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Pigeon Genetics News Letter



Issue 31                                   July 1964


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Dr. Whitney has a problem with his Racing Homers: "Has any study been published on inheritance of extra flight feathers?  I keep getting 11-feathered birds from 10-feathered.  But I can't reproduce them.  Even a pair with 11 feathers fails to produce 11-feathered youngsters."  No published studies so far.  Clear field, Dr. Whitney!


Terry Brechbill writes "I've never seen a barred Parlor Tumbler.  If there aren't any, why?"  Homozygous T-pattern is my guess.  How about that, Ray Gilbert?


Harold Gordon has two ribbontail Parlor Tumbler cocks and one reduced Parlor cock.  A hen shortage!


Fred R. Harlow, writes that he wants to find out the basis for rolling in Birminghams.  I suggested that possibly the ideal Roller is heterozygous or a balance between extremes.  To test the idea a bit, maybe see whether hybrids of Parlor by Show Tumblers will hit the happy medium.


The Northwest Giant Homer Association Bulletin for February included a lot of genetical material.  George Schroeder and Dick Halverson wrote about "Rollin's Faded", also called "Fadelin" (PGNL 6, page 4; PGNL 13, page 4 --" Fadellin").  "Jack Rollins has used birds of this color rather successfully in long Homer races.  It appears to be hardy and very livable.  Undoubtedly, it will go down in history as another auto-sexed strain."


George Schroeder also waxed lyrical and spouted a poetic monstrosity (highbred iambic- dactylic pentameter?), part of which is presented here:

            "Oh chromosomes with lethal genes, how fateful is thy mission

            Thou giv'st to birds variety not brought by simple fashion

            From out remote antiquity thou bringst crest and grizzle

            Oh chromosomes of life line chain, don't let the factors fizzle.


            "Oh chromosomes--wild chromosome what burdens thou dost carry

            A lowly cock of unmapped genes hardly dares to marry!

            Oh chromosomes, though chromosome, how sad is my condition,

            My grandma's gift for writing well has gone to some lost polar cell

            So I give out this doggerel, in genic fault admission.



"Formula and formuli until such sports as you and me

            Finally the first dim light do see and are confirmed

            As nuts first-class with full rewards an epitaphs."


In the April issue of the Bulletin, Halvorson comments "we don't make misteaks!"  Oui, ja!


Claire A. Hetland, secretary of the International Bokhara Trumpeter Club, writes that cocks "of exceptional quality are not capable of copulation due to the extreme low carriage and clumsiness."  So he wants to learn artificial insemination technique.  He also says "I am breeding from Jacobin by Trumpeter crosses to improve the shell crest on Bokharas.  Al Grace started this and we cooperate.  The results have been gratifying.  We have produced birds that have boots measuring 19 inches from tip to tip.  We also produced some young with boots having feathers upside down."


H. H. Ford wonders how to put dark bronze color (like the Archangel) on Show Kings.  I'd like to see that done too.


John Shayabell writes "Three of us in the Midwest Roller Club are doing things never done before in Rollers."  Testing color constitution of bronze (kite), among others.  Good luck!


Paul Steiden has become Secretary-Treasurer of United Pigeon Fanciers, which is trying to get back on its feet.  Wonder if this is the beginning of a new era-contamination of UPF by PGNL!


Norman Lindsay reports "Finally making some progress with the blue barless and the Lavender Modenas."


Walter Newport is still struggling to create a king-size crested Fantail.


Wyle McCrary says "still getting exactly nowhere with my 'Poundena's'."  (stenciled Giant Homers; PGNL 16, page 3).  What's the trouble?  May be genetically interesting trouble!


Dal Stone wants to introduce stenciling into Racing Homers.  Any advice, Earl Klotz??


Bruce Ward has been experimenting with feeding.  "I was mixing corn oil into the grain.  One thing I noticed right away was the glossy sheen the feathers took on.  I never knew if it was the oil rubbing off on to the feather surfaces or the result of the oil being consumed internally."


Mrs. Gilligan has crossed a black gazzi hen with a white LFCL Tumbler.  So far three squabs, all white with occasional reddish feathers in the neck, and eye is not bull.  She also crossed a white LFCL hen with a blue LFCL Tumbler cock; so far two squabs, one white with two blue tail feathers, the other "gay pied blue", both with pearl eyes.  Malcolm Ellis reports that his white Muffed L. F. Tumbler "finally produced a youngster that shows ash-red in the colored feathers."  (See also notes in PGNL 27 page 5).  My tentative conclusion on this type of white: it's a combination effect--homozygous grizzle with the ash-red and some sort of piebald.  According to this idea, Mrs. Gilligan's last two squabs are females.




Joe Quinn's attempt to classify grizzles (PGNL 30 page 4) bothers Gerhard Hasz, who suggests a revision: (1) Typical or classical grizzle; (2) Patterned grizzle (pepper head, tiger, himalayan, etc.); and (3) subdued grizzle.  The third category I don't understand.  Anyway, I think classification may be misleading unless we can get the factors in question out on an otherwise wild-type background for comparison.  The feature that I am impressed by in such a test with the tiger type is that the first plumage is classical grizzle, the second tiger, at least in wings and body.  My next question is whether ordinary grizzle and tiger are allelic.  May we try to answer it.


George Neuerburg writes "In the production of White English Show Homer it took me 25 years to breed a pure white one with acceptable type.  [Cumlet was the source of white; it is grizzle ash-red.]  In 1936 I gave up the white stock.  In 1942 I acquired one of my near-white hens and started all over again and to date I have yet to breed a white without some colored feathers.  In contrast to Clean-leg and Muffed L. F. Tumblers, where whites with some colored juvenile feathers usually molt out white--the E.  S. H. develops more colored feathers as they age."


Neuerburg also comments on polydactyl Kings (PGNL 9 page 3): "During 1944 I sold more than 1000 show-type Kings, about 50-50 white and color.  All polydactyly cases were blues."


A letter from George S. Ernatt, Modena breeder.  He wants to buy a Genetics booklet.  He concludes thus: "If you would like to have me conduct any problems in Genetics in my loft please let me know."


John Tidwell wonders about the revision of the NPA Genetics booklet.  Last news I have is that Art Kehl will have it printed.  Revision is minimal, so don't get high hopes for an improvement!


Paul Steiden notes that some people who have half a mind to write a book do.  (Half-baked in 3/4-time?  Maybe I better reconsider my magnum opus before it goes to press!).


Notes from the Iowa State University pigeon factory: linkage test of baldhead factor and recessive red has given 12 cross-overs in 28 squabs.  That's over 40% crossing over, so I'm afraid my optimism was premature (PGNL 30 page 4).  Well, at least the baldhead factor may get analyzed in the process.


A cross of black Turbit hen by blue bar Bagdadi has two squabs; both blue bar with a little white on rump and legs, both built just like Racing Homer, but both have frill neck and one has crest!  Who'd have thunk the Bagdadi would be heterozygous for those!


Got a red Jacobin cock and chocolate English Carrier hen from George Neuerburg for a more outlandish cross.  Two squabs in the nest now.  Anybody want to prognosticate their phenotype??


Carl Graefe ruminates "I would be willing to wager that 'short face' of the type found in Owls, Oriental Frills, is a sex-linked recessive, although somewhat sex-limited in expression.  Reason: I have a number of times had fairly short-faced hens appear among offspring of fairly long-faced Racing Homers and Show Racers, never any short-faced cocks from similar parents.  There is a problem for some ambitious correspondent.  Matings should be set up to get some light on linkage to other sex-linked factors."


Carl adds "I have about given up being very certain as to my classification of d, dP, and + by




down length.  Same goes for St.  So much variation in down length and amount of flecking in St of similar (but not identical?)  genotype that I am forced to conclude that almonds very from 'strong' to 'weak'....  I have a vigorous five-months old homozygous St BA male that has fair eyesight, brown eyes, fairly regular pupils.  His parents and grandparents bred some single-dose that are so dark that one would hesitate to classify them as almonds.  Also, these dark ones have down much longer than typical.  I would consider them as 'weaker St', and the double dose male is probably something similar."


Ted Smith had a letter from Mr. Harry Hudgins, who described an unusual occurrence.  A pair of red LFCL sibs were mated and raised three squabs.  Two of these when six weeks old lost the first five flights, which failed to regrow.  He mated the sire to another hen and got one more bird of the same sort.  Depluming mites or quill mites??  Or possibly a gene?


Mosaic notes:


(1) Ted Smith reports a Roller hen owned by W. P. Bradford.  "Tail feathers--four black, one white and seven yellow.  Almost a white sides in the wing coverts.  White rump, head, breast and body yellow, and black patch on the right breast about two and a half inches across.  About six black feathers in the area of the right 10th secondaries.  At present she was mated to a silver cock.  Two babies in the nest, self yellows."  Wow!  Too bad her pedigree isn't known.


(2) Chet Johnson sent me a grand patchwork-quilt cock (mongrel?  No pedigree) with equal amounts of ash-red and blue checker, and a brown fleck in the tail.  Testing it for b.


(3) Gerhard Hasz has a squab pied (and grizzle?), "most of the primaries are khaki grizzle.  There are four ungrizzled khaki rectrices on one side and two or three dun on the other.  In addition there are scattered mosaics of khaki and dun all over the body.  Sire is silver checker out of a khaki hen, is one almost white, spot of ash-red on one wing, out of spread-ash grizzle cock."


(4) Joe Quinn has a 1960 Roller hen "which has a red head, black shoulders, alternating black and red feathers over most of the body.  About 10% of these show both colors, little blending.  This bird had normal nest feathers.  The right wing molted to adult feathers but the left wing did not.  It's left wing never molted and it could not fly as the feathers by wear were reduced to shafts.  The entire left side in the body shows this reluctance or delayed molt so there are times when she looks ragged along the bilateral axis from the beak to the tail.  In 1963 Fall the bird molted left (first time) for all flights and 4 secondaries.  The left side molted months after the right, or I should just say slower by two months."  Joe mated her to a black cock, "produced black white-flights and black selfs.  I remated her to a son this year and have one black white-flight in the nest.  "He speculates on the cause of the mosaicism, perhaps a chromosome aberration.  This bird rates Wow!  Wow!






