Skip to main content

Full text of "Pigeons and all about them"

See other formats




! Popular Pigeon Books* ! 

^ Pigeons and All About Them, ^ 


Ihe most complete Pigeon Hook evw published at the 
price. Handiiomely illustrated and contains a lull description 
of all known varieties; also tells how to lueed and manage 
pigeons under all conditions. Contains U(4 closely printed 
and should be read by evoiv pigeon fancier. 

Price $1.00 by mail. 

The Pigeon Standard, 


}"! (Hvos the latest Standard nf Perfection for all varieties of 
. piteous Nearly every breed is illustrated with an up to date 
I rawing of the ideul specimen Any fancier with this book at 
hand cuu tell wherein his bads lack the retirements of the 

Price 50c. by mall. 

Fanciers' Loft Register 


Registers the yonngfroia 100 pairs and keeps the correct 
pcditft e of every bird in the loft. The most practical book of 
the kind ever published. Something to keep a lifetime. 
Hundi eds of ianoiors now using this book would not be with- 
out one. 

Price 50c. by mall. 

Diseases of Pigeons, 


Lhis work treats on every disease that Pigeons are heir to, 
giving an exihauutive description of symptoms and treatment 
for each. !No other book contains so much valuable informa- 
tion ou this subject. 

Price 50c. by mail. 

Squabs for Profit, 


A practical work on successful Squab Raisins by a practi- 
cal Hquab Raiser, 

Price 50c. by mall. 



Tills is the best Homer hook yet published. It is illustrat- 
ed with many flne half-tones from noted flym-B and tells io 
the plainest language, how to breed and train these wonderful 
feathered messengers. 

Price 50c. by mail. 

PIGEON QUERIES. (Latest Edition.) 
rhls little book, in the form of questions and answers, it in- 
valuable to any pigeon breeder. Jn it you can nnd the anrwer 
to every question you can think of. Price 2Sc. by mail. 

C. E TWOMBLY, Publisher, 






, CD 




. . . AND . . . 


D V 

1 ) I 




U. S. A. 

<'<i-vin<;nTKn, 189S, 

U. S. A. 


VERY BOOK should be dedicated to somebody, 
J( therefore, why not a book on pigeons ? 

Yet, as I ponder over my list of friends, I 
find so many endeared to me by that " o*ood 

V - 

comradeship' which is so universal among fanciers, 
that I hesitate to select any particular one, for fear 
the others might feel hurt. Therefore after much 
deliberation I have decided to select a man who is 
not only a blood relation to every fancier in the 
world, but was in fact the first fancier, and the first 
man to test a Homer pigeon. 

So with every fear of giving offense thrown to 
the winds, I hereby dedicate this work to that good 
old soul 


(last name unknown) who (Genesis VII. chapter) sent 
forth a dove from the ark. It returned to him, and 
he sent it forth again, and yet a third time And 
right here I want to call down Xoah, if he had any 

idea that his birds were "a crack lot,' for when 

he sent it out the third time, it refused to " home ' 
but located itself somewhere else. 

However, I fail to find that Xoah had done any 
blowing about the quality of his stock, and so am 
willing to let the matter drop. 

The reader will therefore simply accept the fact 
that this work is dedicated to his own blood relative 
Noah, and let it go at that, 


/I n 


IV launching tliis. my second work on Pigeons, on the 
troubled >ea ..I" liicratuns I should perhaps tell why 
tin- spirit has moved mi- to do so. First, my first 
\\ork was i-rude in the extreme, and I left untold many 
Illinois thai .should have been handled. Again I feel that I 
ha\e learned many t h ing.s si nee ls ( ,l, the year of publication 
t' tin- tiist \\ork, and why should I not give my fellow 
fancier* tin- benelit of m\ ex perience. While there maybe 
.some of them who " knew it, all" many years ago, and have 
not adsorbed an idea since, I am frank to admit that I leara 
something about pigeons every day. I expect to up to the 
day of my death. There is no teacher like experience, a,nd 
all 1 ma\ say in this work will be based on what I know my- 
srlf from experience, The love of pigeons was born in mo. 
For forty-live long years I have had pigeons of some fcind. 
and what I may have to say will be the result of countless 
hours spent in watching the beautiful pets in my own lofts, 
the lofts of other fanciers, and in the show rooms. The 
pigeon has always interested me ever since my childhood, 
and even now in my old age as I often whirl along on trains, 
and ]> ass some modest house, against the stable of which is 
nailed a crude little pigeon box, the very appearance of 
\\hich stamps it as the work of boyish hands, my heart goes 
out to the little fellow, who perhaps owns his first pair of 
'ommon pigeons, and who loves them with that absorbing 
love that we old fanciers only, can uudei stand, and I find 
m\self wishing that the train would stop, so that I could 
see him. take him by the hand, admire his poor little birds, 
and hid him God-speed. 

'The lo\e of pets begets love of ones fellow men. A general 
love draws all mankind together, and that is one reason why 
I do not hesitate to attempt this book, for the good hearts 
of my fellow fanciers, will cause them to overlook all mis- 
takes and excuse the errors to which we are all prone, and 
lay them to the head, and not to the heart. 




THERE are few who view the wonderful pigeons of to-day 
so varied in color, size, type, feather and general appear- 
ance, who can brin*.;; themselves to realize that they all 
descended from one original stock or strain, yet the very best 
authorities pronounce this to be a fact. Darwin states that 
the Rock-Dove is the parent-stem of all pigeons. The Rock- 
Dove is certainly a descendant of the original dove sent out by 
Xoah, and yet it is hard to realize that out of that one 
oiiginal strain, there are about one hundred and fifty va- 
rieties that "breed true." Very naturally this result shows 
what care and a knowledge of the primary points in a pigeon 
will do, for if we admit that the mighty Pouter and the dimi- 
nutive Owl are one and the same, as to original stock, we 
pay a tribute to the earlier fanciers who made them. One 
thing certain, there is hardly a land without its pigeons and 
its pigeon fanciers. The old Romans had them in swarms. 
We see the Pigeon in bas-relief on many of the old ruins 
that have been brought to light in recent years. However I 
see little use in delving into ancient history, for what we 
want is the pigeon of the present. The bird of no matter 
what variety, that will .best represent perfection in that 
variety, and it is a blessing for the fancy, that we do not all 
feel alike. I have seen Fantail cranks who would not accept 
a pair of pigeons of any other kind as a gift, and Oriental 
Frill men who wouldn't have a Faiitail on the place. After 
all, it is 1he men who incline to one variety, and ''keep ever- 
lastingly at them" who make the successful breeders. 

10 PIGEONS \\l> \U. AIJnrT Til KM. 

When a man believes lliai he c;ui successfully breed a 
do/.en varieties i.t' pigeons, it is generally a case of loo 
rnan\ irons in the lire: he Miceee<l> \vith none. I believe 
thai an\ 1>"\ or man \vln makes up his mind to breed pigeons 
.'hould take plenty <>t" time to decide just what breed he 
fancies. The iint ignorant man. and by this I mean the 
IM:;M mo>,t ignorant as to pigeons, can sit down in a loft 
lull of \ai ions brei^N, and can soon make up his mind as to 
\\hifh he liko best. I will not admit however that he always 
knows \\hirh i.^ be>t I'oi him to undertake to breed, and that 
is one it a.-i>n why I shall go into detail in this book. I will 
try and show him the breeds that can bring him the most 
.-peedy success. The birds 011 which he can hardly make a 
mistake, for they breed fast and easily, and " throw true." 
Then if lie wants to take up the more difficult breeds, he 
will have the very great advantage of having an intimate 
knowledge of the fundamental principles of breeding. 

There are few men who take up pigeons from having read 
about them. The average man who picks up a paper con- 
taining anything about birds, no matter how interesting the 
account might be, passes it over. He pays no more attention 
to it than to an account of some chemical experiment or 
something of which he knows nothing. But let him once 
be shown the birds of some fancier; let him listen to some 
fancier who knows how to talk about them, and the first 
t hing we know he buys a few pair. Generally he claims that 
he is simply buying them for his boy, but we old fanciers 
know better. As his birds begin to breed, his interest begins 
to grow, and if his heart is in his work, he picks up know- 
ledge with astonishing rapidity, till soon he can stand in a 
!-how room in any of the " alleys " and discuss the birds with 
the best of them. But everything must have a start, so let 
us start with that first necessity, the loft. 



THE loft should be built before a single bird is purchased, 
and the owner should be governed, first, by the extent of 
his means, and then by the number and kind of birds 
he intends keeping. The same rule of loft position does not 
hold good all over this country. In the Xorthem and middle 
states the loft should always face the South if possible, but 
in the Southern states where shade is more of an object than 
sunshine, the reverse should be the rule. To breed pigeons 
right, no gable roof will do. It cannot be ventilated, is hot in 
summer, humid in wet weather, and is necessarily contracted. 
Again it is hard of access, and one loses the pleasure of 
entertaining his friends in it. Still a gable roof will do if 
nothing better can be found, for it needs only a floor and a 
back wall to transform it into a loft. It is far better than 
boxes nailed to the outside of a building, or what is known 
as the old dove-cote, which is simply a lot of cramped boxes 
put up on a pole. A pretty dove-cote looks very nice as a 
yard ornament, but is impractical as a pigeon house. There 
is no chance to mate for results; no chance to handle the 
birds and no chance to keep out "strays' save to shoot 



If one can do no better, he can utilize the gable of his 
barn as follows. First, build a tight floor reaching clear 
across from the eaves, taking care that there is not a crack 
in it. Cut the number of holes necessary in the end of the 
barn; if possible cut a small ventilating window in the upper 
part. It is best to have about three entrance holes as an 
aggressive cock bird is apt to stand at a single hole and keep 
other birds out or in. Do not be satisfied to simply put the 
birds in, and let them nest as best they may under the eaves, 
but make regular tiers of open boxes on either side and 



against the front wall, over the holes, and under the venti- 
lating window. By using smooth and close fitting lumber a 
very pretty little dovice may be made, though about the 
only way the owner can enjoy it is by standing on a ladder 
and peering in at the door. I merely suggest a gable dovice 
to those whose space or means will not allow anything better, 
but it is not the kind of aloft suited for a real fancier. 
Again it is only suited fcr flying birds i. e. birds given their 
liberty at all times, as there is no room for mating boxes 
bath, gravel box, and all those things, in a loft of this kind. 

Figure 2. 

If however, the budding fancier can obtain a little more 
room than the gable, he can drop down his floor, say, two or 
three feet below the eaves, and he will have the next thing to 
a real standard loff; and something far ahead of what I had 
in my very young days. It can be made perfectly tight, 
rather convenient, and it does away with the cramped little 
places under the eaves, so ruinous to a bird's plumage. 

Such a loft would look like Figure l,the dotted lines show- 
ing where to build the loft proper. This takes up very little 
room in a bam or stable, and if the floor and wall are only 



made absolutely tight, (and I cannot lay too much stress on 
this point) the balance of the loft proper can be stored with 
hay or anything else, leaving only a little passage by which 
to reach the door. 

The nests in such a loft should occupy both sides and the 
entire end wall, leaving only a space at one end for the door 
which should be at the end, in order not to make a break in 
the back tier of nests. 

Tn a small loft like this, it is best to utilize space and not 
try to make such nests as I shall describe later on, 

Nests of this type would look like Figure 2. "A" is apiece 
four inches wide, fastened with small hooks. It is simply to 
keep the young in the nests and can be taken off when any 
nest in the tier needs cleaning out, which can be done with a 
small short handled hoe. l 'B' is the alighting board and 
can be made of any width. The roof should be so steep thai 
the birds cannot stand on it. 

For the smaller varieties of pigeons, nest boxes one foot 
square are all right, but for Pouters, Fans and such birds, 
eighteen inch nests are none too large. 

The size of the air coop for a' gable loft will be governed of 
course by the room one can spare. 


Another good loft is what I call the yard loft, (see Figure 3,). 
It can be put up anywhere. I use one for my Swallows and find 
it very convenient. It is made of pine, closely fitted, has an 
almost flat roof and has my patent ''cat-guard" which is a 
"sure thing." It has two front windows, which are taken 
out in summer, leaving only wire screens and a small venti- 
lating window in the south end. 

The lower part I use for hunting and fishing outfit, camp 
tools, bicycles, etc., and I find the room very handy. It is 
also nice to store garden tools, hose, etc. I \vi*h io call es- 
pecial attention to that cat guard. It is an absolute impossi- 


hility for a cat !< -ft in and tin- same may IK- said of rats. 
\\hich arc net above climbing on a roof to get at birds. Of 
course tin- Hour <f this loft is almost air tight and no dirt can 
tret 1 h nil i-l i . 

The hrauty aliout a yard loft is that it can be made of any 
>\/.r and put in almost any place The nests are bililt in tiers 
(.11 t he back \\ all and t he cut ranee is up a short flight of stairs 
at the north end, I use a bob \vire over the entrance hole. 
when I \\ant to keep the birds in. ** 


< >!' course the ideal loft is a whole building, with large air 
coop, fountain, etc. but most fanciers use only the upper 
room for In-ceding. In a case of this kind there should be 
several lo\\er rooms, one for mating, one for the training pens 
and one in which the hens can be kept in winter. Isayheiis, 
because the lower rooms are generally warmer, and the hens 
are the more delicate. 

\o\\ in the upper loft, the family room as we may well call 
it, one of the lirst things is to get proper ventilation, and the 
higher up the windows, the better, as this does away with all 
draughts on the birds. A good loft should have a ventilator 
at each end, and also windows in the front, all on hinges and 
protected by wire netting. There are times when every win- 
dow should l>e open, for the average loft is a very hot place 
on a hot day, though it is surprising what heat pigeons can 
-land. The rloor should be of pine if possible, tongued 
and grooved so tight that no sand can fall through or no 
wandering mouse get in. The nest boxes should be of pine 
also it possible, and should not ha.v a crack in them. 

They can be ranged about the wall either singly or in tiers, 
and t he roof of the nest s must be so steep that the birds can- 
not .stand on it. There is not h ing worse than a filthy nest top. 
rr many varieties of birds and for Fantails in particular, no 
perches should be used, Let them use U*<a Jiogr auci tho 
fronts of 


Again, the absence of perches keeps the birds moving on the 
floor, where the owner or visitor can enjoy their pretty ways, 

Birds sitting stolidly on perches do not show to much.more 
advantage than stuffed birds. 

There are all sorts of ideas about loft walls and I have tried 
all kinds and am firm in the belief that a well plastered loft 
is warmest in winter, coolest in summer, safer from rats, mice 
and insects, and certainly cleaner and better looking at all 

Figure 4. 

rimes than any other. There arc no unsightly breaks in it. 
and a simple coat of whitewash at times keeps it always clean 
and nice. 

Before leaving the subject of nest boxes I would say that 
they should be as large as space will permit. Nests cannot be 
too large, provided one has the room. As stated, nests a foot 
square will do for small birds and eighteen inches for large, 
but still larger nests are all right, and answer not only for 
nests but for coops and mating boxes. 


In ,i largr loft, such us I am describing, I like to see all the 
ueste in -MIC tin- along the wall, hut if more nests are needed, 
tin- clean tin- nest is tin- only thing-. They are made like 
Figure 4. That is. each partition would appear like the cut, 
Ii will l.e noticed that birds using the upper tier, cannot 
possibly soil those underneath. 

"A" is a small smooth flange which is tacked on the front 
of each nest. It acts as a board of separation. A pigeon 
>tanding on the false front piece B cannot, see the bird in the 
next nest. If a pair have young in one box and eggs in the 
next, the young cannot peer into the next nest and see their 
parents and struggle in to them. The upper flange slopes 
down and the lower one up, so that one can go along the front 
of the lower nests with a rake and not touch the flanges and 
loosen them. 

The false fronts "B" come off for cleaning and the flange 
lieing simply tacked on, can be taken off at will, especially 
\\ hen giving the loft a, thorough whitewashing, 

Many are in favor of large nests, containing a division and 
an earthen crock on each side. I don't like them at all. The 
young fall out and chill, and are continuously scrambling in 
on their parents, where if they don't succeed in climbing into 
the other crock they annoy them and harm the eggs. I will 
defy any youngsters to get out of one nest and past one of my 
Manges into the other nest. 

L will admit that crocks are clean and can be scoured and 
;ill that, but. the nest floor is just as clean as far as insects are 
concerned. I keep a good coating of lime in the bottom of my 
nests (in fact there is a coating of lime dust all over the loft, 
and one cannot touch the wall, even, without getting it on his 




HE very best material for nests is tobacco stems, not the 
great coarse stems, but the smaller ones, that can bo 

gotten at any cigar factory. With a basis of lime, a 

nest of stems, and a little dusting of the nest with Dalmatiou 
insect powder one need pay little heed to insects. 

Of course the bath is a great adjunct, and in a city where 
there are water works, it is astonishing to see how cheaply a 
few gas pipes and a common galvanized iron pan can be turned 
into a good fountain. 

This fountain should always be put in the air coop if pos- 
sible. A bath on the loft floor is all right if one can do no 
better, but a bath in the air coop, after whicli the birds can 
sun and stretch out on the sand and gravel, is far better. 

But to reveit to nests, if the fancier cannot get tobacco steins, 
there is nothing better than pine shavings, of which all in- 
sects have a horror. Given a basis of pine shavings, the birds 
may be allowed to use any kind of twigs, broom straw or any- 
thing that has no hole in it. Hay is about the worst thing 
that can be used, as the little red mites ask nothing better in 
which to breed. Straw is even worse than hay. But if the 
fancier can do no better, he can allow the birds to use any- 
thing that is handy and trust to lime and insect powder for 
the rest. 

I said that I suggested a single tier of nest boxes around 
the wall of the loft, and one reason is that it makes mating 
so much more easy. And not only that but it '* locates" the 
birds wheie the owner wants them. If 18 inch nests are used 
the three foot portable mating coop comes in handy. 

To make it, take any kind of a wire front (and they can be 
had in any city where there have been shows) and put a top 
on it of the same length. Then use a partition wire for each 
end and you have a coop, with no back or bottom, that can 
be slipped along the floor in front of any t\\o nests. 


Tlu- portable coop is such a necessity that it is perhaps best 
to make it so plain, that "he who runs, may read." It is 
exact 1\ like i\vo exhibition coops with no back or bottom. 
The floor of the loft makes the bottom and the front of the 
nest boxes makes the back. 

Simply decide where you want the birds to nest and put 
the r.>op in front and there you are. They can see the whole 
loti, will feel at home and will soon adopt one or the other of 
tin- ne.sts ;i> a home. Again, it virtually gives them a chance 
to be out on the floor where the cock can tread, which is a 
point to le remembered. 

When through locating one pair, it can be slipped in front 
of two oilier nests. The one grand point in uniformity in the 
ne.sts is that what will lit one will lit any other, and the port- 
aide coop will lit nicely in front of any two nests in the loft. 
If needed, for the upper tier, in case there is one, a light false 
bottom may be put in. 



nests being completed, the next thing to be considered 
is the floor covering. This should always be of whatis 
called ''sharp" sand, i.e. the coarse gritty sand that 
is so often found along the beds of small streams. The s;md 
that comes out of cellars in many parts of the country is not 
suitable, being a yellow sticky stuff that contains nothing or 
the grit so needed by pigeons. The more coarse the sand the 
better, but I do not like to see gravel on a loft floor. This 
sand not only keeps the loft clean, but it gives constant work 
to the birds. 

It should be raked about once a week with a loft rake, a 
light affair with fine teeth, which can be bought in many 

If not purchasable, any carpenter can make it with a piece 
of oak and wire nails. The floor being smooth, the rake will 
go over it nicely and remove all the droppings, the sand sift- 
ing easily through between the teeth. When the sexes are 
separated in September or October all of the old sand should 
be carefully scraped up and thiown away, unless one has 
flpwers. Roses especially thrive wonderfully in the richly 
impregnated sand that comes from a loft. 

Next come the water cans, and though there are all sorts 
of cans and fountains advertised, I know of none any batter 
and absolutely none _so convenient as the common sense can 
that any tinnei can make. 

Let him take a common two-gallon galvanized iron bucket 
and set in a top piece, two inches below the rim, leaving out 
a small edge. Directly opposite the opening let him solder a 
piece a little larger in size across the rim. You can then fill 
it under a pump, carry it to the loft as you would a common 
bucket, set it down on the side and leave it. It will nev v 
spill a drop. It is the most convenient can ever used. Of 



course he must solder on some short legs on which it can 
stand. It is far uetter than the earthenware jug, for when 
this bucket freezes solid, you can set it right on the stove 
and let it thaw out. I like it because it is so convenient and 
above all it can be made in any small town. 



BEFORE taking up the question of feed, on-e must arrange 
for either a " salt-cat" or a mortar bed in the loft, for 
there is an absolute necessity for something of this 
kind. If one will wateh common pigeons that have never 
been confined, he will note that they never miss the chance 
to peck at an old wall where there is mortar. How much 
more needful then to furnish something of the kind for birds 
kept in constant confinement. 

A small salt-cat can be made as follows: a shovel full of 
mortar, not new, but from some old building; the older the 
better. Put in a box and pound it up, add about a quart of 
Portland cement, a quart of ground shells and about the same 
of grit. Then throw in a handful of caraway seeds, wet the 
whole and stir it up till it is like putty, sprinkle in salt, work 
it up well and it can then be turned out of the box and will 
stay in sbape. Let it dry well and then leave it in the loft 
where the birds can get at it at all times. 

My loft being large, I have a large square place near the 
front windows so that I can get lots of sun. It was first filled 
with mortar and after pounding it partially I put in oyster 
shells, Foust's Health Grit, Mica Grit and in fact every kind 
of grit, including samples of ground brick, etc. that was ever 
sent me. 

This was all mixed. I also throw every egg shell on the 
heap and about once a month go over it with a rake, mixing 
the whole. A box of salt stands in the centre. I keep salt 
the year around in every loft and every room. My birds are 
never without it and I attribute their constant good health to 
it. As for regular feed I will simply state what I have often 
quoted before. 

I use Canada peas, with a little rape and millet, as two parts 
of the feed, and good sound wheat as the other part. This 


should he fed twice a day in winter and three times a day 
during the long summer days, taking care never to feed the 
birds more than they will eat. It is far better to keep them 
a little hungry. Keep them picking in the sand for food that 
is not there, and the exercise will do them good. Remember 
that the finer breeds lead a fictitious kind of a life. Confined 
at all times, they have no chance fur the exercise that is a 
natural part of their being, and man, who confines them, 
must study their wants and keep conditions as nearly natural 
as possible. 

But as " variety is the spice of life ' I give it to my birds 
I often have the cook make good corn bread liberally dosed 
with red pepper, and have her cook it far more brown than 
for the table. 

This is one of the best winter dishes that can possibly be 
for birds. Again, when leaving the table I take scraps of 
light bread and biscuit, cracker, parts of boiled eggs, cabbage 
lettuce, potato, celery, in fact almost any kind of table sciaps 
and the birds will fight for them. 

I am firmly opposed to any sort of a feed hopper that will 
continually keep feed before birds. It is all very well to say that 
when they w r ant it, you want them to have it, but I ask how 
long could a man keep his appetite, confined in a room with 
a constantly spread table ? He would soon loathe the sight 
of it. As long as my birds fall all over each other to get to 
the feed 1 know they are healthy. 

Throwing down feed "to last all day" is another bad idea. 
The first birds get the best part, and the rest is trampled on 
till by noon it is not fit to eat. Clean, wholesome food, with 
plenty of nutritious qualities and pure frexk water are two 
great points. 

Do not made the mistake of buying "cheap" food, for it is 
by tar the dearest in the end. A man would not buy refuse 
food for his family and that is exactly what cheap chicken 



and pigeon feed amounts to. In these days of machinery 
that utilizes everything, it is safe to say that any feed not 
taken care of by the machinery is of very little value. 

Again, be sure and never use green food and by this I mean 
wheat and corn that is not thoroughly seasoned by time. 
Xew wheat will start bowel trouble in short order and so will 
new corn. 

If your food is kept in a close bin, i. e. a bin with a partition 
in the centre, about once each two weeks, change the feed 
from one side to the other. This gives it air and at the same 
time mixes it thoroughly and keeps the small seeds from 
going to the bottom. 

Fiyure <>'. 

It saves time and trouble to mix all the feed together, as 
soon as it is received. 

The loft now being about ready, we must not forgot our 
own comfort and therefore must make a 'visitors' seat." 
Who does not know how annoying it is to visit a loft and have 
to stand all humped up under a low ceiling, or sit on a filthy 
box, that the owner has dragged from some corner : J 

We sit on it with fear and trembling and don't feel at all at 
ease. And so we need the ' visitors' seat" one of the most 
simple things in the loft, and one that gives untold comfort. 
It can be made after the style of Figure 6. 


It is simply a skeleton bench with a top that works on 
hinges instead of being nailed do\\ n. 

The lid goes back against the wall when not in use, and 
consequently is always clean when lowered down and as the 
lid is larger than the frame work, the birds can fly and perch 
on the latter all they choose and the lid holds one's clothing 
away from any danger of being soiled, as it projects in every 
direction. It is a handy thing for every loft. 



HEATING the loft is a point on which there is a great 
diversity of opinion. I do not believe in it at all, that 
is as far as any section save the extreme north is con- 

In the first place, it is almost an impossibility to obtain an 
even heat and changes from warm to cold are far worse than 
continuous cold. 

The experience found in almost every show room ought to 
be warning enough. In any region south of Chicago, I fail 
to see that heat is needed. It is simply wonderful to see the 
amount of cold that a pigeon can stand. It may huddle up 
and shiver and seem to be miserable, and yet one rarely hears 
of a pigeon freezing to death, and how many of us have seen 
pigeons with toes frozen off ? And yet we see untold thous- 
ands of chickens in that condition. 

There are many fanciers who heat their lofts and princi- 
pally out of pure sympathy for their birds, yet I believe that 
I can safely suggest to such to try an unheated loft next win- 
ter or any other winter, and see if they lose a single bird. On 
the contrary, I believe I can promise better results for the 
breeding season following. 

Of course the loft must be absolutely without any draught. 
Every little crack should be stopped up and good invigorating 
food given and my word for it the birds will come through 
into the spring in a more vigorous condition than ever. 

I speak from experience. I have tried all sorts of heat and 
I could never get an even heat that would hold out through 
the night. My last experience settled me forever. I hit on 
a small coal oil stove that worked like a charm (in the store). 
It gave a nice quick warmth, not one particle of smoke or 
soot, and the dealer showed me how it was absolutely impos- 
sible for it to go out, or smoke, or "get cranky" in any way. 


When lu- t<>!< I me of the many nice families who used them 
entirely in their bath rooms I felt that I had found the correct 

Well, it worked beautifully for two nights. I had about 
twenty liens in the lower loft and as many cocks above, and 
it was lovely to go out just before bed time and see that nice 
bright little stov<? working on full time and diffusing a good 
warmth. Of course the extra heat rose and warmed the up- 
per loft. 

But on the morning after the third night, I found the stove 
out and both lofts full of the most nasty black smoke I ever 
Miu'Hed. The plumage of every hen was ruined, and the 
cocks were not much better and the lofts felt like ice boxes. 
I never got those birds clean till after moult next fall. I gave 
the stove away and since that day have never tried artificial 
heat and I never will. I can say truly that in forty-five years 
I have never lost a bird by freezing. 

Pigeons are very waim blooded and while their plumage is 
not like that of the duck or goose, it is still what Nature gave 
them and Nature is a good mother. Who has not seen common 
pigeons roosting in cracked boxes (on North walls) covered 
with snow and ice. and yet living for years hardy and con- 

We all know that our finely bred birds are not as strong as 
the common breed, yet there is also a big difference between 
a little old rickety box covered with snow, with hardly a ray 
of sunshine in the winter, and a nice tight loft. There is 
also a difference between the scanty forage of the street 
picked up by the common bird, and the splendid and health- 
ful food ^iven regularly to his finer brother. 



1HAVE spoken of cleaning the sand in a loft etc., but find 
that I have not take.i up the li general house cleaning' 
that is so necessary every spring and fall. 
If the fancier has made his loft as I have suggested, let 
him go to work with some system, and when he is done he 
will have a clean sweet smelling loft, and one in which 
vermin can hardly stay. First, take off every flange from the 
nests, and unhook and take off the false front of the nests. 
Then with the short handled hoe, scrape thoroughly all the 
tobacco stems and filth out of the nests. This will all fall on 
the floor and should be raked up carelessly and taken to the 
manure pile. It is needless to pay any close attention to the 
floor as yet. Now get a common watering pot and into a 
gallon of water put a pint of crude carbolic acid, which is 
the best disinfectant ever used in a loft. (I have used it for 
years, and can recommend it, for I use it and lots of it, at all 
times in the year.) Don't be afraid that it will stain enough 
to hurt, for it will not, and also remember that it goes inside 
of the boxes. Now sprinkle this in plenty in all the nests. 
Let the spray strike the sides and trickle down them. Let 
it seep through from the upper tier to the lower, and so 
on down to the floor; for remember this is all on the inside 
and won't affect the external appearance. 

