Below are a few of the most basic things to look at when choosing breeders, its 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.
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.