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 32                                   October 1964


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Re: Dr. Whitney's question (PGNL 31 page 1) on extra flights in Racing Homers, Bob Nesbitt writes: "My neighbor has a 11-flighted cock mated to a normal hen, produced three out of four youngsters with 11 flights.  The cock as well as the youngsters have 11 flights on one wing only, the left side.  I have purchased a 11-flighted hen (right wing only) and will mate it to the 11-flighted cock."  Dr. Whitney also has added comment: "One pair of my 11-flight Homers has now produced out of eight youngsters one with 11 in one wing.  I get 11 flights not uncommonly but mine seem to come sporadically, not systematically from certain matings.  Every one with 11 has been an especially vigorous pigeon (perhaps a coincidence)."  Super-doo?


And re: Terry Brechbill's question, aren't there any barred Parlor Tumblers (PGNL 31 page 1), Ray Gilbert writes, "A local financier by the name of Vaughn Jones has some Blue and Silver Barred Parlors."  Also he notes that bars were common in years past.  Paul Rogers also notes that barred Parlors can be found, and "I am currently breeding from a rolling silver hen."


Paul Rogers casts cold water on my suggested cross of Parlor by Show Tumbler (PGNL 31 page 1): "Levi, 1957, page 362 reports the results of such an experiment.  The cross was a Parlor Tumbler cock to a Show Tippler hen."  Carl Graefe also isn't encouraging: "A good many years ago I raised several youngsters from Parlor by Show Tumblers.  Didn't roll, and would fly very little.  These x good Birminghams no good either.  Maybe my fault by reason of inadequate training, but I doubt it.  If I remember correctly I got a little tail-riding, maybe a tumble or two, but no real rolling performance or flying."


Jack Wooldridge reports "One of the flying Tippler by Racing Homer crosses recently completed 350 miles.  Took three days."  (See also PGNL 29 page 3).


Various items of bad news this time, but to keep from getting pessimistic will examine only this one: a breeder in Illinois writes he wants to "leave you know of the remedy for coccidiosis and paratyphoid and this was a sure cure for the dread disease which I'd acquired along the line with my birds.  The disease cost me over $500.  I lost all my doves and dozens of pigeons until I read



of this cure.  My birds didn't reproduce and those that did the young all died but now I've got this licked."  The remedy: nitrofurazone soluble with potassium dichromate.  We had already tried it, without significant curative or preventative results.  Doves just seem a push-over for Salmonella typhimurium.  We hope selection for disease resistance will be more effective.


A note for Walter Newport about crested and non-shaker Fantails: Indian Fantails are apparently getting a toe-hold in this country.  See American Pigeon Journal, June, page 233.


I have an inquiry which I quote in its entirety, from Ingvald Jensen, Denmark: "I should like for you to buy me 3 pamphlet of 'Hybrids of pigeons by ring dove'.  I am pigeons breeder and I am very interesting in your work with pigeons Genetik."


Occasionally I get inquiries from American parties who give illegible signatures and/or addresses, or no address at all.  They are probably unhappy not get a reply!


Malcolm Ellis writes about his crosses involving White Kings (Sieverling's squabbing strain): "So far all the hybrids indicate that the White King hens are BA and the White King cocks are all BA/b.  I haven't been able to figure out why none of the hens carry brown, but perhaps it is simply a coincidence."  (I'm inclined to say coorect!)


Chet Johnson writes "I visited the Carpenter Squab Ranch of Los Angeles.  I observed a white squabber that looked like it had a touch of the old 'Hen Pigeon' in many pens.  They are round and plump, so plump that the keel is below the meat.  Wow!"


Bob Clarke writes (June 24) "the most interesting pigeon I have seen for a long time came into my possession about a month ago from George Peterson [PGNL 29 page 3].  They are small white squabbers with the most compact beautifully rounded bodies I have ever seen on pigeons.  They are typical Columba livia type, good flyers, a bit high strung and hard as nails.  They were developed many years ago by a Dr. Hubbel in San Jose and none ever left his possession alive -not even squabs.  They were fed nothing but wrinkled peas and milo.  There was a bucket of dirt and a lump of rock salt in each pen and of course water.  It was strictly survival of the fittest so you can imagine the tough kind of birds that he evolved.  Dr. Hubbel died and his widow sold the birds.  Squab's run from 11 to 12 pounds to the dozen but will bone out heavier than the average

1¼ pound squab.  The breast structure is as different from that of ordinary squabs as the breast of a broad breast turkey is from the old-fashioned kind."


In a later letter, Bob Clarke says "F1 from Hubbel hens on Indian Mondain cocks and from a Hubbel cock on a French Mondain all show slightly altered breast structure but are definitely normal.  A few days ago I saw a good-sized stud of these Hubbel birds (600 pairs) and their owner told me that in the few months he has been raising them he has never seen as squab that was less than typical."  (My question: was this Dr. Hubbel (Hubbell?)  The man who long ago when in for canning squabs?  As I recall, that was in St. Louis, Missouri.).


Colin Osman writes "My barless blues (Racing Homers) continue to thrive, with quite good hatchability.  This color was introduced by the late Herbert Whitley but continuous inbreeding nearly resulted in extinction through infertility.  The ones I obtained I out crossed and then restored the color.  I have since sent them to South Africa and India, where I am exchanging them for a pair of Chiteas, a racing pigeon of local origin, which from color photographs seems to be




some new color variant.  I am making this exchange with the Maharajah of Bhavnagar, a recent novice entry to the sport."


Osmond notes that a pair of barless blues produced a squab with a single white flight and asks about the mechanism. Hmm.  I can't see any inter-relationship; certainly not alleles (see also PGNL 28, page 1).


Phil Roof is trying to produce barless blue and silver in Turbits, starting with barless blue Tumbler.  "Second year of this; have F2 from brother by sister mating; have lost a number of these, apparently weak.  More barless than expected.  One I killed was silver, barless, crested and club-footed."  He enclosed photo of three survivors, one being silver barless with white head and flights.  "Both F1 and F2 are inclined toward the 'Baldhead' Tumbler markings.  All young old enough to tell eye color are either pearl or bull."


Carl Graefe writes, "I keep getting 'tick eye' squabs that are all hens from sex-linked matings even though no tick showing in either parent.  Of course tick eye is not too good a unit character, since it is quite variable and is usually associated with more or less white in other sections, flights, vent and belly, et cetera.  Do some baldhead by self crosses or backcrosses etc. approximate the sort of tick eye we see in Racing Homers?"  Yes; but not sex-linked, not recessive!


Bob Nesbitt sends in his data from white-flight meetings since 1961 (Racing Homers): White-flights by white flights gave four young with white flights and three normal; white flights by normal gave 20 white flights and 23 normals; normal (out of white flight by normal) by normal (out of white flight by normal) gave four white flight and none normal.  These results are in disagreement with a simple Mendelian explanation; if white flights were a simple dominant, it would be impossible to get white flights from a mating of a pair of normals, while if white flights were a simple recessive, white flight by white flight could not produce normal.  Therefore it seems necessary to postulate a more complex situation.  Let's suppose white flight represent one extreme of a variable "tendency to whitening".  At the other extreme the bird had may have no white flights but maybe eye ticks, a white claw or two and some white in the hocks or/and on the rump, etc.  If we ignore these, we get an incomplete story.  Well Bob, ready to check toes etc.?!


Bob Nesbitt also reports that he visited the Los Angeles area recently and "Fred Greaber has an English Short face that is wingless, out of a brother by sister mating.  He plans on testing."


Bob Clarke reports two other freaks: one is a white rumpless, "much like the one shown in THE PIGEON (paragraph 575) but with somewhat better development of the rectrices.  There are four or five of them growing out of a little flap of skin, no supporting bone and muscle structure at all.  So far healthy.  Getting fertile eggs out of it may call for artificial insemination."  The other bird "was a white from a pair of Strasser crosses.  When this squab was about two weeks old I noticed that it had had an unusual hump over the back of the skull.  Examination showed it to be bone structure.  At about four months old he (?)  is healthy but seems a little bit 'mentally retarded.'  Maybe he is just extra tame."  Bump of curiosity?


Bill Speed has been producing hybrids from African Owl cocks with fawn or white doves.  He had two that died suddenly at 18 days old, both dull-colored.  "Is it common for 'mules' to die at an early age?"  Well, the females from such a cross all die early, usually in the egg.  I don't think the male hybrids are more delicate than doves.  However, species crosses are a bit unpredictable!


Dodd Young writes "This has been a good year for the so-called rare-colored Modenas.  After




getting the 'brown' family established fairly well in Schietti I started on Gazzi and this year have birds of excellent quality in Silver cream, Silver dun, and ocher tri.  [Anybody else know what Dodd means??]  I have also established a strain of orange-eyed whites which breeds true.  [Method a secret] At this point they still have dark beaks.  Indigo Gazzi are most attractive and easy to produce.  Lavender is another matter."  He finds frailty of "lavender" squab's.  "From eight pairs which in theory should produce Lavender youngsters I have this year exactly 2 lavenders out of 22 eggs hatched.  Can you suggest anything to improve the odds?"  Well, if by "Lavender" is meant milky, I am puzzled--I haven't seen any trouble with it.  May be accidental linkage, which selection can clear up.


On Magnani Modenas, Dodd says "I'm still measuring [baby] down and still believe there is a correlation between lengths of down and ultimate flecking and color.  I have measured 62 Magnani bred over the last four years.  I have pairs which produce pure Magnani and which are not bladder-eyed or near-sighted and which produce well.  Having these pure ones to breed from makes getting heterozygous Magnani a simple matter."


Carl Graefe says "I have more or less selected for dark pigmentation in the red velvets that I have used produce the highly pigmented almond ash-reds.  I am now getting red velvets from these birds that are extremely dark in feather and have near black beaks and feet as squabs.  Also very long down."


