New old breeds: nostalgia for old Carrier and Barb types
After Old Polish, Old Hungarian and Old Italian Carrier Pigeons
today are propagated as new exhibition breeds, there should actually
be an Old German Carrier Pigeon, too. Models for the standard
already exist. So in the German Journal ‘Geflügel-Börse’ 4/1971
(Fig. 1 left): Strong body with heavy wattles above and below the
beak like the mentioned Old … Carriers. Beware of satire, some
people may not think wrongly, because it is the old type of today's
German Barb. The Barb formed with the Dragoon and the Carrier, the
'triumvirate' of wattle pigeons, which should cover all tastes, the
Barbs as a short-beak, the Dragoon as a middle-beak and the Carrier
as a long-beak (Fig. 2 right). He had heavier wattles, a shorter
beak and a rounder head than today.
Fig. 1: Barb in ‚Geflügel-Börse‘ No. 4/1971 and Carrier in No.
For the standard change spoke at that time that many considered the
original Barbs on the shows with interest, but that hardly anyone
wanted to breed them.
There were also animal welfare reasons.
Fig. 2: Barb blue, Champion National Hamburg 1953 (Taubenwelt 1954)
and modern Barb from 2006 (Source: Sell, Taubenrassen. Entstehung,
Herkunft, Verwandtschaften. Faszination Tauben durch die
Jahrhunderte, Achim 2009).
Nevertheless, today some breeders seem to miss the old types, who
still lead a niche existence in other countries.
Fig. 3: Barb black und head study of an old English Carriers in
Lavalle and Lietze, Die Taubenrassen (Pigeon Breeds), Berlin 1905.
If one speaks of Old Polish and Old Italian carrier pigeons, then
there is the claim that such pigeons with extreme wattles existed in
the regions as messenger pigeons in old days. That was not yet shown
and the literature does not show that either. An overview of the
pigeon breeds e.g. in Galicia was given by Prof. Jos. v. Rozwadowski
= Krakow in the Columbia 1880. He mentioned there the 'Polish
Pigeon', nothing of another specific polish carrier pigeon. The
Polish Pigeon is close to the Turkish and was called in France
'Pigeon polonais' since the breed according to Rozwadowski came from
Poland, who was in permanent contact with Turkey in the Middle Ages.
In Germany the breed was called Polish Pigeon or Indianer = Babs (Korthsche
Tauben-Zeitung No. 30/1856). From an extremely strong wattling is no
Fig. 4: Polish Barb (Polish Wattle Pigeon) in a contribution of
Joachim Schütte in ‚Geflügel-Börse No. 9/1967 and Ostrowietzer
This also applies to the today Polish Wattle Pigeon and the
Ostrowietzer Wattle Pigeon (Fig. 4), two Polish breeds in the
succession of the "Polish Barbs" in the German Book of Standard. The
new 'old' breeds then also connect to former exhibition carriers
(Fig. 5) and barbs and not to messengers. They thus run and are
promoted under a false label.
Fig. 5: Turkish Pigeon red and old type of exhibition Carrier at the
Naturehistorical Museum Braunschweig besides a Berne Half Beak
(Source: Sell, Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften.
Faszination Tauben durch die Jahrhunderte, Achim 2009).
Even the historically interesting preparation of the now extinct
Turkish pigeon (Fig. 5 at the left), which should have served as a
historic messenger pigeon especially in the Turkish Empire before
the emergence of the Belgian Racing Homer, has no extreme wattles.
Anonymous, Taubenzucht, Tauben-Zeitung und Organ der gesammten
Haus=und Federviehzucht, No. 30, Berlin, den 25. October 1856, S.
Lavalle, A., und M. Lietze (eds.), Die Taubenrassen, Berlin 1905.
Rozwadowski=Krakau, Prof. Dr. Jos. von, Die Federviehzucht in
Galizien (mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Taubenliebhaberei),
Columbia no. 10/1880, S. 137-141.
Sell, A., Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften.
Faszination Tauben durch die Jahrhundert, Achim 2009.
Sell, A., Brieftauben und ihre Verwandten, Achim 2014.
Schütte, Joachim, Die Taubenrassen Polens, Geflügel-Börse Nr.