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Guide to Fancy Pigeon Breeds


Fancy pigeons are domesticated varieties of the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia). They are bred by pigeon fanciers for various traits relating to size, shape, color, and behavior. The breeders of these fancy varieties exhibit their birds at pigeon shows, fairs and other livestock exhibits. There are over 300,000 breeds of Fancy Pigeons.

Pigeon showing

Pigeon fanciers from many different countries enjoy exhibiting their birds at their local, inter-state or national shows and competing against one another for prizes. A typical country show in Australia had hundreds of pigeons on display and prizes for the winners.

Some fanciers organize exhibitions exclusively for pigeons; one held each year in Blackpool, England that is run by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association was attended by 25,000 people. The 80,000 profit from the show was all donated to charity.

The biggest pigeon show of all is held in Nurnberg, Germany which is the location for the German National Pigeon Show, which had over 33,500 (all pigeons) at the 2006 show.

In the U.S.A., there are hundreds of local, state and national pigeon clubs that sponsor shows. The largest shows are the National Young Bird Show, held in Louisville, Kentucky in October, and the National Pigeon Associations Grand National which is held in a different city each year, usually in January (links for both clubs below).

In Ireland, the fancy pigeon shows are held in Dublin, Limerick and Carlow. will always keep you updated on these shows as information becomes available.

For more information on Irish pigeon shows, click here.

Major breed families of fancy pigeon

This grouping system is adapted from The Australian Fancy Pigeons book of standards. Where consideration was given to the new UK standards book which followed the German and European grouping. This version differs slightly from that of the European grouping here, but until a worldwide accepted grouping can be worked out the following are arbitrary and solely for organizing breed articles.

Asian feather and voice pigeons

This group includes as the name suggests, breeds developed for extensive feathering that originated in the Asian region. Also breeds cultivated for their trumpeting (or laughing) voice.

A Fantail pigeon ( silver barred )

The Limerick Tumbler (accepted EE Standard)

The Origin of the Limerick Tumbler is from the Limerick District of Southern Ireland. Overall impression is less than medium in size, short, cobby, rounded head and full muffs. Low in stance and well balanced. Slightly sloping carriage. (near 30deg). Characteristics of Breed include the head proportionate to the size of the body. In profile it is rising off and over the wattle with a roundness which continues as perfectly as possible to the back of the head with the top skull directly over the eyes. For more detailed information on Limerick Tumbler, click here.

Frillback pigeon.

The breed is known for the frill or curls on the wing shield feathers. The feather curl should also be present at the ends of the foot feathers or muffs.

Ice Pigeon.

The breed is known and named for its ice blue colour.

Jacobin Fancy pigeon.

The breed is known for its feathered hood over its head.

The Lahore

The Lahore is large for a pigeon, approximately 10.5 inches tall and 11.5 long. From shoulder to shoulder, it measures 5.5 inches. Its markings are also unusual: the base color is white, with a secondary color beginning at the juncture of beak and wattle and spreading in an arc over the eyes and across the back and wings. The rump and tail are to be white, though in pigeon shows the majority of attention is paid to the quality of the head, neck, and wing markings.


This breed possess this "trumpeting" ability to various degrees

Colour pigeons

Most of these originate in Germany and you will sometimes see these listed as German Toys. Many different varieties with a wide selection of colours and markings.


Known for the metallic sheen of its feathers. In the UK only the Black and Copper colored birds are called Archangels, this is because the Black and Copper color type was created in the UK.

Danish Suabian Pigeon

This breed comes in Silver, Blue, Mealy, Black, Red, Yellow and is either plain-head or peak crested.

Saxon Field Pigeon

Saxon Field Pigeons are a combination of various varieties which are basically the same type differing only in color and markings. Some varieties include: Saxon Breast Pigeon, Saxon Monk (pictured), Saxon Priest, Saxon Reversewing, Saxon Shield, Saxon Spot and Saxon Whitetail. Saxon Field Pigeons have similar color varieties to the Thuringen Field Pigeon but the Saxons are all Muff (feathered) legged.

Swallow Pigeon

The Saxon Swallows and Wing Pigeons have various markings and patterns (spot marking, cap marking etc)

Thuringen Field Pigeon

The breed is known for several different colors and markings. Varieties include the Thuringen Breast, Thuringen Monk, Thuringen Shield (picture), Thuringen Whitetail and the Thuringen Spot. The breed can be either plain or shell crested, but is always clean-legged

More Fancy Pigeon Breeds Next Week !!!!

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