George Schroeder also notes some correlations: "In my almonds the stronger birds--good eyesight, et cetera.-- appear to have intense-colored feathers mixed in.  Those showing a predominance of dilute feathers have eye irregularities and appear weak otherwise.  The longer and thicker and more orange-colored the down the stronger bird the almond squab seems to develop into."


George also comments on Carl Graefe's note on "short face" in hens (PGNL 31 page 3): "I have noticed this in one strain of Giant Homers I have--never in the cock, quite often in the hens --large eye ceres seemed to accompany the short beaks, if that means anything."


Ed Blaine also comments on possible sex-linkage of short beak in Giant Homers: "I've had three such specimens over the past three years and each one was a hen.  I have noted, too, that each showed shortness of legs."


If this presumed recessive sex-linked short-beak factor is also in Turbits, Owls, and Oriental Frills, then a cross of such a cock with normal-beak hen should give definite criss-cross.  Data on this, anyone??


Dr. Whitney writes "I saw a genuine mutation in one of the top lofts in Belgium--a grizzled Homer and one of the finest in the flock.  There were no grizzles in the flock whatsoever, and had not been in years, only blue bars and blue checks.  The breeders are all prisoners, kept in a loft by themselves, and this grizzle suddenly appeared, much to the surprise of the owner.  He attributed it to the fact that somewhere back in the pedigree he found a grizzled-colored bird, but I explained to him that this could not be possible because grizzle is dominant.  The mutation is reproducing itself."  Photos show a typical dark grizzle blue checker.


Phil Roof is introducing grizzle from Homers into blue Turbit.  "Produced two Turbit-marked typical blue grizzles, but they didn't live."  Phil also notes a "first"--a young Turbit hen without a frill.




Bill Speed wants to know "are there strains of white Jacobins that will breed true and produce only white?  I have a pair that are near white, only one or two tiny red or yellow feathers each.  They produced 1/3 red splash, 1/3 yellow splash, 1/3 near white.  The near white offspring when mated produce the same as the parent."????


Paul Golley says "almost all Frill fanciers have completed part of the experiment to determine what the stencil factor is--but of course we seldom carry it through to completion.  For example I have four solid red clean-toed birds and a bronze-appearing blue checker plain head with clean toes, all the result of crossing a blue English Owl.  We usually mate son back to mother or daughter back to father--and of course, often mate with an unrelated Blondinette, et cetera."  Lots of valuable ratio data unsalvaged??  Dr. Golley also says "I have what appeared as a short-down squab in the nest--a red.  I labeled it automatically a yellow.  Explanation??"


            Lots of mosaic and news this time:

(1) Harold Gordon has a young Moorehead (Königsberg type) with red tail, blue patch on back and are part of right wing, black bib, and crest, most of frontal crown and cheeks red.  The mother is red, father black, sibs out of a blue cock and red hen.  The blue cock also copulated with the red daughter.  Suggestive evidence for bipaternity (two or more sperms functioning).

(2) Chet Johnson's patchwork-quilt blue and ash-red cock (PGNL 31 page 4) has produced two browns and two blue squabs (individual coop).  That makes him the second cock on record to definitely have three alleles.

(3) George Neuerburg writes "I recently acquired from a dealer a Racing Homer that has red checked wings and basically blue body with some ash-red spots on head and neck--plus a few white flights.  Red-white-and blue yet!  May be a hermaphrodite [gynandromorph?]--acts like a hen one day and like a cock the next....  My one mosaic mating (PGNL 27 page 6) still does not produce mosaics, nor do their young--just stork-marked, black and dun splashes."

(4) Leslie Bolling reports "None of my three-colored Rollers have produced their like" (black and white with red patches, PGNL 28 page 5).

(5) Malcolm Ellis notes an F2 squab derived from White Muffed Tumbler by a blue Racing Homer: Black flights and tail and "a clear yellow patch in one wing."

(6) Ben Cichinski says "I have raised another youngster that is blue barred but has a golden dun head."

(7) Bob Clarke notes "I'm still getting mosaics now and then.  The last one I saved was a recessive red-yellow combination from a pair of recessive red's."

(8) Jack Wooldridge reports "My mosaic red check blue tail hen (PGNL 29 page 4) returned well from the races and I have two red check squabs from her mated to a blue check.  Both squabs have black flecks."

(9) Lowell Pauli reports "I finally have some results from a blue check-blue T pattern hen (PGNL 30 page 5): seven blue bars and one blue T from her mated to a blue bar cock."  So she breeds like her left side, so far.

(10) Lowell Pauli again: "Ran across another interesting mosaic, a Roller or Tumbler.  Blue check on the back and wing coverts and 1/2 of the tail.  The wing flights, head and 1/2 of the tail are white and it has a recessive yellow band almost completely around its neck."






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 33                                   January 1965


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


We hereby begin our ninth year of PGNL.  Like the snail, we make slow progress, can't see very  far ahead, and go in circles.  Maybe after 10 years out of it will crawl into our shell and think things over for a while. Hmmmmmm?


One experiment I'd like to see someone else try it is mailing (or air mailing) eggs.  (For hatching purposes, of course.)  A recent report in Poultry Science says that eggs (of chickens) can be held longer before incubation with good hatchability if they are put in plastic bags.  Whether this benefits by retarding loss of water or carbon dioxide or both or what I don't remember.


Several inquiries whether I will be at the Dallas National Show.  Sorry, can't make it this year.


Numerous Modena people have showered me with information about Doug Young's colorful language (PGNL 32 page 4).  Talk about Babble!  In view of the wild disagreements, I'd suggest the entire lingo be scrapped and start over.


Mrs. Gilligan agrees with Dodd Young that there is something amiss with milky ("lavender") Modenas: "We lose about 50% at hatching (beak color is quite distinctive, a mauveish color)."


Jim Manship writes "I was reading where brothers and sisters are more related to one another than either to their father and mother."  Jim wonders whether brothers and sisters relationship can't vary.  Well, the old "blood-line" ideas says brothers and sisters inherit the same "blood".  But according to Mendelian segregation, we know brothers and sisters can be widely different in what they inherit.  The modern "coefficient of relationship" calculation takes into account such segregation; it comes out 50% on the average for sibs---the same as for parent-offspring relationship.  (Reference: D. S. Falconer, "Quantitative Genetics").


Leon Whitney writes "We recently had an 11-day visit from two of Europe's most respected Racing Pigeon authorities: Jan Aerts and Jeff Van Riel.  By correspondence they had grave doubts as to the possibility of maintaining any quality and vigor by inbreeding.  They handled all of the 168 youngsters, all from the third and fourth generation of consecutive brother and sister mating and their doubts were laid to rest.  They found most of the fourth as good as the original pairs with which I started."  Whitney's goal is heterosis.  "The first outcrosses are doing very well in the races."




George Schroeder writes "All 224 individual pens are coming along little by little.  More darned detail which takes far more time than one would think.  We expect to put the first birds in by January 1, 1965."  (One minute per pair per day makes four hours.  Is it automated?)  George also says "In all the 50 years of having pigeons I don't remember ever having a youngster born with only one leg--but now we have one!  No sign of the leg--just smooth feathers on the right side."


John Schabell writes about Parlor Tumbler by Birmingham Roller crosses, produced by friends of his: "The birds could only fly a few feet off the ground.  This year we are breeding some F2s and next year will go back to the Roller."


Leslie Boling sends feathers of a beautiful 3/4 Archangel, spread reduced, with bronzy breast.


Phil Roof sends feathers from a Racing Homer's wings showing curled-up tips.  He wonders "Maybe this is how the Frillback pigeon began?"  I would guess so.


George Neuerburg reminisces: "Short-faced Giant Homers--in 1946 I sold a small stud of Antwerps to Bob Taylor.  Some of these mated to show-type white Kings produced white Giant Homers that 'swept the decks' whenever shown."


Bob Stanek writes: "Out of a mating of a red cock Helmet and a white Koenigsberg Moorhead Tumbler (very strongly bred black and white) I got first one splashed red and one white with black tail mark.  The second clutch I got two more of these white with black tails.  All four young were groused feathered and bull eyed.  There were a bunch of black ticks on the heads of the last two.  They are very pretty little birds, dainty and spry."  Seems queer to get less color on the head than in either parent breed.


Frank Nuzzo writes he has raised some nice Bronze Homers.  (Brander cross??)


Lowell Pauli says "I have been trying to get Modena bronze into my Giant Homers.  This year for the first time I managed to get some F1 that showed a lot of bronze.  The Modena cock in this mating was bronze, the Giant Homer blue T-pattern.  I saved only the 4 young that showed the most bronze.  Now I find these four are all hens."  He wonders if the bronze is sex-linked.  I think a more likely bet is that the Giant Homer hen carried a bronze factor.  Produce some more F1 and you should get a bronze cock yet.  And by the weigh, Lowell, please get out your scales and let me know the ounces of these crosses!!!


In The Racing Pigeon (London) for October 3, 1964, page 719, Stephen Christie writes about Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus): "Over many years I have kept Wood Pigeons reared from eggs taken in the wild but never had one return to the loft after release....  Two years ago I bred a pair of hybrids from a blue cock paired to a woodie hen and they, the hybrids, looked just like large blue bar wood pigeons with pearl eyes.  One I let out of the loft when it was about six weeks old and it left the district about 24 hours later.  The other one turned out to be a cock and I kept it in an aviary and the following year I paired it to a gay check pied hen.  Just as everything appeared to be going in the right direction the cock bird, for no known reason died very suddenly....  At the moment I have a beautiful hen woodie, reasonably tame, intend to have another go next year."


I have a letter from Mr. Paige G. Westfall, "For a hobby I have a small mail-order business selling poultry and pigeon books and material."  He lists some books I never heard of before.




H. H. Ford is still looking for Florentines.  "Will swap some pretty fair black or yellow Lahores for a pair of real deep rich red Hungarians."  (Write for details)


More notes on the Hubbel(l) birds (PGNL 32 page 2): John Tidwell writes "My brother, Martin, who runs as squab farm in Oak View, California, has two pens of Hubbell birds.  They are--as stated--quite a bit different from what you normally think of as a squab bird but really have over-developed breasts."


