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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
swifty - 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

    Racing Pigeon Sport - 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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