Give it plenty of time to dry, and then prepare your white- 
wash. Take unslacked lime and add boiling water till it 
slacks. Then add more water till thin enough to use, put- 
iug in a few handfuls of salt and a little blueing. One does 
not need carbolic acid in the whitewash, as it is already in 
place. The nests being thoroughly dry, take a very short 
handled brush and whitewash inside each nest and along 
the fronts till every crevice, if tkere be any, is filled complete- 


Then after giving it a little more time to dry, take the 
long handled brush and whitewash the fronts and tops, the 
ceiling and walls, and don't be afraid to get on plenty. As a 
rule I whitewash my own boxes and then get a professional 
to go over the walls, as he can put on his wash with more 
regularity. Next get a bucket of slacked lime and throw a 
little into each nest, and then go to work and clean up the 
floor, rake and scrape it well and put on clean sand, and you 
will have a loft clean, sweet and healthful. 

U/ \b 



WE have now arranged to keep out insects, that is as far 
as it can be done. There is one pest, the long 
feather louse, to which I never pay attention. The 
fact that it preys on the feather, and not on the bird has 
often made me think that they may be a wise provision of 
nature, in that they eat parts of the feather and thus give 
the bird more air, so to speak. 

Of course I don't like to see a bird all covered with them, 
but I do not consider that they do a bird much harm. 

If in spite of cleanliness, the little red mites and fleas get 
in the loft, a little Dalmation powder will settle them. 

What I most detest are cats, rats and mice. As to cats I 
shall not make any suggestions but only remark that I would 
not trust one anywhere near my biids. Mice are a nuisance 
but are never very bad save in a loft where feed lies continu- 
ally on the floor. Into such a loft, they always manage to 
make their way. I never waste time on patent traps, but 
use the old fashioned hole trap that catches them around the 
neck. They may be shy, but keep the trap well baited, and 
sooner or later they will fall victims. 

As for rats, I use the old fashioned mink trap, and have 
never yet seen a rat smart enough to live around my place. 
At the least sign of the advent of a rat on the place I prepare 
for him. I don't wait till he has made a series of runways, 
but sink the trap (unbaited) just where he has left his sign. 
If he has dug a hole trying to get under a foundation, I sink 
the trap at the hole, covering it loosely with sand, and he 
gets a foot or his head in it, when he comes back the next 
night to finish his job. With a good foundation there is no 
excuse for letting a rat get into any building. 

Some rats are so smart however, that they will crawl up a 
wire cage, get iu at a loft entrance if it is left open at night, 



and kill a man's best birds before he knows how it is done. 
Tin- fancier whose loft is near stables in a closely settled 
neighborhood is in constant danger, and the more so because 
In- usually persists in putting an alighting board in front of 
the loft entrance. There is no need of one. Let the birds 
fly into the loft through the aperture. They do not need 
to light till they strike the loft floor. 

Figure 7. 

If a man has ever lost birds in this way and has not killed 
the rats that got in he is in nightly danger. A rat is very 
cunning and will generally find a way to enter. They can 
almost climb a blank wall till they get to the aperture. Or 
they will get on the roof and slide from the eaves close to 
the aperture, trusting to luck to find something to which to 
cling till they reach it. 


A simple rat guard can be made by any tinner and if there 
is only one entrance from the air coop or the outer world, to 
the loft, it is absolute protection. 

Take galvanized iron six inches wide and make a square 
that goes entirely around the window or opening that is used. 
The top should slope down and the sides out and the bottom 
down. It will be seen that a rat cannot hold his feet if he 
jumps or climbs down from the eaves. He cannot crawl up, 
nor can he get around the sides. To make this so plain that 
any one can make a rat guard, a ide view of a loft with a 
rat guard would look like figure 7. 

The loft is now protected from enemies without and it rests 
with the fancier to keep it in that condition. 

Sometimes the fancier who has taken especial pains to keep 
insects out of his loft, fondly imagines there are none there 
because he does not see them. 

But there is a dark red or brown insect that moves so rapid- 
ly through the feathers as to keep well out of sight even 
when a bird is looked over. 

To find if they are in the loft, go into it just about dark 
any evening and watch the actions of the birds that are stand- 
ing. If they shift rapidly from one foot to the other and 
seem to " stamp '' you may be sure that these pests are there 
and if there at all they will soon be there in countless numbers 
for they breed with alarming rapidity. 

For two years I have used a simple and most convenient 
remedy, the ordinary moth ball. These can be had at any 
drugstore and cost only about ten cents per pound and no 
insect or parasite can stand them. 

Put two or three under each nest and their fumes will soon 
permeate the stems and enter into the feathers of the nesting 
birds. As the cocks and hens change nesting hours they will 
both soon be entirely free from insects. Put a couple right 
into the nest with birds just fledged and they will work equally 
well and protect them as they grow. 


Do no t put thrin in the nest however, till the youngsters 
are a 1V\\ <la\ 3 old. 

of course these i:ioih balls are of no use as regards perches 
or tin- tloor. l. ut as the greatest trouble always begins in the 
neM, tln-y are a great protection for both the old breeders and 
the \ oung l>irds. 

These bulls hold their scent for about four months and 
there!'.. re will last well through the warm weather. I like 
tin-in because they are so clean and so easily placed. It is 
\\cll to put two or three on the floor of the nest as soon as the 
birds begin building and let them build the nest right over 
t hem. 

It is surprising to see how soon these balls will rid a bird 
of all kinds of pests. In a close loft their fumes will soon 
impregnate the entire place and far from being unhealthy, 
they are good things to have around. 



HAVING now arranged the loft ready for occupancy, it 
remains for the embroyo fancier to select his variety 
of bird. I say ''embryo " because the old fancier who 
is returning to his first love, knew long ago, in fact long be- 
fore the selection of a place for his birds, just what kind he 
was going to take up. 

It is hard for me to say what is best for any other man. It 
would be quite an assumption for me to say just what is the 
best breed, for all good birds are good. 

However I can give my views on the matter after a fashion. 
Unquestionably the most showy birds are the Fantails and 
Pouters, for the Fan is in constant action, while the Pouter 
is a gieat bird to show off when noticed. There are some who 
fancy the Jacobin with his great ruff, the demure little Tur- 
bit, the tiny Owl. while others claim that the master breeder 
is he who can produce the Oriental Frill with its quaint mark- 
ing. Again we find good fanciers who will have no bird but 
the Tumbler, others the Swallow. Magpie, Archangel, Xun 
the Priest and Barb. The great li>t of breeders of that 
wonderful bird, the Homer, shows how many admire him, so 
that it will be seen that I have quite a task. 

In general terms all long-faced birds are good breeders, yet 
when we compare the breeding of our high bred '"artificial" 
birds to that of their humble brother the common pigeon, none 
cn be called first-class breeders. 

What are known as short-faced birds are not good breeders, 
from their inability to feed their young. Most breeders of 
high class short-face specimens keep feeders or ''nurses" a ... 
they are called, but it is a fctct that these latter are not always 
successful, for they are so large that in feeding, they twi.-i 
the .beaks of the little fellows and make them practically 


llenee the man with only one loft and who intends to breed 
only our kind, had bet t er try long-faced birds. Very naturally 
tlif ((lu'stion miglit, be asked as to why I do not follow the 
preeepts I preach, because while 1 am a white Fan specialist, 
1 also breed lied German Swallows. Well, I breed the Fans 
and 1 " MM-'' the Swallows and they are very handy. 

In the HIM place I like to have a lot of flying pigeons down 
in the yard, they- look so homelike, and in the second, they 
are my 'helpers." To explain this term I must go into 
detail. If I have a cranky pair of Fans, the eggs of which 
are not fertile I simply slip a pair of Swallow eggs under them, 
and let them hatch and feed the young, Again, if by accident 
1 happen to lose eggs of Fans just prior to hatching, or young 
\\ hile a day or two old, I go over to the Swallow loft and get 
some young of the right age and put them under the Fans to 
draw off the "pigeon milk" which forms in the crop during 
the laM three days of setting and ought not to be allowed to 
remain. Again, if I sell a pair of Fans that have eggs I simply 
transfer the eggs to the Swallow loft. So, it will be seen that 
the Swallows come in very handily. 

I would advise any breeder, who can do so and who is 
I/reeding one strain of high bred birds to always have a yard 
loft, of flying birds. 

I have had many visitors who admired the Swallows as 
much as the Fans, and we sell the surplus of the former, 
sometimes in lots of twenty at a time for they breed like rats. 

Any man who wishes to experiment with a trusty breed of 
birds that \\illalwaystake care of themselves will not miss 
it it he tries Swallows. 

So it will be seen that I am really practising what I preach 
:ind am a one variety breeder pure and simple. 

All the best fanciers will join me in the statement that the 

MK-ee^ful breeder of the day is the man who breeds 

variety only. Kaeh breed is a study in itself. It has 


points that exist in no other variety and Low to best bring out 
these points takes study and it takes perseverance. 

For this very reason the ambitious fancier who soars high, 
spends lots of money for high-priced birds and expects (and 
without any prior knowledge) to breed nothing but show 
birds, "goes up like a locket and comes down like a stick, 11 
while his plodding fancier brother, with no wealth to aid him 
but endowed with a rugged perseverance, goes slowly along, 
I nit always up, breeds better and better birds each year and 
finally winds up at the top of the ladder. 

I often think that fanciers are born and not made, for I 
have seen so many who seemed to be endowed with all the 
instincts of the true fancier and yet there was a something- 
lacking and they soon dropped out of the ranks. 

And all this bears me out in my original argument as to 
breeding one variety. If it is so hard to succeed with only 
one variety what must be the task of the man who tries to 
breed a dozen, 

But to go back to the selection of a variety. This is the 
time to go slow and even if a man had his loft all ready and 
his feed bought I think it would still be good policy and 
money made (to say nothing of time saved) for him to take a 
trip around to several lofts. My word for it, he might fluctuate 
between a dozen or twenty varieties, but sooner or later he 
would settle on one and he would rind that it was the type 
that first struck him. 

Til venture that if you put a strange breeder whom I never 
saw and of whom I know nothing, in a big show room and let 
me watch him half an hour I can tell what he breeds. He 
may wander up and down the alleys in a general way, but 
will always wind up in front of the cages containing his 

I believe that if he breeds half a dozen varieties I can tell 
the one in which he is most interested. 


\..\\ a man should not start with one variety and become 
dtsu;i>ted and try others one after the other. He will find it 
a losing nnr.ip. No man can sell a whole loft of one type for 
what it is worth, neither can a man buy other birds, such as 
he \\ants and needs, just at the time he would like to get 
them. The best lofts are made up of a bird or a pair bought 
here and another there, just as the opportunity occurs. It is 
a matter f record that I once bought a whole loft of about 
tift\ birds to get ( ne cock that I wanted, and I am free to 
admit that lie didn't throw birds nearly as good as himself 
and 1 was glad to sell him. So it will be seen that the best 
of us <^ei picked up. 

<;r:intinu that the reader has finally decided on the variety 
<>f pigeon he feels would suit him, a still harder part of the 
work (iimes. for he must exercise judgment in the selection 
of his breeding stock. 

Abnit the worst thing a man can do, is to get reckless and 
try to buy up all the prize winners he can obtain. 

hi this book I want to be truthful. I don't want any man 
or boy to say l l read your book and believed you and you 
misled me." Therefore I want to make the plain statement 
that if I were buying for myself I would noibuy prize winners 
from anybody, with which to stock my loft, for the reason that 
as a rule prize winners do not breed birds as good as them- 
>elves. The average prize winner is generally bred from 
parents one or both of which are by no means typical speci- 
mens of their breed. 

The parents have the blood, but they are often defective 
in the main points for which their standard calls. 

The prize winner is simply a tribute to the good judgment 
of i he breeder who has the skill to mate two birds for "points" 
in their offspring. Let the average fancier buy two winners 
and mate them and the chances are that 
specimens in no wise equal to themselves. This is why so 


many men who have the means to make great fanciers, but do 
not Lave the skill and judgment, become discouraged and 
drop out of the ranks. 

This carries us back to my original proposition, that a man 
must study a breed and have a thorough knowledge of all its 
peculiarities before he can hope to succeed with it. 



OFTKN" an ambitious fancier takes it for granted that 
t In- birds of this country are not good enough for him 
and he must therefore import. He thinks he must go 
to the fountain head, i.e. to England or Scotland. Often he is 
ltd to do this by the fictitious idea that all imported birds are OIK'S. 

There never was a greater mistake. Things are better now, 
but I can remember when America (or " the States" as the 
Knulish and Scotch called our country) was considered a 
dumping place for "rubbish." Not only do I know this by 
actual experience, but I have read articles in the leading 
pigeon papers of the other side, in which the editors called on 
the fanciers to give their American patrons the worth of their 
money and stop unloading on them birds that were only " fit 
for the pot." It is only a few years since importing began. 
1 can remember when the English band was such ararity here 
that a bird wearing one was looked on with awe and supposed 
to be something far above the ordinary. If a judge heard 
that so and so had imported a pair of birds, or if, in his 
judging, he ran across a bird with an English band, he was 
disposed to give it the full benefit of every doubt for fear that 
placing it down where it justly belonged, would reflect on his 
ability as a judge. 

The English and Scotch knew just as little about us as we 
did about them. I ordered four pairs of Fans from Scotland 
-.oinc years ago and the sender shipped them in a box that 
would do to hold a raying tiger. It was of heavy oak and 
naiU-d and bolted all over. I could ship two hundred birds to 
any part of this country for what it cost me to get that box 
<-.\ preyed from New York alone. 

Thm I had to pay for watching, or tending, or something, 
e they cairn- over, and it cost me a nice s-um to get them 


to my loft. There was one good bird in the l.t, ly the wuy. 
The rest I could beat to death in my own lot't. But I had the 
experience, and paid for it as usual. 

I do not mean to suggest that all the English and Scotch 
fanciers are not houorabl". in fact I know of several that are 
absolutely fair and squaie, but the great majority arc tricks 
ters who have the happy faculty of 4> weeding out" every 
bird they don't want, when they get an order from America, 

No fanciers on earth can get their birds in better condition, 
and none can '"fake" birds so skilfully as our cousins across 
the water, and it is a well known fact that birds that have 
even reached this side in good condition, have soon ' gone to 
pieces " or have, after their first moult, or after new feathers 
have had a chance to grow, shown the effects of the most 
palpable trickery in " pi licking." It is also a fact that in 
England and Scotland, especially at the small shows, where 
breeders of no standing are apt to show, the hardest work of 
the judge is, notto find the best bird, but to find the best bird 
that is shown fairly. 

The best fanciers on the other side have taken vigorous 
steps to stop all this fraud, but they are far in the minority, 
for the great masses of the small breeders are tricky and cjn- 
sider it not only not dishonest, but an evidence of superior 
smartness, to be able to get a faked bird past a judge. 

Remember I am not speaking of those honorable English 
and Scotch fanciers whose good names are a household word 
among our fanciers, but of the dirty little pettifoggers who 
swarm in the fancy in Great Biitain. and they unfortunately, 
are liable to be the very ones to entrap the unsophisticated 
American fancier who decides to import. 



NOW in selecting the variety to breed, one must remem- 
ber that many of our finest birds cannot by any means 
have good constitutions. It is an impossibility from 
Ibe that ino.xt tact of them are "made" varieties and it 
has taken years of " inbreeding" to produce them. 

It is only within the last fifty years that the varieties of 
to-day have sprung up. Prior t that time I doubt if many of 
them were in existence. Pigeons have been kept for centuries 
and by all kinds of people, but I am referring to what are 
known as the "fancy" pigeons of to-day. Thousands of men 
have been interested in this changing of the dull colored, 
uncouth common pigeon into the dashing, high colored and 
beautifully variegated bird of the present. Where one fa qier 
has left off, another has taken up the work, each with the 
idea oi improving on his predecessor. 

Take for example, the short-faced Tumbler, a bird known 
to everyor.e and tnere is no question but that fifty years ago 
its 1) ak was long, but birds of smaller and smaller beaks 
were selected and mated, and this mated parent and offspring 
closer and closer, and naturally reduced vitality and con- 

Breeding for 'feather" was done in the same way, of 
course. This was done by our early brethren not with the 
hope of raising more birds, but better birds. The early shows 
and the consequent rivalry that existed, made each old fancier 
outline his ideal and work up to it. In the old days, a couple 
of dollars was considered an enormous price for a pair of 
birds, while now there are scores of birds for which one hun- 
dred dollars each would be refused. 

But this constant striving for perfection; this constant 
inbreeding for results, is what has made many of our best 


birds so tender that a single draught or a close shipping box 
will kill them. 

There are some fanciers, and they are men of brains, who 
predict that many of these breeds will "run out," that is, 
they will be continuously bred up, till their young will be too 
weak to live. 

I 3o not think however that such a misfortune can come to 
the fancy for many, many years, or perhaps ever. While we 
produce 'artificial'' birds, we also each year, learn better 
how to care for them and we unconsciously change conditions 
and thereby meet the changed conditions of our pets. 



TliK I'Mn-ier who is deciding on what particular variety 
to breed, should study his surroundings ;ind then let 
"color" be an important factor. 

It he lives in the country or in a small village, where the 
air is pure and there is no soot and coal smoke, he can thank 
his stars, for he will be able to handle any color he likes. 

But if he lives in a city, he had best not dabble in whites 
or in any breed the beauty of which consists in a sharp con- 
trast of colors, with white predominating. I will modify this 
by stating that I have seen grand white birds keep their color 
the entire year, in cities that use natural gas. 

But in the great majority of cities and especially in the 
north, I defy any fancier to find a loft so close that his white 
birds can keep clean in the winter. He may dispense entire- 
ly with an air coop and keep his birds in a plastered room and 
yet they somehow manage to soil. 

In such birds as the Magpie, Nun, Swallow, Priest, Tur- 
bit, Jacobin and all others of that class the basis of the color- 
is white. In most of them the beauty of the birds lies in 
their sharp marking, and once soiled they lose their beauty. 
The same is greatly true of Fan tails, (whites and saddles,) 
I 1 . niters and many other 1 

Therefore if the fancier proposes to have a loft of flying 
birds, he should choose ".-elf" or solid color, dark colored 
birds. While a loft of blacks, reds or blues may have become 
nearly as badly soiled as whites, still it is natural that the 
dirt will not show as much as in whites. The Archangel is a 
bird that docs not show dirt readily, yet when its beautiful 
meta lie lu^hv is gone, half of its beauty is lost. But if we 
cannot have perfection, we can strive to get as near it as pos- 
sible, and so 1 would say, select biids that will look as well 
conditions considered. 



NOW that we have considered what kind to buy, let us 
take up the question as to where to buy; and this 
opens up another wide field. Not every man who 
advertises the best birds, at the lowest price, is able to deliv- 
er the goods. Xot every man who is willing to sell you a great 
lot of grand birds for a song, because he is going to move or 
something, is the man with whom you should treat. 

When you read the advertisement of a man who breeds fifty 
kinds of birds, and breeds them all up to the standard, don't 
waste time with him. He can't do it. 

It takes a very smart man to breed one kind up to what 
it should be. 

I mean this advice for those who want good birds. If a man 
simply wants a few pigeons, and don't care what they are, 
then by all means let him go to the first bird store and get 

They will be cheap in price, and, if he don't care much 
svhat he gets, " he will get it. ' 

But the fancier who has decided to breed one variety, and 
\vlio intends to breed up, and not down, should turn to the 
pigeon papers, and read carefully the cards of the various 
breeders who breed the particular variety he fancies'. Then 
let him write to each one, and take his time to go carefully 
over their replies. 

Don't, for Heavens sake don't, get a Standard, and carefully 
describe the standard bird, and then write u I want ( so many) 
pairs of bkds just like the above. They must be just like it 
or I don't want them. If they are as above I will give you five 
(eight or ten, as the case may be ) dollars per pair for them." 

The chances are that the fancier to whom you write 
would willingly give fifty dollars ]?er pair for such birds him- 


self. A-ain he will know that you ;ire green, and will not 
give vein- letterthe same attention that he would to a "man- 
ly" 1ft t IT. Perhaps the term "manly" should not be used in 
this connection, but it expresses the matter, und knowing 
fanciers as I do, I would say that the following is the kind of 
letter that, would bring an honest answer, and honest prices 
from any reputable fancier. It would also bring- good birds 
worth every cent you pay for them. 


Dear Sir; 

I am desirous of taking up Jacobins, as I 
admire them more than any pigeon, and write to ask your 
prices. I would like a pair each of Reds and Blacks, and 
also a pair of Splashed if you have them. 1 want birds old 
enough to breed at once. 

I do not ask for prize winners for I cannot afford them, 
and I would like to leave the selection of my stock birds to 
your own judgment, only begging you to send me biids of a 
good reliable strain, that will be likely to throw good young. 
If you have good stock birds in other colors, that you think 
would bring me good results, I would be pleased to have you 
quote prices. 

I know of your high standing in the fancy and am willing 
to trust entirely to your good judgment. An early answer 
will oblige, 

Yours very truly. 


Now, a reliable, honorable fancier would no more think of 
deceiving a man like this than he would of robbing his loft. 

On the contrary he would take extra pains to suit him, 
knowing that he would make a friend and a future patron. 

It a i.uiciei has a start however, and wants to improve his 
stock, he should write a letter something like this. 



Dear Sir; 

I want a red Jacobin cock, and two blue Jac- 
obin liens. I want the cock to show, and breed also ; but 
want the hens simply for breeding, and therefore care more 
for blood than show points. If you can supply these birds 
please send price, and description of the cock. 

Yours truly, 


Such a letter as. the above, to an honest fancier, will bring 
what one wants. 

Don't ever write for a bird that will be " sure to win " at 
any show. Xo fancier can fill such an order, for his ideas 
and those of the judge of the show may be widely at vari- 

What I have tried to show in the above is this. If you 
trust to the honor or integrity of a reputable fancier, you 
will lose nothing by it. Remember I use the word ; ' fancier 1 ' 
not " dealer. ' A fancier is a man who breeds his own birds, 
and who sells whatever surplus he may have. He knows 
the breeding of every bird he sends out. 

A dealer is one who buys any and all kinds of birds, just so 
they are cheap enough. As to their breeding he knows ab- 
solutely nothing. In behalf of the dealers many of whom 
are honorable men, I want to say that they do not fly under 
false colors. They do not assume to know anything about 
what they sell. Their motto is, "there are the birds; if the 
price suits you, take them." There is always a demand for 
birds of the class they handle, and they are therefore a busi- 
ness necessity ; but I close this part as I began by suggesting 
that if you want birds to breed for your own pleasure, and 
with the hope of producing something which will be a credit 
to you, don't go to a dealer. 


It i> obvious that no fancier sends good birds to dealers. 
Ifi'or example he lias a sterile cock, from which he can 
never hope for progeny: a barren hen that never laid, and 
never could lay an egg, a wry tailed or a hook beaked bird, 
or one \\ilh bad eyes or malformation of the feet; does any 
one suppose he sends it to a customer ? Not much. He has 
too much sense to raise the storm of indignation that would 
follow. Too much sense to lose not only one patron, but all 
the friends of the same; and so, w r heii he finds his loft stock- 
ed with freaks of this kind he simply bundles them up and 
sends them to a dealer, hoping never to hear from them 



FOR -me to attempt to give quotations on pigeons in this 
country at present, would be impossible-. 
There is not nor can there be any uniform rate ; no 
market quotations, so to speak. A good pigeon is worth what- 
ever it will bring. 

To show how views vary, it is only necessary to look over 
a catalogue of ono of our big shows Looking down the list 
and noting the selling price affixed to each bird, one may 
note half a dozen valued at $100 each, and from that on 
down tv> $25. and some to a modest $10. Yet often when 
the official list of awards comes out, it \\ill show that the $10 
bird got first prize, the $25. birds second, third and fourth, 
while the $100. birds did not get a place. Sometimes, and 
very often, a breeder becomes overstocked, and finds that he 
must either sell a lot, or give them away, as he cannot use a 
crowded breeding loft, and has no other place in which to 
put them in such cases. I have seen Tumblers easily worth 
$10. each, go for a dollar each, and pairs of Jacobins, Pouters 
Fans. etc. go for $5. per pair, that are well worth $10. to $15. 

Hight here is the benefit of a good reputation. When the 
old breeders see by an ad. that Mr. So and So is selling off a 
lot of surplus birds, they do not hesitate to buy, for they 
know that with such stock as he keeps he could not breed 
a really bad bird. Sometimes, he becomes desperate, and 
sends off a lot to a dealer' and it is then and then only that 
the latter has good birds. But the trouble is that he does 
not know the best ones, as the breeder rarely takes the 
trouble to send a list of leg-band numbers. 

Reverting to prices however, as connected with birds order- 
ed especially for good lofts, I would say, don't buy cheap 
birds. If a fancier writes you " I can sell you such and such 

.ii IM<;KONS AM> u,i, AI'.OTT THEM. 

ini-ds at $10. per pair; 1ml 1 can send you such and such at 
$20., " don't hang on to that extra $10., but send it along, 
ami y<m won't regret it. The average breeder who writes in 
Mich a strain, is not trying to make $10. extra out of you 
( though you may think so) but knows just what he is writ- 
ing about. 

Taking the average value of lofts in America, $75. is a 
high price for the best birds turned out ; but in England birds 
have brought as high as $500. per pair and even more. 

A.S slated, the best way is to write to reputable fanciers, 
and then use your own judgment, though of course one 
should give due heed to any suggestions from them. Person- 
ally I would rather at any time pay $100. for one pair of really 
birds, than $100. for ten pair of ordinary ones. In other 
s I would expect better results out of the two first class, 
lip top birds, than out of the twenty, many of which would 
probably not suit my ideas at all. 

< >ne advantage to the modern buyer, lies in the fact, that of 
late, many of our American fanciers are adopting the English 
style of sale circulars. These circulars give a description 
and price of each bird, and are very convenient for both buyer 
and seller. A good circular saves the writing of a vast lot of 
letters, and covers the case thoroughly. As fast as birds are 
sold, they can be checked off and so marked. If more of our 
breeders would adopt this style, they would be surprised at 
the saving of time. 

A spring sale circular of fantails would be something like 
the following page, and it can be seen that the buyer can 
look it over and order at once just what he wants, and thus 

\e the delay of correspondence. And further, the novice 

luus the same chance, as the description means exactly what 
it says, and the birds are open to all. 



CHARLES J. JOHNSON, Proprietor, 


<- K 

1. Blue Cock. '96. Xo. 61. good sound color, a little coarse in 

head and neck ; good flat tail. A good breeder, and of 
excellent blood. Price $15. 

2. White hen. '97. Xo. 108. Good all over save slight tendency 

to wry tail. Excellent head, neck and body, superb 
style. Fine stock bird. Price 810. 

3. Black hen. '96. Xo. 7. Very rich sound color. A little over 

sized. Tail very large but not regular Good cross 
for a small high styled cock. Best of stock. Price $8. 

4. White cock. '91. Imp. from Brown. England. Rather large 

English type. Good record in the show pen. A very 

handsome bird all over. Re isou for selling, have bred 

him four seasons and am through with the cross. A 

very valuable bird for any breeder. Cost $45. Price $25. 

These birds are just as represented, or no sale. An early 

reply will oblige as the mating season is now on. 

Very truly yours, 


Five hundred circulars like the above would cost Mr. John- 
son only a small sum, and they do away with the necessity 
for all kinds of answers to all kinds of letters. 

I notice that many of our fanciers are adopting this meth- 
od in their advertisements, and they certainly show wisdo.n 
by so doing. 


Before le;i \iiii; the subject of buying and selling, I want to 
say that the last tiling of which the true fancier thinks is the 
actual money lu- makes out of his hobby. If he can only get 
enough out of his surplus birds to pay for his feed and ex- 
penses and have enough over to be able to buy an occasional 
' good one" that strikes his fancy, he is happy. 

No. the breeding of pigeons, by the man who is a true fan- 
cier, ( and I ought to write the word " fancier,'' in capital let- 
ters ) is no sordid, money-making affair. 

When \ve think of the good sensible business men who 
\\oi-k ahead getting their birds ready for a show; who pay 
for shipping boxes and expressage, then entry fees, then 
railroad fare, hotel bills, etc aside from the time lost from 
business, and go a thousand miles to a show, when all they 
could possibly win if they should be fortunate enough to 
win first, second and third- would be the magnificent 
sum of four dollars, we can begin to -realize that it is not 
the money they make or can expect to make out of their 
birds, that keeps these royal good fellows in the fancy. 



WE will now suppose that the fancier has purchased his 
birds and is rJl ready to try the mysteries of breeding. 
His heart is full of hope, and he will find himself 
sitting for hours in his loft, watching his birds. 

If he has a large air coop, he will open his window and let 
his birds bathe, if it is a pretty day, or if he has Hying birds. 
he will let them out. If he is starting a yard loft, ho will 
find it a good idea to have his bob-wire in position, so that 
he can keep the run of his flock. It is all right to clap a 
board in front of an entrance hole or jam ones hat in it, if no 
board is handy after the birds are in, but an easily shifted 
bob-wire is almost a necessity in every loft of riving birds, 
and is so handy that no loft is complete without it. The 
idea in a shifting one is that it can be hung on the. wall or 
slid to one side when not in use, and then only a slight push 
puts it in place and the fancier can go away with the know- 
ledge that as fast as each bird goes in it is there to stay till 
he lets it out. 

To make it, make a frame like a slate frame, and fasten by 
hinges to the upper part, a small slrip into which stiff 
and heavy wires have been drilled. Have thtm just long 
enough to fall past the lower part of the frame and have the 
strip work so easily that the slightest push of a bird will 
cause it to swing inward. Pieces of thin leather will do as 
well as the hinges and being protected from the weather, 
will last a long time. One can work one of the sliding bob- 
wires by a cord, so as to open or shut it without going into 
the loft. 