George Neuerburg says "Dr. Hubbell of Los Gatos, California--the quality of his stock is legend!  50 years ago....  my parents, brothers and sister visited the doc's lofts, I never did.  Carpenter drooled over the stock for years and never could get any until the doctor died.  During those years much infusion of Maltese blood into Kings was common."


Bob Clarke writes: "Funny thing, after almost convincing myself that a recessive gene was responsible for the bubble breast I got out my first clutches from a couple of 'ideal' matings of my own stock to the Hubbells, and all four squabs came out almost identical to pure Hubbells....  None of my birds have bodies equal to the Hubbells, however."


Arvil Stone writes "I plan to intensify flecking on BA Rollers, i.e. push it to the limit."  That should be an interesting effort.  Coy McKenzie notes that he has examined "several ash-red Racing Homer hens for dark colored flecks in the tail.  Seems prevalent in Sions and Bricoux.  Haven't noticed it in Trentons."


Coy also writes "One youngster from a pair of ash-red bar racers has me a little puzzled.  Both parents have clear bars with no flecking.  This youngster has bars, but also has speckled effect all over wings.  Not a check, but definitely something in addition to bar."  Strawberry equals sooty BA?


Gerhard Hasz reports a mating of an almond ash-red Giant Homer cock with a brown check hen produced a faded ash-red son with a few very small flecks of brown.  Apparently another example of mutation from almond to faded.  "He placed second in his class at the Louisville Show this past weekend."


Bob Smith writes "I am still in the gene-juggling racket.  Had some trouble with birds 'drifting' from one pen to another (Modenas).  I've chucked some of the doubtfuls and will try again this spring with better lofts.  The only other fancier in the area is leaving for Florida next month and I will spend more time with my own birds and less helping him train his Homers.  I got him to make a Turbit by Homer cross last spring for one round with his best Homer cock and we lost the young ones in the first training toss.  He's still laughing at me.  Some of the pure Homers didn't do so well either, so I'm laughing under my breath."


Check Wooldridge sends feathers from a young bird that puzzled him.  "Sometimes I think it is dilute, but that can't be because he was not short-downed."  Both parents are grizzled blue; squab in question is grizzled brown, and not a "he"!


Mrs. Gilligan says "It is odd to note that colors that normally have tail bands in the Modena have a third color, i.e. bronze with blue, russet with brown, cameo with powdered silver, through the various patterns including dilutes of above.  However, ash-reds are just that, quite normal with no third color added.  Perhaps you can work out the tie up of the third color and tail band?"  Well, you haven't considered recessive red; here again, the Modenas show "just that", but there is a tail




 band.  And indigo lacks tail band but does show bronze.  So I would say the gist of the situation simply is that red conceals bronze, or to use the technical term, red is epistatic to bronze.


Carl Graefe and I have been trying to get the proper translation for the German color term "schilf".  Literally it means "straw", but apparently is used by breeders to mean a localized or generalized pigment weakening-----"Abweichung" or "Verdünnung" or "Verminderung".  Thus, grayness in black, or grizzly tendency in any color.  Do you agree, Herr Moebes?  Next problem: the cause.  It has been shown with some nutritional deficiencies that colored varieties of rats, chickens, turkeys, et cetera, may develop pigment poorly.  Pigeons fed for example only corn (maize) might be prone to this?  (Can't blame Genetics for everything!)


Carl also notes a report of combating nuisance birds (starlings, pigeons, etc.) with a "gametocide" in the feed, to cause sterility.  No mention of what the substance was.  Anybody know more about the matter?


Frank Barrachina, writes that he wants to create a new breed.  He suggests to "combine the Bokhara Trumpeters characteristics with those of the Chinese Owl."  I'm afraid I was not highly optimistic about the prospects from the technical point of view.  Am I getting old and losing my enthusiasm for wild plunges into the unknown????


Gerhard Hasz writes, "Crest: does it always behave as a recessive?  I picked up a pale BA CT Archangel cock at Louisville last fall and put him with my ice-blue crosses (Giant Homers).  These are pretty well inbred but have never turned up a crest.  So what happens?  On two different occasions a peak-crested squab shows up.  Maybe the Archangel crest is sex-linked?"  While not let's not get clear off in left field, Gerhard!!!


That leads me to the subject of my cross of red Jacobin cock by S brown English Carrier.  F1 colors show both parents heterozygous for bar, and is one cock heterozygous for ash-red and blue.  The hybrids look intermediate, something like Racing Homers but longer feathered.  One has a small shell crest, another has a twist of neck feathers on one side.  The crest bothers me!!  Like Hasz, I'm reluctant to believe the English Carrier could be heterozygous.  Well, who says old ideas can't be exploded?  More data needed!


George Neuerburg notes "Birds that I have kept in wire-floored 2 foot cube pens in almost total darkness--no sun ever--did well for a year and then stopped breeding---absolutely!  Those getting a bit or a lot of sun bred faster than in flocks."  Vitamin D?


            Mosaic Notes:

(1) George Kleinpell notes that at the Asbury Park National Show last January the only German Trumpeter shown (double-crested) was black and white mottled with yellow rose.

(2) Chet Johnson says the "three color tree top special" that he sent me (PGNL 31 page 4, PGNL 32) has no pedigree.  "He flew upon her friends loft and trapped in.  Knowing my interests in color, he brought him to me."  Santa Claus!

(3) Leon Whitney got a report of a young Sion cock Racing Homer bred by Mr. L. Fisher: "Silver on the right side, and a blue bar on the left.  It's coloring is split right down the middle of his back and the bars are perfect in color and confirmation on both sides...  Silver in the neck, blue face, tail split blue and silver...  Sire is a red check, dam a blue bar.  Their youngsters are all normal in color.  None of the fliers in this area have ever seen one like it or seem to know much about it."  (Silver here probably means BA.)




(4) Leon Whitney also notes a probable mosaic of his own: "A blue check youngster with two distinct red feathers in the secondary of one wing.  There is a blue feather between them."  (Pedigree??)  My prognostication is that after the molt this bird will have more red (BA).

(5) George Neuerburg says "Had to let the Mosaic pair of Dragoons go to make a sale."  (PGNL 27 page 6).  He also reports on "red white and blue Homer cock (?)  mated to a blue bar chucked and white flighted hen, in individual pen, have had first round a single blue bar, second round a blue check and a "shield-marked red."  (See PGNL 32 page 5)

(6) Gerhard Hasz observed a mosaic Racing Homer at the Kentucky State Fair, for the second year.  He thinks it is a hen: got a photo of wings spread, showing both the windshields mostly blue checker while most of the rest of the bird looks ash-red.

(7) Hasz also bred a mosaic: "Sandy with about 3 in.² of yellow across the rump and a similar spot the size of a quarter on one side of the head.  The eye on the Mosaic side is orange while the other is bull.  Is this a scoop?"

(8) Malcolm Ellis notes a young auto-sex cock "has a yellow tick behind his left eye about the size of a nickel.  The spot enlarged slightly with maturity.  Why come??"  (Somatic mutation of some sort, maybe?"






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 34                                   April 1965


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


For the delectation of cognoscenti, here is a quotation from W. H. Pensom's 1958 book "The Birmingham Roller Pigeon", page 89: "I have a tortoiseshell [grizzle] hen which carries a dominant white gene and she produces pure white youngsters with any colored cock."  Ah, definitions!


Wendell Levi recently obtained a Racing Homer book of ambitious scope from East Berlin: "Die Sporttaube", 1964 edited by W. Meischner and by a number of specialist authors, notably Kurt Vogel.  The chapters on Abstammung (Origins) and Vererbung (Genetics) are by A. Fuchs.  He does a bit better than most of the writers in this dangerous field behind the wall, but his library resources must have been extremely limited (apparently had never seen the discussions of Genetics in Levi's "The Pigeon", for example, and a certain WFH also had never been heard of).  The only definite gene symbols used (mostly not what we use) are for crest, black and sex-link red, and their alleles.  He cites casually a few other supposedly simple genes: shy behavior versus tameness, broad tail versus narrow tail, rich versus scanty plumage, long versus short beak, low versus high leg-setting, and coarse versus delicate bone structure.  Fuchs really doesn't have much use for Mendelian ideas, and goes into more meaty matters with greater gusto: inheritance of acquired characters (no examples in pigeons mentioned), and vegetative hybridization by blood transfusion etc. (not yet in pigeons).  All Genetics in 16 pages of blah!  But what Western book on Racing Homers is better?


Leon Whitney writes that one of his inbred strains "is very much tamer than any other.  The original I began this strain with was the top young bird in the Antwerp Union of Belgium.  He was a blue check and I have segregated both a blue check and a blue bar line.  The blue bars are tamer than the blue checks, but both are tamer than the other inbred lines.  I wish I knew some psychologists who needed tame birds; I could breed a lot for them."  I inquired whether they might just be stupid.  Answer: "Indeed not!".


Leslie Bolling comments on shipping eggs: "A friend who made his living raising pheasants and game birds told me he never sent fresh eggs, but after incubation 10 days or up to any time just so they would arrive before they hatched.  He filled a cardboard box of proper size with game bird starter which is fine granules.  I think he wrapped each egg loosely in paper and then packed them in this feed which acted as installation."




Mrs. Gilligan writes "On odd occasions have kept eggs in a cool place (turning each day) till feeders laid.  Under a week of storage results haven't been too bad.  Have noticed youngsters hatching from eggs kept well over a week tend to be very dry at hatching--seem to have a hard time getting out of the shell."  (Cf. PGNL 7 page 4)


Dr. Oscar Haffke breeds wild species of doves especially Mourning Doves and White-Wing Doves (Melopelia).  He has several very interesting color-mutant types: one somewhat like ash-red, in the morning doves, and a pink-eyed-dilute in the White Wing.  He says he has some morning doves of very large size (double normal weight).


Joe Quinn says "On occasions my wife and nine children did not understand the importance of  genetic experimentation."  (While, we PGNL people understand!)  However his Rollers are helping: "I have had championship kits each of 4 years--I have pure Richard Krupke’ Strain, 80 years old."


