Choosing Breeders: What to Look For

Here is a short clip from John Halsteads ‘Breeding, Feeding and Tactics to Win Races’. John talks about the physical aspects he looks for in a breeding pigeon.

Below are a few of the most basic things to look at when choosing breeders, it’s important to note there are many other contributing factors involved in producing a winner but this should serve as a solid starting point as you get your bearings.

  • Size of the bird – medium size may be preferable
  • The body of the bird:
    • the back
    • pectoral muscles
    • tail orientation (neither left nor right leaning)
    • the body shape
    • underbelly, pink skin?
  • The wings – primary flights shouldn’t be too wide
  • Feather quality – silky and smooth
  • Eye should be strong – though be careful when judging eyes as they can often be misleading
  • The balance of the pigeon

The list above pops up quite a lot when searching for pigeon breeding tips on the internet and many fanciers use it as a foundation for judging birds before they buy. Even the world famous Janssen Brothers used the above qualities (among other factors) as benchmarks for choosing breeders and identifying quality.

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2 comments
swifty says 01/01/2019

i have 4 pigeons 3 cocks one hen i cant get any other birds where im from in the isle of man , is it ok to trap ferral pigeons just to bread from once ive selected the best of the bunch ive trapped thankyou

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    Racing Pigeon Sport says 14/01/2019

    Hey thanks for the comment. Wouldn’t recommend breeding from feral birds. They’re just not of the some calibre and quality is thorough-bred racing pigeons. It would be a bad foundation for your family of birds going forward. There’s a few websites with pigeons for sale on, can no one get birds transported to Isle of Man?

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