside Publications.Countryside Publications is owned and operated by FencePost Co. The views presented here do not necessarily representthose of the editor or publisher. All contents of this issue ofBackyard Poultry are copyrighted by Countryside Publications,2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in partis prohibited except by permission of the publisher.POSTMASTER:Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5);NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES:Send address corrections to Backyard PoultrySubscriptions, P.O. Box 1848, Carson City, NV 89702Backyard Poultry

Subscribe today!Goat JournalCountryside &Small Stock JournalThe leading magazine that focuses on“all things goat.” Regular topics includeraising, breeding and marketing goats,along with features and information onmaking the goat business moreprofitable and rewarding. Each issueprovides timely articles, news, andhealth information for goat owners.The magazine of modern homesteading,featuring information on gardening,food preservation, small livestock,poultry, preparedness and self-reliantliving.Backyard Poultrysheep!America’s favorite poultry magazine iswritten for both rural and urban poultryenthusiasts. The magazine features allpoultry including chickens, ducks, geese,turkeys and guinea fowl.The voice of the independent flockmaster, sheep! magazine containsinformative articles on health, feedand grazing, predator protection andmarketing meat and wool products.Don’t forget to download your Free GuideS!Helpful free guides are available, eachfocusing on a specific topic of interest.Visit to download yours today.Subscribe online at or complete the form below.SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM – SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW TODAY!Yes! Please sign me up for (six issues per year):Countryside & Small Stock Journal1 Year 19.992 Years 32.003 Years 45.00 (Best Deal! Save 58% off the cover price!)2 Years 39.003 Years 54.00 (Best Deal! Save 50% off the cover price!)2 Years 39.003 Years 54.00 (Best Deal! Save 40% off the cover price!)2 Years 39.003 Years 54.00 (Best Deal! Save 40% off the cover price!)Backyard Poultry1 Year 24.99Goat Journal1 Year 24.99sheep!1 Year 24.99Name:Address:City, State, Zip:EmailPayment EnclosedVisa/MasterCard #:Exp.:MAIL TO: Countryside Network Subscriptions, P.O. Box 1848, Carson City, NV 89702 OR CALL: 1-970-392-4419 www.CountrysideNetwork.comPigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com5

Join the Conversationwith Backyard Poultry on Social Media!Use#backyardpoultrymagon Instagram or tagus for your chanceto be rdpoultrymagPINTEREST@poultrymagazineBackyard Poultry

Meet & GreetGetting to Know Kenny CooganOur Pigeons e-edition Featured ContributorHi! My name is Kenny Coogan and I’m regular contributor to Backyard Poultry magazine and Countryside & Small Stock Journal. I am a freelance writer, author, and permaculturist living in Florida. I have20 years of experience as a poultry owner and a B.S. in animal behavior. I have trained professionally atzoos and aquariums. I have cared for pigeons, penguins, and porcupines. My all-time favorite animalsto work with are sloths. I share my one-acre Florida homestead with cats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs,bearded dragon and a 28-year-old female Moluccan cockatoo named Buddy.I love teaching about homesteading, raising animals, and gardening. When the hot Florida summercomes, I love to travel internationally. So far I’ve been to five continents.Kenny CooganFind Kenny online re great stories from Kenny Coogan on countr!Pigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com7

PigeonsStrikea PoseBret Hartman has photographed ever yone from comedianWill Ferrell to legendar y actor Dustin Hoffman, so wechallenged him with a new assignment: pigeons.He captured these stunning shots at the The National PigeonAssociation Grand National Pigeon Show in Los Angeles (2015).Pictured: Charles Scott, Pomeranian Pouter, White8Backyard Poultry

Pigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com9

610Backyard PoultryBackyard Poultry

Larry Schulz, American Show Racer,OpalMore than 7,000 birds and 200 different breeds were shown at the event,including a few by former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson,according to the event’s host, the Los Angeles Pigeon Club.“LAPC spent almost two years in preparation for the show, and the fruit of thathard work and team effort was evident in any direction you would look at,” saidMuhammad Shaheed, the club’s media liason. “What I liked most was the bondingof humanity that was displayed. People came from all over the world, of differentraces, colors, social classes, religious backgrounds . and they all became a part ofa family, enjoying not only the birds in display, but more importantly, enjoying eachothers companionship. In a world full of stress and anxiety and hatred, the show offered peace and comfort, and love for each other as humans.”Robert Sanchez, West of EnglandTumbler, AlmondAbove: Larry Wilmes, American Giant Homer, Brown BarOpposite page, top: Abigail Copeland. Hungarian; Natasha Soares, Gold Fantail;Mia Bella Mefferd, English Shortface; Emily Isom, Oriental Roller; Alisa Foster,Old Style Saddle Muffed Tumbler; Niah Mauldin, Racing Homer; ZacheryFerrell, Voorburg Shield Cropper; and Vincent Pizzuto, Modena.Opposite page, bottom left: Justin Curl, Portuguese Tumbler, Two Color TigerOpposite page, bottom right: Peter Frantangelo Jr., Domestic Show Flight, YellowPlain HeadApril / May 2015Pigeons e-editionSamantha Wendell, Western sidenetwork.com711

tern Fantail,WhiteBlackNational Pigeon Association PresidentJerry Gagne (left), and National FancyPigeon Association President FadiliusHendricks, English Tumblers, Splash.Eugene Sande, Show Roller, RedChecked Beard812All photos by Bret hChadd,Chadd,EnglishEnglish Tumblers,Tumblers, SplashBottom, left: Teresa Reyes Barrow (left), and Monica Soareds, Black Headed Tumbler,Bottom, left: Teresa Reyes Barrow (left), and Monica Soareds, Black Headed Tumbler,BlackBlacckBottom, right: Donald Roscoe, Dragoon, Blue BarBottom, right: Donald Roscoe, Dragoon, Blue BarBackyard PoultryBackyard Poultry

Sherri Owen (Artist),Pigeon Painting — Holy Spirit, WhitePigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com13

In additionto a rangeof colors,pigeons havebeen bredfor shows,racing and asa source ofprotein.Get to Know PigeonsThis Adaptable Bird Has Been Valuable Through the Agesby Kenny CooganPigeons are remarkable for so many reasons. A true cosmopolitan, long after humans have left this Earth,only cockroaches, rats, and pigeons will remain. Humans and pigeons have been sharing living spaceas far back as 3000 BC, in Mesopotamia, modern Iraq.Did you know that pigeons mate for life and both sexes care for the young? They have the ability to flyat altitudes up to 6,000 feet, and at speeds between 50 and 70 miles per hour. The fastest recorded speed is92.5 miles per hour. These are just a few of many amazing pigeon facts!14Backyard Poultry