Joe is keeping records on eye colors and wonders about split eyes (partly bull).  Well, it has been found by others that the absence of irus pigment (bull) is generally related to absence of pigment in the head plumage (splashing, etc.).  I doubt that a pure split-eye strain could be produced, as it would be on the border of shifting one way or the other.


Gerhard Hasz ruminates on the relationship between "ice" color and bull eyes: "Geflügel Börse 78 number 7 says that black-barred and checkered have orange eyes, others bull eyes.  These ' dunkeläugig' are said to have their origin chiefly in Saxony, the others in Silesia and Southern Germany.  My ice (Giant Homer) is a combination of Damascene and Czecho-Slovakian Ice-Pouter, all orange eyed.  I wonder whether this stencil factor has anything to do with the dark- eyed ice."  Well, a lot of stencil breeds do not have dark eyes, for example Lynx; and some of the non-stencil Swiss color varieties have dark eyes.  Maybe we'd better just hypothesize a special gene for dark eyes?  Just happenstance relationship to ice?  Somebody ought to compile a survey of the varieties (and some breeding tests too!). 


Hasz, Graefe and Moebes comment further on "schilf" color.  My translation "straw" (PGNL 33 page 4) was an error, should have been "reedy" or "sedge".  The impression is whiteish streaking.  Moebes says "I have observed this on the tail feathers of Berliner Blaubunte Lange Tumbler, and on colored dark-winged Polish Lynx, wing feathers."


I have a letter from Frank M. Lintner, who has apparently read about the new Santa Gertrudis  breed of cattle and wants to know if a new breed of pigeons could be similarly established.  What he wants is "continuous hybrid vigor." H'mmm--a pure hybrid?


Ralph Dunmore gives this breakdown for 100 pigeons trapped in Syracuse, New York: wild type 34, blue check 29, blue T-pattern 17, S black 17, "various grizzles" 3.  (Compare PGNL 30 page 2)


David Bruce found an article "Ecological studies on the Rock Dove in Southeastern Oregon" by R. R. Kindschy, Jr., in Northwest Science, volume 38: 138-140, 1964.  This is about feral pigeons especially in Soccor Creek Canyon, near Homedale.  Bruce wrote to the author for information on colors in these wild birds, and received this reply: "predominately of the blue coloration....  There are a few individuals of other colorations however.  The almost solid white birds stick out in my mind as being the second most common...  But very minor.  Dr. Ralph B. Williams, has been




interested in pigeon coloration for a number of years.  He wrote me his observations in southeastern Wyoming and Alaska."


Lowell Pauli in the December North West Giant Homer Association bulletin says "We received a card from Dave Bruce mailed from Mexico.  Said he found a carved image of a pigeon in a temple there, said it had a crooked keel, but failed to give color and pattern."


The North West Giant Homer Association planned to start an informal squab breeding contest this year, but apparently the entries have not been abundant.


William T. Rock, asks about the cause of split shafts in his Racing Homers.  He says it did not occur in the previous generation and is now in all the strains.  About half the bird's have it, almost all males.  Otherwise the birds look good.  Any ideas, anyone?


Extra flights in Racing Homers: in The Racing Pigeon (London), December 19, 1964, G. Dennis has an article giving his experience in trying to develop a family with its peculiarity.  At present he has 40 such birds, mostly "grizzled or grizzled bred".  Very poor incidence of the trait was obtained in crossing the abnormals with the normals.  However, "As yet I have never failed to breed 11-flighted youngsters from a pairing of two 11-flighted parents."  (Actual incidences not given; cf. PGNL 32 page 1).  And in The Racing Pigeon, January 9, J. Blalock comments on some race winners with 11 flights, and says he thinks the trait is common in the Hansenne strain.


Wilmer Miller brings the statistics up to date on our "rosy" ring doves (PGNL 26 page 3): reciprocal outcrosses to non-rosy gave 98 young, none rosy; F1 by F1 gave 117 young, of which 15 were rosy, both sexes; F1 by rosy gave 40 young, of which 15 were rosy.  The ratios suggest differential mortality in the egg.  One new combination was produced: rosy dark (i.e., not blond).  The adult has a beautiful amethyst color over head, neck and breast.


Malcolm Ellis had a lot of trouble with pox in his birds last Fall.  In December he wrote "We have come to the conclusion that the solution to this problem lies not in the method of control but rather in developing a line that is resistant to the infection.  Certain birds do not seem to react to the virus.  This is true of both young and old birds."  (Maybe mosquito-immune too?)


Leon Whitney wonders whether I agree with the opinion of Bonhote at the top of PGNL 33, that the vigor of young depends on the vigor of the parents.  "I've seen some pretty wobbly parents produce offspring which excelled in vigor.  Among the 12 pair which I had last season to study  paratyphoid, the cock of one pair was actively sick with it and none of the youngsters have even shown a symptom and these youngsters are vigorous as any they have ever raised."  Proof of pudding?


Herman Smith gives a bit more information on the "Syrian Flappers" (PGNL 30 page 4): "They are generally rather common in an appearance but have feathered or grouse legs.  The colors are red and blue barred with an occasional dilute of these colors and I did have one pair producing saddles.  Even if they fly 1 foot they strike their wings together and they do this day or night.  The first cross also flap but on the few I raised this was not as pronounced."  But Herman, who called them "Syrian Flappers"?  Sounds more like Rhine Ringbeaters.  Where do they come from?  Herman now has excellent indigo Fantails.


Ibarra Santos left his birds at home in the Philippine Islands.  He crossed "Chinese Fantail" (crested, grouse) with White King and has segregated out a King-size Fantail.  New breed? 




Walter Newport is also working towards this (PGNL 28 page 4).


Al Westling is trying to produce recessive red Beard LFCL Tumblers.  "My first crosses from red and yellow selfs to black Beards produced all blacks, kites, and a couple of ash-reds from one mating.  Some of the blacks and kites had a few white flights.  The second year three pairs of blacks and kites were mated together.  I got the Mendelian ratio of recessive reds as expected, but of the five reds and one yellow produced, all molted into gay whitesides except two of the red hens which each have one or two outer flights white and the rest fairly good red color.  I am mating them to black Beard cocks.  Two more generations and I will know if recessive red can be produced in a Tumbler with precise markings (Beard).  Frankly I am not too optimistic with all the whitesides showing up, with none to start with."  But Al remembers the rich red and clean markings of the imported red Strassers.  I agree, Al, that the "instability" of recessive red is a difficult and genetically significant problem (PGNL 27 page 6).  The easiest solution is to hypothesize modifiers.  For example, perhaps the "sooty" factor is one.  Who will work it out?


Carl Graefe asks "Have you ever seen recessive red that looked like a slightly bronzed black and dun?"  I don't think so, but some recessive reds are certainly smutty-looking.  What have you been up to?!


Which gets us back to the Brander puzzle.  Arvil Stone got a Brander-like "bronze" Parlor Tumbler cock from Ray Gilbert and mated with a blue T-pattern Roller hen.  They produced half a dozen squabs, all blue T-pattern, not bronzed.  Arvil notes the similarity of the bronze Parlor Tumbler to the Bronze Modena.  Well, it would be interesting to see whether these two mated together would produce only bronze.  Many bronze Modenas carry recessive red.


Donald Henderson Ed's notes on his faded ash-red crosses as racers (PGNL 27 page 4): "I last reported that a backcross (3/4 Homer-1/4 Texan) number 633 flew 200 miles in good time.  Raised four birds from him: one flew 200 miles, lost at 300.  Spring 1964 number 633 made 300 miles.  Another 3/4 number 2753 raced 60, 200, 300, and 400 miles.  On 400 we had a squall line, but the bird returned in about one month.  Fall 1964 raised eight birds 15/16 Homer-1/16 Texan parent = ?.  Number 827 faded ash-red raced 100, 100, 150, 200, and 300 miles in reasonable times.  Another, number 813 cock, is held as a breeder."  Auto-sex next, Don?


Dick Hanzel, is progressing with "Andalusian" Modenas (PGNL 24 page 1).  "The hardest problem I've had was getting the Modena type back after crossing in the Giant Homers."  He has at least one bird which is unusually dark for indigo-- at first glance would pass for black.


Bob Pettit has produced an indigo Argent Modena, as well as some indigo gazzi.  "Fire-marking" interests him: a Black spangle hen from imported Holmes' stock by solid black produced a young black with definite bronze checked wings.  "I figured it would molt into the stencil pattern of its mother but the bird is molting in solid black."  (See also PGNL 30 page 4).  Gerald Dooley has found that his pair of fire-mark black Schietti were heterozygous for recessive red, gazzi, S, and T-pattern.  The cock also carried dilution.  (Is such purity necessary?!)


Bob Pettit notes that he judged Rollers at Peoria.  "Last year in an old hen class they brought up a red check bird with black flecks all through tail and flights.  I announced that the bird was obviously a cock, whereupon the clerk (a perk little gal) reared back and said "Mr. Pettit!  Him lays eggs and sits on 'em at night."  Later noted more of the same."  Such hens if proved out would be genetically valuable!  But more likely as mosaics.




Ed Blaine writes "Ray Green of Cedar Rapids took 12 of Carl Graefe's birds on loan.  He is about to lose his bonnet over matings."  (Color kaleidoscope.)  Ed also notes a peculiar relation of "creases" along the side of the face and neck with sex: a blue checker Giant Homer hen with creases, mated to a dominant opal cock without creases, produced nine progeny.  All the daughters (5) had creases (not visible until they had molted).  None of the sons developed creases.  There was no relation with the dominant opal color.


George Neuerburg corrects an error in PGNL 33 page 2: "When I sold the Antwerps to Taylor I also sold him my white Exhibition Homers and they were the ones he used to make the Giants."


Bob Clarke writes "I am interested in the short-beaked hens some of the boys have mentioned PGNL 32 page 4.  I have a few too.  Just recently I mated one to her brother.  It is an auto-sexed mating.  No short-beak cocks in my flock."  Bob also reports that from a 1/2 Hubbell hen (PGNL 32 page 2) with a pure Hubbell cock, "of the five squabs they have raised one that had pure Hubbell type but was heavier than most, one had pure Hubbell type and size, and the other three were normal with slightly altered breasts.  I'm still clinging to one gene theory."