A NOT I IK 11 very necessary tiling just now, is a lot of 
training coops. It is hard to get along without them, 
for not only is it necessary to train birds for the show 
pen nowadays, but in the almost constant handling of ones 
birds in some shape or form, one needs a convenient place into 
which to slip them for the time being. They can also be 
used for mating pens, for hospital use, if one has sick birds, 
and for solitary confinement. For these two latter reasons, 
if for no other, I keep my training coops in one of the lower 
lofts away from even the sight of the birds in the loft proper. 

(ict any tinner or wire worker (if you are not in a city 
where exhibition coops can be bought) to make you a wire 
front six feet long and eighteen inches high, with top of 
same dimensions. 

In this he should put three wire partitions eighteen inches 
square. Make a sliding door, vertical, in each of the four 
coops, that will drop of its own weight. You will then have 
the front and top of four coops. 

Next, take light poplar or pine nicely smoothed, and make 
the base and back. Take boards twenty inches wide and 
nail them at right angles, with a small cross strip to hold 
them firm. The boards should be six feet long and the ex- 
tra width, especially the bottom board, is to give a ledge on 
which feed and water cups can be placed. 

Ky watching the measurement, the tier of four coops will 
tit in exactly. They weigh little and handle very easily 

Their utility does not stop in the loft, for they make good 
show pens. The backs, and in fact the entire wood work, 
should be nicely painted a dark blue. It is astonishing how 
much travel they will stand if made properly. All that is 
needed is to fasten the coops down with double pointed tacks. 

\Vitli these coops in place, the fancier is all ready for the 
seasons breeding. 



NATURALLY, under the above head, the first thing is, 
the time to mate. This is goVerned, as are many 
other things, by the latitude in which the breeder 
lives. In the old days, the people all over the world, seemed 
to mate up everything on the 14th. of February. 

In the latitude in which I live, I do not think that date is 
too early, provided we have had a severe winter. But if the 
winter has been mild, I- am always inclined to wait, for fear 
a delayed cold snap will catch my young birds at the most 
critical time. 

In the latitude in which Chicago lies, I think the 1st. of 
March about right, but this also is governed by the weather 
and also by the kind of loft a man has. 

1 like to get an early start, in order to judge as nearly as 
possible by the first pair of young, as to whether or not I 
have made mistakes in mating. 

If one mates late in the season, he has little chance to undo 
any mistake that he has made. Again, if the birds have 
been separated during the time intervening between Sept. 
and the middle of February, they are vigorous and hearty 
and in a condition to not only throw strong young, but to 
feed and care for them well afterwards. Therefore I would 
suggest that time spent on the theory that a certain date is 
the time to mate, is time wasted. One should use his judg- 
ment and when he believes that the worst of the weather is 
over, he should mate. It is also well to remember that dur- 
ing the eighteen days of hatching, it makes little difference 
what the weather is. 

It will seem foolish to my readers, who are old fanciers, to 
go into detail over mating, yet there are untold thousands of 
men and boys in America, who cannot tell a cock from a hen 
even when both are "playing," and would have no idea what 


Btepp t par>ue it' ih.-y were presented w'th an unmated pair. 

Yer\ nai urally, if they had the two odd birds, they would 
simply put them in the loft together and that would be the 
i.,i,l of it, for thej \\-rnild mate themselves. But, say they 
hal a Magpie c<>ck and a Turbit hen, and a Turbit cock and 
a Magpie hen that had persisted in mating- the wrong way, 
lhe\ \\<>uld be a< their wits ends. AVe think, in our love of 
pigeons, that everybody feels as we do, knows what we do, 
etc.; yet the great masses of the people are as ignorant of 
\\ hat is almost a part of our Bible to us, as we are of occult 
sciences. Take one hundred men as we meet them along the 
crowded streets of a great city, and ninety-nine would not 
know a Barb from a Pouter, and the last man would probably 
ask you what made the Barb's eyes so red and sore. He 
would add that the pigeons (or doves, as he would call them) 
that he had "when he was a boy," never had sore eyes like 

This book was written for the masses, not for the favored 
few, who know as much about pigeons as I do, (and some of 
them more,) and therefore I go into detail over little things, 
in the hope that I may make them so plain that any man 
who has a kindly feeling for our hobby, may take the book, 
follow its instructions and soon become one of the "anoint- 
ed." as it were. 

The question is often asked, how to tell a cock from a hen. 

As a rule, the cock is the larger and coarser bird, uses a 
longer note, "plays 1 " more, and in short acts more the devot- 
ed lover. For instance, a cock is apt to circle around the 
bird to which he is playing, whether it be a cock or hen; 
\\ bile about the only motion of the hen is to raise and lower 

the head quickly and take a few steps forward, spreading 
both wings and tail. Her note is very short and sharp and 
lacks tin- resonant "roll" of the cock. 


An old rule which is generally correct, is to hold the bird, 
the sex of which is to be tested, loosely in the hand. Then 
suddenly tilt it forward. If it throws down its tail to balance 
it is a cock. If it throws it up, it is a hen. Where I am at 
all uncertain, I generally use the solitary plan, that is, I shut 
the bird in a training coop, where it can neither see nor hear 
another bird. After a day or two, I put a bird of the sup- 
posed opposite sex, in the next pen and the first bird will 
generally show its sex at once. 

Often two cocks will mate, aud they often do this in spring 
when they have been kept away from the hens all winter. In 
such cases, I at once take away the cock that has gone to the 
other ones nest, for I have found that they often become so 
attached to each other, as to intefere with taking up with 
their own hens when the latter are turned into the loft. On 
the same principal, two hens will mate in the winter loft, aud 
it is not an unusual thing for them to make a nest, lay two 
eggs each and try to hatch them. 

When a fancier selects two birds, and builds his hopes on 
a speedy mating and subsequent nesting, he often runs 
against two very perverse pigeon natures. Sometimes they 
fight at first, through the bars that separate them. Some- 
times neither will pay any attention to the other and some- 
times one will resist each and every advance of the other. In 
such cases, solitary confinement is the great method. Take 
the birds as far away from the breeding loft as possible ; shut 
them up. say one in an out house, and the other in a box in 
the cellar, if the latter is dry. The point is to get them 
where they cannot see or hear a pigeon of any kind. As I 
once said, I have taken two perverse birds of this kind and 
have given them such a dose, that either one would try to 
mate with its own reflection in a looking glass. 

The old style mating coop is a double coop with a slide in 
the centre. The birds are separated till the supposed proper 


time, and thru tin- slide is withdrawn, throwing the coop in 
to one. 

Hut tliis is really not so speedy a way as the other. The 
birds can hoar each other move and coo in a double coop and 
thus a stubborn bird does not get that lonesome feeling that 
comes over it, when put off by itself. I have never yet failed 
to make a mating I desired, but I once spent three weeks 011 
two particularly stubborn birds. 

Unmated birds should never, under any circumstances, be 
allowed in the breeding loft. If an odd cock, he is liable to 
crowd on a nesting hen, while her mate may be away, and 
break the eggs or cause her to trample on her young while 
very small. 

I have seen an odd cock visit several nsets, one right after 
the other and cause trouble in each. Sometimes they attack 
defenceless young in a neighboring nest and pick them 

An odd hen, while not so bad, is also a nuisance, for when 
the mating fever is on her, she will often crowd in on a pair, 
that are just nicely mated and break them up, as the cock 
will become undecided as to which is his mate. 

I use a lower room, the same in which the hens are confin- 
ed in winter, and into it I put every odd bird and all young 
birds as soon as they are done feeding from their parents. 

< .ood breeding birds often breed so fast that they will have 
a nearly matured pair on the loft floor -and another, just 
hatched, in the nest. 

I 1 will therefore be seen how necessary it is to get the older 
voimg out of the way, so that the " pigeons' milk" may go 
to the tiny ones in the nest. / 



IF the fancier has bought his birds from a reliable man, 
I would advise him to follow the directions of the latter 
as to mating, for the first season. The breeder knows, 
or should know the points in his strain and his advice is 
nearly always correct. 

But in mating the next season, the fancier should use his 
judgment. He has by this time acquired a knowledge cf 
each bird among his breeders, and he should have carefully 
studied his young, so as to know all the best points in each. 

Reduced to a science, mating correctly consists in so select- 
ing two birds that their progeny will combine the best 
points of both. For example ; say I have a Fantail cock, the 
tail of which I do not consider good. It may have plenty of 
feather, yet it is not even. The feathers are broad and stiff, 
with no tendency to fray on the edges; but he may have a 
tendency to open centre or bunches, or splits in the side. 

Now, if I find that his tendency is always to throw young 
with the same broad, stiff feather, and without the bunches 
and splits, I select a hen much smaller in size and with the 
most "regular" tail lean get. I want every feather in its 
exact place. By a mating of this kind, I am liable to get 
small compact young with splendid, even tails, for the reg- 
ularity of tail in the cock's blood is added to the regularity 
that is apparent ;it a glance in the hen. 

A coarse cock of any breed, or a coarse hen will often be 
found to throw beautiful young of the requisite ''fine '' ap- 
pearance. Such birds as I have described are invaluable in 
a loft. The successful breeder is not the o/.e who has a loft 
of breeders that are all prize winning show birds, but who 
has a loft of birds, not all typical specimens but which have 
the power to transmit the proper points to their offspring. 


II, -nee the necessity for constant study. No old breeder, 
no mallei- how expert lie may be, can go into a strange loft 
.ind tell the owner just \vli;it to mate. He must know what 
the hirds have thrown the reason or two before. -Yet it is a 
fun. that if he could he, the young, he could get a 
very fair idea. 

V.\v that ih" hirds are mated, don't try to make their nest 
f,n- i in-ill. Let them alone, for they will attend to the house 

keeping. I have known men so green that they insisted on 
making great nests of hay etc. for their birds. 

(iet the small tobacco stems of which I have treated before, 
and scatter them on the floor. But remember that the eggs 
must he watched for the first few days. I have seen birds so 
active in building, that they would rear great piles, and com- 
pletely cover their cogs. Sometimes an egg slips down end- 
ways het \\een two stems that are particularly coarse, and a 
\ oung hen will never be able to work it back. Old ones seem 
to have little trouble, but a young hen will go placidly along 
with a cold egg some inches below her. 

Every time fresh stems are carried in, the nest rises still 
higher above the neglected egg. The danger in very high 
nests is. that the young birds in their struggles for food, 
sometimes slip over the side of the nest and can never 
-.'Tiimhle hack, if both fall out, the hen will often move to 
them: hut sometimes she sits on the original nest and lets 
t he \ on im ones chill. 

\- soon as a:i egg is laid, put the date on it with an idel- 
ihle pencil, which latter should be in every loft. I don't 
helieve in handling eggs very much, but they can stand a 
i;icat deal of handling and not be affected at all. 



THE period of incubation is eighteen days in nice warm 
weather, and one or two days longer in cold weather. 
The second egg is laid 011 the second day after the first. 
It is always well to have dummy eggs in the loft. Sometime .i 
a pair may be ' ; located " with or.e. For instance, if they are 
undecided as between several nests and you desire them to 
use a certain one, it is often the case that when they see an 
egg in one certain box they, will at once adopt that box. 

But the great point in the dummy egg is that it produces 
an equal time of hatching of both eggs. Some hens do not 

stay regularly on the nest till the second egg is laid, while 
others set closely from the laying of the first. The latter is 
often the case with young hens with their first eggs. 

In this way the first egg starts on its incubation two days 
prior to the other, ami the young bird is therefore out and 
wanting to be fed two dajs before its nest mate. 

It thus gets a good start, and is striving for food, before the 
other has strength enough to lift its head. It gets the ma- 
jority of the food, for the old ones are prone to feed what- 
ever beak is raised first and it waxes strong and grows, while 
the other is neglected, for as it grows weaker day by day, its 
chances for food grow less. 

The dummy egg does away with all this, gives the eggs an 
even start and thus produces even incubation. It is made by 
hard-boiling an infertile egg, or in fact any egg for which the 
owner may have no use. 

Sometimes young birds, especially the high bred ones, are 
very weak in spite of an equal time of incubation. Some- 
times by some chance, one youngster thrives and the other 
does not, and in this case I always shift the stronger young 
bird under another pair. The reason for this is obvious. 

r.ij I'H.KON'S AM) ALL AI'.OTT Til KM. 

The \\hole rare of the real parents is centered on the weak 
\omi.u.stei, while if the foster parents are neglectful of the 
oilier, it ean get along very well for a clay or two while the 
weak one is "catching np. ' 

should this happen before the youngster is large enough 
to hand, tie a little thread around its leg, and mark on your 
loft register a pencil memorandum. "Shifted young bird, 
thread on right leg, from pair 10 to pair 4. ' Then when the 
conditions of the two young seem equalized, put the orphan 
hark, lake off the thread and put on your band. Enter it in 
your loft register and erase the pencil memorandum. This 
prevents all mistakes. 




AITER marking the date of the laying of a pair of eggs, 
look at them carefully the sixth day afterwards. Hold 
them in front of your lamp, or take them to the suu 
arid note their appearance. If they look clear and yellow, 
they are infertile and will not hatch, but if they are inclined 
to be opaque or if you can see little veins, they are all right. 

Right here I want to give some advice that it will be well 
to heed. 1 have spent years " helping" birds and I find the 
following the best plan, especially with young birds. I want 
to preface this by the statement, that a young pair of mated 
birds are much like a young pair of house keepers; they 
have lots to learn. 

If I find that a young pair have one fertile egg, I put away 
the other and let them go on with one. If both are infertile 
I get one egg from another pair, mark it plainly with the 
pencil, make a pencil mem. in the loft register, and let them 
hatch it. It is a wonderful helper in " steadying" a young 
pair, for the care of feeding after the long rest of hatching, 
takes a great deal of the crankiness from them, and they 
settle down. 

On the other hand, if you take the eggs away, it unsettles 
them, aud they are apt to rush to laying again, and the sec- 
ond pair of eggs, (from the fact that the parents have had no 
real rest,) are apt to be bad. When this youngster so hatch- 
ed is banded, I credit it to the pair that laid the egg, so it 
will be seen that there is no chance for any mistake. 

Here comes the beauty of mating all the birds on the same 
day, for, if a pair has both young die in coming out of the 
shell, or just after, there are always other nests out of which 
young can be borrowed, 


\> ;i mailer of i'ae.t, ;i pair of young fans lost their young- 
ster a .short lime a.uo. just alt er i t got through the shell. 

I'nt'oi -timateh . I did not have another of just the right age, 
so I threw the <lc;id one away, thinking that would end it. 
lint tin- parents stayed right on the vacant nest and I found 
ilic hen still thrre, on the third morning after her young- 
died. 1 knew this would never do, so in despair I went to the 
swallow lot't and brought over a young bird at least a week 
old. and slipped it under her. To my surprise, she cuddled 
over it and began feeding at once, and it is strong and hearty 
to-day, while the old birds are contented and building again c 



NEVER give up an egg, or the young one in it, till it is 
dead. I have seen eggs completely chilled, cracked 
eggs, eggs with pieces absolutely broken out, that 
hatched, and youngsters that were picked up stiff on a loft 
floor, that soon came to life and flourished. 

After an egg has gotten well along in the process of incu- 
bation, it will stand a great deal. If not cracked so badly as 
to let the white run out, paste a little court plaster over it, 
or a piece of postage stamp. If a little piece is broken out, 
do the same. 

If you find a youngster out of the nest and chilled, hold it 
in your warm hands and gently breathe on it, and then as 

soon as it moves, slip it under a close setting hen. It is rare- 
ly necessary to bring it in to the fire, for the warmth of the 

bird is more natural, and again, when it begins moving, the 
hen is liable to give it warm food. 

Along about the eighteenth day, it is well to look at all 
eggs. It' the little dotted break in the shell looks all right, 
and you can hear the young bird working merrily away, it is 
no doubt strong and active and will get through without any 
help. Look at it again the next day, say 24 hours after, 
and if the broken line is no further along, it is a good idea to 
help a little, but be very careful and do not over do the mat- 
ter. I take my thumb nail and gently, very gently, indent a 
continuation of the* line, or make a very small hole. 

Now, don't hurry the bird. Give it plenty of time, for if 
you do too much and puncture one of the little veins, the bird 
is lof-t. Hundreds of thousands of young birds are killed, 
through the impatience of the fancier. I have known many 
cases where it took three days for a bird to emerge from the 
shell even after it had made a good break. Remember the 


hird is growing all the time, and the shell is becoming 
more brittle. I'sually the old birds bring out the empty 
>lu -11s. and often with a great deal of pride. If they do not^ 
take tin-in out gently as soon as possible for they are in the 
way. Again; I have seen the bloody half of the first egg, 
fJiji over I he second egg and stick, and retard the progress of 
the second bird. All these little matters go to show how 
careful, how watchful the conscientious fancier must be. 

Jiut for all this patience and perseverance, he gains his re- 
ward when the young birds beautiful in their style, their 
mark ing, their lovely contour of body, and all the little 
points so necessary to the really fine pigeon, step out on the 
floor to delight his eye. He knows that while they are direct- 
ly descended from their parents, it is his skill and care, 
aided by his instinctive love for the beautiful, that has made 
them what they are. If among them there are a few thatcau 
be decked with the coveted blue ribbons, in keen competi- 
lion, then his cup of happiness is indeed full to overflowing. 

The young being now out of the eggs, all we have to do is, 
as stated before, to watch and see that they are fed evenly, 
that is, that both are fed about the same amount and neither 
neglected. It is a good idea to feed rather early in the 
morning, and then the hens will leave the nests with their 
young in them, eat a little, and hurry back, leaving the cocks 
to get good full crops of feed prior to relieving the hen, at 
which time she will eat enough for the afternoon and night. 

I mention this from the fact, that if a morning feed is de- 
layed till late in the day, the hens are apt to stay off too long. 
More young die through being chilled in the morning, than 
at any other time. It is well to watch, and if you notice a 
young bird quivering its little wings, shaking with cold and 
gaping at intervals, hurry and slip it under another hen for 
the time being, till it gets thoroughly warm. 



ALONG about the fourth or sixth day, the young are 
about ready to band, but there is no hurry about it. 
Use your o\vn judgment and when you think the foot 
is large enough to keep the band in place, put it on. 

I do not believe in early banding, as the bands keep slip- 
ping off and getting lost in the nests and the operation must 
be done over and over. This is needless, \vheu we remember 
that a quite goodly sized bird can be banded if the foot is 
held right. 

Draw the three front toes together and slip the band up on 
the foot. Then gently squeeze the back toe up and parallel 
with the leg, and the band will slip over. Then gently pull 
out the back toe with thumb and forefinger. 

A young bird's foot is very flexible, and will adapt itself to 
almost any position, and though bands may seem to slip on 
with a great deal of squeezing, there is absolutely no danger 
of harming the young bird. 

The size of band to be used is governed very much by the 
kind of bird bred. All good baud makers make four sizes, 
ranging from a Turbit or Owl size, to a Pouter or Runt size. 

If a man belongs to a Swallow, Fan, Turbit, Owl, Magpie, 
or any other Club, he should of course use the particular 
band adopted by that club, giving a preference always to the 
enamel band. 

Many breeders, who have achieved a reputation for turn- 
ing out first class stock, use on one of the legs, a private al- 
uminum band bearing their own initials. This is a sort of 
o-uarantee that the bird came from a noted loft, and is a cor- 


rective against tricky fellows who sell birds that they claim 
were bred in certain well known lofts, 



T II is is one oi' the most important adjuncts to the loft. I 
knou >f a do/,eu styles, each of which is claimed to be 
1'i-st ly the author but know of none better than 
Tuomlily's, which is made by a regular publishing house. 

A rrgistrr siu-h as the above, is suited for a loft where 
several varieties are kept ; but a very concise register can be 
m:ide for a loft where only one kind of birds are ever bred 
something like this. 





7' I 




so:', COCK. 

Pair No. 12. 

SO! I 


Young birds hatched 1898. 
18. 42. 48. 55. 


si 5 COCK. 


1 1 KN. 

Pair Xo. 13. 

Young birds hatched ISOS. 

* *-' 88. 97. 98. 



Now see how easy the next year shows for itself. Say the 
breeder wishes in 1899 to mate two of the birds he raised the 
season before. The record would be something like this. 



42 COCK, 


Pair Xo. 14. 

Young birds hatched I8i>9. 
32. 33. 4:.. 46. 67. 68. 

13y turning a few pages one can go back four generations. 



IT is now tiiiu' for the fancier who has had average success, 
to begin thinking of selling his surplus birds, and he 
will tiinl that a modest card in a good pigeon paper will 

he .1 -<MH| in\ estmeut. 

li he is unknown, he will make no mistake if he states 
frankly that his stock, is from the lofts of the old breeder 
from \\ limn he bought it. There are many whose names are 
household words in the fancy. Some of them have spent a 
liiV time in breeding one particular variety and have bred it 
to ;i point about as near perfection as can well be attained. 

It is especially in the beginning of his career as a seller, 
that the fancier must be particularly honest and square in 
all his statements, regarding birds he is offering for sale. It 
is tar better to sell good birds at a low price than to sell ordi- 
nary (Mies at a high price. A satisfied customer makes others, 
l'iit a dissatisfied patron can cause a world of trouble. 

And the very fact that customers must be suited, again 
shows how necessary it isfor one to attend to his own birds. 
v 'ivants and helpers are all right as far as they go. They 
an feed, and clean the loft, but when it comes to banding, 
or selecting fora customer, they don't know how to do it. 
I have a colored man who for eight long years has helped 
with my loft; but if he knows a single bird in it, or any cock 
from any hen, I don't know it. 

servants do their work in a perfunctory sort of way. They 

are often willing and anxious and will do carefully anything 

they are told to do ; bnt they simply follow directions with- 

takirig any real interest in the work, and should not 

therefore be trusted with anything important. 



OFTEX an order cornes in asking that birds be sent on 
approval. I do not believe in this at all, for no two 
men always agree on types of birds. 

I might have a pair of fans, that I might consider first class 
in every respect, but they might not suit some other man. 

The customer may be absolutely fair and honest, and may 
write "if the birds don't suit me I will pay expenses of tran- 
sit both ways, so that you may be out nothing. If they suit 
I will willingly send you the price asked". 

Now let us take a case. I get an order from John Smith of 
Denver, Col., for a pair of birds of a certain type. In other 

words the cock must have certain points, and the hen certain 
other points. 

It happens that I do not have a pair already mated, just as 
Mr. Smith likes them ; but I want to suit him so I break two 
pairs that are on eggs, taking the cock of one and the hen of 
the other. (In my own case I could save the eggs by trans- 
ferring them under two pairs of Swallows; but some other 
breeder might not be so well prepared.) 

Well, say I lose two pairs of eggs, naturally equivalent to 
two pairs of young birds. I ship this pair to Mr. Smith, and 
he does not like them, and he returns them. So far so good ; 
but suppose they never reach him through vsome accident on 
the railroads. Suppose one bird smothers before reaching 
him. Suppose they reach him all right, and are started 
home too soon, and one of them dies after reaching home 
or both are sick and useless, or, suppose the train is wrecked 
and they never get home at all, where do I stand? Would Mr- 
Smith be willing to pay for his experiment? It is either 
trouble with Mr. Smith or with the express company or both. 


An e\pr. - 'iipany let a bird escape for me once, and it 
took me t\\o years 1 -et the money for it. I had to c, 
through thive courts before I uot it. and how much does the 

idi-r Mippo>e I had left after paying my attorney :' 

1 \\ ill admit that the danger of losing the birds is not near- 
ly hat of not suiting the enstomev. 

Whm a regular sale is made, the birds belong to the huyi-r 
ae BO D a> they are in the Kxpit-- .-thee.and that i> the end 

ot it. 

It' a . 'ireet ceseription of the hirds has been made, the 
faiieii-i need not trouble himself further. He has described 
them as they are, and, if they do not suit the particular taste 
of the buyer, it cannot be helped. 

Little errors are always liable to occur, and then the real 
ncier" is always ready to meet his customer more than 
half \\a\ . 

There are plenty of men who attempt to pose as fanciers, 
\\ho ha\e not the tirst instinct of a gentleman fancier. They 
are in the fancy as a business proposition, and for what they 
can make. The u'reat beautv is that thev don't last lontr, 

*' ^ 7 

and soon drift out of what they have only served to disgrace. 



THE birds being ordered, the next point is to get them to 
the buyer in good shape, and much depends on this. 
A rough uncouth box, filthy inside, and containing 
rumpled and half famished pigeons is not a good card of in- 

Yet there are two extremes, a fancier may ship birds in too 
large a box, thus entailing an expense for transporting a lot 
of surplus wood, when the expressage on the pigeons them- 
selves is plenty. 

A man's own judgment should guide him as to the size of 
a shipping box. AVhat is needed is just enough room to keep 
the birds from bring squeezed. For one pair I usually take 
a box about 18 to 20 inches square, and for two pairs a box 
half as much larger. Three pairs of Fantails can go nicely 
in a box 24 inches long by 18 wide. It should be at least 
12 inches and lo high if possible, as height is a great thing 
to stop all danger from either draughts or suffocation. I 
have seen many a fine bird come to a show dead in the box, 
because its owner was too saving of space. 

I have never yet lost a bird from suffocation in shipping, 
in all these years; and I attribute it to the fact that I never 
use a low box. Formerly I used a combination box of wood 
and canvas ; but of late years use only wood. It is useless to 
go to the expense of having fine boxes made, when they can 
be picked up for a song at any grocery store. Again, the 
wood box is far safer than any combination wood and canvas 
box, and the Express companies do not charge any fancy 
rates on it. 

All through the West and South there is a cracker box in 
general use, that makes the very best kind of a shipping 
box. The wood is light yet strong, and a few extra nails will 


makr it jsalV lor a trip uf any distance. If the inside of the 
box is rou-li ;i little paper pasted around the inside, as far 
up as the l.inl> H-ach, and can be put on in a few moments. 
M \ rt- ^ular box when ready for the trip looks like this. 

for Transportation of Birds Sold. 

It will be noticed that there is only one hole in the top, 
Hi. hand-hole, for which every messenger will thank you. 
It offers" him an easy way in which to handle the box, and 
you don't need to tell him for he will take in the situation 
at a glance and use it. There are no other holes in the top 
to let in dirt, and the ventilating holes are far above the 
birds so that no draughts can strike them. Atone corner 
and about two inches from the bottom, cut a square hole just 
large enough to hold an ordinary tin cup. Pry off the lower 
part of the handle, bend it up, and tack it to the end of the 
handle, bend it up, and tack it to the end of the box till 
about one third shows on the outside of the box. 

Then get a common sponge that will till the cup when sat- 
urated, and put It in place.. If the the trip :s a long one, it 
1 to fasten the sponge in. Birds can be sent on a six 
days trip, with a water cup of this kind. 


I always tack on the side near the cup, a card with the re- 
quest in plain letters, " PLEASE WATER HERE. " 

In the bottom of the box, put clean sawdust. It is useless 
to put a feed box inside, for the birds are prone to climb up 
on it and soil the contents. Again ; pigeons do not eat much 
on a trip of this kind, and a handful of feed in one corner is 

For a short trip, say of twenty-four hours, I never put in 
water at all. A bird can easily go so long as that except in 
very hot weather, and never feel it, and this does away with 
any danger of soiling. 

Pigeons do very little fighting while on a railroad trip. The 
noise and bustle and the constant shaking keeps each one 
busy with its own troubles. When possible, always send a 
postal card a day ahead, stating on what train you will ship. 
Also notify the purchaser to give the birds a bath as soon as 
possible, for a bath after a trip is as much of a luxury, as it 
is to one of us. 

Always mark the number of birds in the box plainly on the 
outside. This saves tilting up and peering into the box at 
the express office. 

Write the directions plainly, and also your own address. 
There is then no chance for mistakes and everybody who sees 
the birds in transit, will know who they are from. 



AS sometimes a man sells birds that have been exposed to 
smoke and soot, it is necessary to clean them, for the 
man who lives in the country, or in a small town, can't 
ivali/e how easily birds soil in a city, and is often disposed 
to ro i. < Irmii the bird or the breeder without stopping to think. 
^omrtimt's, really clean birds will have nesting or feeding 
marks, especially when well along in the breeding season. 

The only way to clean birds is to wash them. Formerly I 
not believe in this, but I find by sad experience that it is 
t lie only thing. 

To wash birds, first prepare about three vessels of water? 
(-"it if possible.) Let the first be warm, the second luke- 
warm and the third with the chill just taken off. Into each 
1'iit a little blueing. Take castile soap and make a good lath- 
er in the first vessel. Take the bird in the left hand and first 
wet his wings and tail; spread them on the table, one at a 
time, and gently sponge outward from the body. Don't be 
afraid of hurting the feather for it will stand plenty of scrub- 
bing. Xow get the sponge full of good strong suds, or lath- 
er, and rub down from the head. Rub along the back, down 
the breast, and also wash the legs and feet. 

Get a good lather all over the bird, for a bird half washed 
is a sight. 

Now ri.'.se the sponge and put him into the next vessel ; 

going quickly over him to get all traces of soap off; and then 

into the third, into which you can put his entire body, and 

let him struggle and splash. Have a good coarse towel ready, 

vann if possible, and wrap him in it quickly, then as the 

c-1 absorbs the moisture take him out and let him flutter. 

i put in a wire cage close to a good warmth. I usually 

take a wire mating coop, put clean saw-dust in the bottom, 


and place it on a chair in front of the open stove oven. A 
washed bird looks terribly at first; but soon begins to change. 

The average amateur will be disappointed at first, and 
think he has made a mistake ; but "it all comes out in the 
wash" as -he will find. 