Pigeons are well-adapted atliving in urban or rural areas.Countless park goers across the worldfeed thousands of feral pigeons daily. Manymembers of different religions includingMuslims, Hindus, and Sikhs feed pigeonsfor spiritual reasons. Some older Sikhswill ritualistically feed pigeons to honorGuru Gobind Singh, a high priest who wasrenowned as a friend to pigeons. I know Icouldn’t resist sitting down in the middleof Venice’s historic St. Mark’s Square tobefriend a flock of pigeons. Covering myselfwith seed, I couldn’t stop smiling, as thepigeons transformed me into a human perch.With so many types of pigeons to choosefrom, adding a flock to your backyard canadd a fun source of entertainment, income,or food to any homestead.Pigeon BasicsHow Long Do Pigeons Live?Domestic pigeons can live between 10and 15 years. Although pigeons can becomesexually mature as early as five months,many breeders recommended waiting forthe birds to reach one year of age.What Do Pigeons Eat?If considering keeping pigeons you may bewondering, what do pigeons eat? Pigeonsare granivores, eating seeds and cereals.Many pigeon feeds include cereals, corn,wheat, dried peas, barley, and rye. Depending on the actively level of your bird, different protein percensionalinsect.How Do Pigeons Breed?The coupling ritual starts with the malecharacteristically cooing and puffing out hisneck. The female will fly or walk short distances to entice the male to follow her. Onceshe is satisfied she will accept offerings offood and position herself to be mounted.Eight to 12 days after mating and accepting food gifts from her mate, the henwill usually lay two white eggs. Pigeonswill breed year-round and will lay moreeggs before the first clutch has left the nest.“Keeping the number of birds undercontrol is key to health and quality and successful racing,” says Deone Roberts, SportDevelopment Manager of the AmericanRacing Pigeon Union. “To have the desiredresults in racing, the flyer/breeder needs toset down his/her goals.”Those goals will influence the type ofstock selected and the kinds of pairings youwill make. Controlling the times of matingis also important if you plan on racing orshowing birds.Organizations such as the AmericanRacing Pigeon Union are for people wholove animals, fellowship, and friendlycompetition.“We have a staffed national office toserve member needs such as leg bands anddiplomas, race figuring software, educational materials, beginner mentor program,zoning assistance for ordinance changes, andpromotion assistance,” says Roberts.In addition to racing pigeons, Robertssays that there are hundreds of breeds of pigeons and it seems more are created throughselection for specific traits. Most are forPigeons e-editionshow. Some are for performance, such asthe roller or tumbler breeds.Growing up I had a small flock of rollersand tumblers. After a few years or raising them,and enjoying their aerial acrobatics, I attendeda pigeon show to expand my collection. I purchased a pair of runt pigeons. These ironicallynamed pigeons can weigh up to 3.5 pounds!They are mostly raised for show or squab meat.The seller said I could let them free range inthe yard like chickens. After a week of keepingthem in the coop to get their bearings, I let themout to explore the lawn. As soon as the dooropened, the birds took off straight toward thehorizon. That was a sad day. Lesson learned.Not all pigeons should be expected to returnif they are released from their coop.In ancient Mesopotamia, sailors wouldrelease pigeons — and ravens — from theirships. They would track the birds to orientthemselves toward land. A thousand yearslater, you have the story of Noah in the OldTestament. Around this time you also startseeing pigeons featured in sculptures, jewelry, and hair needles.The Phoenicians distributed white pigeons throughout the Mediterranean around1000 BC. The Greeks gave pigeons to children as toys, used the squabs as a food source,and used their manure to fertilize crops.Keeping pigeons is an ageless hobby. Photo byGary Weirwww.countrysidenetwork.com15

Are you my mother? These young guinea hensadopted this rooster as their mother. Life on the farmis never dull ! – Ed Fedor, Connecticut,Popcorn, one of my Rhode Island Redshaychecking out how life is on top of thestack. – Kaitlyn Boss, TexasWell-designed loft and good nutrition is my best piece ofadvice if you plan to start raising pigeons. – Connie YatesBabadook, a Silkie, playing in an Azaleabush. – Christina Smith, South CarolinaMessage us on Facebook: your entry to: Backyard Poultry, P.O. Box 566, Medford, WI 54451To have your photos returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.Pigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com25

How to Properly House andFeed PigeonsGood Pigeon Loft Design Can Help Your Pigeons Stay HealthybyP26Kenny Cooganigeons are adaptable, hardy, and agile. And although the types of pigeons range in sizeand function, all pigeons have similar husbandry requirements. Knowing what to feedpigeons and their ideal loft design will allow you to ensure a healthy flock.Backyard Poultry

