American Giant Homer

American Giant Homer

One of just a few truly "American" breeds, the American Giant Homer was first recognized as a distinct breed by the NPA (National Pigeon Association) at the 1928 Grand National Show. The breed is the result of an attempt by early breeders of squabbing homers to improve their breed both commercially and aesthetically. (The early motto of the club was "A breed fit for the showroom that can outproduce any pigeon on earth.") According to Levi, early pioneers of the breed included Ed Blaine and Irv Goss (KY), Stanley Stout (IN) and Carl Graefe (OH), all of whom are now deceased. In the thirties and forties there were even "carcass shows" among breeders in the Akron, Ohio area (pers. com. Frank Dallas). Besides simply selecting for larger homers, outcrosses were made on the English Show Homer, Antwerp, and later the American Show Racer, to improve head properties. It is also believed that in the fifties and sixties there were crosses to the French Mondain to increase body size and to the Strasser to improve the color of recessive reds, although the influence of the latter has since been minimized.
Today the breed is no longer the production champion it was initially, but as a show pigeon it is one of the most regal among the utility classes. There have been significant changes to the breed over the last 10 to 20 years, with major improvements in head qualities, body structure and overall size. Originally limited to 22 to 27 ounces, individual birds now tip the scales at well over two pounds and many equal the size of the Show King and the French Mondain. The American Giant Homer is bred in all colors, and its fanciers are among the most knowledgeable and most accomplished in the area of color breeding. Carl Graefe and Ed Blaine were among the early proponents of enriching the aesthetic character of the breed by introducing rare color genes. (The picture below is an example not just of a fine specimen of the breed, but also of the rare color dominant opal, which by now is fairly common in the breed.)

Picture compliments of Robert Cooper

Click here for the official American Giant Homer Association web site.

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