One cannot take the bird out and let it flutter too often, 
that is, as long as it don't chill for this soon gets the fibre 
into condition. After the bird is thoroughly dry, a little 
rubbing with a silk handkerchief, the right way of the feath- 
er is quite a help. Unless the weather is very warm it is 
better to keep the bird in a warm room for at least two hours 
and longer if possible. When every feather is in place, and 
the bird has recovered its natural body heat, the change in 
appearance is wonderful. 

Sponge the head carefully. In making the lather dissolve 
about an ounce of castile soap to two pints of water. Don't 
use too much blueing. A few drops is enough. Some use 
glycerine in the third wash ; but I would not advise the 
amateur to try it. 



IF all the rules that I have given as to wholesome food, 
pure water, plenty of grit, no draughts, and cleanliness 
of the loft, are observed there will be little sickness if 
iiiiv. 1 do not, believe that I have had a really sick bird for 
years. There are times when all the birds seem to get droopy 
and out of condition, and this is always caused by the weath- 
er, or something that has affected their digestive organs. 

The most simple remedies are always the best, and the 
best simple thing to "brace up" a lot of birds is an iron tonic 
which can be made by putting a lot of iron filings into their 
drinking water. These can be had at almost any blacksmith 
shop; but if not at hand, a handful of rusty nails will do. 
Let them impregnate the water thoroughly. I usually keep 
a nail or two in the water at all times. 

I do not believe in this eternal "doctoring" that some fan- 
ciers keep up. 

The man who is always doctoring is never well, and the 
.same rule holds with a bird. 

Sometimes the birds in a whole loft get too fat, and then a 
simple cutting down of the feed will make a decided change. 
It can be put down as a fact that a lean bird is generally a 
healthy bird, and a very fat one is subject to all kinds of 
disease, is drowsy, short-winded, and a poor breeder. 

Still there are diseases that sometimes creep in, and as it 
is well to be prepared for them, I will give their symptoms 
and cures. 


This is almost invariably caused by new feed. It will be 
noticed that the evacuations are very thin and watery, and 
ometimes grow into dysentery, when the passages will be 
found streaked with blood. 


Change diet at once, giving sound hard food, and as it is 
generally the case that the whole loft is affected if the 
disease gets a good hold, put in ten drops of laudanum to 
the quart of drinking water, and let the whole flock drink it. 
For a mild case, in one or two birds, pen them in a warm 
place, and give a few drops of castor oil. 

In this connection I would say that the great remedy in 
many lofts, and in fact about the only one used by many fan- 
ciers is Epsom salts. A pinch of this crammed down the 
bird's throat, reduces fever, cleans out the bowels, and 
works wonders. 


This is a disease that attacks many high bred birds, and 
seems to be like consumption in mankind. At first a bird 
goes slowly, but it soon shows in the dull eye, the ruffled 
plumage, and the general apathy of the bird. I think that 
the primary cause is constitutional weakness caused by close 
inbreeding. Cod liver oil is a good thing, say 5 drops 
morning and night; but it does not seem to be a permanent 
cure, and I rely absolutely on Long's Lozenges, which are 
prepared specially for this disease. 

I had not intended to advertise anybody in this work, yet 
I find that it is an impossibility to refrain from it to a certain 

I use Long's Lozenges, the moment I notice a bird (either 
young or old) begin to show that it is "out of sorts." Half 
a lozenge given to a nestling that is in bad shape will usually 
revive it at once. Often, with a full grown bird, one lozenge 
is all that is necessary. In regard to "going light' 1 I have 
found them a certain cure, if taken in time. 


This is a disease that I detest, and fear. Fortunately I 
have i.ot had a case of it in a long time, and never expect 


another, for I know by experience that it runs in some 
>i rains, mid is inherited in the eyy. 

I look on canker in pigeons as I do on scrofula in children, 
the innocent ones are Hie sufferers. Canker may be dormant 
in ilie system of many a bird, and it takes only rich and 
in judicious feeding, impure water, lack of exercise, and such 
causo, to develop it. It usually shows in the mouth, and 
sometimes in the ear. In old birds, when I had it in my 
loft, I paid little attention to it. (I will say frankly that I 
consider a breeding bird, with canker in its system absolute- 
ly valueless.) It is no good for a breeder. Watch conditions 
ever so carefully, and the disease will show in the young, 
and I do not consider a cankered young bird worth saving. 

A fancier may dislike to kill a finely bred young bird that 
shows canker; but if he will take my advice he will kill it at 
once, and try and forget about it as soon as possible. 

If a fancier wishes to cure canker for the time being, 
let him take a common w r ood tooth-pick and pry out the 
cheesy matter. lie very careful and not draw blood: if he 
does, let him soak it up with cotton, for it is poison, pure 
and simple. 

Thru use any ordinary cathartic, and give the bird actions 
of the bowels. Then build up the bird with any tonic stimu- 

ant . 

A good lotion is made up of glycerine and carbolic acid, 
ten drops of the first to one of the last. Often, by following 
the above directions, a bird may be gotten into shape, but I 
am willing to stake my reputation as a fancier, that the 
disease will again show, either in the bird itself or its young. 

Again let me go on record as stating that a bird with canker 
system is not worth a penny, and time spent on it is 



This is hardly a disease, and happens to all sorts of hens, 
but usually to small, high-bred, and therefore weak ones. 
Pull a few of the feathers from around the vent, and hold the 
bird over steam as hot as it can bear. This will cause her to 
relax. Then with the little ringer, apply sweet oil to the 
vent, rubbing up as far as possible, put her back on the nest, 
and she will generally come through all right. 


Do not be in a hurry to condemn a hen that seems barren. 
I have known them to be barren for their first year, and be 
all right forever after. Again I have known an old hen to 
be barren for one season, and then come right. This is some- 
thing that man's skill cannot assist. The only thing to do, 
is to let her go, trusting for a change for the better. Some- 
times the hen will readily adopt a pair of eggs put under her 
and the rest of hatching, and the work of feeding young, 
seem to change the conditions of her system, and she goes 
to laying at the proper time. If she goes two seasons with- 
out laying, she is of no use. 


This is due to many causes. Sometimes a blow may do it. 
Sometimes it is caused by overfeeding and lack of exercise, 
and sometimes it is due to scrofula, which shows in a deposit 
around the joints. 

To cure it, look over the bird carefully, and find where the 
sore place is located. Then pluck the feathers all around 
it, and paint it with tincture of iodine. Xow, the strain 
must be taken entirely from the wing, so one must either 
put the bird by itself in a low coop, where it cannot possibly 
fly, or else pluck the wing feathers. I like this latter plan 
best, by far. for often it has the same effect as plucking the 


tail <>l a sik bird. A sling can be made to hold up the 
\\in.u.butl would not advise it. It sounds all right, but is 
not practical. 


1 have had many letters about this disease, and my invari- 
able reply is "kill the bird." It is a disease of the brain, 
and is nearly always fatal. I suppose that birds sometimes 
gel "\ er it, but I have yet to see a recovery from a well de- 
lined case. The best thing to do when you see the bird fall 
ing and staggering is to make a cut in the roof of its 
mouth enough to bleed it quite freely; if this fails, kill 
it, and put it out of misery. 


When you see a bird fluttering on the floor, pushing itself 
along instead of walking, it has worms. I am glad to say 
that it is not a common disease, and also that it is very easy to 
cure. Get the common worm seed from any drug store, and 
give a pinch of them morning and night for two days. Open 
the beak, and get them thoroughly down If you cannot 
get worm seed, get any kind of worm lozenges, and give one 
a day for three days. 


This disease is the same as roup in chickens, and shows 
by a running at the nostrils and eyes. It can be cured easily 
by taking it in time, and, as it is very infectious, all cases 
.' hi.uld be removed at once. As roup is usually produced by 
di aughts, or continued dampness in the loft, a complete 
change of surroundings is the first requisite. Put the bird 
varm sunny room or coop with a board floor, dry saw- 
dust, and no draughts. Then give Epsom salts, a pinch per 

1 the discharge is stopped, and the bird seems lively, 
mid impres ; on the fancier, however, the folly of tak- 
little cold for roup. When a man has a slight cold 


we do not fill him up with medicine for consumption. As I 
have hinted I am not much of a believer in medicine for 
pigeons. The great point is to keep the loft clean, and the 
birds hungry, and the bugbear of "Sickness in the Loft" 
will be unknown. 


There are many little mishaps that occur in the loft that 
are hardly worthy of being given a heading. If for instance 
a bird is crop-bound, give castor oil, to affect the lower 
bowels, and then gently knead the crop till the food is in 
better condition to assimilate. 

If the fancier will carefully examine the droppings of any 
affected bird, he will find that a disordered liver is the basis 
of nine-tenths of all pigeon troubles. Shutting off feed is one 
of the best general remedies known, and it is a very good 
idea to practice this in conjunction with the giving of med- 

Sometimes a fancier will imagine that his squabs are sick, 
when the fact is they are nearly eaten up by lice every night. 
They drain every particle of vitality, and, from the fact that 
they come out only at night, and cannot be seen by day, 
the fancier imagines that his birds are wasting away, and 
proceeds to dose them with medicine. 

There is quite a lot of pigeon talk about diptheria. and I 
have read long treatises full of scientific terms regarding it, 
but caie nothing for them. It is claimed that the little white 
swellings on the side of the neck can be cut open, the con- 
tents taken out etc. In my opinion, when a youngster 
starts in life with his neck in such a condition, when you be- 
gin cutting his neck, you may as well keep on, and cut off 
his head. I do not wish to be considered cruel, but it is a 
mercy to them, and a mercy to the offspring that may come 
in after years. I would rather have ten good sound birds, 


th:in our hundred just as good looking-, but impregnated 
\\ith inliniird diseases, and it is by following what I have 
-aid. thai to-day, if I miss hatching and raising a good 
-oiind \ Minister from each and every egg. It is because the 
| hicks fertility. 

It i> a good thing to watch young pigeons at two times in 
tlu-ir career. First, when the mother lays the second time, 
and the old ones are disposed to feed them hurriedly, with- 
out giving the food time to digest in their own crops. Again 
\\ lu-n the parents stop feeding them, and the young have to 
hustle for themselves. At this latter time they are apt to eat 
anything and everything that they can swallow, and take 
grain that is too coarse. Care should be taken to have fine 
feed where they can get it. 

The beginner should beware of the danger of over-crowd- 
ing his loft. The proper thing is to decide, (by experience, 
if possible,) just how many pairs the loft can comfortably 
accommodate, and then never begin the season with more 
than that number. 



THIS is a point 011 which a whole book might well be 
written. Disguise it as we may, deny it as we may, 
the fact still remains that the show room is the Mecca 
of all our efforts in the fancy. 

Even the sedate fancier, who loves birds for themselves 
alone, who rarely sells one and can therefore never expect to 
make his hobby self-supporting, will find himself ever and 
anon sending a few of his birds to some nearby show " just 
to show the boys what he can turn out. ' 

No matter what the result of his first attempt, we are cer- 
tain to see him again at further shows; for, if he is beaten 
the first time, he comes bravely to the front next time to 
" show the boys that they can't do it again." Or if he wins, 
he tries it again to "show the boys that he still has winners 
and can breed them. " 

A desire to excel is inherent in us all, and that is what 
makes the show of the present a matter that is thought of 
and talked about from one year's end to the other, by en- 
thusiastic fanciers. 

Showing successfully is based on just three things. First, 
good birds. Second, good condition, and third but not 
least in having birds trained. There are some birds that 
need little training, but any bird, and I care not what its va- 
riety, will gain several points in the estimation of the judge, 
if it is at home in the pen and is not afraid of him. Now let 
us take an example, and, as the pigeon is a pet, we will take 
by way of comparison, that greatest of pets, the dog. 

Suppose a friend shows you two dogs exactly alike in 
weight, shape and color, and everything else ; in fact so much 
alike that you cannot tell them apart. He asks you which 


U thr !x IUT Ido king dog, and you speak to them. One wags 
his tail, I.M,U> up at you with a great beaming eye full of 
atlVrtioii. lirks your hand, and capers around to show oft'. 

'I 'In- dlicr, when you raise your hand to pat him. shies off 
;u il stands there with bis tail between his legs, watching 
\oii\\ith fear and trembling, and with evident indications 
that he Mi>)>ects you of being a dog thief. 

Now what would you say? You would pat the loving dog- 
on the head and say, "this is a beauty; one of the finest dogs 
I ever saw ; but as for that cur, I wouldn't take him as a 
gifi. A good judge feels drawn to a good pigeon in the 
same way, and he detests a bird that nutters and struggles 
wildly around, every time he comes near it. I am pretty 

ud natured, but a lot of wild birds will get me terribly out 
of humor when I am judging. It is impossible forme, or 
any other judge to take in the good points of a wild bird 
that is scrambling up on the side of the pen, and throwing 
sawdust, feed and water all over me and my book, just at the 
time I want it to stand still. 

To return to the three points ; the good birds can be bred, 
and the good condition can be produced if one has patience. 

First, the bird must be clean. Not alone the feathers, but 
the legs and feet, and the beak. I have already shown that 
washing, if practised carefully, will remove all dirt from the 
plumage, but to show the said plumage in the best condition, 
one must not delay the washing till just before the show. If 
a bird is washed a month before the show, and then kept in. 
a warm, dry cellar, where not a ray of sunlight can touch it, 
the change in its appearance w^ill be wonderful. The sun is 
a great thing for health, but it destroys that beautiful lustre 
that Nature has put on most pigeons. A little rubbing with 
: handkerchief just before a show, is a great help, and 
and feet should be rubbed with vinegar. A drop or 


two of oil rubbed on the beak and not allowed to touch the 
feathers, makes it fresh and bright. 

Now is the time that the long tier of training pens comes 
in. Put each bird in a pen by itself, and run pasteboards be- 
tween the coops, so that not one bird in the line can see any 
other. Don't let any pens face other ones. The point is to 
keep each and every bird from laying eyes on another pigeon 
until it is in its proper pen in the show room. Give a little 
hemp each day in addition to the other feed. Keep the bird 
on fresh pine sawdust if possible. 

Now to train. Teach the bird not to fear either you or any 
thing else. Rap the pen smartly with the training stick. 
Shake cloths in front of the birds; in fact break them just as 
you would a timid horse. The more noise you make, the 
more ridiculous gyrations you go through, the better. When 
you are done, that string of birds will know that nothing is 
going to hurt them. Now gain their friendship and confi- 
dence. Keep them hungry enough to be glad to see you, as 
you go down the line. Have them pine after your company. 
Open the slides often and put your hand in gently, and have 
some excuse for touching them with the training stick, as 
often as possible. Stroke them with it, and have them under-, 
stand that it can't possibly hurt them. Use a white stick, 
for that is the color the average judge uses, and the birds 
will be used to it. 

All this may sound foolish, but there is method in it. I 
know of no place where there is more noise and confusion 
than in a show room, especially for the first few days of the 
show. It has never yet been my good fortune to begin judg- 
ing in a show room where everything was ready, and when 
the hammering and sawing etc. was enough to have its effect 
on an old timer like myself, think of what effect it must 
have had on nervous birds. 


i In- great necessity of training young birds so that 
when human beings of either sex come past the front of the 
l-ens. they will be glad to see them. Of all the different va- 
ietio of birds, none will stand training better than Pouters. 
Funtail> come next, but I have seen birds of almost every 
known kind, come to the front of the pens, and "play" to 
the judge. 

I remember at one of the first shows I ever judged, years 
ago, I was taking my first look along the string of short 
lace Tumblers, and came across a little Almond hen. She 
looked so small, and so pitiful, and lonesome, that I spoke 
kindly to her, and, much to my surprise she brightened up, 
and came to the front of the pen, and curteysied to me in the 
most charming manner. We had quite a flirtation, and I 
soon had her so that when I cooed to her, she would strut in 
the most self-satisfied way I ever saw. 

We became great friends, and it is needless to say that 
when I was through with that class, a nice blue ribbon 
adorned her coop. I would not have hurt her feelings by 
giving her anything less. 

1 merely quote this little incident to show how the average 
judge is drawn towards a bird that is thoroughly trained to 
the pen. A bird that shows confidence in, and affection for 
h i in . 

If ooe wants to get station on his birds, and if they are in- 
( lined to crouch, a good idea is to run canvas around the 
training pens, half or two thirds of the way up, so that the 
bird is compelled to stand erect to see out. 

Very naturally the man who shows Carriers, Barbs, etc., 

must see that their wattles are perfectly clean. Too much 

care cannot be spent on them, and the washing of Carrier's 

should be done some two weeks before the show, so 

will have time to appear. 


With Barbs the washing should be done the day of the 
show. A little oil on the eye wattles is a great help, and I 
see no wrong in putting it on. If a show is not to show how 
a bird looks when in the very pink of condition, what is it 
for? I do not think that anything of this kind comes under 
the head of "artificial alteration." 

Perhaps it is a good idea to warn the fancier that he must 
not be too sanguine. I firmly believe that the great majority 
of judges are honest, but some of them have some very queer 

There is no question but that some judges attempt too 
much. They may be thoroughly conversant with say half a 
dozen breeds, but entirely at sea on others. Again, some 
are misled by the fact that certain big breeders are showing- 
certain birds. They give too much weight to the name of 
the exhibitor, and sometimes pass by a most meritorious 
bird, that some struggling and almost unknown fancier has 
turned out. Sometimes it is turned out, I will admit, by the 
veriest chance, but, no "matter how it was bred, if the bird 
has real meiit, that merit should be rewarded. I have come 
across many a bird so good that its breeder had no conception 
of its actual value, but he generally found it out, by the sud- 
den interest that the old timers began to take in it. 



TJKKSK of us who have visited shows year after year, 
know what mistakes are made by fanciers who are 
rii her thoughtless or- though I dislike to say it 
parsimonious at the very time they should be most liberal. 
What is thii use of breeding a line bird, training it, and get- 
ting ii in perfect condition for a show, and then sending it 
in ;i miserable little box, to save a few cents express charges? 

I have seen valuable birds come in dirty little boxes, all 
jammed together, with absolutely nothing by which the show 
attendants could judge where they belonged. With no way 
by which the birds could be watered or fed, save by break- 
ing locks, or breaking the boxes. With absolutely nothing 
l>y which the secretary could judge where they came from 
or who owned the birds. 

In boxes so insignificant and so "cheap" looking, that 
they would be pushed in under the tables or in some corner, 
and stay there till, perhaps a day later, the secretary told 
the attendants to hunt around the hall, and among the 
i-mpty boxes and see if they could find the birds of so and so. 

Sometimes they are locked, and the attendants not having 
keys, set the boxes aside till the secretary can hunt among 
a lot in his pocket. Naturally, he is very busy, and the mat- 
ter is put off. 

Sometimes the box is large enough, but it is in two com- 
partments, with the entry tags tacked in a bunch over each. 
There may be just two kinds of birds, but the sexes and the 
young classes are put in all together, so that the attendants 
must take out each bird, guess at what it is, guess at its sex, 
and guess at its age, and those who have seen the average 
attendant at a show, know how fitted he is for this. Often 
he may be a well posted man, and may use his best judg- 



ment, but the bird will be "entered in wrong class " and so 
lie is disqualified. I have seen several boxes opened in my 
time, in which every bird was dead; smothered to death. 

Again, the attendant, the world over, is just the same. 
If he opens a box, in which every bird is properly tagged, 
with its class, sex, etc., so plainly shown that anybody can 
tell where it goes, he does not waste any time, but puts every 
bird in its nice airy show pen, where it is quickly watered, 
and fed, and made to feel at home. 

Shipping Box for Shows. 

But, let him open a box in which is one of the "jumbles" 
to which I have referred, and he will pick up a bird or two, 
call two or three helpers, to assist him, and between them 
they will say, "Oh ! let this go till we have more time; we 
don't know where they go." So the birds, crowded, hungiy 
and thirsty, are set to one side, to wait until the last thing. 


Lgain, there are some fanciers who have nearly the right 
kind (!' shipping coop, but not quite, because they have one 
lower lid that covers the whole lot. If you open the lid over 
one compartment, it opens overall the others, and wild birds 
will continually escape. 

There is just exactly one kind of box to ship to a show. 
One and no other; and that is a box with a double lid and a 
compartment for each bird, with the lid for that compart- 
ment Kfparate from the others. 

A box of this kind will last a life time. I am going to de- 
scribe it carefully so that no fancier can say he didn't know 
how to make it. First decide on the number of birds you 
want it to hold, and as to compartments be governed by the 
si/.e of the birds. I used to believe in a Y shaped compart- 
ment for small birds, but have seen so many birds smothered 
of late years, that I am now in favor of a square for each. 

The V shaped saved room, that's all. A bird's head would 
go towards the front in one, and vice versa in the next, and 
it was very complete and nice, but just exactly the size for 
an express messenger to " pitch ' into the wagon, or out on 
the walk. I don't like these nice little "handy" boxes. 
They are too handy. 

But to return to the proper box. Make it a little higher 
han you need, so that the false lid will be just high enough 
or ventilation. The lid proper is simply for protection. 

In the false lid, bore plenty of holes. In fact if it is more 

s than lid, so much the better. Then make holes all the box above the false lid, but not in the lid proper. 

;i the lid with four large screws. One need not fear 

i.r the thief who has made up his mind to steal birds 

..r more easily break a padlock or force a staple, than 

he can unscrew four large screws. Again ; the lock could be 


broken in about one twentieth of the time that it would take 
to unscrew the lid. Few boxes are broken into in transit. 
When birds are stolen, they are generally taken out of the 
exhibition pens, in the show room. 

No matter in what position this box is placed, there are 
always air holes by which all foul air can pass out. If it is 
put closely in one corner of a car, there are two sides, the ven- 
tilating holes of which can work. 

On the lid of each compartment it is easy to put a small 
card with directions so plain that an idiot would almost 
know what to do with the bird beneath. 


1 BELIEVE that I have now taken the reader through 
all the little details of pigeondom. I have tried to show 
him just how to go to work to breed sucessfully either 
for pleasure or profit, or both. 

In closing this portion of the work I can say that I have 
laid down no rules, have offered no suggestions, that are not 
based on actual experience. If the reader will follow closely 
my advice, I believe that he will succeed. 

It now remains for me/to take up the different varieties, one 
after the other, and show to the best of my ability, what 
constitutes "the typical bird*' in each variety. I will try and 
not show any partiality, but treat the birds which are not 
known as "popular" with the same care that I bestow on 
the others. 



THIS bird has been known for many years, as the "King 
<>' the Doos," a name given him in Scotland, where he 
is bred to as near perfection as in any country on earth, 
lit- ili-si-rvrd to be called the "King" of the doves, for no other 
pigeon has his royal presence, his stately appearance, and 
his consequential manner. 

The best authorities all agree that the Pouter was pro- 
duced by a cross between the Dutch Cropper, and the Horse- 
man. One of the oldest authorities (Willoughby) says that 
the Cropper was so called "because by attracting in the air 
they can and do blow up their crop to that strange bigness 
that they exceed the bulk of the whole body besides." I 
imagine that in those days the globe was about, 99 points, 
and length 1. 

We may as well understand in the start that the crop, or 
globe is not by any means the whole Pouter. In a walking- 
pen, the judge has little time to determine which bird does 
or does not blow the largest globe. 

If one watches him, (provided a looker-on is allowed) he 
will notice that almost the first thing the judge does is to 
begin looking over the tall birds. Given all other points 
equally, the tallest bird will get first place, that is if his legs 
are put on right. 

. It was not so long ago, that length of feather was the one 
great cry, and the bird that could reach the furthest along a 
tape line was considered a "pouter all over" but in this day 
10 inches in males, and 18 to 18 1-2 in females suits the 
best breeders. 

What all are now striving for is the hollow back, the up- 


( Feathered World.) 




right carriage, a long slender vaist, with wings tightly fit- 
ting, and clean and tapering at the points, and not loose and 
cocked out. If I could put the desideratum in Pouters, into 
one word, I would use the word "symmetry" for that covers 

I would point to all breeders that the proper bird consists 
of tapering lines, with no unsightly breaks, from skull to end 
of tail feather. 

As to legs. Xo longer do we have the insane idea that 
great boots are a necessity. I think they detract from the 
looks of the bird, and interfere with the lines of harmony. 

Mere length of 1 nib does not count. A long leg may be 
et on badly, or it may lack the graceful bend. A shorter 
leg set on right, knees close, with stocking boots, is far 
nearer the ideal. 

The globes of the present day, are nearing perfection with 
each generation. The great, coarse, rough, loosely hanging 
globe has been relegated to the past, and it is now shapely 
and conforms to the appearance of the rest of the bird. What 
is far more important, the bird carries his globe in front, 
and not partially on the back of his neck, thus spoiling his 

As to color, the day when a badly built bird, the markings 
of which were perfect, could win, is past. The best fanciers 
only care for a color distinctive enough to show in which 
class the bird should be entered, and that done, they trust to 
his contour and his training. It is hard to say which color 
is the most popular. As stated, color is the last thing now. 

In impressing the beauty of the hollow back I quote 
George Ure, who is surely a standard authority. He says 
"the hollow back is a sure sign of good breeding, and a bird 
possessing this is sure to have other good points. It is a 


A Little Overdrawn. 


natural sequence that this should be so, a hollow back caus- 
ing a bird to be well knit together. Such a Pouter as need., 
must, carry himself well and strip his limbs when showing to 
fullest advantage." 

Alter all, there is not so much change in what have al- 
ways been considered the great "points" in the pouter. For 
we find in the first American standard ever published, that 
the committee gave the greatest points ( 12 each ) to "slen- 
derness of girth" and "length and shape of legs" and then 
came "size and .s7m/ie of crop" 10 points. This was in pied 
birds. In off colors and whites 14 points each were given 
to the two first mentioned properties. 

I think that the following description of a young pouter 
cock, imported last year, gives briefly what constitute* a 
typical Pouter. The enthusiast who saw him says, "He is 
extra long, well marked, splendid, clean, well-feathered 
limbs, and stands when in position like a picture. For 
roundness of globe and slimness of girth we have never seen 
his equal." 

Urieily, the above is the Pouter 'for which all are striving. 
It tells the whole story. 

There is much variance of opinion as to the breeding 
qualities of Pouters. Some claim that they are no good, ana 
their young must be hatched by other pigeon: , but imn.y 
good bleeders take * nly one egg, and allow the old pair to 
raise the other. It is claimed that the percentage of loss is 
i.o greater than in any well bred pigeon. Sone good author- 
ities claim that it interferes with the shape of a Pouter, to 
allow it to feed its own young. Yet we should remember 
that nature expects something of die kind from eveiy pig- 
eon whether it be artificial or not, and the Pouu r is no ex- 

I do not think that too much feeding of young is a good 


tiling, and would therefore suggest a shorter breeding .sea- 
son for the Pouter than for perhaps any other variety. Be- 
gin in April, and separate about the first ot' September, and 
little harm can come to any Pouter. There are many who 
pay a great deal, perhaps too much, attention to mating 
Pouters for proper marking, but this idea is rapidly dying 
out. Shape, not color is the primary point now. Years ago. 
an old Scotch fancier took the ground that a Pouter is a 
bird of "shape" not color. Good markings are much to be 
desired, but the most perfect marking known, on a poor 
bird as to shape, would amount to nothing. And so the 
rising fancier who is so charmed with snips and ring necks, 
swallow throat, and bishop wings, and who would turn in 
disgust, from a Kite wing, should go a little further and see 
what sort of a shaped bird is carrying such nice marks. A 
''broken' 1 eye, and a stained tail, are not such awful things 
if a lordly bird is carrying them. 

And we must not forget that in these days of close compe- 
tition, Pouters are judged in a walking pen. A Pouter may 
be well trained for the single pen. He may blow a good 
globe, tight and round, and may move with ease and grace, 
but put, him in the walking pen, and he will blow out of 
shape, and "sprawl" and stagger back till he is stopped by 
the sides of the pen. 

Few Pouters are marked just right 011 the shoulders, for 
some are too gay and some not gay enough, and some have 
no shoulder marks. If good judges are selected, men who 
have spent years in breeding this wonderful and beautifu 
bird, it is safe to say that they will pay far more attention 
to the real Pouter qualities than to "color," no matter what 
it may be. 

In all colored varieties, the entire under part of the body 
must be white. The line begins across the breast, and it ex- 


What They May Come To. 


tends to thighs, legs and feet, and also takes in the flights. 

In Blacks and Blues the color extends to ends of tail, and 
the Blues should have black bars on wings. 

In all the pied birds the head is colored, albo the neck and 
back, the wing coverts and the crop, except the "crescent'' 
which is a baud of white of the shape of a new moon or cres- 
cent which passes around the front of the crop, and reaches 
nearly to the eyes. 

The "bib" as the colored patch is called, comes down from 
the throat, and forms the upper part of the crescent, and it 
should be large and sharp. 

On the shoulders should be a small circular patch of white 
feathers, called the "rose," or "rose pinion," but these 
should be on the shoulder, and not begin on the wing butt. 

There are white Pouters, but no solid Blacks, Blues, Reds 
or Yellows. In factthe only self colored Pouter is the white. 
The pieds run in black, blue, red and yellow, which are the 
standard colors, but there are also Splashes, Checquers, 
Sandies, Mealies, and Silvers, which are called "off-colored" 

In blacks and blues the beak is dark ; in yellows it is a 
flesh ; in reds a pale red, and in whites a pale flesh. 