Phil Spatola’s award-winning loft. Having the loft elevated from the ground helps air circulationand keeps it dry.Pigeon Loft DesignAcross the board, the rule of thumb whensetting up and maintaining a pigeon loft isto keep the loft extremely dry with plentyof ventilation.Philip Spatola of Atlantic Highlands,New Jersey, recently won the American Racing Pigeon Union “Loft of the Year” award.Members were encouraged to submit photographs and descriptions of their lofts. Notonly was it an on-line loft “beauty contest,”but it also illustrated the variety of appearances that provide healthy housing for homing pigeons. The styles and sizes conveyeda large range of skill sets and funds.“I contacted a local shed company tobuild a shed to my specifications and thenhad a friend install partitions and perchesinside the loft,” said Spatola.He cleans his “Cary’d Away Loft” oncea day in the mornings and then feeds andwaters the birds. In the summer, he cleans theloft twice a day. Fans and electricity were installed to aid in ventilation and convenience.Deone Roberts, the Sport DevelopmentManager for the American Racing PigeonUnion, says that a well-designed loft consistsof a floor, four walls, a roof, external fixtures(landing board, trap, ventilators and turbines,and aviaries), internal fixtures, a storage areafor feed and other supplies plus an infirmary.The loft needs to prevent vermin, includingaerial predators.“A neat appearance and blending into thePigeons e-editionThe size of the loftshould allow eight to10 cubic feet of airspace per bird. Awell-made loft wouldinclude at least threepartitions: one forbreeders, one foryoung birds, and onefor old birds. To makeit comfortable foryourself and to aid incleaning, the ceilingshould be highenough for you tostand erect. Havingthe loft elevated fromthe ground will helpair circulation andkeep it dry.neighborhood is most helpful to encouragegood community relations,” said Roberts.And remember, “The cost of constructionhas no bearing on racing success.”The size of the loft should allow eightto 10 cubic feet of air space per bird. Awell-made loft would include at least threepartitions: one for breeders, one for youngbirds, and one for old birds. To make itcomfortable for yourself and to aid in cleaning, the ceiling should be high enough foryou to stand erect. Having the loft elevatedfrom the ground will help air circulationand keep it dry.The roof should be slanted from front toback to allow the rain to roll off away fromthe landing board. The landing board shouldwww.countrysidenetwork.com27

To have good hygiene in the loft, place lids on all food and water containers. Photo by PhilSpatola.28be large enough for all the birds to land atone time. The trap functions so that pigeonsthat fly outside can get back into the loft butnot be able to fly out again. It should be inthe center of the landing board. Traps can bepurchased for around 20. My father and Ibuilt a trap out of wire coat hangers when Iwas flying tumblers and racing pigeons, andit worked out great.Roberts says that aviaries are an essentialpart of any well-designed loft allowing thebirds to have a constant supply of fresh airand sunshine.“Each section of the loft should have asmall aviary where the birds can go out intothe sun and rain,” said Frank McLaughlin.“It is also nice to be able to close off theseaviaries to keep the weather from the insideof the loft.”McLaughlin of McLaughlin Lofts hasbeen raising pigeons for 43 years.“Most of the best lofts have air entering low and leaving the loft at a high pointcausing a chimney effect,” he said. “Manyfanciers keep their pigeons on grated floorsand some use a deep litter which I prefera thin layer or wood pellets used in woodburning stoves.”“Dampness is the worst condition forpigeons so having sunlight enter the loft isexcellent to keep dry,” said McLaughlin.“Pigeons rarely if ever get sick if they havespace, dryness, good feed, minerals/grits,and clean fresh water.”Backyard Poultry