Bob Nesbitt sent me a copy of the new Racing Homer magazine, "Western Flights", edited by him and Bob Dunn.  Heavily overloaded with Genetics.  Mr. William DeYoung writes on breeding methods.  On crossing, he says "I cannot see how anyone can hope to do anything but mix things up to such an extent that they can never be unscrambled."  Leon Whitney to the rescue?  Also I understand that the late Dr. G. H. T. Stovin's new book (1964) "Breeding Better Pigeons" is available (The Racing Pigeon, London, etc.), but I have not seen it yet.


Dr. Golley has a couple of Blondinettes showing some tendency to frill-back (PGNL 33 page 2).  "If someone else is interested in having one of these birds, the hen is available now, and could probably spare the cock later on."  Possible new breed?


Thomas Collins, would like to get White Dragoons ("Bulldog type").  He has "quite a large flock of Turbits, Helmets, Saddle Homers, and Moorheads."  I knew Tom when I was in New Haven, and found him most pleasant to deal with.


Mosaic notes:

Gearhard Hasz writes "At the recent Dallas National Norton Weist showed a Giant Homer hen that was about 1/2 blue bar 1/2 silver.  Primaries silver, and secondaries blue, with 3-4 flights between that were neither blue nor silver but a striated amalgam of both."


Joe Quinn has an almond (Roller) hen with all flights on the right side kite (rich bronze).


Arvil Stone has a "faded spread black hen with a large patch of black on its left shoulder."  Also an ash (BA S) Homer hen with a large a brown spot on one side.


George Neuerburg asks "have you kept any records of the sex ratios in mosaics?  Reflecting--an ash-yellow English Show Homer cock with a blue black patch on head about 1922 was the first time I paid attention to such other than considering birds like that just mismarked.  Of the many mosaics I have had since all have been cocks except one hen that I got from a squab plant—a



black Carneau with a large yellow patch on the back of the neck.  [And that Dragoon hen, George--PGNL 27 page 6!]  'Law of averages' or just my luck?"  No, I have not tottled up the ratio lately, but agree there is some excess of cocks.  Don't know why.


Bob Pettit notes two possible mosaics in his Modenas: "a black spangled Argent hen with a very definite brown head.  Mated to a self black--noted no brown in F1.  This year from a brown Argent hen and a blue Argent cock I bred a blue hen with the same brown showing in neck and head."


David Bruce calls attention to the fact that Mendel's famous report on throwbacks in peas came out just 100 years ago.





Pigeon Genetics News Letter



Issue 35                                   July 1965


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Finally information has come in about the "anti-fertility" or "gametocide" drug tests (PGNL 33 page 4): Dr. W. H. Elder of the University of Missouri has been using "22-25 diazocholestanol hydrochloride" produced by G.D. Searle & Co., in feed, and claims to have reduced egg production by 85%.  The effect is supposed to last six months.  Trials on New York City pigeon populations are said to be in progress.


Carl Naether has an article titled "Schneetaube by Strasser" in Geflügel-Börse (München, Germany) number 22, November 10, 1964, page 7.  He mated a cock Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota) with a blue barless Strasser.  The first two clutches hatched but all young died at about 10 days.  An egg from the third clutch was given to ringneck doves is to foster, and the resulting squab was raised successfully.  A photo is given, looking like an ordinary blue-bar common pigeon.  Naether comments "Of the pretty clear blue and the snow white of the two parents only a very, very little can be seen in the tail of the youngster--a small whiteish blue band."


George Schroeder sends photos of his new 240-pair squab building, quite a lay-out.  "The birds are in and we still have many problems....  I find a great difference in docility or tameness as Whitney called it (PGNL 34 page 1).  The tamest I have are faded American Kings raised by Claude Smith."


George Neuerburg also comments on tameness: "it is stud of Dragoons that I had some time ago and a few of the same lot that I acquired recently are the tamest lot that I have ever had....  Do not try to avoid being caught or struggle when handled."


Carl Graefe on the other hand says that he years ago bred a 3/4 Racing Homer 1/4 White Runt that "was the wildest pigeon I have ever seen.  Extremely short and hard-feathered, so long in leg and neck as to suggest English Carrier cross; head that wouldn't be bad on a Giant Homer today."                                                                       



Colin Osman writes: "For the Pigeon Olympiad an exhibition of over 150 different types of fancy pigeons was arranged by the Middlesex Columbarian Society.  Peak of this exhibition was to be a wild rock dove, pure and true in every way.  Last-minute snag was that one could not be found as all those in Southern England were contaminated by feral dovecot pigeons or racers.  An appeal over the BBC and through newspapers resulted in one being obtained by one of life's unsung heroes who was lowered over a cliff face at night on a rope into a cavern to catch them.  Three birds guaranteed uncontaminated were obtained but --department of anti-climax--they were so wild that they could not be risked in a cage, and so were never exhibited that all....  They all exhibited prominent eye-sign, alleged by some racing fanciers to be an essential requirement for breeding winners."  To the hills, men!


Reed Kinzer sends me a web-foot red white-tailed Hamburg Tumbler from normal parents; Bob Pettit notes on a brown Modena hen with webbed toes; and other examples are continually reported.  Gerald Dooley has bred a "polydactyls syndactyl".  What I really want is birds with webs between inner and middle toes.  (Most cases are between outer and middle.)


Harold Gordon sings the praises to cod-liver oil for improved production.  He reports a mutant?  squab that is nearly naked--only crop feathers and a few scattered elsewhere.  "The left rear toe points out to the side; there is no right rear toe."  Parents were a pair of Ancient Tumblers, the cock over 10 years old.


Mrs. Gilligan reports a cross of Black Helmet cock with Bronze Tricolor gazzi hen.  Two F1: "general type of both, Modena.  One all white except blue gazzi head and tail markings, the second similar but with a small patch of bronze above inner secondaries.  No crest of course."


George Schroeder says "I have a black spread cock (darker bars showing) mated to a indigo check hen.  The pair now has two barred youngsters, one blue and the other ash-red.  How the ash-red got there I don't know."  Maybe brown-indigo combination?  Looks a lot like BA.


A letter from Earl T. Rhodes, inquires about silky Fantails.  Extinct in USA?  He wants to re-create them if so.


Kenneth E. Moore, is thinking of developing auto-sexing Komorner Tumblers.  He also breeds ring neck doves.


Ted Smith is trying to put "the Gazzi marking on Tumblers.  A gazzi- marked 3/4 Show Tumbler and 1/4 Modena cock still has bull eyes; almost a year-old."  Ted also comments, "Have a visit from Arvil Stone off and on.  The last visit he dragged his brother Dal along from California, and there were genes and chromosomes all over the backyard."


Lowell Pauli in the North West Giant Homer Association bulletin for April and May tried to explain color inheritance for beginners, and included "the blue gene".  Sorry, Lowell, there ain't any the blue gene!  What you should say is the normal allele (of ash-red, in the case mentioned).  The wild-type blue pigeon has not just one gene for its color, but presumably a whole battery of them.  A change of any one of them is enough to give a new (mutant) effect, e.g., ash-red, almond, opal, et cetera.


Malcolm Ellis writes "Have you seen the unusual comments on color inheritance in the Racing Pigeon Bulletin of the 16th of April 1965?  Either the author or I one does not understand recessive red and/or spread."  No, I don't get that journal.




Paul Steiden is running a series of articles on Modena colors in the UPF Bulletin, by Cordis T. Koehler.  So far nothing amazing.


Jack Wooldridge writes "produced one self black out of barless Strasser by S Racing Homer hen.  I trained him in a race from Sparks, Nevada, (207 air miles) he homed early second day.  Pretty good for squabber!"


Carl Graefe asks "Is 'bubble-breasted' (PGNL 33 page 3) a corruption of 'double-breasted'?  An old term, applied sometimes to the old utility-type Maltese and crosses of them that had such an extreme development of breast muscle.  One of our neighbors has developed a stud of squab breeders, bloodlines very complicated King, Modena, Racing Homers, Show Racers, and recently a shot of Giant Homer.  I have handled the adults and squabs, alive and dressed, and can confirm that many (50% or more) would classify as 'double-breasted'.  They really have close to ideal confirmation."


Franken Nuzzo wants to know where he can obtain the Syrian "Shakhsharli"  He is also thinking of making a Frillback Fantail, and Frillbacks of unusual colors.  Franks ringneck doves are producing some "salmon-colored" and "cream", probably same as the "rosy" (PGNL 34 page 3).


L. F. Tharp writes "Am ordering some Hessian and Altdeutsche Croppers from Germany."


H. H. Ford says "Joe Wolf and Eric Buri have imported several German black Florentines (I'm taking some of them).  Diamonds the size of pigeon eggs are cheaper by far....  Have a perfect yellow Lahore for trade--I need blue or red Florentines, German Shields."  Ford also says he is getting occasional crested black Florentine squabs.


Marvin Emery writes "Made a cross of Alinegro on splendid white Jacobin male.  No sign of crest on offspring, but didn't raise many."


Manfred Gottfried writes "It's hard for me to remember that over eight years have passed since you started the letter.  I get the impression that nowadays quite a few of the correspondents, not just old-timers like Graefe, know pretty well what they are talking about.  Or is that you're editing?"  (Um!--everybody is getting edjicated!)


Colin Osman is planning to publish a "Pigeon Quarterly", "a highbrow affair devoted to scientific abstracts" on all sorts of subjects--diseases, behavior, nutrition, et cetera.  He wondered if PGNL could be incorporated in this venture, but I decided against it.  (We ain't highbrow enough!  Et cetera.)  However, Osmond may lift anything of special interest out of PGNL that he desires.  More news on "PQ" soon, we hope!  Bon voyage!


