Reduced: A Gene Wanders Around the World

The hereditary factor Reduced seems to be experiencing a renaissance in Germany, as years ago there was already a 'reduced' fancier group that held annual meetings and arranged e.g. at the VDT-Show in Dortmund 2008 an experimental class for reduced pigeons.


Fig. 1: Reduced in the experimental class at the VDT-Show in Dortmund 2008


Fig. 2: Change of ideas in the section of the experimental class at the VDT-Show in Dortmund 2008

The emergence and spread of the factor over the world have been well documented, the beginning in Joe Quinn’s Pigeon Breeders’ Notebook. A fact-based representation is found in the book 'Genetik der Taubenfärbungen'. The factor was discovered in 1945 by a boy in the US at Birmingham Rollers. In 1951, Carl Graefe showed the sex-linked recessive character. In the US, the colors aroused enthusiasm that led to the introduction of the factor in many breeds.

Fig. 3: Diffusion of Reduced over the World

From the USA, reduced pigeons were distributed all over the world. They are in Saudi Arabia, Australia and elsewhere. Originally the factor has come to the United States with the Birmingham Rollers from England. Scott L. Sharp brought the trait back to Europe in the 1980s, to Scotland. From there they came through the mediation of Thomas Voss on the continent. Thomas Voss transferred the gene to Racing Homers, and from his imports in the Dortmund region light-gray dark-laced Cologne Tumblers were bred and brought to recognition in the official standard by Christoph Mooren and Thomas Schmidtmann in 2001. From crossing with Cologne Tumblers Fritz Muchow developed reduced Thuringian shield pigeons and Norbert Dietrich German Modeneser.

With the first imports in the late 80s, the author also received a pair of reduced checks to genetic test pairings. A cross breed with Danish Tumblers from that tests was obtained by Andreas Boisits and Andreas Leiß and led to the first Reduced in Austria. The young from that cock mated to a black Fantail obviously were apparently so attractive that such pigeons found their way back to Germany and led to reduced-colored Field Color Pigeons at Manfred Stolper, Erwin Meyer and Horst Klimpke in the Minden region. Some of the paths through the world are shown in a map.

Fig. 4: Reduced with the Spread trait at Cologne Tumblers, Thuringian Shield Pigeons and German Modeneser. Source: Sell, Pigeon Genetics 2012.

Inheritance and breeding strategies are discussed in the books 'Genetik der Taubenfärbungen' and 'Pigeon Genetics' where also interactions of reduced with other genes are discussed.

Quinn, Joe, The Pigeon Breeder’s Notebook, Atwater, Ohio 1971.
Sell, Axel, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015.
Sell, Axel, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012.