DIY Pigeonfeed FormulaCorn 40%Red Wheat27%Peas 18%Kefir (sorghum)15%Mineral gritFree ChoiceEach mated pair of pigeons should havetheir own nest box. The boxes do not need tobe elaborate. Boxes that are 18 inches longand 12inches high and wide are suitablefor most breeds. Having a small lip on thefront will keep nesting materials, eggs, andsquabs safe. Placing a small clay flower potor bowl, along with nesting materials suchas hay, straw, pine needles, wood chips ortwigs will assist with the breeding cycle.Perches throughout the loft and aviarycan be constructed out of one by four-inchboards, tree branches or half-inch doweling.While pigeons are highly sociable, anotherpigeon fact is that they can be territorial.Having ample perching is important to reduce quarreling.The Scoop on Pigeon PoopTen thousand years ago, farming wasevolving in Iran. The shift from short-termprofits to sustaining yields had begun. Farmers needed a way to amend the soil after theircrops had decimated the soil’s fertility. Pigeon towers, or dovecotes, became a crucialpart of the agricultural economy by providing fertilizer for crops such as melons andcucumbers, which require a lot of nitrogen.Wild pigeons would live in these towers,which were strategically placed in fields,and the caregivers would harvest the manureonce a year to sell to other farmers. Thepigeon manure was considered so valuablethat guards were posted at the dovecotes tokeep thieves from stealing the wild birds’droppings! In a different time in history,pigeon droppings were used as a componentof gunpowder.Dr. Ayhan Bekleyen of Dicle University,Diyarbakır, Turkey, shared this dovecot fromEastern Turkey.Cleanliness in your nest boxes andloft are important for preventing manurebuildup, minimizing moisture, and keepinga healthy environment, which reduces thelikelihood of disease. Placing an inch of sandon the loft floor will assist in the cleaning onthe loft. You can easily sift through the sandand remove debris. Daily raking of the sandwill keep the sand clean and dry. By addinga little dirt and organic matter like grassclippings to the manure, it will compostdown, making your own valuable pigeon poofertilizer. This high-nitrogen fertilizer workswell on tomatoes, eggplant, melons, roses,and other plants that do well in rich soil.What do Pigeons Eat?Commercial grain and seed mixes areeasily available at farm stores and solve thequestion of what do pigeons eat. Proteinis important for pigeons that are producing. Peas and soybeans are great sourcesof protein. What do pigeons eat dependson the activity level of the birds. Differentcompositions are made for birds that arebreeding, raising young, molting, or racing.Some of the first food items that areeaten by the birds include green, maple,and yellow peas, mung beans, and lentils.To guarantee that your birds are getting thenutritional value that is advertised on thepackage, the birds must eat the full rangeof grains. If they are given too much seed,they will pick out their favorites. By offeringonly the amount of food the pigeons willconsume in one day, you will ensure thatthey are eating the nutritional diversity thebag advertises. To create your own pigeonfood, check out this baseline formula.Pigeons e-editionSpatola’s“Cary’d AwayLoft” includesdifferentpartitions fordifferent agedbirds.www.countrysidenetwork.com29

Meet the English Pouter PigeonYour Guide to Fancy Pigeon BreedsBy Kenny Coogan30Backyard Poultry

There are several breeds and types of pigeons, but if there were ever a supermodel pigeon, the English Pouterwould be stomping down the runway during fashion week. Homing pigeons, of course, would be the nerds— calculating and compassing their way home with precession. Pouters have endlessly long legs, voluptuouscrops (or globes), stand tall and do not merely strut about in the loft, but saunter. They put the bass in their walk, asthey project an attitude of utmost confidence as they take long strides, placing one foot in front of the other.These birds are so attractive that a breed known as the Horseman Thief Pouter steals and retrieves wild pigeonsand other fancier’s pigeons back to their loft with its good looks and wooing. Possibly as far back as the 17th century,the Horseman Thief Pouter was developed to have a high sex drive, to be nimble in flight, possess a strong hominginstinct, and the ability and intent to seduce other pigeons. Generally speaking, Pouter breeds are very promiscuousand the Horseman Pouter is even more so. This type of selective breeding makes for entertaining birds in the loft,show pen, and flying around the yard.Frank Barrachina, who now lives in Pinon Hills, California has been breeding pigeons for most of his life. Atage 66, he calculates that he has been breeding his favorites — Pouters and Croppers — for the past 54 years. Hesays that Pouters and Croppers are basically the same group of pigeons and the words are interchangeable.Frank Barrachina’sEnglish Pouter.Frank Barrachina’s red English Pouter.Two-time National Champion.Pigeons e-editionwww.countrysidenetwork.com31

For those interested in breedingPouters, having surrogate pigeonson standby might be a good ideafor many of the varieties. With thoselong supermodel-like legs, Poutersin the nest can become a bit clumsyand will possibly break the eggs.“Both names describe a pigeon with the unique ability to fill itscrop with air,” says Barrachina. But it is more than that, really. Italso describes a pigeon that is naturally tame. The ability to distendthe crop was originally used by the male pigeon to win over a mate.Over the centuries of selective breeding, this feature of wooingmates with an inflated globe lent itself to being a very tame pet bird.Although there are all kinds of Pouters and Croppers with differentdistinct physical shapes and markings, they all share the commontrait of being able to inflate their crop.Barrachina breeds two distinctive radically different lookingPouter breeds. The English Pouter is the tallest breed of fancypigeons with some of the biggest ones being 16 inches in height.The most unusual aspect about this breed is that they should standupright with the eye over the ball of the foot. They have long legsthat are clad in smooth feathers.“The body is also far removed from that of the bird your mindassociates with pigeons. It is slim with a “V” shaped keel,” saysBarrachina.Blue Bar Pigmy Pouter old cock that was the 2015 NationalChampion. Photo by Tally Mezzanatto.32Backyard Poultry