In whites a dark beak, or any eye except "bull," disquali- 

One of the greatest troubles about the Pouter is its ten- 
dency to "gorge" or to fill its crop so full that it hangs like 
a wet bag, and interferes with digestion, to say nothing of 
drawing the poor bird over till it cannot stand. A gorged 
Pouter is a pitiable sight, and it is strange how some men 
who ought to know how to relieve them, make mistakes. 
Sometimes they gorge just at the wrong time i. e. when put 
in the show pen preparatory to judging. This is always 


caused by carelessness of the attendant, who does not know 
of the gorging proclivities of Pouters. 

Some fanciers put the gorged bird in a padded box that 
holds up the crop. A narrow box, set up on end, is the prop- 
er thing, and all one needs is to use judgment. As long as 
there is no digestion going on the crop will remain as it is, 
and keep growing worse. Sometimes it is nearly all a water 
crop, and then it can be gently squeezed, (holding the bird's 
head down) and the water will run out. 

But sometimes the gorging is so bad that the stomach will 
not act at all, and then the only thing to do is to cut the 
crop open, clean it out and sew it up with silk thread, or 
silver wire. 

Of course the crop proper and the outer skin must be 
sewed separately. 

The operation is nearly always a success, but often the 
bird goes right to gorging again, and should be carefully fed 
for a while after. 



Hi: AD Fine, small and narrow in proportion to the size of 
tin* bird, forming an elongated arch from the base of the beak 
and measuring 1 0-8 inch from tip of beak to centre of eye. 

BEAK Fine, mandible straight, upper slightly curved at 

BEAK WATTLE Small and fine in texture. 

EVE Full and of mild expression. 

EYE CEKE Very line and threadlike. 

NECK Long and furnished with a large globular crop, for- 
ward in position. 

BODY (1) Shoulders small and flat or "wall-shouldered," 
and tight to the body. (2) Back narrow and long with a 
grooved line from base of neck towards rump. (3) Rump- 
narrow, shallow, straight and smooth. (4) Breast narrow, 
long and convex, showing very little keel. (5) Belly narrow 
and tapering to the vent. 

WINGS Long and shallow, close to body showing waist and 
upper part of thigh, tapering to flights, which should be 
long, broad in web of feather, and tapering to end of tail, up- 
on which they should rest. 

TAIL Long, narrow, straight with body, round ended, 
nearly touching the ground and with the wings presenting a 
wedge-shaped appearance from shoulders to tip of tail. 

CARRIAGE Upright . 

ACTION Free, lively and graceful. 

LENGTH From 18 inches in hens to 21 inches in cocks, 
measured from tip of beak to end of tail. 

LIMBS On a scale at the rate of 3-8 inch in limb to 1 inch 
in feather, measured from thigh joint to tip of toe nail. (1) 
Front View Placed well back from crop, insertion close, 
thigh and hock joint straight, inclining inwards, from thence 
to foot inclining outwards very slightly. (2) Side View 


Following the line of body with convex line on fore side of 
thigh to hock, slightly concave on the opposite side, and 
straight from hock to foot. (3) Generally lengthy both in 
thigh and shank, long and in proportion, feathered closely 
and evenly, presenting a stocking-like appearance. 

TOES Well feathered to tip, and not cramped. 

COLORS Yellow, red, black, blue, (standard pieds) and 

MARKINGS The above colors cover the bird with the excep- 
tion (1) of a white crescent on crop, the horns of which reach 
to about an inch from each eye (2) of a few white feathers, 
about a dozen, on the shoulders (in the shape of a rose) and 
white primary flights (3) of white on all the body behind a 
line encircling the centre of the waist. 

In the case of blacks and blues, color of the tail same as 
body color, and blues must have black bars on the wings. 

In yellows and reels, a colored tail is preferred if of as good 
color as the body. 

Whites have no marking. 

COLOR OF EYE In pied birds red or orange, and in whites a 
bull eye. 

COLOH OF BEAK In blacks and blues, black, and in other 
colors flesh colored. 



THESE neat and pretty little pets seem to have had quite 
a struggle in achieving popularity, for as late as 1896? 
there were only about three lofts in this country, where 
they were bred to any degree of excellence. Of late, however 
they are becoming quite the thing, and are being rapidly 
taken up by fanciers. 

It seems useless to devote a chapter to them, as they are 
simply Pouters proper, on a small scale. 

The same slender body, good legs, full, but even globe, and 
upright station that governs the large Pouter, holds good in 
Pigmies, and the great point is to get the proper proportions. 

Any tendency to coarseness will not do at all ; in fact the 
very smal In ess of the bird makes fine and delicate lines of 
symmetry the great desideratum. They come in all colors 
and are rapidly becoming nearly as good in contour as the 
large birds. The cousequental airs put on by the little fel- 
lows, seem to endear them to all lovers of pigeons. 

There is one point that is bound to make the Pigmy Pouter 
popular, and that is, the very evident tendency to breed all 
pigeons down in size. Outside of Runts, Duchesse and birds 
of that type, the lines are drawn more closely year by year 
and the small, gracefully built bird is driving his coarser 
brother out of the field. 

As the greatest point in the Pigmy is his dimiuutiveness, 
we may look to see a great rivalry as to who can produce the 
smallest specimens. 

AMY >nc \vlio has ever seen a lot of Pigmies being judged 
in the walking ](C .,i will admit that they are peculiarly 
''taking' little fellows, and their assumption of such exao-- 



gerated dignity, clothed in such small bodies, draws one to 
them and makes them great favorites. 

I can remember when there was more rivalry in Pouters 
proper, than in perhaps any other variety, and there is no 
reason why the same condition should not exist with Pigmies. 
Quite a number of enthusiasts are taking them up and we 
may look for large entries at our shows in the future. 




IN taking up this beautiful and interesting variety I wish 
to go on record at once, in not admitting that the fantail 
fanciers of this modern day recognize those two old bug- 
bears of the fancy, the English and Scotch types. By this I 
mean, that while each may exist as a type of something of 
the past, the Fantail of to-day is a happy combination of the 
best points in the two types. Of these two styles or types, it 
is needless to say much, for their history is known to all fan- 
tail men who are at all posted. The Scotch bird was a small, 
tight, beautifully bodied bird, with great style and a funnel 
shaped tail. In short, it was all style arid action. The Eng- 
lish fan was larger, with a tendency to loose feather, coarse 
head and neck, but with an enormous tail. The English 
seemed to breed for a grand tail alone and cared little for 
other points. 

The modern fantail has the beautiful body of the Scotch 
type, and as near the English tail as a bird so much smaller 
can carry ; but the tail, instead of being loose and rough, and 
''laced" on the ends, as the English used to like it, is hard 
and stiff, with a great broad feather with firm and rounded 
end, and each feather in place. The "bunches"' and ''splits" 
that were so common in the old English bird have no place 

Those who have kept pace w r ith pigeon literature of late 
years, will admit that there have been more articles on the 
Fantail than any other variety. I do not know that the fan- 
tail fanciers are any more prolific writers, but somehow their 
hearts were in their work. I have vast files of fantail liter- 
ature, but, as all tend to the one point, that the modern or 
combination bird is the bird there is little use in reproduc- 
ing any opinions. 


Blue. White. 

Saddle. Black. 

(Feathered Werld.) 




Years ago "tail count " was a great factor in the fantail, 
and I have seen birds with over fortj feathers in their tails, 
but now we often see them with only twenty-eight and thir- 
ty, and they are far superior in every respect. As stated, the 
battle of the types, which raged so hotly for so many years 
is over and an amicable peace has been declared, and the type 
of fan that wins to-day in America would win in either Scot- 
laud or England, or anywhere where fantails are bred. 

As far as I now see, the only rock from which we must 
steer away, is that of getting our birds " overstyled, " a point 
which not only makes them of little use for breeding, but 
tends to destroy their graceful carriage. 

There is no question but that the Fantail, (as it exists to- 
day, or nearly so,) is one of the oldest known breeds. We 
can go back a long way in history and tind them, though the 
old Indian birds were nearly all crested birds which, by the 
way, are rapidly going out of date, for the reason that the 
crest spoils the delicate lines of the head or neck. 

The impression exists that the white crested fan is the only 
fan bred in India; but this is a great mistake for they are 
bred over there in every self color, and in Saddles and Splash- 
es in far greater proficiency than we can breed them. Yet we 
can go clear back to the time when India was unknown, and 
find the fantail one of the most popular birds of the golden 
days of the Roman empire. 

Before speaking of how to breed and care for fans, 1 will 
take up what is considered by all fanciers, the model of this 
day and age. 

The beak should be thin and riiie, not short and blunt. 
The head should be fine and " snaky. ' The eye should be 
as large and full as possible, with that soft, affectionate look 
so vastly different from the eagle eye of the Homer. 


The neck must be thin and of a graceful taper from the 
head to chest, and must not be too short in proportion to the 
body, nor too long, for one is as bad as the other. If it is too 
long there is a tendency to drop the head over one side of the 
cushion, and if too short it will not reach to the spot just in 
the centre of the cushion where it should always rest when 
the bird is on "parade.'' 

The general idea is to get the bird as small as possible, yet 
as nearly round as can be. The breast should look like a 
ball, and yet, when you view it from either side or from front 
or rear, it should be all graceful curves. Back slightly hol- 
low, so that the head can rest nicely on the cushion. 

The wings should be well set on and should look like a part 
of the body, and not stand out. In looking at the bird from 
the front, the wing butts should barely show where they are 
and that is all. A narrow bird will not only show bold and 
outstanding wing butts, but it is generally wedge-shaped at 
the cushion, and such a cushion cannot carry a good broad 
tail. A weak rump will not hold a tail in good position. In 
other words, the bird will not " balance " well and this all 
tends to show how very necessary the ball shape is. 

I cannot lay down any rules as to length of flights, but a 
bird with very long flights carried out behind it, lacks har- 
mony of shape. The same rule applies to the legs. How of- 
ten do we see a grand little bird with legs so stilty as to spoil 
its general contour. We see them perfect in all else, but 
with legs so short that they look " stunted. ' 

The tail must be regular and even, and the feathers as 
broad and stiff as possible. Each feather must be in place 
in its regular row in the rnmp, and there must be no open 
place, or "split" in the centre, nor "bunches' down on the 
side. In cases of bunches it will usually be found that the 
feathers grow so closely in the rump, that there is no room 


for them to grow evenly, and some are set in crooked. A 
child's mouth, when too many teeth come at once, is on the 
same principle exactly. 

This tail must be flat, or very slightly saucer shaped and 
must be carried up and back. A bird with a pot lid tail, i. e. 
a tail carried over the head, is as bad as a scoop ; though I 
would rather breed from the first mentioned. 

When the bird stands in position, the ends of the flights. 
and the lower ends of the tail should just touch the floor. 

Xow add to this the proper motion (up and down,) of the 
head, and the tip-toe walk, and we have the fantail of the 

Of course "station "is a great point; but the bird I have 
described above would, of necessity, have the right station, 
and it could not sprawl around, get its head past its cushion, 
thrust out one leg and push with it, and look miserable. 

Perhaps I ought to speak of the value of an extra stiff tail. 
It is this; it will nut fray on the ends every time it touches 
anything, and it will ward off the flights when they strike 
it, and allow them to drop into place. Flights, provided the 
bird is built right, will not catch in a good stiff tail, but are 
prone to lodge and *' pinch " in a soft tail, that gives way to 
the harder feathers of the flights. A good tai! may be ruined 
in a few days in this way, and while the average judge will 
take his stick and push the flights into position in the pen. 
if he notices that the bird puts them back, he will couni 
against it every time. 

I consider fautails the equals of almost any of the varieties 
as breeders. Given fertile eggs, and their average percent- 
age of birds raised is equal to any, but there is always more 
or less trouble with young, high-styled cocks, for it is im- 
possible for them to fertilize. I have seen thousands of 


instances where ;i cock would approach a crouching hen, and 
by being overcome by nervous action, go backwards, across 
an entire loft floor. I have heard of an English cock that 
\\a> i \\elve years old before he fertilized, and I, myself, have 
had many that were absolutely useless, until their second or 
third year. 

In cases of this kind, and with any pair that are not tried 
and true breeders, it is a good idea to cut the tails of both 
cock and hen. I trim the hen with a circular trim, say two 
inches long, taking care to cut the lower tail feathers very 
close to the rump. The cock's tails I leave much longer, cut- 
ting both sides and merely a fraction of the top, as my ex- 
perience has been that this gives them a better chance to 
maintain their balance. 

Speaking further of cutting, I would give as a rule always 
to be remembered, never cut a fantail's wing. If it pinches its 
tail with its wings, cut the tail rather than the w r ings. A 
high-styled bird depends very largely on its wings to keep 
its balance, and an overstyled bird without the help of its 
flights, which it drops to the floor to steady itself, is like a 
man with a pair of legs, but no feet. This is a very crude 
simile, but a true one. 


There are also booted fans and plenty of them in this coun- 
try ; but they cannot be called popular. Year by year, fewer 
of the large shows make classes for them. Most of them are 
very coarse, and with bad tails, often large in spread, but 
very irregular. Booted fans come in all colors; but I do not 
think they will ever get a hold on popular favor. 


I think that next to whites, the blues have attained near- 
est perfection, that is, taking them as a whole. If we go 

Wr ' '*' ?fll 
f- A 1 ' '^m 



V w 













back a few years, we find that they were scattered all over 
this country, at a time when other colors were rarely seen. 

The color of a proper blue should be rather a dark blue. 
By this I mean, a shade of blue that does not approach a sil- 
ver. The bars on the wings and tails should be very dark, 
and very distinctly marked, with no "blurs.' There is also 
a beautiful, metallic lustre on the neck, which is a great help 
to the general appearance of the bird. This is a color which 
often needs a good cross into Blacks to keep it in shape. 
When the color begins to get smoky and the bars faulty, a 
good, well bred cock should be crossed onto a very black hen 
with as much lustre on her feathers as possible. 

The best authorities all decide that the cross should be 
made by a blue cock onto a black hen and not vice versa, as 
they claim that a sound color is more apt to be produced in 
this way. 

The eye of a correct Blue is either orange or pearl, and the 
latter is preferable because it seems to make a more distinc- 
tive point. 

We tind that the great majority of Blues are inclined to 
run coarse, and this shows most in the head and neck. To 
correct this, it is only necessary to cross a good blue cock on 
to as small a white hen as can be obtained. One would nat- 
urally suppose that this would affect color and make it too 
lit'ht ; but this does not seem to be the case. It is an old rule 


that color comes from the cock, and shape and size from the 
hen; therefore I would not advise the mating of a small 
white cock 1o a blue hen that is oversized. Again; by the 
first mating the blue cock to a white hen the very dark 
blue a blue black that sometimes gets into a blue strain, 
can be lightened. After all, the great thing in blue is cor- 
rect color, other points being fairly up to standard. Many 
birds are shown yearly that are very imperfect in coloring. 


One will be almost a checker, or so dark as to hardly be en- 
tilled to the name of blue; while the next will be almost a 
silver. Another will be good in wings and tail, but will run 
too light in I lie cushion and around vent. 


Hlack fans are brooming quite the rage now, and I am 
glad to sec it, for a more lovely bird does not exist. And 
yet they need little description, for they are simply the re- 
verse of t lie white in color. The same general rules govern 
as to size, shape and carriage, and the point is to get that 
sound, pure metallic black, that i.s a black. A smutty black 
never was, and never will be pretty. Get a black that has a 
sheen all over, with r. lustre on the neck that looks as if 
burnished. Get the feet a rich healthy red that makes a 
contrast, and the proper white or pearl eye, and that is the 
black we all want. 


In these two colors, the fancier who loves to experiment 
will lind a good field. I do not wish to hurt the feelings of 
fanciers of these colors, but I must say that good ones in 
either, are few and far between. 

I believe that there are a few, a very few, good Reds and 
Yellows in England, and there may be in this country, but 
I have not seen them. 

It seems sad to think of the years that have been put in by 
enthusiastic fanciers to try and get something good in these 
two colors, with such poor results. 

One would suppose that a fair red or yellow bred onto a 
good lustrous black, would bring a sound color, with the 
added style and tail of the black, but experiments have not 
shown this to be the case. The young generally come dun 
or ash colored in the cushions, and vents. I think that a red 




and yellow cross is the best, and yet where are the good reds 
and yellows with which to make it? 

The English standard calls for a "rich, bright golden yel- 
low" and a "rich golden, chestnut red." 

My advice would be to pair reds and yellows, and then the 
young, keeping only the best and soundest colors, and 
cross-mating again and again. Then mate sound red cocks 
to good red saddle hens. By this latter cross, good style and 
tail may be had. 

Before closing with re-Js and yellows I might speak of 
"Duns." Very few are bred either here or in the old world. 
In fact nobody pays any attention to them. I have also seen 
alleged "Silver" fans, but never one that in any way ap- 
proached the standard fantail. 


In saddles, 1 feel that there is a great opening. It is only 
of late years that they have sprung into popularity in this 

They come in all colors, and, when one gets a good one, he 
feels well repaid for his time and trouble. Yet good ones 
are scarce. They should have not a mark to mar the beauti- 
ful body white, save the marking on the wing, but they are 
prone to come with foul feathers in the breast, bishoped 
wings or foul wing butts. Sometimes a grand young speci- 
men will be ruined by a few foul feathers in the tail. Some- 
times all else is perfect, but the foul will crop out all over 
the thighs, and around the vent. 

There is absolutely no rule by which one can go. A pair 
as near perfectly marked as can be had, will throw young 
that are worthless, while a pair badly inismarked will throw 
young after young that are away up. 

In general properties, that is, fantail properties, saddle-; 


aie good. There are many of them in this country that 
are the equals of whites in all points, and if it were not for 
those foul feathers that wreck the hopes of so many breeders 
they would be found in nearly every fan loft. The same 
general properties govern saddles, that govern other fans. 


The Silky, or Laced fan, has not much of a foot-hold in 
America. They are exactly like the "Friesland" or "frizzly" 
chicken, the fibre of the feather being something like that of 
the ostrich. The Silky cannot fty, from the peculiar confor- 
mation of its wings, and it is therefore at a disadvantage in a 
loft with a large flight, with an entrance that must be reach- 
ed by flying. They are very pretty birds, and are so odd as 
to attract much attention. They seem to be '"accidents" as 
the best one 1 ever saw came from a pair of sound whites 
that never before, and never afterwards br-ed another silky. 

They are hard to keep clean, as their feathers seem to 
catch every particle of dust that is flying. To breed good 
Silkies, do not mate a pair together, but cross-mate them 
with a plain pair that are inclined to loose feather. I believe 
that beautiful colored Laces can be produced by simply 
crossing white laced hens with colored cocks. 


We now have plenty of tail fans, i. e. whites with colored 
tails, and body fans, i. e. colored bodies with white tails. 

I consider them ''accidents" as they crop out of saddles, 
and even out of plain birds. Sometimes in making a black 
and white cross, we get a tail or a body fan. 

Most specimens are very poor, though I have occasionally 
seen a grand bird come out, and generally greatly to the 
breeders surprise. 


I once bred a magnificent tail hen, out of a pair of whites 
that I had owned some years. 

She was grand in style, and fine in spread, and I did not 
then realize what a treasure she was, and sold her. Where 
that dash of blood came from was always a mystery to me, 
but it just shows what a drop of blood will sometimes do. 
When a man begins to dabble in the colors, he may look for 
some strange birds. 



HEAD Small, line and snaky. 

BEAK Thin, and of medium length, the upper mandible 
slightly curved at the tip like that of a dove. 

COLOK OK BEAK Whites, Saddlebacks. Reds and Yellows, 
flesh color. Blues, Silvers and Blacks Pearl, Gravel or 
Orange, former preferred. 

EYE CEIJE Very fine. 

NECK Thin and Swanlike ; tapering well off as it ap- 
proaches the head. 

LENGTH OF NECK Corresponding with length of back, so 
as to enable the head to rest closely on the cushion. 

BODY Shape small and round. Back slightly hollowed 
in centre. Length of back corresponding with length of 
neck, so as to enable the head to rest closely on the cushion. 
Rump small, but of sufficient size and strength to balance 
the tail evenly. 

Chest broad, round and free from hollowness, except a 
slight parting in the centre. 
Breast round and full. 

WINGS Set on fairly low, and closely tucked in at the 
chest. Flights of medium length and well closed. 

CUSHION Full and massive; the feathers at the back close- 
ly overlapping each other, and spreading well over the tail 

TAIL Slightly concave, and circular; filled with long, 
broad, evenly set feathers, closely overlapping each other, 
and thick as possible in the centre. 

LEGS Of moderate length, not stilty, well set apart, and 
free from feathers below the hocks. 

FEET Small, line and neat. 

PLUMAGE Feathers hard and tight fitting. 


CARRIAGE The bird should stand on tiptoe, and walk in a 
jaunty manner. Head thrown back in a graceful way, rest- 
ing closely on the cushion. Chest upright, so as to carry the 
breast almost in a straight line with the leg:-. 
Flights, just clearing the lowest tail feathers, aud almost 
meeting at the tips. 

Tail carried well up, not being allowed to drop, or fall 

MOTION Convulsive, jerking or twitching of the neck, and 
apparent upheaving of the chest. 


SADDLEBACKS White, with colored wings, each having 
ten white flights. 

BLUES Sound, bright and clear, with two broad, well de- 
lined black bars across each wing, and one at tip of each 
tail feather. 

BLACKS Jet black, with beetle green lustre. 

REDS AND YELLOWS Rich and sound throughout. 

LACE Loose or deficient in webbing, each fibre being sep- 



THE above is another variety of pigeon, so beautiful, so 
odd and so attractive generally, that it has its hun- 
dreds of firm adherents, who stand by it year after year 
and declare that no other fancy pigeon is its equal. 

Who can blame them ; for what bird more than the Jaco- 
bin, shows what art can do. Who can say that it is not plain 
"art" and not "good luck, " that produces these wonders of 
to-day. Surely the hood is an object to be gazed on with 
wonder, and especially by those who have seen only the old 
style ruffle-necks. The coloring of the Jacobin is exquisite, 
and the contrast always lovely, while the little head peering 
out from the hood reminds one of some dainty maiden who 
has pulled her high sealskin collar around her head, and is 
setting forth to conquer hearts. 

Jacobins, like other varieties, are being bred down in size, 
and the coarse, loose feathered birds with flaring hoods are 
giving way to the tightly built, and close hooded birds, that 
are now the accepted style. 

It is generally conceded, that the Jacobin of to-day must 
be bred down as small as possible, just so it is able, in feather 
length, to show up nicely the hood, mane and chain, which 
are the three great points to be bred for. 

But we must not lorget that if we breed these three prin- 
cipal points up to a high standard, and then succeed in 
putting them on a nice trim body, we have made quite a 
step in advancement. 

AVe must not forget either, while admiring the demure look 
of the Jacobin, that it is quite a pugnacious variety and for 
that reason cannot be bred successfully in a crowded loft. 

A Jacobin loft should be well supplied with individual 
perches, so that, the chances for pitched battles may be few. 





The hood is the great and the primary point in a Jacobin; 
but we must not assume that a great, loose, ''flaring' hood 
is the proper ideal. On the contrary, it must be thick and 
even on the edges, and must fit tight. 

The chain comes next, and is formed by the parting of the 
neck feathers, (the front part. The back part, curving back 
forms what is called the mane.) This must be even, and 
must be composed of long feathers, the more even the better, 
for that does away with a sort of half-finished appearance, 
that shows in many specimens. It must fit in closely and 
hide even the beak, and of course the shorter the beak the 
better. A good Jacobin is down-faced. 

The mane comes right up from the back and joins the 
hood, and it also must be even. I feel that I cannot lay too 
much stress on the fact that "evenness" is a great necessity. 
I care not how much chain, mane and hood feather a Jaco- 
bin may have, or how wonderfully long it may be, if it does 
not fit up even and tight, the bird cannot win under a good 

While the Jacobin, from its short legs in comparison to its 
length of body, will always appear a "squatty" sort of bird, 
care must be taken to breed long necks. A short necked 
bird cannot show up its best properties. 

The head of the bird should be full and round, but not 
coarse as compared to its size. The beak is short, as stated 
before, and is a pale white. The eyes are pearl or white, and 
a bull eye, or broken eye, has always disqualified in tlu 
oldest known Standards. 

The body should be long and slender, and the shoulders 
narrow as possible, for this point gives added significance to 
the mane and chain. A slightly hollow back, and slight tilt- 
up to the rump, and the flights, which are very long, are 


carried over the tail. There must be no suspicion of booting 
on the legs. 

It is hard to tell which is the most popular color in these 
birds, as they come in all colors, and that is one beauty 
about them. I think that the old style birds, the first real 
Jacobins, came usually in reds, and I refer to the time in 
this country, when the old fanciers first began to breed them. 

Constant care must be excercised, or Jacobins cannot be 
kept in good shape. If they are allowed to feed on the 
ground or a rough floor, the chain is liable to be damaged. 

Attemion must also be paid to the bath, as they soon become 
so wet and bedraggled in a deep bath, that they cannot take 
care of themselves. 




BEAK Short and thick, well curved downwards forming- a 
continuation of curve of skull, and flesh color. 

HEAD Small, flat between the eyes, with full appearance 
in front. 

EYES Centre, black, surrounded by pearl or light grey. 

HOOD Long, fitting well down on head, even at edge, 
crossing the head in a line with the front of the eyes. 

CHAIN Fitting close and even from back to breast, stand- 
ing well out, giving a curved line from hood to breast. 

MANE Full, being well filled out at back, even at edge, 
and fitting in evenly with the hood. 

liosK Shape, oval, in a line slanting across bottom of neck. 

SIZE AND SHAPE OF BODY Breast full, long, and slender. 
The back to be narrow, flat and straight. 

WINGS Rather low at butts, flights resting on tail. 

CAKKIAGE Sprightly, the head carried about eight inches 
from the ground. 

LEGS AND FEET Short, and free from feathers below the 
hock, color red. Feet small and fine, with claws same col- 
or as beak. 

RUMP Smooth fiat and narrow. 

TAIL Narrow and straight in line with the back. 

COLOK Reds, blacks, and yellows, sound, lustrous and 
even, from lower mandible to vent, with rump, tail, ten 
flights, and head white. Whites pure throughout. 



IF I were asked as to the most popular bird among the toy 
pigeons I think I would answer ''the Magpie." 
It seems to me that in the breeding of no other toy, is 
there so much rivalry. 

The Magpie does not rely on its beautiful marking alone, 
but it must have head and beak, neck, body, and leg proper- 
ties, and so close is the competition, and to such a fine point 
are Magpies bred, that I have seen long discussions, as to 
which of two crack birds had the best beak or head, etc 
All sorts of authorities have been hunted up, to show just 
which bird approached most nearly to the standard in this 
one point, all others being equal. 

I suppose there are few of my readers that do not know 
just how the Magpie is marked. 

The wings are white, and so is the breast, and its markings 
are nearly the reverse of those of many other toys. For 
while the Swallow or the Turbit may take its class name 
from the color of its wings, the Magpie takes it from the 
color of its breast and back, its wings being always white, as 
is the lower part of its body. 

The Magpie is bred chiefly in blacks, reds and yellows, but 
there are also duns, silvers and blues. These latter colors 
will, however never be as popular as the first three, for in 
the first three the color line is sharply accentuated, and that 
that is one of the chief beauties of the bird. 

But, as stated, to get the perfect Magpie we begin with the 
head, which must be long and slender, and with a delicate 
beak of the same type, to match it. And we must not stop 
there, for this same slenderness must govern the entire body, 
and affect, even t he tail. It is emphatically a narrow bird : 


BLACK MAC PIE, From life. 


a slender bird, and broad square shoulders broad breast and 
back, and a shortness of leg, that would give it the least bit 
of a stunted appearance are inexcusable. 

The color line on the breast must be sharp and decided, 
with no irregularities. 

It must appear as if a painter with a perfect eye, had gone 
just so far, and no further. Its color, whatever it be, must 
be clear and rich, and the nearer its carriage can be to that 
of a fine English Carrier, the better. Perhaps the word 
"a T ert" will indicate the "style of the proper Magpie. 

This slenderness must extend even to the tail, for it should 
be narrow, should have few feathers, and they should lie 
closely one 011 the other. 

It is hard i'<>r me to describe the breast line, but it is ovai, 
and conforms to the shape of the body, while at the wings, 
it would seem, (looking at the bird from the side) as if a Hue 
had been drawn with a compass,, and had cut off the entire 
top of the wing. The sam:> color begins again at the rump 
back of the legs, and must be "sound.'' 

The very fact that good breeder:; feed very lightly before 
a show, shows that they are striving for a "lean" bird, with- 
out an ounce of surplus rlesh on it. 

One reason that the black is such a favorite, is that K 
acquires a beetle green sheen, a lustre, that k> all its own, 
It is a shade that once seen, is never forgotten. 

The reds must be a blood-red, rich and striking, aud the 
yellows must not be pale, washed-out looking specimens. 

It is said by experts that too deep a yellow, generally h.u; 
with it a coarseness of feather. 

The Magpie is a bird that shows up well at first glance, but 
put it in the pen, and begin to go over it carefully, and in 
will be found that really first class specimens do not grow on 



bushes. For instance, blacks that have a lovely neck color 
will In; found to have a bluish cast about the head, and in 
the others a dull color about the head will be often found. 

Of the Magpie, I can say, as I can of many other pigeons, 
that if it was no trouble to breed them "right," they would 
lose half their charm. 

It is thi.s very uncertainty, that makes the breeding of 
them such a delightful task. 