John Schabell suggests an explanation for Pensom's hen which "carries dominant white" but doesn't show it (PGNL 34 page 1): maybe she is homozygous grizzle with additional white markings.  "This would give an almost white tortoiseshell.  I have raised many like this.  For the most of his matings to other white-marked birds, some near-whites could occur.  Also when mated to BA cocks."  Okay, John, but Pensom said pure whites!


John Strombaugh nearly decided to try importing an "opaline Trembler" from Australia.  The Australian correspondent gave a luscious description ("pure charcoal gray tail...  with white tips....  speckle feathering of breast.....  white underbody, the 10 flight feathers white....  heavy



gloss") and said it was bred from a red LFCL Tumbler hen and a cock that was out of a white LFCL crossed with a red German Beard.  I discouraged the import since I figured "opaline" to be merely as selling name for grizzle BA.  Also Strombaugh says he now has perfect almond coloration in some of his Tumblers.


Carl Graefe makes a final comment on almond: "Since no qualitative or descriptive Biology is worth a damn anymore, I have reduced my rather extensive experience in breeding almonds to a short formula: from any mating involving almond, offspring equals zero to infinity.  That ought to be broad enough to cover everything and still be quantitative!"


John Tidwell tells of an "aborted, non-conclusive work that I had to scrap when all hell broke loose.  I had a brown Nun hen; mating number one to a peak-crested yellow Owl, and mating number two to a misshaped-crest crested red Clean leg Tumbler cock."  He bred F2 from each mating and also mixed the two descendents.  "Never--and I was working with over 30 pairs of these mongrels--did I ever produce anything (crest) that even faintly resembled a Nun, and one year I killed 200 youngsters in this strain, so they at least had something of a chance to reappear.  Many times two crested birds mated together produced plain-headed youngsters in colony pens, and when so observed were placed in individual pens and continued to produce plain heads.  Perhaps both the peak crest of the original owl and the poorly formed twisted shell crest of the Tumbler should not have been considered crest in the sense that you use it.????"  Dangfino!  My Jacobin crosses are giving me fits too.


Dr. Counsilman notes "Dr. Lawson of Vallejo, California, a Barb breeder, mentioned to me that in crossing his strain of birds with other Barbs he had produced youngsters with frills and crest."


Bob Pettit writes "Two years ago I bred a blue Gazzi Modena male with a cluster of reverse feathers resembling the Chinese pigeon...  Eventually he molted out smooth, but now he has a youngster with the same feather formation."  Mutation?  May become the new style in Modenas?


John Hasse, inquires whether brown exists in Rollers.  I don't recall any.  Somebody should write him if a source is available.


Ralph Dunmore (PGNL 34 page 1) writes: "Could you mention in July PGNL that I would like any information on the relative distribution of color and pattern phenotypes in wild pigeon populations?  Any little bits of information will be greatly appreciated."  Ralph provides this preliminary breakdown on over 600 birds trapped around Syracuse, New York: blue bar most common, with blues and blacks about 80% of total; then grizzles, ash-reds, some recessive reds, whites, sooty, and one bronze.  No browns, no dilutes, no opals, no almonds!  "Noticed a few crests, feathered legs; no frills."  He also notes the average body weight was 297 g (10.5 ounces); maximum 495 g (18 ounces), minimum 180 g (6.5 ounces).


Ibarra Santos (PGNL 34) has been dickering over purchase of White Swiss Mondains from John Skidmore, of Gore, Oklahoma.  Skidmore claims remarkable production by his stock, even from five-to six-year-old pairs.  Anybody know the facts??


Malcolm Ellis says he has tried his crosses (and F2) of Racing Homer by White Muffed Tumbler (PGNL 27 page 5) "on the road."  "The loss was 50% by 50 miles, but those that are left are equally as effective from 50 miles as the Homers."


Dr. Counsilman writes "Homing instinct in English Carriers is rather surprising.  I have had




young birds escape and watch them disappear into the horizon.  In spite of the fact that these birds have been raised in small cages with almost no view of anything but a fence in front of the pens, they have invariably returned.  One youngster about nine weeks of age flew an estimated 5 miles in a direction he could not possibly have even seen from his pen.  He returned the following day.  I've lost Racing Homers at shorter distances even though allowed their liberty.  A million-to-one shot--at the Pageant Show held in Pomona in 1963 my champion carrier got loose.  He took several circles of the building, a rather tremendous place, lighted on a window and then flew back to the cage he escaped from.  About 4000 or more birds caged at this show.  I rather think he was frightened back to his own section when he saw all the usual shapes that pigeons come in."


Phil Roof notes "I separate my Turbits usually in July.  The hens then mate and lay in droves, sometimes four or five in one nest.  To discourage them once, I picked up the nest box (home-made 12 x 12 floor with 6 inch board around, open top) and moved it across the coop, about 10 feet, with some of the hens remaining sitting.  A few days later I was surprised to find that the hens were still sitting in their new location!  Compare this with pigeons that will abandon their eggs even if moved a few inches!"


Phil also comments on Al Westling's attempt to produce a recessive red Beards (PGNL 34 page 4): "Same results I got-- whitesides or at least mottles in Turbit crosses.  I am trying now to mix the ash Turbit red into the crosses to see if this will help to stabilize a recessive red."


John Tidwell unburdens problems: "Through 35 years of personal experience any time I mated a black self to a black mottle I always got selfs in F1.  In all of the combined experiences of Gies, Whitney and Sanger only once did a black self to a black mottle produce a black mottle, and that was for Dr. Sanger and the ancestry of the black self cock was doubtful, could have come from mottle cross.  So you can see why I challenge the thought that black mottle is a form of grizzle.  Further, two black self F1 bred as above never produce a black mottle.  If this were a normal recessive I would think now and then a young black mottle would appear.  Further, you often get black selfs from a pair of show-marked black mottles.  Now all that I knew (?)  and along comes this year.  I put a black mottle hen to a dun self cock that I have personally seen the parents etc. of for the last 15 years and there has not been any white in the wings or anywhere else in all those generations.  But this pair are throwing black and yellow mottles.  Tain't fair, it upsets my budding theories."  Well, John, I think analysis by crossing with wild type years ago could have saved you all this grief!  Maybe.


Dr. Counsilman notes "My feeders, a collection of odds and ends used for feeding the Carriers squabs, have consistently disproved the existence of sex-linkage in certain colors.  The Carriers, all bred in individual breeding cages, seemed to accept the laws of Mendel without question.  The feeder pens are full of exceptions.  It almost makes one think that some of my birds are unfaithful to their mates.  For example, a pair of blue-laced Satinette's in the feeder pen produced a pure black squab without crest, frill, et cetera.  I also have blues that must carry a dominant white gene (a la Pensom).  If I did not know about this I might be suspicious!"


Ed Blaine noticed an article in a South African Farm Magazine about a Racing Homer breeder using inbred lines for crosses, as Whitney has been (PGNL 33 page 1).  Ed also showed me a problem in flecking: a light ash-red bar Giant Homer hen that had both a brown and dark-ash flecks in the tail.  These were large areas, nearly half the feather.  My (untestable) guess --dark ash could be somatic mutation to heterozygous recessive red.




Bob Clarke writes "got been another 'knot head'--a bird like the one described in PGNL 32 page 3.  That first bird turned out to be a male and is siring normal squabs.  The new one is a hen.  I'll put them together.  I predict 100% knot heads from them.  Both are from Strasser crosses.  The hen is normal blue from a pair of fadeds."  (Gonna use individual pen, Bob?)


            Mosaic notes:


Dr. Counsilman says "In Carriers I have yet to see one.  In a group of Exhibition Homers that I had several years ago (import from England) I produced five or six within a few years.  All were mealies with varying amounts of blue.  One which I still have is a cock out of a pair of mealies.  He is about half and half, the most evenly marked mosaic that I've seen."






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 36                                   October 1965


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


With the next issue (#37) we intend to include a complete revised mailing list--probably for the last time.  If no comment has been received from you during 1965, your name will probably be dropped!


Since 1966 is likely to be our terminal year, we hope to catch up loose ends as well as possible.  Please look through back issues for "unfinished business" which can be settled.  If you lack back issues, itemize and we shall try to supply.


Fred Smith, a Helmet fancier, presents the first information that I recall on Helmet crossed with self-color: the F1 had Helmet marking.


Kenneth Moore reports a cross of a Black Komorner Tumbler by Blue check Homer hen with "a few white feathers."  Has two young so far; one is "black-and-white splashed," the other dun, "perfectly magpied like the Komorner but without the crest."


Christian Reichenbach (editor of Geflügel-Börse) writes of his extensive collection of pigeon-Genetics literature.  He adds, "For three years I have been analyzing the white-tail marking, using my Saxon Whitetails since they are most purebred.  The Saxon Breast is extremely interesting--in nest plumage each feather that later will be white is laced with color, so that it is genetically a self-colored type.  F1 from Saxon Whitetail by Saxon Breast was self (ash-red and yellow)."


Dr. G. L. Clark comments "I have had a shocking breeding season last.  Post-mortems only showed ascarids or capillaria" or both, but a considerable percentage were clean.  Well, worms as well as genes can be transmitted from one generation to the next!  Dr. Clark is also revising his book (PGNL 15 page 1).


Carl Graefe requests that a letter he and I received in August from a breeder in Ohio be exposed in its entirety: "Gear Sir, Your name was given to me by Dr.'s Jaap and Marsh of the Ohio State University Geneticist department in Poultry Science.  My problem is: I race pigeons and am very interested in improving my strain and maintaining the strain as pure as possible.  Thanking you in advance," etc.  Problems; problems!




In The Racing Pigeon, (London), July 31 issue, page 580: the winner of the 617-mile race from Nantes to Scotland, July 15, with 1995 birds competing, was "High Noon," an opal-bar cock, 1960-bred from a pair of blues.