Two baby English Pouters in the nestbeing taken care of by foster parentsat five days old.His other unique breed is the Old GermanCropper. “This is the longest breed of fancypigeon with some measuring 24 inches inlength. “This extreme length comes from thelong wing flights and tail,” said Barrachina.“The wings when opened and spread measurethree or more feet across. The Old GermanCropper stands close and parallel to theground. While they appear substantial and fullbodied, they are not thick and heavy but createthe illusion of sheer size with their feathering.While they are not the best flyers, they breedwell and are very fertile.Barrachina serves as the secretary ofthe National Pouter and Cropper Club andis a well-known judge of the Pouter breeds.Barrachina and his wife, Tally have traveledthe world judging pigeons, focusing on Pouters, and enjoy meeting other fanciers whoshare the same passion. “We’ve met a lot ofwonderful folks over the years — friendlyand nice — and all share a common lovefor these unique pigeons,” says Barrachina.Tally breeds Pigmy Pouters and SaxonPouters along with many other fancy varieties for top show competitions. The couplehas achieved Master Breeder status from theNational Pigeon Association and NationalPouter & Cropper Club for their achievements with these breeds.While judging shows, Barrachina encourages the pigeons to inflate their crops,or as fanciers call them globes, and show offtheir strutting and posing skills.Inside section of Jeff Clemens’s loft.“The tamer the bird, the better it is likelyto win if its physical attributes as set forthby the standard are met,” says Barrachina.It all works together, but if the bird weresulky or kind of wild, it won’t show to itsfull potential. So a Pouter judge, if he or sheis good, coos to the birds, plays with them,and gets them to look their best. Posture andtemperament are a big aspect when it comesto the show hall. A bird that is strutting anddancing will generally do well compared toone just standing, doing nothing.Jeff Clemens, of Altoona, Iowa, has beenraising English Pouters since he was 12 yearsold growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa. For thelast 25 years, he has been raising EnglishPouters and a variety of other Pouters.For those interested in breeding Pouters,having surrogate pigeons on standby mightbe a good idea for many of the varieties. Withthose long supermodel-like legs, Pouters inthe nest can become a bit clumsy and willPigeons e-editionThe ability todistend the cropwas originallyused by the malepigeon to win overa mate. Throughoutthe centuries ofselective breeding,this feature ofwooing mates withan inflated globelent itself to being avery tame pet bird.www.countrysidenetwork.com33

There are several breeds and types of pigeons,but if there were ever a supermodel pigeon, theEnglish Pouter would be stomping down therunway during fashion week.34possibly break the eggs. Clemens who raises25 to 30 Pouter squabs a year uses GermanBeauty Homers and Racing Homers as thesurrogate parents. “In some cases, I willalso hand feed the Pouter babies once theyreach seven days old to allow them to trustme and become more friendly, which paysoff in the show hall.”For show quality birds, the NationalPigeon Association (NPA) standard for eachbreed depicts the colors, markings, stance/posture, head shape, eye color, as well as thefaults that disqualify a bird. The positioning and length of the legs is a key with theEnglish Pouters as they are with most of the30 plus Pouter breeds.Knowing how to properly house and feedpigeons is the key to raising pigeons successfully. “It all begins with a good loft, cleanfeed, quality grit, and always clean water,”says Clemens. “Some of our Pouters canbreed and raise their young by themselves,others require a more common kind of feeder,such as a homer, t

Backyard Poultry’s Main Coop Backyard Poultry P.O. Box 566, Medford, WI 54451 Subscriptions (u.S. funds): 24.99 per year Backyard Poultry Subscriptions P.O. Box 1848, Carson City, NV 89702 (970) 392-4419 Backyard Poultry (ISSN 1559-2251, USPS 023-374) is published bi-monthly by Countryside Publications, P.O. Box .

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