-. _ - ^1 ~7 'i __ ^-_^ _ /* ' ^ ^ ~ ^-x^ 

ji? N Av^h4 Foi\ 7*t\uOiw Nj^c* ~~ "^ 





SIZE Small, from actual measurements, good average 
specimens, in good condition, weight for cocks from 9 1-2 to 
10 1-8 ounces, hens from 8 1-2 to 9 1-2 ounces; and when 
standing in a natural position measure from sole of foot to 
top of head from 8 to 9 1-2 inches in height, the length from 
tip of beak to end of tail, without stretching, from 12 1-2 to 
14 inches. 

SHAPE Apparently long, slender and snake-like, chest 
full and round, but not broad, the body round, thin, and 
gracefully tapering from front to vent, with no approach to 
owl or tumbler form, shoulders well defined, but not carried 
prominently as in the dragoon, legs set well -back to show 

CARRIAGE Is a very important characteristic of the Mag- 
pie, but if the shape be good and true, the proper carriage 
is almost sure to follow; it should be smart, sprightly. The 
body well poised on the graceful and slender limbs, the neck 
and body forming a continuous easy curve, but the neck 
must not incline backwards, head and beak carried hor- 
izontally, flights and tail neatly folded. 

HEAD Must be long and thin, round on top of skull, show- 
ing a soft easy curve in every direction the term snake- 
headed is often used, but does not apply, as many snakes are 
flat-headed, which is quite a reverse of what is wanted in 
the Magpie as nearly even in substance throughout as pos- 
sible, not wedge-headed, no stop at junction of head and 
beak, but rising with a gradual curve from front to back, 
fine and neat at back of skull, lean face, with no approach 
to owl or short-faced tumbler form. Junction of head with 
neck to be neat and almost imperceptible without throatiness. 

BEAK Should be long, thin, and nearly equal in substance 
throughout, with slight hook at end of mandible, but no dip 


in lower mandible, free from coarsenei-5,, furnished with 
slight wattle of texture, pale in color approaching white, 
free from stain or marking 1 except in blacks, blues and duns, 
in which colors a very slight Vandyke mark 011 tip of upper 
mandible is admissible. 

NKCK Long', thin, <juite free from gullet or fullness of the 
throat, thinnest at the point of junction with the head, swell- 
ing gently towards the shoulders, which it should join with 
a graceful and gentle curve. 

EYE AND EYE CERE Eye white or pearl color, pupil in- 
tensely black and clearly defined, what is commonly known 
as a "fish eye,'' the eye cere is seen in various tints, from near- 
ly white to a coral red. In blacks the deeper the red the bet- 
ter, add a shade of pink in other colors, but do not put much 
stress on this point. The cere should be small and fine in 
texture, no approach to a barb eye is admissible, but just 
enough to show a delicate and even border to the eye. and no 
more. The general effect of the eye, although prominent, is 
mild in expression. 

LEGS AND FEET Legs rather long than otherwise, straight 
nut knock-kneed or cow hocked. Shanks thin, lean and free 
from feathering, covered with fine scales. Toes long, thin, 
and well separated, also free from feathering. Toenails 
white, both legs and feet bright red in color. 

TAIL AND FLIGHTS Tail rather long, the feathers narrow 
and closely folded, containing not more than twelve feathers. 
Not swallow-tailed or divided in centre, the tail should be 
carried in a line with the back, just clear of the ground, but 
not cocked up at all. 

Flights rather narrow, closely folded carried close to the 
side, tips resting on top of tail, about half an inch from side, 
not crossed. 

Color The whole of the body except head, neck and 
breast, back, saddle and tail pure white, the color on the 


colored portions to be bright, deep and lustrous as possible; 
in blacks the irridescent colors and metallic sheen are most 
important ; wherever the color extends it must be of one rich, 
even depth, extending even to the shafts of the tail featheis. 
Many otherwise good birds often run chequery or ashy about 
the top of rump and root of tail, which is very objectionable. 
Blues and silvers should have black tail bars. 

MARKINGS Cut on breast. Sharp and evenly defined, 
without artificial assistance, the color extending downwards 
to about the tip of the breast bone, or a very little below, 
running across the breast-, either in a straight line or slight- 
ly curving upwards towards shoulders, showing a slightly 
convex form. It is advisable to raise the wings, and if many 
foul feathers are discovered between breast and vent mark- 
ings, the breast should be carefully examined for foul feath- 
ers or trimming. 

Cut on shoulders. Color extending across the broadest 
part of the back at the shoulders, from side to side at inter- 
section of the wing with body, tapering evenly and smoothly 
towards the tail, and forming an elongated heart or V shaped 
saddle, showing no ragged edges on shoulders. 

Cut at vent Even and extending only a very short dis- 
tance from beneath root of tail, no foul or colored feathers 
extending towards thighs or belly. 

PLUMAGE Close and compact, but not hard feathered. 

DISQUALIFICATIONS Trimming or plucking of foul feath- 
ers, dyeing or oiling, dark or gravel eyes, heavy markings on 
back, feathered legs or feet, tumbler form of head or body, 
chequered or ashy back or rump, want of condition. 



ANOTHER of the pigeons that can well come under the 
description " High Class Toys'' is the Owl, which for 
years has been the embodiment of everything that is 
neat and high bred in the way of a pet. 

One of the great points in the Owl is to breed it down in 
size, and the standard says that the African and Chinese Owl 
must not weigh more than ten ounces or a little more. 

The size of the body is governed of course by weight ; but 
the body must be plump looking, though the plumage is very 
tight and close. The flights and tail are short, and the wings 
are well tucked up. The shoulders sit close, and the neck is 
short and the chest broad. The carriage of the Owl is up" 
right, the head carried well up and its appearance is rather 
bold for so small a bird. 

The skull of the Owl is round, but it is a short and broad 
roundness, the head looking somewhat like a globe. There 
must be no narrowness behind the beak and no flatness on 
the top of the skull. 

The beak is short and thick, and makes an even curve 
down in perfect accord with the appearance of the skull. 
The upper mandible hangs over the lower, and the more pro- 
nounced the better. The lower mandible is very thick and 
strong, and meets and fits well into the upper. 

The beak wattle is smooth, and, while it is pronounced, 
cannot be very large on account of the diminutive size of the 
bird ; yet it is one of the great points and its fulness and 
evenness cut quite a figure in the general make up of the 
bird. It must be very even and neatly made, and it rises 
high from the beak, is free from any lines and dents, and 
does its part in what is known as the "down face, ' which is 
such a great point in the bird. 





The eyes are prominent and very full. A good full eye 
has quite a bearing on the tout ensemble of the bird ; and a 
good bright eye, full and prominent, lends quite a charm to 
its appearance. 

The gullet should be full and deep. It should begin at the 
lower mar dible, near the tip, and reach down the throat to 
the frill. 

The frill is a big point and one of the best ones about the 
bird. It is oval in shape, parts at the centre, and forms the 
rose, curling in every direction. Xow in the Chinese Owl, 
the frill does not stop at the gullet, but parts and extends up 
each side of the neck and back to the head, and this forms 
what are known a& whiskers. These should be as full as 

The legs of the Owl are short with barely any thigh that is 
noticeable, and the feet are small and neat. 

In the English, the colors are Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, 
Powdered Blue, Silver and Powdered Silver. 

The Africans come Black, Blue and White. Also blacks 
with white tails, and whites with black tails. 

The Chinese run White, Blue and Black, blacks with white 
tails, whites with black tails. They also have blue tails. 
Owls should have clean legs; no feathers below the hock. 

In the solid Owls, the color runs solid all over the body. 
In tail marked, the body color is solid, and the tail marking 
begins at the rump. White tail birds have the same general 
characteristic, the white marking beginning at the rump. 

Blues have a black bar across the wing covert, and a black 
ha.nd near the end of the tail. Silvers have a brownish bar, 
on the coverts, and the same band at tail. In Powdered-blues, 
the neck, flight, and tail run darker in color. Powdered- sil- 
vers run darker in necks, flights, and tails. 



The beak, in Blacks, Blues, and Powdered-Blues is black, 
and in all other varieties a flesh, except in Silvers and Pow- 
dered-Silvers which are darker. 

The eye in Blues is a reddish-gravel, and in all colors but 
white are yellow-gravel, but in whites they are dark or bull. 

One must look out for colored feathers, grouse legs, and 
for dark toe-nails, but the Owl is now bred to such a high 
standard that these little defects seldom appear. 

The Owl from its very neat and cute appearance will al- 
ways be a great favorite, and those fanciers who once take 
them up, find so much to admire and attract, that they sel- 
dom give them up. 

I know a number of fanciers who have bred them for many 
years, and find as much in them to infatuate as ever, and 
this speaks well for the points in them that can so easily be 
brought out if care, skill, and judgment, is added to a nat- 
ural liking for these pretty little pets. There are many lofts 
in America that will compare favorably with those of Eng 



i i 




SIZE OF BODY To be governed by weight; the English 
Owl to weigh not less than eleven ounces ; the African and 
Chinese Owl to weigh not more than ten ounces. 

SHAPE OF BODY Chest broad ; neck rather short and thick, 
but symmetrically shaped ; wing-butts and shoulders well 
tucked in, giving a rounded appearance; nights and tail 
r.ither short; plumage very tight and close; body plump, 
and standing low in the smaller varieties. 

CARRIAGE Upright, with the head thrown rather back, 
showing a broad and prominent breast; bold and active. 

SKULL Short, broad, and globular, nicely rounded in 
every direction, and free from any narrowness behind the 
beak, or flat on top. 

BEAK Short and thick, with an even downward curve, 
forming continuation of curve of the skull, with the upper 
mandible hanging over the lower. The more these points 
are observable the better. The lower mandible stout, meet- 
ing and fitting well into the upper. 

BEAK WATTLE Smooth, rather full and even on each side; 
neatly made, and to rise high from the beak, as its projec- 
tion fills up and rounds off the even convex profile, called 
"down-face;" free from any straight lines or dent. 

EYES Prominent and very full, set in center of side of 

GULLET OR DEW-LAP Should be as full and deep as pos- 
sible, commencing at tip of lower mandible, and reaching 
down the throat to the frill. 

FRILL Ample, and well-developed as po'ssible ; oval in 
shape, and reaching from gullet to breast; the feathers curl- 
ing in every direction, and nicely parted from the center, 
forming the "rose."' 

In the Chinese Owl the frill differs; instead of stopping at 
the gullet, it parts and extends up on each side of the neck 


t.\\ard the back of head, called "whiskers." The fuller 
these are, the better. 

LEGS Short, showing little or no thigh in the smaller 

FEET Small and neat. 

SOLID COLORS A clear and even color throughout the 
entire body ; free from any admixture of any other color. 

TAIL-MAKKKD The entire body should be pure white, ex- 
cept the tail, which is colored according to the variety. 

The white-tailed birds have the body colored according to 
the variety, and the tail white. 

Whatever the color in the above varieties, it should be 
bright, clear, and even. 

lllues Have black bars across the wing-coverts, and black 
band near the end of tail-feathers. Neck and flights of a 
dark shade. 

Silvers A delicate silver-grey with brownish bars across 
the wing-coverts, and band of the same color near the end of 
tail-feathers; neck, flights, and tail of a darker shade of 

Powdered-blue^ A delicate, frosted blue ; neck, flights, and 
tail darker in color. 

Poivdered-silvers A delicate, frosted-silver tint, with neck, 
flights, and tail darker. 

Whites Plumage pure white throughout. 

COLOR OF BEAK In Blacks, Blues, and Powdered-blues is 
black; in the other varieties flesh color, excepting the Sil- 
vers and Powdered-silvers, which are darker. 

COLOR OF EYES In Blues, a reddish-gravel ; in the other 
varieties a yellowish-gravel, except Whites, which are dark 
c.r bull. 


DISQUALIFICATIONS Birds not matching when shown in 
pairs ;Trimming, plucking, coloring, or any artificial alter- 
ation; under or over weight in the class entered ; appearance 
of feathers on legs or feet; out of condition from disease; 
any decided deformity; for Whites, colored feathers, dark 
beak, dark toe-nails, or if the eyes are not bull. 


BLUE TURBIT. Drawn from life. 






THIS is a justly popular variety. For neat contour, 
pretty markings, and a general high-bred and dainty 
appearance, it has few equals. It is one of the old 
standard varieties and has been bred for many years. Out 
of it have grown a host of "made" birds ; but the Turbit is 
the foundation of them all. It shows it, for no matter how 
we attempt to disguise them, the Turbit properties stand out 
boldly. The Turbit is. a small bird, in fact much of its 
dainty appearance is due to its diminutive stature. It has 
a. short, round body, full and prominent chest, shoulders 
well tucked in, flights short and resting on the tail, which i.s 
also short and closely folded The head is large in propor- 
tion to its body. It is round, very full above the eyes, and 
a side view should present a curve from the back of head 
clear around to the tip of beak. It has a peak and a mane, 
also a frill on the breast. 

The peak is a delicate point, rising just back of the head 
centre, and the mane goes well down the back of the neck. 
In the old standards a shell crest was admissable ; but the 
latest standard, 1898, calls for a "point." The beak is short, 
thick and strong, and the upper mandible sets in a curve 
over the lower, which fits tightly in. 

The face is broad, with puffy cheeks, and the eyes are full 
and prominent. The beak wattle is small, but well defined; 
and must not rise so high as to break the perfect curve of 
the head. 

The frill is double, turning back both ways. It should be 
full as possible and taper nicely into points on each side of 
the gullet, which latter is full and extends from lower beak 
down to the frill. The neck is naturally full for so small a 


bird. Legs very short with hardly a perceptible thigh. 
Clean below the hock, bright red and pale toe nails. 

The body color of the Turbit is always white, the wing col- 
or stamping the color of its class; but the ten primary flights 
arc white. It comes in Reds, Blacks, Blues and Yellows for 
standard colors, but there are other colors which come under 
the A. O. C. class. In Blues and Silvers, the wing bars are 
black. In carriage, the bird is erect and sprightly, and full 
of grace. The great point in the Turbit is its head, and it is 
here that the close competition between noted breeders comes 
in. Such a figure does it cut that the average judge looks 
over the good headed birds in a class, before he pays any at- 
tention to other points. 

A great Turbit fancier being once asked for the model 
Turbit said concisely, " Bullfinch beak, high peak, full frill 
and mane, short neck, short legs and broad chest. " 

Such a bird looks well from either side or front, and the 
judge does not take him up with pleasure, only to put him 
back when he gets a full face view. 

The rule is so plain that I do not see how there can be 
such diversity of opinion regarding what are called ''types" 
of the Turbit. There is only one proper type, and that is 
laid down plainly in the Standard, and as Turbits are judged 
by comparison, the one nearest approaching it is the best 
bird. It is a certainty that the Turbit, the real Turbit, has 
a face different from any other bird, but approaching nearly 
to several others, and that is what has caused so much dis- 
cussion in the past. 

The formation of the Turbit head or rather face is not 
like the curve of the Owl. It is not like the show Antwerp, 
nor yet like the Tumbler, but it seems to be a blending, a 
combination of all three, and it is all its own. 


fe. - . />-- .-; ..---.: .v-g^rv^.- .:_.;. _;-_; - 
; ^-^^^^^^- > ( V 

YELLOW TURBIT. ( Feathered World. ) 


In these days there is a noticeable absence of the grouse 
legs, foul necks and shoulders, bishoped wings etc., that 
used to be so common when shows were a new thing in this 
country. The standard now fixes the number of white flights, 
while formerly every breeder had a number of his own and 
claimed that he was right. The standard now disqualifies 
for grouse leg and for ''artificial alteration;" but as foul 
feathers don't seem to come as much now as formerly, it is 
needless to discuss this latter clause. 

I know of no other p.igeon that combines so many traits 
each different, which mast all be blended into one to make 
the peifect Turbit. Hence we find among Turbit breeders, 
fanciers of the very highest class ; men who work year after 
year for that type of perfection which is so hard to get, and 
the near approach to which is such a satisfaction to the 

102 1'1<.KUN> AM) ALL ABOUT THEM. 


SIZE Small. breast full and large. Flights short and rest- 
ing above the- tail. Tail short and tightly folded. Carriage 
erect and graceful. 

CREST Spring ing from the mane which should extend well 
down the neck and raising to a point a little above and be- 
hind the centre of the head, and not broken. 

UK AD Large and broad. Forehead high and round, full 
above the wattle and prominent over the eyes, being well 
bulged out. (so as to present a downi'ace appearance. 

BEAK Short and thick the upper mandible having a down- 
ward tendency. The lower mandible should be straight and 
fitting tightly into the upper. 

MOUTH Wide, with full cheeks extending below the eyes, 
the space between the juncture of the mandibles and the 
eyes being short and well filled out, and a fair distance from 
the eyes to the face of the mane. 

EYES- Large and prominent and situated near the top and 
front of the head. Color dark or bull. Eye cere, pale flesh 

BEAK WATTLE A fair amount, but in no way raising out 
of the profile. 

GULLET As much as possible, extending from near the 
point of the lower mandible, down the throat to the frill. 

FRILL As much as possible, turning both ways and taper- 
ing off into points on each side of the gullet. 

NECK Broad from front to back. 

LEGS Short, showing but little of the thigh. Color bright 
red with pale colored toe nails and free from feathers below 
the hock. 


MARKINGS Entire wing colored according to the variety, 
except ten primary flights, which are white as well as the re- 
mainder of the body. 

COLORS Black, blue, red, yellow, and the various other 
colors known as, ''Any color'' the bars of the Blue and Sil- 
vers to be black across the wing coverts, broad, even and 

DISQUALIFICATIONS Birds not matching when shown in 
pairs. Trimming, plucking, coloring or artificial alteration 
in any way. Appearance of feathers on the legs or feet. 
Out of condition, or any decided deformity. 



THE above caption covers a family of the most beautiful 
pigeons known, not only as to marking, but in various 
other points which distinguish them from any other 

They are what are known as "made" birds. In other 
words their existence to-day is due to the care, the knowl- 
edge of the blending of certain points and properties to pro- 
duce certain results, and the skill, ability, and, more than 
all to the perseverence of the fanciers who have watched 
their pets little by little change from mere "attempts" into 
the beautiful realities that stand as a monument to their life 

Under the head ''Oriental Frills" come the following. Blon- 
dinettes, Laced and Barred, Bluettes, Brunettes, Silverettes, 
Satinettes, Sulphurettes, Vizors, Dominos, Turbiteens, and 
Oriental Turbits. 

There is a family likeness that runs all through these 
beautiful birds, so great in fact that the uninitiated find 
great trouble in telling them apart. 

They are so much alike that one general rule will cover 
the main points of all, and the only real variation is found in 
their marking. 

The body is small, compact, and plump; the head is pro- 
portionately large in comparison. It is very full, and round, 
with high forehead, and it is so arched as to form a complete 
curve line from neck to beak. The face proper is very full, 
with chubby cheeks, and the beak is short, strong, and thick. 
The beak wattle is not large, but is delicate looking, and the 
eye is as large and full as possible. They run both smooth 
and crest Leads; in the latter both peak and shell are admitt- 




<- V, 





ed, though few shell-crests are seen. If the peak-crest, it 
must be very fine, come to a perfect point, stand well up and 
central. If a shell-crest, it must be even and well spread. 
The gullet must be very full, and reach to beginning of frill, 
which latter must be large and well placed. The neck is 
short, thick and broad at the base. 

The flights are rather short, and carried closely folded and 
tight to body, and tail must also be in proportion to body, 
and carried tightly. The legs are rather short, and are 
grouse muffed, with short vulture hocks. 

It would be folly for me to state that the Frills are easy to 
breed, for they are not. There is a great tendency to run 
foul in the breast, and especially in the thighs. They also 
run short of leg feather. They come foul also in the wings, 
and tail. 

Again the lacing will run badly on the wings, while others 
will be short of proper spots. 

The tail has a dark band, and in it are oval or oblong white 
spots. They show plainly when the tail is opened, but when 
closed, appear like a white band. These spots should be 
clear and well defined. 

Blondinettes run in colors, Black, Blue, Dun, Ked, Yellow 
and Sulphur Laced, and Blue and Silver Barred. 

The eyes run brown, orange and gravel to match the body 
color, and the beaks also var\ to match. 

Barred Blondinettes have clear white wing bars, with a 
fine black line at lower edge of each bar. 

Laced Blondinettes have each feather edged hi the princi- 
pal parts, even to the neck. 

The Satinette has a white head, neck and body, but the 
shoulders have a dull color, with black edging at lower part. 
This bird does not call for a heavy marking, but it must be 
clear and even, The eye is dark brown, with flesh colored 


cere, and the beak a flesh color. The thighs should be as 
light as possible, and the flights white. 

The tail grows darker, beginning at the rump, and has a 
dark band, and in this band, are the white spots, as in the 

What are called Black Satinettes vary only in the shade of 
coloring, and the tail, which is white with a black edge. 

tiulphurettes take their name from their color, which is a 
near approach to sulphur. Their markings are the same as 
the Satinette. 

Silverette has pale shoulders, and white bars, which must 
have a dark edge. 

Bluette has blue shoulders, and white bars, edged with 
black. The tail is a darker blue, with the same white spots 
edged with black, that mark the others. 

77(2 Brunette is really a silver grey, with red brown or 
fawn markings, or a French grey with tail of same shade. 

The Vizor is much like the Bluette, but the head is the 
same color as the wings, the dark purple running to a sharp 
line, which cuts around the neck at the bottom of the gullet 
and runs to the back of the crest. This divides the dark 
head from the white body, and makes a beautiful contrast. 


The Domino is one of those birds that we see more often 
in books than in real life. It is certainly an oddity, yet it 
is a lovely little bird, which, while bearing marked resem- 
blance to the Turbit or Turbiteen families, is yet of a type all 
its own. 

It has a round skull, yet not so round as the Owl's. It is 
peak-headed, but has no foot feathering whatever. It is very 
down-faced, with a short, extremely blunt beak, and has the 
frill on its breast. It has a black face, the black extending 



rWJ;, >. , 


,.!i,' ; 


SiteCrijillgFsS!^ I ,J ; / i 

SUABIAN. ( Fanciers Gazette.) 


down under the throat. The rest of the body to the tail is 
white, and so are the flights, but the wing butts are black. 

It takes its name from its face, which is similar to a dom- 
ino, or mask in its contrast to the white neck and breast. In 
some respects its face is like that of the Xun, though the 
resemblance ceases at the crest, both in color and shape. 
For, while the solid color stops at the shell of the Xun. which 
latter must be white, it extends on into the crest of the 
Domino. The Domino, like other "made" breeds, must rely 
on strong plumage contrasts for its beauty. 

It is a cute little bird with a piquant expression, and an air 
of general "pertnr.^." The eye is full, and may be dark, or 
may be orange or pearl as to iris. The lighter the color of 
the eye, the better effect it has on the appearance of the dark 
"mask" on the face. 

The Domino is not bred to any extent in. this country, and 
is hard to breed true to plumage, but is liable to jump into 
popularity at any time, now that birds with quaint markings 
art- so rapidly coming into favor, and this production is be- 
coming such a matter of rivalry with so many fanciers. 


The Turbiteen resembles the Turbit perhaps more than 
does any other variety of the Orientals, as it has the identi- 
cal body, with the same peak, frill and colored shoulders. 
But it has the grouse leg and its forehead and cheeks are 
colored the same as its wing color. 

The spot on the forehead is oval, in fact it looks as if a 
thumb had been pressed against it to make the stain. The 
marks on the cheeks are pear shaped, and extend from the 
beak to the base of the crest just below the eyes. Care must 
be taken that the spots do not run into each other, but be 
divided by a sharp white line, 


The standard allows a bird with only the frontal spot to 
compete, but the three spots are more to be desired. They 
come in all the colors of the turbit. The upper beak man- 
dible is dark and the lower white. 

By reading this description carefully, one can imagine how 
hard it is to breed such a bird absolutely true to marking, 
but as I have remarked, there is great pleasure to the fancier 
when a "true" one is turned out. 


Oriental Turbits come Blue, Black, Red, Yellow, Silver and 
Dun, and also in (/hecks and Creams. The shoulders must 
be marked perfectly clean in deep rich colors, and body white. 
The standard however, allows both the white and the dark 
tail to count. 

To the fancier who has never bred Orientals, they are a 
great study, and he finds himself wondering at the skill of 
the men who breed them. 

Very naturally in breeding these dainty birds, the eggs of 
which are often worth their weight in gold, the use of feed- 
ers or nurses is a necessity. It would seem useless to suggest 
that in this case the mated birds must not be overworked 
even though the desire to get "one or more good youngsters" 
is a natural one. For feeders, long-faced birds of small size 
are to be desired. 

The rage for Orientals seems to be unlimited just now, yet 
how many of us can remember when they were few and far 
between in this country. In the old American Standard (1889) 
they were not even mentioned; but there is no quetsion now. 
but that they have come to stay. 


BARRED BLONDINETTE. ( Feathered World. ) 



HEAD Large, round, high, broad and well arched forming 
a continuous curve from neck to tip of beak, well filled in 
between eye and beak. 

CHEEKS Full and chubby. 

BEAK Short, thick and close fitting. 

BEAK WATTLE Small and of fine texture. 

EYE Large, bright and prominent. 

CERE Small and smooth. 

CREST 1. Needle-pointed, upright and central. 

2. Shell crest, even ridge and wide spread. 

3. Plain head. 

GULLET Full and well developed, falling from near tip of 
under mandible to start of frill. 

NECK Thick, broad at base, well arched, and full under 

FRILL As much as possible, well covering the breast. 

FLIGHTS AND TAIL Proportionate and well set; former 
curried close up to body. 

LK<;S Moderate length, grouse muffed, the feathers con- 
tinuing to toe-nails, completely covering shanks and feet. 

FORM Compact, round and plump. 

CARRIAGE Erect, active, dignified. 



I AM delighted to see the many fine illustrations of Tumb- 
lers that have appeared in the Pigeon News in the last 
few years. 

These photos and cuts are the greatest educators, for no 
writer can produce with his pen, the same object lesson that 
is given by a half-tone plate from life. 

In the Tumbler we must necessarily begin with the body, 
for there is one uniform rule for all. Mark it as we may, 
shorten or lengthen its face, muff it, or breed clean, the typ- 
ical tumbler body still remains as the foundation on which 
we build all these beautiful additions of art. 

The old rule was based on Flying Tumblers, the body 
which is of medium size, but round, plump, and compact. 

Head round, and with high forehead which comes down 
sharply to a beak of medium length. Eyes prominent, neck 
very short and tapering to a breast that must be very prom- 
inent, full and broad. 

The shoulders naturally should be very broad for such a 
sized bird, and the back short. It then runs quickly to a 
narrow rump and close tail, over which tho wings are carried. 
The legs are short, but strong, and the feet small. 

The above is the typical Tumbler body on which, as I stat- 
ed, art has put so many additions, and it is this body with 
which we must begin. 

Therefore in starting a Tumbler loft one should breed first 
for this type of bird, and experiment as he chooses for the 
other points. I have read, from what I consider good au- 
thority, that there is not living to-day, a typical long-muffed 
Tumbler, that is sound colored and perfectly marked. So it 
will be seen that even after a good start in Tumblers, it. is a 
long way to the top of the ladder. 

Black Mottle Tumbler From Life. 



I must not be understood as advising my readers not to try 
t' >r handsome markings, but my suggestion is that they work 
iirst for fine body properties, and then for the markings. 

The mating of two birds nearly perfect in markings often 
shows as a result, birds riot nearly so true as either of the 
parents. Again, the solid colors are far more easy to produce 
in a type nearly reaching perfection. 

The following will give an idea of the different markings, 
and I give it in detail because so few (outside of well-posted 
Tumbler fanciers) seem to know just what some of the names 
call for in the way of markings. 

Mottles Color sound and even throughout, the wing- 
marks are white and circular, evenly distributed, butts free 
as possible from white, the black markings should be Y 
shaped, well and evenly mottled. 

Rosewings Same as above, excepting back marking. 

Beards The beard, should be small, crescent-sLaped, and 
not extending beyond the centre of the eye, and in line with 
centre of beak ; primary flights and muffs white. The rest 
of the body to be of a sound, even color throughout. Beak 
should be flesh color in all varieties. 

White Sides The whole of the body, including tail and 
primary flights should be sound color throughout; the shoul- 
ders, wing coverts and secondary flights pure white; beak 
flesh color, except in Blacks. 

Self Colors Red, Yellow, Black and White, sound, rich 
and even color throughout. Bluck showing a green metallic 
lustre ; beaks flesh color, except in Blacks. 

Barred Yarieties Blues, Silvers, and Checks, to possess 
broad, even black bars, and free from ticking or kite color ; 
beak in Blues and Checkers very dark, and in Silvers horn 


Saddles Black, Blue, Red and Yellow. The two former 
to be dark tailed; the two latter to be dark or light tailed. 
Head markings A snip or blaze up front of face, with a full 
white beard extending from back of eye to back of eye under 
beak, forming a bib; with the dark patches running pear 
shaped into it from the centre of lower mandible, the latter 
called whiskers. In addition, a dot over each eye about the 
size of a hemp seed, with a white band extending around, 
with the exception of a heart shape on the back, which is 
dark, giving the bird the name. 

Badges Same as Saddles except body color, which should 
be dark except foot feathering and ten lower flights which 
should be white. Head marks same as Saddles. 

