Fewer pigeon fanciers and a multitude of races and colors
The decline in fancy poultry breeding, including pigeon breeding,
can hardly be stopped. This is no reason to rush the process from
within. Many breeds and many colors on the one hand and falling
breeder numbers on the other hand result in a simple calculation for
many observers in Germany: delete colors and prohibit new breeds.
Then the relation is correct again. However, the rare Stettin
Tumbler will not be saved by banning all colors except for the blue.
Also, the Breslau and Prague are not promoted by deleting colors in
Fig.1: Rare Short Beaked Tumblers. Source: Sell, Pommersche
Taubenrassen, Achim 2010
Also, it is not helpful to condemn in other breeds dun-colored
individuals who appear after crossing a yellow with a black, and
also other intermediate colors, from the shows. On the contrary, you
will frustrate and lose some breeders.
The multitude of colors is available today due to the fact that
pigeon fanciers successfully mate different colors with each other.
Fig. 2: Three colors each, which complement each other very well in
Source: Axel and Jana Sell, Vererbung bei Tauben, Oertel & Spörer
2004, 2007, Pigeon Genetics 2012
This alone results in more colors than many long-term breeders or
keepers who also hold high honorary positions in the organization
can imagine. This is a playground in our hobby, where breeders can
gain genetic knowledge and learn about inheritance laws. With the
deliberate exclusion of new, rare and sporadic colors from the
shows, the organization blocks the most important way in the fancy
pigeon breeding to build up basic genetic knowledge.
Some breeders despite many hindrances have gained genetic knowledge
from this, which they also use successfully to preserve rare breeds.
Many races would no longer exist if they had not borrowed vitality
from other races from time to time.
Fig. 3: Turbiteen and Domino-Owls as examples for several times as
extinct announced Owl-variants at a pigeon show in Leipzig. Source:
Critical Issues Part II, p. 57, Achim 2020.
A temporary disappearance of color classes does not mean that the
genes have also disappeared. Vanished breeds have also emerged from
a few remaining individuals or from related races after devastating
wars. The thesis that has been brought up again and again to support
the defense against anything new, that the genes of a race or a
color of a race is lost forever if it disappears, is at best
partially correct. In almost all of today's breeds, the old genetic
base is partially lost through crossing with other breeds, mutations
Such serious type changes are unthinkable without crossbreeding with
other breeds and without gene exchange.
(Fig. 4, 5).
Fig. 4: Maltese Pigeon old and new type at Dürigen 1906 and the
development of Fantails from Buffon 1772, Selby 1835 up to today at
the cover of ‘Taubenrassen’, Achim 2009
Fig. 4: Old and new type in the Kassel Tumbler. Source: Sell,
Taubenrassen, Achim 2009.
It is a deliberate breeding design in the beauty contest. Not
everyone loves the new. If the majority of breeders follow the new
ideal, however, the new supplants the old, a 'creative destruction'.
Whether positive or negative, everyone can decide for themselves.
But it should prevent us from portraying ourselves to others too
much as preserving 'ancient' races, which absolutely have to be
protected from the new.
Even molecular geneticists
(A. Biala et. al in the Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 25(6):
2015, S: 1741-1745)
were surprised by how 'mixed' the gene pool was in the examined
It is a shame that the bodies responsible for the exhibition rules
allowing and forbidding color-classes and other regulations only
have a limited insight into the actual breeding process and capacity
of many breeders and are reinforced in their restrictive position by
simplifying advice. You can only beware breeds and colors with the
help of knowledgeable breeders, and you don't keep them in your own
ranks through restrictions. It cannot end well when the ignorant
want to show the way to experts who are not allowed to have a say.
The topic sounds in some of the articles in the series' Critical
Issues in Pigeon Breeding. What we know and what we believe to know
‘, but even there will hardly reach the actual addressees.
Fig. 5: Sources 2019, 2020. 2012