Magnani and Multicolored in the Domestic Pigeon

Magnani among the Modenese Pigeons probably have a long-standing tradition like Almonds at the English Short Faced Tumblers. Both colors have the Stipple factor St in common. This is responsible for the interruption of the color supply during the formation of feathers and thus for the sprinkling effect. The description of the coloring in the standards for Modenas, however, usually offer a greater scope. Particularly popular are pigeons with lighter creme coloring in the shield, the almond tone in the ground not completely missing. For German Modeneser a lighter or darker almond ground is wanted, sometimes with blue-grey tone. Primaries and tails are creamy to whitish with dark speckles. In the standards the coloring in Germany is called for all breeds 'multicolored'. In the USA despite the difference to almond they are also named almond. In Oriental Rollers one speaks in Germany also from multicolored though many of them are very similar to almond. In the American standard of 1979, p. 131, it was also multicolored, meanwhile it changed to almond. In the standard a color similar to the English Short Faced is desired. The often found statement that all variants with the Stipple gene formerly were called 'Almonds' is wrong. That was not true in any breed. Sprinkle in the 1979 were listed as 'bi-colored', thus 'zweifarbig' as in the German Standard from 1954. Bi-colored black are our today 'black sprinkle'. In the German Standard for Modeneser 'Sprinkle' are a su-group of Mangnani besides multi-colored, they show a silver ground with black sprinkles (silver-sprinkle).

 Magnani Modena and Italian Owl multicolored (Photos: Layne Gardner)

In very old literatur similar colorings were sometimes mentioned as 'Harlekin'. This would be, like Magnani, also a more appropriate term for many other breeds with this color that is not almond The term 'Almond' suggests too fast a comparison with the coloration of the English Short Faced, which is usually not attempted by the breeders at all.

The secondary colors in other breeds also differ from those of the English Short Faced Tumblers. Dark checks with more or less bronze mostly take over the part of the kites. Even weaker reds and yellows are found as the counterpart of the agates in the breeds. The secondary colorations are also indispensable in multi-color breeding. Two multicolored mating together, as with Almond, to a quarter lead to homozygous white cocks with vitality problems and eye defects. Such pairings should be omitted from the viewpoint of animal welfare. The actual coloration plays for the breeding partners not the role, which she has with the English Short Faced Tumblers. The tolerance range on the exhibitions is very large so that the percentage of for the exhibition suitable young is higher than in almond breeding.


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Multi-colored German Modeneser at a German breeder with the secondary colors used there

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 Komorn Tumbler with a dark 'kite' female of that breed (Source: Sell, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen)


Breeders and judges should accept that Magnani and Multicolored are not Almonds. Also kites and agates of the multi-colored breeding should not be equated with kites and agates called in English Short Faced Tumblers. However, they are similar and play a similar role in the breeding concept. It would be clearer to speak of kites and agates in certain breeds, to avoid confusion. That is, kites of the Modenesians or Komorner Tumblers. Theoretically that sounds good, however, it is not practical. You cannot create a new name for each variant.

As in the case of Almonds, crosses with piebalds, mottles and tigers of different kinds should also be avoided. This can result in individual with some completely white primaries and tail feathers. That does not have to disturb the holder without exhibition ambitions, but is punished at exhibitions with correct judgment. In some breeds the judges, however, are blind in that point despite the standard requirements.

Are Almonds and the different varieties difficult to breed? Very good animals are difficult to raise in all breeds and colors. If every youngster were excellent, there would be no competition. This is in the nature of show competition. The breeding is not more complicated than in many other breeds were show birds are heterozygous, e.g. Indigo, Andalusian, Light Blue and Isabell. In these, only half of the young show the desired coloration, the others are also secondary colors. In the English Short Faced, the secondary colors are attractive show varieties as well, and also in many the multi-colored ones, classes for the secondary colors have been created.

Oriental Rollers multicolored, Kite and Red Agate (from right to left)

A large part of the breeding problems is not due to the complex color, but to 'breeding failure'. Anyone who crosses with piebalds, tigers and unsuitable secondary colors reduces the proportion of young with show quality. Also those, who despite the urgently recommendation in literature mate two multicolored together and produce one quarter non-lively progeny, are responsible for themselves for their poor results in the breeding pen.


Sell, Axel, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015

Sell, Axel, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012