Regarding tiie breeding for "markings," of Mottles and 
Rosew r iiigs, F. H. McCardie says 

"The tendency of strong healthy birds of good color is to 
throw birds with less markings than themselves. The ten- 
dency of a weak and inbred strain, or unhealthy birds is to 
produce plenty of markings. If you can get a strong healthy 
bird gaily marked on the wings only, that is the bird on 
which you can found the markings of your strain. Inexper- 
ienced fanciers would throw such a bird out, instead of 
treasuring it as it deserved. This, paired to a short marked 
bird, a self marked-bred is the most likely way to breed a 
well marked bird. 

Two short-marked or standard marked birds are most like- 
ly to breed selfs, unless closely related and gaily bred. 

It. is the most successful plan to pair so as to strike an 
average rather than trying to get like to produce like. 

Do not breed too much for one point, but keep the general 
average improving. The value of the different points is 
about equal, and a bird perfect in one point and poor in the 

Blue Kadge Tumbler. 

BA.RRED, MUFFED TUMBLER. (Feathered World.) 


remainder is useless for the show pen. Considerable weight 
may however be given to the head. 

Do not be afraid of showing imperfect birds. Support the 
shows as much as possible, they are the backbone of the 

Carefully avoid a white back bird or one with white feath- 
er in the short flights. These qualities are very difficult to 
breed out and will often crop up in the otherwise best spec- 
imens causing great disappointment. However good a bird 
may be, unless you are sure his pedegree is of the best, keep 
his blood out of your stock. When mating up it is well to 
consider the grand parents as much as the parents of the 
birds in question." 



HKAK Close fitting, straight set and of medium thickness. 

\\"A rri.K Neat, fine in texture. 

SKILL Round, showing no flatness or indentations. 

EYE Pearl, or sometimes called white; centrally placed. 

CKIIE Small as possible, fine in texture, flesh colored. 

NKCK Medium length, inclined to shortness. hr<>;id at 
shoulders, tapering gradually to throat ; slightly a:vlu d. 

BODY Short, stout and wedge shaped: prominent and 
wide in chest. 

FLU JUTS Close set and broad. 

TAIL Closely folded. 

LK<;S Stout; well set, and of medium length. 

MUFF Profuse, and the outer edge forming a half circle 
coming in to hock without break it' possible. 

CARRIAGE Sprightly, upiight, bold, and jaunty. 

FEATHEK Clean, close, short and tight fitting. 

Black Badge Tumbler From Life. 

I5LACK BALDHEAD TUMBLER. (Feathered World.) 




' ; ' 


Blue Saddle Tumliler. 



IT must not be supposed that the long faced clean legged 
Tumbler is at all out of date. The long faced clean-leg 
has many admirers, and always will have. The clean- 
legs run in solids (or sell's) Mottles, and Rosewings, White- 
sides, Balds, Almunds, and there are also German Beards, 
and Danish Tumblers. 

In all colors, the eye should be pearl. The eye cere is pale 
and very narrow, and it should not be red, as this gives a 
kind of coarse look to the head. 


A good Mottle has say twenty to thirty-live white feathers 
in the w r ings, and slightly away from the butts, where they 
stand clear and distinct. But a common fault is that they 
run into the wing butts, and therefore spoil the finished ap- 
pearance of the true mottle. These white feathers must not 
run together, but be distinct. These white dots appear 
again at the base of the neck and extend over the back like 
a triangle with the base next to the neck. 


In Rosewings the dots appear in a circle on the wings. 
There should be about as many as on the wings of the Mot- 
tle. In England some whites have been shown with the 
rose-wing mark in black, but thej are scarce. 


Whitesides are another fancy variety. They should be 
solid colored, but with the wing and the short flights all 
white. Many of these birds are "made"' birds. They come 
with colored feathers all through the wings, which are pull- 
ed again and again till they come white. 

The Whiteside is not a good bird to breed, for the reasons 
given above. 



The Baldhead gets its iiame from its white head. The 
line starts from the thick part of the lower beak, just misses 
the eye, and goes around the back of the head at the same 

To make the Bald more beautiful, the head should be nice- 
ly rounded. The ten large flights should be white. The 
lower part of the body is white from a line just below the 
wing butts. 


The Beard is thus marked. The body except the flights 
and tail is solid. Just under the lower beak is a white 
patch, that extends just under the eye. It is something like 
a half moon, with the two horns extending to the eye or a 
little under it. This "beard" is sometimes called a "chuck," 
but that is only a kind of slang term for it. It is needless to 
say that the shape of this beard is often "assisted" by fan- 
ciers. The exactly proper Beard, has ten white flights, 
though a bird with only eight is tolerated. 

Otherwise good birds are apt to show foul feathers about 
the thighs and hocks, and this seems to be rather more the 
case in Beards and Balds than in other marked Tumblers. 


German Beards are longer in the head and beak than the 
English birds, but are tight feathered trim birds, that do 
good work in the air. 

The beak is a pale flesh, in all the colors, the eye a pearl, 
and the head round, though as stated, rather long. 

Good authorities say that in mating for color in Beards it 
is not well to cross the colors, but rather to mate straight for 
the color desired. 

Parlor Tumbler From Life. 



BEAK Close fitting, straight set, and of medium thickness. 

WATTLE Neat, fine in texture. 

SKULL Rather more oval than round, with wide frontage, 
showing no flatness or indentation. 

EYE Pearl or white, centrally placed. 

CERE Small as possible, fine in texture. 

NECK Medium length, broad at base, tapering gradually 
to throat, slightly arched. 

BODY Short, stout and wedge-shaped, prominent and 
wide in chest. 

FLU JUTS AND TAIL Flights closely set, broad, short and 
carried on tail. Tail closely folded and wedge shape. 

LEGS Stout, and well set, and of medium length. 

r.vKuiEiis Sprightly, upright, bold and jaunty. 

FEATHER Clean, close, and tight fitting. 

MOTTLES Color sound and even throughout. The pinion 
mutt lings should be white, and nearly circular, evenly dis- 
tributed, butts free from white. The back marking should 
be V shaped, well and evenly mottled. Beak as in Selfs. 

ROSE WINGS Same as Mottles excepting back markings. 

BEARDS Markings. The Bearding or Chuck should be 
small, and not extending beyond the centre of the eyes, and 
in line with centre of beak. Primary flights 10 x 10 tail and 
stockings white; the rest of the body to be of a sound even 
color throughout. Beak In blues, blacks and chequers, the 
upper mandible should be dark, and the lower flesh colored, 
while in other varieties both mandibles should be flesh 

BALD HEADS Markings. Head, primary flights 10 x 10, 
tail and body color downwards from the breast bone, white. 
The line of demarcation should extend from slightly under 
the lower mandible, following close to the eye* and gradually 


and evenly rising to the back of the skull. Beak & Cere, 
flesh colored in all varieties. 

WHITESIDES The whole of the body, including tail and 
primary flights 10 x 10, should be sound colored throughout. 
The shoulders, wing coverts, and secondary flights, pure 
white. Beak Flesh colored, excepting blacks, which should 
be black. 

ALMONDS & SUB-VARIETIES Same as in the Short-Face. 

SELF COLORS Blacks. Color, deep and sound, showing 
a green metallic lustre. Beak and toe- nails Black. 

Reds. Rich color, sound and even throughout, with a lus- 
trous, golden bronzy hackle showing free from green. Beak- 
Flesh colored. 

Whites .should possess a satin silvery-like appearance, with 
Beak, Toe-nails, Eye and Cere, white. 

Yellows. Color, rich golden, even 'throughout, hackle 
showing a pink lustre free from green. Beak F'esh colored. 

English Hunts ( See page 224.) 










THE short face tumbler does not seem to be as popular 
now as it was some years ago, and I attribute this to 
the fact that so many have taken up the variety of 

which I have just written. 

Short faces are smaller in size and have all the character- 
istics of the other breed, and the high forehead is much more 
pronounced. They are cute little birds, many of them beaut- 
ifully marked and are most emphatically "toys." It must 
not be understood that a short face and a " down face ' are 
at all alike. Take the Owl for instance, and its face is very 
short, but the beak comes right on down from the face. But 
in the short face tumbler, the forehead bulges out as far as 
possible and the beak breaks this line and stands out almost 
at right angles. It is very short and very fine. Another 
point; the tumbler proper, often carries it; elf with the head 
rather forward, while the short face carries it back of its very 
prominent breast. In fact theie are two grand curves in the 
short face, one at the forehead and another at the chest. 

They are dear little birds and make the very best of pets. 
They are not good breeders, being bred down rather too fine, 
and thus lacking vigor of constitution, and the short beaks 
are not adapted for either feeding by the old or receiving 
the food by the young. 


THE Parlor or Inside Tumbler is a very popular variety 
in America, but scarcely known in England. They are 
judged by comparison, as to the way they do their 
work. Some of them make only one revolution in the air 
after rising, but some make three or even four, and light 
squarely on their feet. The parlor tumbler that does its 


work the most easily and gracefully, turning nicely in the 
air in the shortest space and striking the floor with its wings 
folded nicely and feet firmly placed with no sprawling, is the 
bird that will win, 110 matter what its color or general 

They usually come in solid colors, but there are lovely 
mottles and splashes. They are great pets and can be train- 
ed to a high degree, and are a never failing source of interest 
at shows. 

As their merit consists solely in their abilityto tumble 
well, little attention is paid to feather. There are two things 
in favor of the Parlor Tumbler, one that it can be bred any- 
where, and in almost any kind of a loft, and another that the 
fancier who breeds them always has something with which 
to delight visitors. 


WE have now treated of "'show" Tumblers, and Inside 
workers, and therefore come to what is known as a 
"flying kit," in other words, Tumblers that are 
judged by their ability to keep on the wing, and practice 
those wonderful evolutions chat have given the Tumbler its 

I take it for granted that the fancier who owns a good fly- 
ing kit, cares little for marking. The work of such birds is 
done in the air, where the most exquisite marking counts for 

It is no easy thing to produce a good Kit of Rollers even 
with a good start in the way of stock, as much care must 
be expended in getting the proper rolling into a Kit. 

It will not do for the birds to dart up in the air, make a 
few revolutions and then settle. That is not rolling. The 
birds must go up and stay up. They must roll with some 


regularity, and at a good height, and hence the great necess- 
ity of having birds that will work together. 

A good Roller must be a fast worker, but it must be uni- 
form in its work. 

Perhaps it is necessary to explain still further, as many do 
not understand of what .a good flying Kit consists. When 
the bird is let out, its rolling is its exercise; its delight. Tt 
gets rid of its superabundant spirits by rising high, circling 
in great circles and ever and anon ''rolling/' The great 
point is to keep the Kit well up. 


THESE birds are trained in various ways the most gen- 
eral of which is to allow them to first get used to the 
loft, and its vicinity, and then frighten them into the 
air. Instinct keeps them up longer than other birds, and, 
when they feel like settling, they are frightened off with a 
cloth on a pole until the owner is willing to let them come 

I think that Tipplers and Rollers are just now coming into 
popularity in this country, and we ought to have Kits that 
fly for the love of it, and not through fear. We want no iv<! 
and white flags, and lanterns in this country, but birds that 
will go into the air, work well and come down at a proper 

There are some splendid Kits in this country, and all a 
modest fancier needs is about three good old pairs, and he 
will soon have a Kit, for the young w 11 fly well at two or 
three mouths. And, trained with good parents they will 
work all the better. One can let them out in the morning 
enjoy them, and then go about his work, satisfied that they 
will drop in due time. 



THE Barb is a variety of pigeon well known the world 
over, but I am sorry to say that it seems to have ret- 
rograded in the popular fancy in this country during 
the last few years. At the old-time shows, Barbs were always 
an important class and well filled ; but latterly they seem to 
have lost their hold on the popular fancy, and the Barb class- 
es are not only badly filled, but the entries are confined to 
two or three fanciers w r ho still stick to them. 

Barbs have brought very high prices in the fancy, perhaps 
as high as any known variety. Most of its points lie in the 
skull, the head total, 'and the beak and jew wattle. 

In size, the bird is medium, but it has the broad breast, 
strong and prominent wing butts, and the general " well 
built' 1 appearance of birds of its family. 

The beak is short and massive, with a strong, " down-face '' 
appearance, and the mandibles are of about even thickness. 

The beak wattle stands out large and full, extending well 
onto the beak. It is of fine texture, evenly divided on either 
side, and must not be stained. The jew wattle matches the 
beak wattle as nearly as possible and must have no stains. 
The jaw of the barb is full and strong, and adds to the square 
appearance of the entire head. 

The eyes are completely surrounded by a heavy eye wattle 
of a bright red. The eye is pearl color with dark pupil ex- 
cept in whites, which have bull eyes. The legs and feet are 
as bright a red as possible. 

The eye wattle, being a great point, is worthy of a careful 
description. It is circular and even, filling out evenly in all 
directions and should stand well out from the eyes. Its even- 
ness is its great point and there should be no tendency to 

BARBS. (Feathered World.) 

ICE PIGEONS. From Fulton's Pigeon Book. 


spouts. The neck is short and tapers gradually from the 
square shoulders to the head. The breast is broad and full 
and should stand well out, but not detract from the plump 
body lines. Back broad and flat. The wings rest above the 
tail, which latter is of medium length, and the legs are 
short. Barbs come in Blacks, Reds, Duns, Yellows and 

A great deal depends on keeping the wattle in good shape. 
It is so large that it is apt to become the abiding place for 
little ulcerations. The tendency to these sores does not come 
from heredity, but is the effect of dirt and extraneous matter 
that gets into the little crevices. When a barb is to be shown, 
the most caieful attention must be shown to its wattles. 

The Barb is a bird that must be kept in confinement, as a 
well developed specimen cannot see either in front or behind. 
The old authorities are fond of referring to the Barb as a 
"spool-head" and looking at it from the front, its head has 
much the appearance of a spool with the winding part of the 
spool as a base, and the two sides for the eye wattle. 

It is hard to breed Barbs without good nurses. Their fec- 
undity is great, but. through peculiar head formation, they 
lack the ability to feed their young. As in many other birds 
where the egg must be removed, it is not well to let the lien^ 
over-lay. They should be allowed to set on their own eggs 
or on "dummies"' until nature has a chance. 

The Barb does not reach its show form till about three 
years old, and it is hard to tell just how the average young- 
ster in the loft will turn out. If it has the proper head for- 
mation the chances are that the wattle will come all right 



OH, Mr. Judge, please show me a Carrier! Oh, is that 
one? Why what a funny bird. Does it carry the 
note in its beak, and how does it know where you 
want the note taken ?" 

I give this sample of the questions asked a Judge at a show 
in order that my readers may see the predicament I am in. 
through writing for others than fanciers. 

We (of the purple,) all know that the show Carrier is not 
a Homer, and that the Homer is the bird that takes a mes- 
sage to its home loft, and nowhere else. That the average 
Show Carrier would not home a mile. 

I feel that I hurt the feelings of no Carrier fancier, when 
I state that the show Carrier, the old English Carrier, is not- 
one of the most popular varieties. At the big shows the 
Carrier classes are rarely well filled, yet personally I think 
the Carrier a wonderful bird, and one that well repays the 
fancier for the time spent in perfecting its points. 

The Carrier is a large bodied pigeon, and is in reality 
larger and heavier than it really looks, for its feathers lie 
close and hard, and it is so "trim" as to be misleading. One 
of its great points is its wattle. There must be two, the up- 
per or beak wattle, and the lower or Jew wattle. The more 
prominent these are, the better. 

The head of the Carrier should be long, shallow on top, 
and narrow between the eyes. 

The wattles should stand out well, but be short and wide. 
The beak wattle should be free from hollowness, but should 
be full, and larger of course than the Jew wattle, which, 
however should have the same general characteristics as the 


Swiss or Crescent. 




The eye should be full and prominent, and should have a 
wild, alert look, as if the bird were ready to spring into the 
air at the slightest motion. 

The beak is long and thick and nearly straight, the meas- 
urement being two inches from the eye to the tip. 

The neck is long and slender, aud with a clean gullet. The 
breast is broad and full, and the shoulders very square, with 
prominent wing butts. The wings and tail are long, and the 
thighs muscular, with long, strong looking legs. The feet 
are also large and muscular looking. 

Black and Dun Carriers have always seemed the most pop- 
ular bieeds, but the white now seems to be quite the fancy. 
In blacks and blues the eye should be dark red. In whites 
it should be dark, or. bull-eye, and in Yellows, Reds and 
Duns it should be a pearl. 

The great point is to breed a very long face aud then get 
the proper wattle on it, but the same idea of getting '"length" 
must also be applied to the bird. With a cock with a good 
heavy wattle, and a hen that maybe somewhat lacking in 
this respect, it is possible to get good young, provided the 
hen is a good raugey bird. 

The Carrier is emphatically a show bird, and is rarely bred 
save in confinement. 

Before a show the greatest attention should be paid to 
these birds. Every feather should be clean and in place, and 
the wattles should not -show the least particle of dirt. In 
cleaning the beak and eye wattles it is best to do so several 
days before a show in order that the bird may have the tint 
that nature has put on. 



THE Dragoon is not only a variety of its own, but it is 
one of the most handsome and most striking pigeons 
that lives. It is claimed that it is a direct descendant 
of the Horseman, a bird of which we now never, hear. 

In England there are two types, the sturdy compact bird 
that we now accept as the proper one, and a narrow slender- 
ly built bird, that had the proper head and beak, but lacked 
the strong and vigorous make-up of the now typical Dra 

The most pronounced feature about the Dragoon is its 
skull, which comes up round, full and broad, and narrows 

quickly to the beak. 

It is more of a wedge-shape, than any other, and the watts 
which fits close to the beak, and is also wedge-shaped, adds 
to 1 his general contour. The rise from the beak tip is also 
regular, and this gives a sort of "low forehead" appearance, 
which must be seen to be understood. 

It is now admitted that the proper skull must be about 
twice as broad at the back, as at the frontal, where the wat- 
tle begins. There has been much discussion as to length of 
beak, but I believe the best authorities place it at about one 
and a half inches from tip to front edge of the eye. 

The wattle is a great feature in the Dragoon, and should 
rise gradually from where it begins on the beak, to the be- 
ginning of the frontal bone, but it should not extend much 
over the side of the beak, for this would detract from its even 
appearance. Close to the skull it comes up even and hard, 
as if firmly glued to it, and does not stand out as does the 

The beak should be as thick as possible, with no wattle on 
the lower mandible. 

Brswqfor $$ |WS V<^ 

BLACK DRAGOON Sketched from Life. 



The eye should be large and full, and have rather a wild 
expression. It is just midway in the face, and the iris is a 
rich red. 

The neck is short and strong, and spreads gradually to a 
broad chest, and a broad, flat back. 

The shoulder butts protrude slightly, and show much 
strength, but the wings do not set so closely as in the Car- 


The flights are broad, even, and strong looking, and rest 
just above the tail at their tips. 

The tail is inclined to be short and is carried rather up 
from the floor. 

The legs are short, and very strong looking and the thighs 
muscular. The legs are clean, with no suspicion of booting, 
and rest on large strong feet. In color, the Dragoon fancier 
may suit himself, as the bird comes in all colors, though 
red, yellows and whites are hardly up to the standard of the 
other colors. I think there is nothing more handsome than 
a nice Silver. 

Blues seem to be the most favorite colored birds, and as a 
color are in the majority. The Dragoon is a good breeder 
and thrives with wonderful ease in almost any kind of a 

Of late years, the Dragoon has made wonderful strides in 
popularity, not only in this country but in England, for at 
one of the recent large shows over the water there were 
more Dragoons entered than birds of any other one variety. 

It should be remembered that the Dragoon is somewhat 
of a fighter, but not a vicious bird. All wattled birds seem 
born fighters, and yet they are chary of mankind. 



HEAD Wedge-shaped and broad, yet proportionate to the 
stoutness and length of the beak, slightly curved when view- 
ed from the side or front, thus showing no angle or extended 
flat surface. 

BEAK Thick, measuring from the termination of the beak 
horn to the anterior corner of the eye, about li inches. The 
lower mandible stout, straight and close fitting ; the upper 
also stout, and terminating in a slight curve. 

AVATTLE Peg shaped, i. e., broad and perpendicular at its 
base, narrowing with even sides and longitudinal furrows 
towards the point of the upper mandible, but not intruding 
on the lower. 

EYE CERE Small, fine in texture, nearly circular, slightly 
pinched at the back. 

EYE Prominent and watchful. In Blues, Silvers, Chequers 
and Grizzles, the iris of a deep rich red color. In other va- 
rieties, an approximation to this color; except in Whites, in 
which the iris is dark colored. 

NECK Short and thick without gullet, and widening boldly 
from head to shoulders. 

BKEAST Broad and full. 

BACK Broad and as flat as possible ; shoulders prominent. 

WINGS Strong, the flights carried above the tail. 

TAIL Short and running in a line with the back, carried 
clear of the ground, and extending quite half-an-inch beyond 
the tips of the wings. 

LK<;S Short. The thighs stout and muscular. The whole 
length of the body, from the point of the beak to the ex- 
tremity of the tail, about 15 inches. 

COLOR In Blues. The neck dark and lustrous; the body, 
rump and thighs, a leaden blue of uniform shade. 

M vKKiNos A broad black bar across the end of the tail. 
T\v<> Mark bars, about of an inch, wide, even and distinct, 







running transverse! ey from top to bottom of each whig, in 
the form of 'the letter Y inverted. Color of beak in Blues 
black. Color of Eye Cero. A dark grey. 

Colors of Grizzles and Chequers. Each Feather distinctly 
grizzled or chequered. The marking, color of Beaks and Eye 
cere, same as in Blues. 

Color of Silvers. A uniform and light silver tint. Xeck 
a deeper shade. Bars as black as possible. Beak, horn 

Yellows and Reds. Color uniform and bright. Beak of an 
even flesh color. Eye Cere, hard and white. 

Wattles Beak, pale flesh color Eye Cere same as in 
Yellows and Reds. 



THE Show Homer is not a bird that would attract much 
attention in the show room, and by this I mean that it 
has not the variegated plumage that wculd cause the 
masses to stop and look at it. Yet it has its points, and they 
are as hard to breed to perfection, as are the points of other 

The show Homer is another of the birds that has sprung 
into sudden popularity, and this assertion holds true on 
either side of the big pond. 

The primary points show at an early age, and the breeder 
does not have to halt between hope and fear and wonder 
"how the birds will turn out. ' Just as soon as the young- 
ster is through moult it is ready to show, and in fact it looks 
about as well then, as when fully matured. 

There are two great points in the show Homer, and they 
are simply head and body. The head is a beautiful curve 
from the tip of the beak to the back of the skull. There is 
no gap between the beak wattle and the skull, but it fills 
right up in one unbroken curve. The eye cere is small and 
fine, and dark. The color of the eye most sought for is a 
pearl or flesh white. The beak is medium in length and 
thickness and seems to fit close to a compact head. The 
wattle is not laige, but close fitting and must come up just 
enough to make that perfect curve that we see in so many 
wood cuts and on so few birds. The chest of the bird is full 
and strong and stands well out, and the shoulders are also 
well out and strong looking, though there must be a close- 
ness of feather all over. The very appearance of the body 
which is short and thick set, gives the idea of hidden 


The flight> are short and broad, and lap closely, and the 
tail short and also folded so closely as to seem like the end 
of a wedge. The legs are of medium length, and of strong 
appearance. The beak wattle is rather of an almond shape, 
and as I stated, it must come up just far enough to make the 
perfect curve I mentioned. There is no jew wattle, and the 
bird must be clean cut on the neck. The bird is a long face, 
pure and simple, and the longer the better. 

The entire head of the show Homer should look "long" 
with the eye just about the centre. The eyes run pearl, red 


and black, or bull, but the pearl eye makes a contrast that 
is striking and gjves a better general look to the bird. 
Though the entire head seems to be a curve, this should not 
extend to the beak, which is almost straight, but the curved 
appearance is back of the beak and its being straight does 
not affect the general outline. 

Though the neck is strong looking, it is not coarse. On 
the contrary it is very clean cut, and it tapers down to the 
broad chest. 



I NOW take up the pigeon that is perhaps creating more 
excitement to-day than is any other breed. Not only 
are its wonderful powers being turned to use in civil and 
military life ; not only is it used as a "sporting" bird, just as 
the race horse is used, but, through its low price, it is being 
disseminated all over this land, and is being kept by untold 
numbers of budding fanciers who w r ant something a little 
better than the common pigeon, and yet cannot afford to 
handle the high priced varieties. 

Again, it is so hardy, so strong, so easily kept, (needing no 
more attention than the common pigeon) and such are its 
breeding powers, and its care of its young, that it is no won- 
der that Homers are to be seen in almost every little village 
in the country. 

Outside of the general characteristics, the Homer is not 
bred for feather, for body, skull, beak, or even size, except 
that it should be large enough to be vigorous. 

Some of the greatest flyers have been rather small and 
delicate looking birds that have easily surpassed other bird* 
which have seemed to show every point bred to the highest 

Take the average basket of Homers that is sent to an Ex. 
press office for liberation, and no man, 110 matter how care- 
fully he may look them over, can express a competent opin- 
ion as to which is the best bird. 

But the working Homer is not produced without due care, 
and the greatest regard to heredity. It is to a producing of 
the instinct, or the eye sig'ht and memory, or whatever we 
may decide it to be, to which the good fancier directs his 


The successful flyer not only watches to see that the proper 
bone and muscle, the proper stamina, enters into his birds, 
but he knows every blood line in his loft, and when he mates 
he tries to blend the birds, the records of the ancestors of 
which show so plainly where the coveted "homer sense" lies. 

Two great essentials in handling Homers are trapping and 
i raining. Young birds can be taught to trap fast in a few 
days. Let them go hungry and drive them out of the loft, 
on a nice morning, and get them up in the air. 

Then let the bob-wires down and throw a good feed in 
plain sight, >n the floor, and, being hungry they will soon 
force in and go to feeding. Try it again in the evening, and 
so on day after day, till the birds liml that the sooner they 
bolt in, the sooner they will get to feeding. Be sure and 
have either a very large entrance hole, or several small ones 
so that a single bird cannot stand at the hole and beat off 
he others that wish to enter. 

The young birds must be trained to 'homo'' and in this 
connection I want to sound a note of warning against over- 
working young birds. Better ten good Hies of ten miles each, 
than one bad one of twenty-five. Training should begin at 
say five months, for by that time the youngsters will get a 
good knowledge of localities around the home loft. They 
should be taken short distances, not in one direction, but to 
all the points of the compass. 

The idea is to give them a conception of where home lies, 
so that no matter where they are sent on long trips, the same 
general knowledge of line of flight, will guide them. 

But. to return to my subject, and it is well to use a rubber 
stamp, and on the wing of each biid, and on the tail feathers 
stamp a request to notify you, (using name and address,) if 
the bird is caught or shot. 



In its general appearance it is much like the show Homer, 
which latter bird is a direct descendent of the worker. 


I feel that I have not done justice to this wonderful bird, 
but anyone who reads the daily press can constantly see re- 
ports of the uses to which the instinct of the true Homer is 
being put. 




I BELIEVE I said somewhere in this work that to me all 
pigeons were beautiful, but I fear I will have to draw 
the line on the Scandaroon. 

This bird is like no other. It has somewhat the body shape 
of the Homer, though more lengthy in build. Legs clean, 
and rather short; wings well folded and lapping over tail. 
The head is large in proportion to body. Small eye and beak 
wattles, the latter extending well down on the beak, which 
is curved down. It can hardly be called a "sickle-bill" yet 

there is a curve from the face to the tip of the beak. 

There are not many of them in this country, and the few 
fanciers who keep them, and to whom I have spoken, have 
admitted that they saw no beauty in them, but kept them 
because they were odd and quaint looking. 

In Germany the Scandaroons have a strong place in favor, 
and at Nuremberg especially, they can be found in profusion. 
I do not think the bird will ever be popular in America, for 
the reason that it has no particular beauty, or good points to 
commend it. 



THE Hunt is a large bird that has come into notoriety of 
late years, through its size and nothing else. 

It has no markings by which the judge can use com- 
parison, but it is simply a large pigeon, bred large by those 
who feel that a pigeon represents so much meat. However 
the Runt has been found a good bird for a cross, to make 
good eating squabs. Crossed with the Homer, or with birds 
of that class, the young have been found to show up in good 
shape, and.they are certainly as good eating as can be found, 
that is if one can imagine that the pigeon is a bird Jit only 
to eat. To the fanciers who look on the pigeon as being- 
something more than "a piece of liver 1 '/, e. something to 
use as so much marketing, the cultivation of the Runt does 
not offer many inducements, though it must be admitted 
that by its size, it is an impressive sort of bird. 

Still, there is nothing in the way of grace or style, that 
will ever make it a show bird. As to the breeding qualities 
of the Runt, the Runt proper is not so good a breeder as the 
cross bred bird. Just as in any bird that is bred to excess in 
certain points, the Runt seems to develope a tendency to 
grow either into infertility or into pour feeding qualities. 

In shape, the Runt is much like the common pigeon, but 
its tendency is to carry the tail "up" instead of out, with the 
flights resting below it. The neck is coarse, and the shoul- 
ders wide; breast plump, and body rather short built. 

Still, no regular body lines can be laid down. The judge 
must simply judge by comparison, taking for his ideal a 
large sized common pigeon, "built for meat," and nothing 
else. It may be that in years to come we may build the 
Runt on certain lines, and it will then be a show bird, but. 
prior to that time we must simply assume that it is a large 
common pigeon. 



THIS is a biid that is not well known to the masses, yet 
latterly they seem to have grown in popularity. 

The Duchesse looks simply like an overgrown com- 
mon pigeon, booted. There is no question but that the old 
stock came from the other side-, supposably from Germany 
or Holland. 

