Almond Terminology: Almond Colour and the ‘Break’.
Almond is a traditional standard coloration. On a brown-yellow
(almond colour) body black splashes, sprinkles or flecks are shown.
Primaries and tail feathers have as possible the three colours
brown-yellow, white and black, thus tri-coloured. In German language
‘Musterfedern’, standard feathers. In reality this will not apply to
all feathers, but only for a part. In the matter, the experts agree,
there is however some dispute about the correct terminology. 'Well
broken' is a term that Fulton used in 1876 in his influential
portrayal of the Almond Tumbler. The colour flow on the feather is
‘broken’, different colours at the same feather side by side, the
German ‘Musterfedern’. The three colours should appear clearly
demarcated from each other on the primaries and on the tail
feathers, and above all the initially scarcely black, or the dark
kite bronze, on the primaries and tail feathers next to white and
almond should not be missing.
What is the 'Break', that was the question in a recent controversy.
Is it the white or almost white parts in the wings and tail, which
are not reached by colour due to the temporary interruption of the
pigment supply during feathering, or are they the coloured flecks?
All the emotions, the first ones dealing with almond, did not need
an answer. The 'break' in a material realization did not interest
anyone in the older literature and no one missed it either. It is a
process of colour formation, which in some individuals in some
feather parts results in a tri-coloured plumage. To come back to
‘Well broken’ is the term Fulton 1876 used, especially in the
discussion of proper hens. “The class of hens that are well broken
in feathers are those, which … show both yellow and white, with some
signs of black in their flight. If these feathers … show some signs
of break of feather, the fancier may in due time expect a good hen;
…”. We may conclude that ‘break’ is not associated to a specific
colour, but to the existence of all three colours at a feather side
Some statements about the chronology is useful. It is not 300 years
back that Fulton argued about the correct almond colour, as was
stated in a comment. It is about 140 years. And Fulton also was not
criticised by Moore because Moore still died in 1737, far before
Fulton published his book.
Also Hollander took the question, what is a break, 'obviously
different than expected in the discussion. The answer in a fictional
interview, variegation, flecking, can be interpreted as sprinkled or
stippled, as the terminology at Wriedt and Christie in 1925 at the
first genetic analysis of the stipper factor St.
Interesting yet another interpretation of 'Break'. For Eaton 1851 it
was the contrast between the almond-coloured body and the black
patches found on it. Back to Fulton, he assumed that those Almonds
with some more black intermingled in the primaries and tail feathers
from the beginning on will also be those that become well spangled
at the body. For the appearance of an almond it was certainly as
important a question as the tri-coloured tail feathers and
primaries. For those interested in the past of races, looking at the
German language book ‘Taubenrassen', which chronologically
represents the essential works of literature, would certainly be
Source: Standard almond feathers from ‚Genetik der Taubenfärbungen‘
Source: A typical Almond mating from the book ‘Genetik der
Davis, Kenny (Co-ordinator of the Almondated Special), The Color
Almond, Pigeon Debut February 2002.
John Matthews, A Treatise on the Art of Breeding and Managing the
Almond Tumbler, London 1851.
Fulton, Robert, The Illustrated Book of Pigeons, London u.a. 1876.
Hollander, W.F., Origins and Excursions in Pigeon Genetics, Burrton
Moore, J., Pigeon-House. Columbarium: or the pigeon house, London
Sell, Axel, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015.
Sell, Axel, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic
Sell, Axel, Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften.
Faszination Tauben durch die Jahrhunderte, Achim 2009.
Wriedt, C., und W. Christie, Zur Genetik der gesprenkelten
Haustaube. Zeitschrift für induktive Abstammungs- und
Vererbungslehre 38 (1925), S. 271-306.