The great points with the Duchesse are size and breeding 
quality, yet withal they are handsome birds, and have many 
attractive ways. They come in all colors. 

The beak is long and line, with the upper mandible far 
more heavy than the lower and slightly curved at the tip. 
The eye should be large, full and round, with a mild expres- 
sion, just i he reverse of the Homer and birds of that class. 
The neck ! > very short, and sets nicely on very broad shouL 
ders. Back broad, wings closely folded, with tips meeting 
over the tail. 

The tail is closely folded and is held up from the ground- 
The legs are short and strong looking, and are heavily boot- 
ed from the hocks to the tips of toes. 

They come either smooth-headed, or shell-crested. They 
are good home birds, fine breeders and feeders, and as stated, 
have many good points to commend them to the public, yet 
they will never rank up in class with the true "fancy 1 ' 



THE Archargel is a bird that does not depend 011 sharp 
contrasts of plumage, yet its plumage is its greatest 
point, for I do not know of anything more beautiful 
than the rich bronze of an Archangel's neck and breast, as 
it shows next to the burnished wing, so inky black that it 
seems different from almost any other black we see. Per- 
haps it is the combination of colors that does it ; I only know 
that for beauty of plumage few birds can excel the Arch- 

I do not consider it a striking bird. I think its beauty 
grows on one as he slowly takes it in. 

It is another of what are known as German Toys, yet it is 
different from all the rest. 

Beginning with the head, it should be long and narrow, 
with a round skujl. In other words its face must be lean 
and slender, but not angular at the top. The crest should 
be a perfect peak, running to a nice crest point, and should 
show no mane at all. The beak is long and slender with 
somewhat of a curve at the end. It should have a small fine 
wattle, and the upper mandible of beak of a darker tint than 
the lower. The eye is full and bright, and deep red in color. 

The neck is long and slender, and is a perfect wedge shape 
from the shoulders up, which latter should be well defined, 
but not square. 

The Archangel is not a "blocky" bird, but is slender in all 
points. The breast protrudes slightly, but must be a neat 
and pretty curve. 

The wings are very long, but lie close to the body. They 
reach nearly to the tip of the tail, and rest just over it. The 
legs are rather long, giving the bird an "upstanding" ap- 



1 'F.TI 



pearance. They are bright red, free from any feathering, 
and the toes are black. 

The head and neck, the breast and thighs, are of a beaut* 
copper bronze, and the wings rump and tail are of a metallic 
black, which has the peculiar lustre of which I have spoken. 
A well groomed Archangel can show more lovely shades 
than any other pigeon of which I have any knowledge. 

The Archangel is a good breeder, and also breeds remark- 
ably true, and I see no reason why it should not become very 

The description I have given is of the dark bronze variety, 
which is admitted to be the best. There is a lighter variety, 
which differs from it in tint of color, and is called light 
bronze. In the dark bird the entire upper mandible i^ mark- 
ed, while in the light variety, there is a small black stripe at 
the point only, while the rest of the beak is flesh colored. 



HEAD Long and narrow, with gradual curve from front 
to back ; round skull, showing an easy curve in all directions ; 
lean face, junction with head to neck almost imperceptible. 

CKEST Central, needle-pointed, one-fourth to one-half 
inch in length, and slightly inclined forward, showing no 
mane behind or beneath it. 

BEAK Dove shaped, light brown color, slightly curved ai 
end with black marking on top of upper mandible extending 
from wattle to end of beak, lower mandible straight. 

WATTLE Fine in texture and small, showing very little or 
no white surface. 

EYE AND CEKE Deep orange red; pupil large and clearly 
defined, prominent, yet of a rather mild expression, eye-cere 
very small and fine in texture. 

NECK Long, slender, graceful, and slenderest at point of 
junction with head, gently widening toward the shoulders, 
joining the latter with a gradual curve. 

BREAST Slightly prominent, plain and neat 

WINGS Long, close to body, and tapering to flights, which 
should be narrow in web of feather, extending to within a 
half an inch of end of tail and meeting tip to tip, gently 
resting on the tail. 

LEGS AND FEET Firm and of good length, shank free from 
feathers and covered with line scales; toes well separated 
and long, claws black, legs and feet crimson in color. 

BODY Rather small in size, narrow and slender, and gr^ce- 
f ully tapering from front to vent, with shoulders well de- 
fined and close to the body. 

COLOR Wings, rump and tail rich bronzed black ; around 
ends of wings and rump feathers are arranged brilliant me- 
tallic colors, changing in hue with every change of position; 
tail feathers black, have a rounded appearance at end; head, 
neck, belly and thighs an even, deep rich copper. 

PLUMAGE Close and compact. 

NATURE Rather wild, yet graceful. 





THIS is another "toy" pigeon, for the production of which 
we can thank our German friends. 

It is another of the type which must rely on a con- 
trast of colors for its distinctive points. 

It is not a popular bird, yet why I do not see, unless it is 
because of the tendency of foul feathers to crop out, for it is 
a splendid breeder, and can thrive anywhere. It is a very 
attractive bird, and has many admirers, yet for some reason 
there are few fanciers who take it up as a specialty, and 
breed it up to the perfection it deserves. 

The body of the Xun is pure white, with its head, front of 
neck, flight, feathers and tail, of some solid color. General- 
ly this color is black, but it is bred also in red, yellow, dun 
and blue. 

It has a crest that rises sharp and clear, and comes clear 
around from eye to eye, and must be white, in order to make 
the sharp contrast with the colored head more marked. In 
blacks the beak must be black, and in the other colors it is 
flesh colored. 

The old writers were at logger-heads about the number of 
colored flights the bird must have. Fulton demanded ten 
flights colored, while others were content w r ith six. 


After all, the marking is about all that makes the Xun. 
It has no booting, and its legs arc a rich red. 


_ . . . 


r T^HE Trumpeter is one of the most odd looking birds in 
the fancy, and while not a general favorite, is bred to 
the very highest point by quite a number of enthusi- 
astic breeders. In old days it was sometimes called the 
Laughing pigeon, but it now goes by the name of the Russian 
or Bokhara Trumpeter. This bird is said to be a native of 
Russia, but the great majority of those in this country were 
imported from Germany. That the trumpeter is one of the 
most peculiar vagaries of the pigeon tribe, all will admit, 
I know of no other pigeon that has the "rose" so developed, 
and the nearest approach to it in any bird is in a breed of 
Canaries that have it. This rose is a complete circle be- 
ginning at the centre of the skull, covering it entirely, ex- 
tending over the eyes and over almost the entire beak. 

The crest of the trumpeter is similar to that of such va- 
rieties as the Swillow and Nun, and it rises behind the rose, 
making a sort of double head covering. The larger this 
crest the better of course, and it should begin below the eye. 

As to boots, the trumpeter stands almost alone, if I may 
'except the Spot or Fairy Swallow. There is no great length 
of feather at the hock, but the booting grows heavier as we 
go down, until, on the outside of the foot it reaches an enor- 
mous length. 

This bird is very deceptive in size, some of them, through 
their wonderful and loose feathering, looking as large as 
Runts, but the body is no larger than that of a medium 
ized pigeon. 

The eye of the trumpeter is white. The standard colors 
;ire, mottles which are far in the majority and come lirst, and 
blacks and whites, with a few reds and yellows. 







THE Swallow is essentially a "toy" bird, its pretty mark- 
ings being the result of crosses for color in the past, 
ami ilie credit for its production is given to Germany, 
where it holds a high place among the ''German Toys." 

Xo bird has more beautiful or more pronounced markings, 
the contrast being so distinct as to strike the eye at once, 
even when the bird is far off and on the wing. 

There seems to be no limit to the endless varieties of mark- 
ing that can be produced. Some years ago the Feathered 
World produced a cut of a Spangle Spot Swallow, one of the 
mpst lovely things I ever saw. The wings are spangled and 
the row goes clear down the flights, while the spangle on the 
boots is also plainly to be seen. At another time it printed 
a reproduction of a Spot or Fairy Swallow, which was almost 
as beautiful. 

Every breed however has its drawbacks, and the only one 
with the swallow is, that it is hard to breed it true to 

Necessarily in a "made*' bird, foul feathers \\ill continually 
show, and this drives many a young fancier out of this va- 
riety, for no matter how perfect his old birds are. he is sure 
from time to time, to find foul marked young. 

The marking of the perfect Swallow is very simple. If he 
is a black, the entire body must be snow white. The skull 
is jet black and this color line must be sharply drawn at the 
base of the crest, which is a complete cup ciest and snow 
white. Then beginning sharply at the shoulder the entire 
wing must be jet black and then we go past the hocks (which 
are long or "vulture' hocks) and the black begins again 
sharply at the knee, and extends t.> every feather in the 


It is in the hocks' that trouble generally begins, for the 
head may be solid and correct, the wings the same, and yet, 
we find little discolorations creeping into the hock feathers. 

Again, while the swallows of long ago were all solid mark- 
ed, save the blues, which had black wing bars, modern 
fanciers are now producing beautiful white barred birds in 
all colors. 

The perfect bird has the marking of the back so complete 
tliat when the wings are folded, there is a perfect white flat- 
iron, in shape, 011 the back. 

They should be as small as possible, as it is generally ad- 
mitted that the smaller a toy bird can be bred the better. 
They should be broad in chest, short neck, nice flat, broad 
back, and a regular wedge-shaped taper clear to the end of 
the tail. They stand low, seemingly in a douching position, 
but the head is a dove shape (i. e. round, not flat.) 

The marking of the head should run directly in a line with 
the beak opening, but the mark line should not affect the 
eye, but be just over it. The upper mandible of the beak 
will thus be colored and the lower one white. The crest is 
a regular cup shape and should extend from eye to eye, pure 
white, without a discoloration, and if there can be a little 
"rose" at each end of the crest, so much the better. 

SWALLOWS. (From Fulton's Book.) 

BAKLESS SWALLOW. ( Feathered World. > 



SHAPE Chubby and crouching. 

HEAD Dove-shaped, showing an indentation over the 
wattle; rather low, but slightly convex on the crown. 

BEAK Slender, rather long and straight, the upper man- 
dible dark, the under one light in color. 

WATTLE Very small and smooth, showing a whitish 

EYE CERE Very fine in texture and dark in color. 

EYES Black or ' bull-eyed. ' 

NECK Short and rather thick or cobby in appearance, but 
having no sign of gullet. 

SHOULDERS Broad and rather full-set, the back being also 
wide and flat. 

LEGS Short and rathe?- wide apart. 

MARKINGS Whole body white, with the exception of the 
cap, wings and the leg and foot feathering below the hocks. 

CAP Extending from tae wattle to the back of skull at a 
clean-cut line, dividing the dark skull plumage from the 
wMte of the lower part of head, such line of demarcation to 
be drawn from the juncture of the mandibles straight under 
the eyes o .. to the back of the upper part of the head, just 
fringing bat not intruding into the white lining of the crest. 

CRESJ. -To extend from back of eye to eye, rising about 
one-quarter of an incb over the cap, showing cup-like cavity, 
I nt not resting on or touching the head ; the crest should be 
wholly white including the inner lining, 

WINGS -All small and large feathers dark below the scap- 
ula plumage; this should form a kind of heart-shaped white 
saddle lying at the top of the shoulder end of the back. 
Flight feathers long and wide in web. 

TAIL Wholly white; the larger tail feathers should be 
rather long and wide in web, 


LEG AND FOOT FEATHERING- -Long and slippei pointed on 
the feet; the back feathering being long and evenly project- 
ing towards the vent. No bareness should be visible between 
the feet or on the legs. 

CARRIAGE- Squatty, that is, low on legs and short and 
rather projecting in the front of the body. 

PLUMAGE Abundant and but modestly close in fitting 
the flights being carried rather loosely and the tail somewhat 

CONDITION Very lustrous i:i the dark shading of the 
plumage, and free from all soil on the foot and hock feather- 


m -'-*<Mm*&? 

-- ~ ^3fc*MiWBr*rS 

FAIRY SWALLOW. ( Feathered World.) 



Rectors of the Church of England, after specific pray- 
ers for various persons, use a general prayer for " all 
sorts and conditions of men 1 ' and so 1. after treating of 

the popular breeds, will speak in a general way of " all sorts 

and conditions'' of pigeons. 

Many of these of which I now write are almost unknown 
in this country and are rarely seen at shows on the other 
side, yet they are pigeons and therefore worthy of brief 
notice in this book, which is claimed to cover all known 


This is a plump, compact pigeon that comes hi four stand- 
ard colors, Black, Blue, Red and Yellow. It has a shell crest 
and a tuft or rose over the nostrils. Its shape is much like 
that of the Swallow and it has the same heavily booted legs. 
though some are only grouse-legged. There are many Priests 
that do not have the rose, but these are of little value. The 
top mandible is white and the lower black. The eye should 
be dark or ''bull." All blues should be barred with white 
and a white band on the tail primaries is correct. 


This bird is almost identical with the Priest, about the 
only difference being that the entire top of the head, the 
crest and the rose are white. The ten primary nights are 
also white. The same general rules that govern the Priest 
apply to the Brunswick. 


These are German birds, large, bold and strong looking. 
The bird is a dark, rich blue as to body, with breast, thighs. 
rump and tail a little lighter in shade. Orange eye, black 


beak, legs clean from feather. The wings and sides are of a 
tri-color with a triangular dart on en eh feather. This mark- 
ing also extends across the saddle. 


This bird from being so hard to breed true to marking, is 
quite rare. They may have shells or peak crests, or be plain 
heads. They may also be clean legged or muffed. 

They run black in color, with a light crescent on breast and 
running up to a point at back of skull. The wings are 
spangled, and the tail black with a white band in the best 
specimens. While the dark bird is the best, it is permissable 
for them to run to light colors, but the marking in the lat- 
ter case is of course not so attractive. 


These pretty birds come in four colors. They are short, 
"squatty" birds, rather wild and shy. They run clean or 
muffed legged. The eyes are dark, and beaks black. Their 
great point is a sort of powdery blue or lavender tint all over, 
except in flights. All have light wing bars except the laven- 
der colored. Some are spangled or laced, and they can be 
marked in so many different ways that it is hard to say 
which is the proper idea. The lavender bird has no bars e..- 
cept the pale birds, which have bars tipped with a black 
edging. The spangled birds are particularly beautiful, but 
hard to breed correctly, and this is a fact common to nearly 
all the varieties of this family of birds. 


A VERY pretty little pigeon that is rarely seen and 
especially in this country is the Capuchin. It is of 
the Oriental variety and is very small, erect in station, 
and a nice, bright, clean-built little fellow all over. 

It has a broad shell-crest, which should come nicely around 

Scandaroons and Frill-backs. 





from ear to ear, but it should be close fitting and not flaring. 
It should seem to fit close to the skull. The Capuchin is 
round or ''bullet headed"' with a fulness in front. The beak 
is short and black, and the beak wattle white and fine. The 
eye cere is dark and like a fine line, and the pupil of the eye 
is white, or of a silver cast. 

The body proper is dark, and the white line begins at the 
base of the rump, and must be clean cut, and the tail is 

The Capuchin comes in whole colors, but is bred also in 
barred blues and barred silvers. Its body feathers have the 
same sheen that is seen n the Archangel. It is a beautiful 
little bird, and is liable to become quite a favorite at some 
future time. 


This bird, though a little larger, is almost a fac 
the Hyacinth except that it is more of a sulphur shade. The 
eye is orange, no crest or frill; beak and nails black. 


This bird owes its name to a peculiar frilled or "frizzly" 
condition of its feathers, which, especially 011 the sides and 
breast, seem to turn the wrong way. They are not handseme 
but simply odd looking. They are plain-headed or peaked, 
and often shell-crested or muff-legged. The frilled feathers 
are most easily bred on the sides, but it is hard to get them 
on the saddle, head and neck. This is the great desideratum 
but seldom reached. 


Though ice and fire are so little alike, these two breeds of 
pigeons are much the same. The contour is alike and so are 
all general points. The Fire pigeon is a rich brown on the 
back, shoulders and sides. The flights are black, and so are 


the head, neck and breast. There is a white, egg-shaped 
spot on the forehead, and the tail is pure white, the dividing 
line extending sharply around the rump at the vent. Eye 
orange and beak black, though sometimes the upper man- 
dible is white. The longer the boots the better, and a good 
vulture hock is a great addition. The great tendency is to 
throw young without the spot, and with foul tails. 


These birds are much like clean-legged tumblers. They 
run small in size and are pure white with a sort of dark cap 
or "helmet," which begins at the nose, runs through the eye 
and goes around the back of the head. The tail is black or 
dark, from a clean cut line at the vent; the eye is pearl. 

They are great pets and good breeders, and are the sort of 
birds that attract much attention from their peculiar marking. 


In all points the Spot is identical with the Helmet, except 
that the former has an oval spot on the head, beginning at 
the nose and extending up the forehead and ending above 
the eye. This spot must be clear and distinct and have 
sharply defined edges. They come in Blue, Black, Red and 
Yellow, clean legged or muffed. They also come plain, or 
with peak or shell crests. The tail must be colored like that 
of the Helmet. 


The Letz and its relative the Shield are both German Toys, 
relying on marking only for any claim to merit. The Shield 
has a plain head, while the Letz has a shell crest and a rose 
at the nostrils. Both have colored shoulders and wing bars, 
and both rely on heavy boots and hocks. The Shield is simp- 
ly a plain-headed Swallow, and the Letz, a Swallow with a 




SWIFT. (Feathered World., 



I lie Crescent is a creamy white bird with brown wing bars 
shaped much like a common turtle dove, with the same high 
forehead and long- beak. The neck is short and body plump, 
and they are low in the leg. They derive their name from a 
sort of half-moon on the breast, which is of a rich copper 
lustre. They have orange eyes and dark beaks. 


This bird is black, with barred wings and a half-moon on 
the breast. Sometimes the head is dotted with white, and 
this, far from being wrong, is a mark of purity. The eye is 
red and the beak and nails black. They may be either plain 
or crested, and clean or grouse legged. The great point is 
distinctive marking. The black must be sound and the bars 
and crescent very pure. 


These birds are a dark brown on the head, upper neck, 
back and breast. The tail and flights are darker in color. 
The same exquisite pencilling that marks the Suabian, is the 
great point with the Porcelain. The eye should be orange 
(but a pearl is admissible) and the beak and nails black. 
Sometimes, but rarely, they have the very desirable spot in 
the flights. A sort of chocolate color is what is wanted. 


The above is an odd pigeon that can hardly be called beau- 
tiful. It is a large bird, with a head like a Runt, a very 
crooked neck, full breast, short back, and an upright tail, 
which looks as if cut off with a pair of shears, 
are short and tilt up and meet just behind the tail, 
legs are stilty, and their walk, when mating, is a sort of tip- 
toe. They come in all sorts of colors, selfs, mottled and pied. 

About the only use I cap. see for the Burmese, is to put it 


in with other pigeons so that the beauty of the latter may be 
enhanced. The Burmese is said to be identical with the Leg- 
horn Paint, a cut of which is one of the oldest known of any 


This bird is much like the Runt. It is a large, quiet bird, 
plump and heavy. Most are black or dark colored. The 
beak is heavy and the head coarse, the neck short and shoul" 
ders very wide and strong. The back is broad and short, and 
the whole bird is shaped like a wedge. The upper beak 
mandible is dark, and the lower, white or flesh, the white 
color begins at the lower jaw, and seems to extend down the 
breast around the belly, vent and tail, and up the back. This 
leaves the entire wing, even to the back coverts, black or 
dark, and mike a very peculiar dividing line. They are good 
breeders, but for some reason seem to have few admirers. 


The Swift is of the Swallow tribe, but is an Indian bird, [t 
has been such a favorite in Egypt, that it is often called the 
Egyptian Swift, but this is a mistake. It is a large bird in 
appearance, but this is caused by loose feathering, for it is 
small in body. It is long and low-set, with small head and 
strong, short beak. The nights and tail are very long, and 
the wings cross over the tail. Their name is a mistake, for, 
even with their long wings, they are very slow and poor fly 
ers. The webbing of their feathers is so loose that they get 
along with difficulty. They come in all colors and with all 
sorts of markings. 


This is another bird from the far east, it having been a 
great favori^ a century ago. It is like the Owl in shape, 
with the same head and beak. It is larger than the Owl and 

SPANGLED MONK. ( Fanciers Gazette.) 


a bold looking little fellow. It has a large blue eye cere sur- 
rounding a damson colored eye. The old style of birds were 
plain-legged, but they are now, by some change, almost, all 
grouse-legged. Their color is a sort of silver, with very dis- 
tinct wing bars of black. The tail also has a dark band, and 
the flights and tail run to a dark color. There are few of 
these birds in this country. 

Blue Checker Homer Hen, No Record but Bred from 500 Mile Parents. 
A Grand Stock Hen and Winner at many Shows. 



The following is a concise explanation of some of the terms 
used in this work. They are used by fanciers the world 

DEW-LAP The thin, loose skin, finely feathered, and ex- 
tending from lower mandible down the throat. 

DOWN-FACED An even and unbroken curve of the head, 
from the point of the beak to the top of the skull. 

EYE-WATTLE A fleshy protuberance growing around the 
eye in a circular form. 

FOUL-THIGHED Mixed colored feathers on the thighs. 

GAY-MARKED A surplus of white on the colored portion 
of the body. 

HALF-MOON The crescent-shaped, white marking on the 

HOCK The knee-joint. 
HOOD The feathers rising up and extending around the 

back and the side of the head, and falling forward over the 
top of the skull and into the sweep of the ''Chain/' 

JEW-WATTLE A fleshy protuberance growing out from 
the root of the "Lower Mandible." 

JOWL The beak. 

KEEL The breast-bone. 

LOWER MANDIBLE The lower half of the beak. 

MANE The feathers rising upward and backward, meet- 
ing the "Hood," and extending down the back of the neck. 

PEAK-CREST The feathers rising to a point at the back of 
the skull, and falling into the sweep of the "Mane." 

PRIMARIES OR FLIGHTS The long quills or first ten feath- 
ers of the wing. 

RING-NECK The white running up on each side of the 
neck, and meeting at the back of the head. 

ROACH-BACK The back raised or arched. 

ROSE-PINION OR MARKING A circular patch of white feath- 
ers, each feather separate and distinct from the other on the 
colored ground of the shoulder of wings only. 


ROSE The feathers springing from a common centre and 
falling over, showing the white under fluff, as in the "Jaco- 

ROSE A tuft of feathers springing out from the base of the 
beak in an even and circular form, covering the whole front 
of the head, as in the "Trumpeter." 

SADDLE The feathers on the back and upper part of the 
wings, coming down and rounding off and meeting the wing- 

SECONDARIES The inner flights or shorter quills that fold 
up and rest on the outer flights or primaries. 

SLIPPERED The entire feet and toes evenly covered with 

SNIP A small tick of white on the front of the head at 
the base of the beak. 

SPOUTS A warty protuberance growing on the "Eye-wat- 

STOCKING-BOOTED The entire limb covered with soft, fine 
feathers, fitting close to the limb. 

STOP The sudden rise of the forehead from the root of 
the beak. 

SWALLOW-THROAT The white extending up under lower 
jaw, showing no "Bib." 

UPPER MANDIBLE The upper half of the beak. 

VULTURE-HOCK Long, stiff feathers growing out and fall- 
ing backward from the hock-joint. 

WHISKERS The feathers curling up on each side of the 
neck, as in the Chinese Owl. 

WiNG-Bow The shoulder part of the wing. 

WING-BUTT As applied to pigeons, the front of the 

WING-COVEKTS The short and broad feathers that cover 
the roots of the inner flights or secondary-quills. 

BEAK-WATTLE A fleshy protuberance growing out from 


the root of the ik Upper Mandible. ' 

BEARD A crescent-shaped, white marking around the 
throat, close under lower jaw. 

BIB A colored patch coming down from the throat, and 
forming the upper edge of the " Half-moon. ' 

BISHOPED OK LAWN-SLEEVED A patch of white feathers 
on the colored ground of the shoulder, extending to tne edge 
of k ' Wing-butt. ' 

BOX-BEAK The beak long, straight, of equal thickness, 
and blunt at the point. 

CHAIN The feathers curling forward on each side of the 
neck, meeting close under the throat, and continuing down 
the breast as far as possible. 

CARRIAGE The '"style" of the bird, or the manner in 
which it deports itself when in a walking or standing position. 

CLEAR-CUT The colored portion of the body separated 
from the white by a sharp and even line. 

CLOSE-MARKED A lack of sufficient white on the colored 
portion of the body. 

CONDITION The state of health and perfection of plumage. 

CROWN OR SHELL-CREST The feathers rising up shatp and 
even, falling slightly forward, and extending around the 
back of the head from ear to ear. 



Advertising Circulars, 51 

Archangel, The 226 

Archangel Standard 230 

Birds, Choice of ... 35 

Buy, Where To 45 

Birds, Prices Of 49 

Banding 67 

Barrenness si 

Booted Fautails.. . lit; 

Blue Fantails 116 

Black Fantails 120 

Baldheads 11U 

Beards li)2 

Beards, German 192 

Barb, The 202 

Brunswick, The 245 

Burmese, The 253 

Constitution, As To 42 

Color, As To 44 

Circulars, Advertising 51 

Coops, Training 54 

Cleaning Birds 7G 

Canker 79 

Clean Leg Tumblers 191 

Carrier, The 20G 

Capuchin, The 246 

Crescent, The 253 

Diarrhoea 78 

Domino, The 108 

Dragoon, The 210 

Dragoon Standard 214 

Duchesse, The 225 

Damascene, The 254 

Eggs, Shifting 63 

Egg Bound 81 

Feed, etc 23 

Fantail, The . . 110 

Fantail, Booted 116 

Fantail , Blue . . 116 



Fantail, Black 12u 

Fantail, Yellow and Red 120 

Fantail, Saddle-back 123 

Fantail, Silky 124 

Fantail, Tail and Body Marked 124 

Fantail Standard 126 

Frillback, The 249 

Fire Pigeons 249 

Going Light 79 

German Beards l;i2 

Heating 27 

Hatching (;i 

Homer, the Show 218 

Homer, the Flying 220 

Hyacinth, The. 245 

Helmet, The 250 

Importing, Danger in 40 

Ice Pigeons 24G 

Jacobin, The 128 

Jacobin Standard 135 

Loft, The 11 

Loft, Gable 11 

Loft, Yard * 15 

Loft, Ideal 10 

Loft Points, Other 21 

Loft, Cleaning The 29 

Loft, In The 53 

Loft Register, The 68 

Loft, Sickness In The 78 

Letz, The 250 

Lahore, The 254 

Mating - 55 

Mate, What To 59 

Magpie, The 136 

Magpie Standard 143 

Muffed Tumblers 178 

Mottles 191 

Nest, Material 19 

Nun, The 233 



Origin, Their... 

Owl, The.... .14<: 

Owl Standard . 153 

Oriental Frills . .164 

Oriental Turbits .174 

Oriental Frill Standard . .177 

Outside Tumblers. . . . .'-'no 

Tests ..31 

Pigeons, Varieties Of. 93 

Pouter, The ...94 

Pouter Standard. . . lot; 

Pouter, The Pigmy. ..108 

Priest, The .. .245 

Porcelain, The 253 

Register, The Loft . . .68 

Eoup ..82 

Red Fantails 120 


Runt, The ....224 

Shifting Eggs . .1:3 

Shifting Young . . r,:; 

Selling Birds 70 

Shipping On Approval. . 71 

Shipping Birds 7:; 

Showing Birds sf> 

Shipping To Shows 9 

Saddle-back Fantails !_':; 

Silky Fantails 124 

Scandaroon, The 223 

Swallows 237 

Swallow Standard 241 

Suabian, The 246 

Spot, The 250 

Shield, The ..250 

Starling, The 253 

Swift, The 254 

Troubles, Other Minor. 83 

Turbit, The 157 

Turbit Standard 162 



Turbiteen, The 173 

Turbits, Oriental 174 

Tumblers, Muffed 178 

Tumblers, Clean Leg 191 

Tumblers, Outside 200 

Tippler, The 201 

Trumpeter, The ". 234 

Vertigo 82 

Varieties of Pigeons 93 

Varieties, Other 245 

Victoria, The 249 

Wing Disease 81 

Worms 82 

Whitesides 191 

Young, Shifting 3 

Young, Helping . . . .65 

Yellow Fantails ,. . - 120 


We are the largest dealers in all kinde of Fancy Pigeons 
and Pigeon Supplies in the United States. 


Made of seasoned maple and coppered stool wire. 

3 inches in Diameter 4o. each, by mail 7o. $4.00 per 100. 
tti " " He. " " 80. $5.00 " 

4 ' " 60. " 9e. *rt.OO 


A combination grit and tonic for pigeons. It aids digestion, 
invigorates the system and promotes good health. 

Pi ice per biick lOc. by mail 30c, $1.00 per doz. by express. 


Mailo of red clay, 9 inches across the top, heavy bottom. 
Piieo lfc. each, 2 for 2, r >c. C for 50c. $1.00 per dozen. 


'Heartless Aluminum, 2r>o. doz. 50 for OOc. $1.50 per 100. 
Open German Silver, 25o. " 50" SOc. $1.50 
Open Aluminum, ISc. " 50 " GOc. 75c. 



Dr. Wendel'fl Pigeon Pills for Going Light 2oc. post paid. 
Imperial Pigeon Remedies, 35c. box, 3 boxen for $1.00 

Our immense 212 page supply catalogue sent free 
anywhere. Send for one.