Another item in The Racing Pigeon, August 14 the issue, page 621, a letter was printed from one J. Holborn: "I readin your notes of Jack Smith having a short-sighted pigeon ringed 1965.  I had a blue cock ringed 1962, he was short-sighted.  I had to feed him in his compartment in two small boxes, and he could not get corn off the floor.  He never was able to see it.  He would peck all around it but just could not get any.  That pigeon was very consistent in racing.  (Lille, Beauvais, Bourges, etc.) I should have stopped him at that, but no, I sent into Nantes, and but for the seven days hold over I am sure he would have homed, but I knew without corn he had no chance."  The editor (Osman), added "Surely this bird must be long-sighted."  Probably the "feed-blind" condition (PGNL 20, page 3; 27 page 2).


Recently I mated a blue feed-blind cock with a "clumsy" hen.  So far two squabs, both normal.


Al Westling says, "One of my pairs of red Beards (Tumblers) produces a blind bird in each nest.  They have eyes and seemed to be perfect physically in all respects but cannot see and therefore have to be destroyed whenever the foster parents quit feeding."


Dr. Hannaford Shafer notes that a pair of his black Bokhara Trumpeters, a brother by sister mating, "have bred a black and a dun for their first two nests.  The blacks have survived, but the duns have died.  I noticed that the first dun young one had bulbous eyes, exophthalmos, just like the so-called 'bladder eyes' which one gets in mating Short-faced Almond Tumblers together."  The squab was blind and died at three weeks.


Carl Graefe ruminates about mutations: "it almost looks as if the mutation rate goes up under conditions of domestication.  Possible?  Probable?"  Well, I don't think near proximity of man is a likely factor, but maybe pathological conditions can put a monkey wrench in the DNA; domestication and diseases are old pals.


Bill Speed writes "Four of the 1964 mules (PGNL 32 page 3) from Owl cock by female dove were placed in a loft with four Ring dove hens in March.  Two of the mules mated with the dove hens and acted exactly like cock pigeon or dove--setting, feeding young, etc. (Foster young).  No fertile eggs.  One of the mules mated but never set his hours from 10 to 4 as did the two others so the hen always abandoned the eggs after a time.  The fourth or last mule showed no sex desire and never mated.  All these mules are were very different in appearance--none of the 4 alike.  The two that acted like a cock pigeon were very aggressive and bad to fight.  The other two were about like a dove in disposition."


Herman Smith also produced a mule, the father being "one of my reduced blue wing Archangels, the female a white dove.  The hybrid has considerable bronze on the breast, also tends to appear on wings."


Leon Stephens says, "I would appreciate any information about hybridization of different species of doves.  My senior project (California Polytechnique College) involves the hybridization of the Western Morning Dove and the Grayson's dove.  These hybrids produce offspring, that is, F2."


George Neuerburg comments on Naether's Snow Pigeon by Strasser hybrid (PGNL 35 page 1): "that hybrid is the wildest bird that I have ever handled!"



Carl Naether gives me further information: the hybrid is a cock, and was mated to a white Racing Homer hen.  "The pair laid fertile eggs the first time but the male refused incubate, so the hen left the nest after 10 days.  The second set of eggs hatched.  Both young were well brooded and fed up to their 10th day, when both died on the same day.  Both squabs crops were well filled and they were well developed and robust.  Both were all white, to all appearances."  On August 30 Naether added, "The hybrid male is now not in breeding condition, even though through the molt, apparently having inherited the off-season habit of the Snow Pigeon."


Speaking of crossing, George Schroeder comes out of his new squab house with this impression: "far greater productive activity in the pens (1) with pairs that are hybrids (2) with pairs where the cock is one breed and the hen another.  Also when a White King and a Blue King are mated they seem to do better.  Far enough apart to give a lift in crossing?"


Leon Whitney is continuing his brother-sister program with Homers (PGNL 33 page 1).  I wrote him that the first 12 generations are the worst.  He replies, "Donald F. Jones said if I could get by the seventh I'd have no more worries.  It was so with my guppies and was so with Helen Dean King's rats.  But this fifth-generation!  I'm slowly going out of my mind.  Many deaths, and infertility, abandonment of squeakers at 10 days or two weeks.  I guess it was chiefly that too many of them were late bred.  Nevertheless, some lines are holding up beautifully.....  Of the 900 youngsters I banded, three have had fast-growing skin tumors which resemble melanomas."


Bob Clarke gripes "I'd sure like to know why some are squabs are relatively weaker than those hatched at other times of the year."


Al Westling comments, "From reports all over the nation, infertility in Tumblers seems to be unusually high this year."  (Gametocide?  PGNL 35 page 1).


Dr. Hannaford Shafer says "You may be interested to know that pigeon and poultry books of older vintage have almost disappeared off the book market."  He and Neuerburg and Naether all agree that Dr. Stovin's book "Breeding Better Pigeons" is a new one worth reading.  (I still haven't seen it.)


Wendell Levi's grand new book (700 color pictures) is in press at T.F.H. Publications.  Supposed to be on sale in bookstores for Xmas.  A real status symbol if you can afford it!


In the North West Giant Homer Association Bulletin for September, David Bruce discusses "How many colors and patterns can one pair produce?"  The rather unlikely example he conjures up gives some 8000 possibilities.  Bob Pettit considers his actual mating in Modenas: "From my brown by indigo hen I have bred five birds-- 5 different colors!"  Only 7995 to go.


Bob Pettit also notes "Have a pair of Argents with a big twin egg, the first I can remember in breeding thousands of pigeons."  Maybe the big breeds are more prone to lay such??


Bob has sent me a brown bronze Schietti hen with web foot.  He also comments, "I mentioned webbed toes to a breeder friend of many years and he said he had a young Roller with both feet webbed, both inner and outer.  I got excited and ask where it was.  He said he had ripped the toes apart and couldn't remember which it was!"  (Darn!)  Leon Whitney reports a web-foot Homer in his fourth generation of inbreeding.  Toes tightly joined.  Mrs. Barbara M. Edfors, writes "Last year I raised a black LFCL Baldhead Tumbler hen with the middle and outer toe connected."  Sire




and dam and six siblings of the hen were all normal-footed.


Arvil Stone says "I liked Carl Graefe's almond breeding formula.  Mine is similar.  Along with John Hasse, I've looked for brown Rollers.  Decided to do my own.  Now have two F1 from blue bar Roller by brown bar African Owl hen.  No frill.  I'm still nuts about color.  I'm now a Roller-color and not a Homer-color man....  You know of anyone who has barless blue Rollers?"  (Yes, Carl Bordner)


Don White notes "A common peculiarity we are up against in Blondinettes is wry wings, that is, the wings flopping out, between the primary and secondary flights.  Our Blondinettes are from Bill Fodian and this problem seems to be into the strain.  I also understand from other Oriental Frill breeders that this is a common fault in Frills.  It seems to come about from a lack of primary flights at the joint.  It is not uncommon to get a youngster with nine or eight instead of the standard 10, and some grow short or poor-conditioned primaries at the joint." 


Harold Gordon' s practically naked squab (PGNL 35 page 2) lived over three months, when he was shipped to me.  Unfortunately it died (of chilling, probably) even route.  Autopsy showed it to be male, with phenomenally short intestine.  Herold reports also "The parent pair produced one youngster in the next nesting, perfectly normal.  The following nest produced two offspring almost identical to the first partial-feathered young one.  As to partial feathering, they were both identical to the first.  However, in each had short right leg--the tibiotarsus and fibula were extremely short--these bones were mostly knuckle on the joint ends of the bone, almost nothing in between.  One youngster had only three toes on each foot (no rear toes).  The other had only three toes on the left foot."


Jay Schütte in Geflügel-Börse (München, Germany) number two (January 22, 1965) writes about Naked-neck pigeons.  He gives a survey of historical information.  According to Peterfi the F1 from Romanian naked-neck Tumbler by normal is intermediate while Brage found the Spanish naked-neck Tumbler recessive.


Carl Graefe asks about the "Rosy Gier" pigeon.  "Noticed in F. B. Hutt's 1964 book 'Animal Genetics' reference to a sex-linked lethal in the breed.  If some information that there is such a critter, and where, could be dug up I would be glad to cooperate, by way of standing the expense, in importing a couple of pairs.  The present situation about the critter is no different than the stories of fabulous animal and men current in the Middle Ages."  Why import pairs?--Cocks should do.  Apparently the Gier is a Homer-like variety in France, and the lethal was reported by Licnhart (1937).  Supposed to be associated with light head color.


George Neuerburg sent me a copy of a letter from Karl Stauber of Switzerland to Carl Naether about the origin of the Swiss Mondain.  Stauber says "they did not originate in Switzerland, and we laid no claim whatsoever to the breed."  Stauber learned of the breed only from American books.  Ah, these cruel debunkers!


Werner Moebes sends me the April 15 issue of Fur and Feather (Idle, Bradford, England) and calls attention to an article by W. Watmogh on "The genetics of size and type in pigeons."  Watmough paraphrases comments by C. Warner on the same topic in parakeets, and uses the Argent Modena as his example.  "In spite of long and determined efforts of breeders to improve them.....  Continues to be in form and inferior in shape" to other colors.  "We can assume that Argent is recessive to blue Schietti, for example, and therefore more difficult to improve in




type.....  Probably the mutant genes for color have an adverse effect on other features.  It seems to be proved beyond doubt that some color and pattern genes affect size and type." H'mmmmm!?!  Wat mo can be hypothesized?


John Tidwell reports "From a Red Whiteside cock to a blue self Tumbler hen I have so far one young T-pattern-checker flying."


Arvil Stone writes, "My Brander on Roller project (PGNL 34 page 4) stands like this:

          (1) Brander-colored Parlor Tumbler by blue T-pattern Roller produced 10 blues.

(2) Brander-colored by blue bar carrying e produced one blue, one Brander-colored, and two recessive reds.

(3) Brander-colored by Brander-colored produced two recessive reds.

"Last year I got a Brander-colored from two black Orientals (Rollers or Frills, Arvil??)  That, with the results on number two above makes Brander dominant and recessive.  Right?"  And a later note: "The Brander from two black Orientals is mated to a recessive red, and is producing recessive reds.  Seems that a Brander among other things is e//e."  These results don't sound much like Earl Klotz (PGNL 2 page 3) with "Bronze Tipplers" (Brander-colored), which were +//e.


Herman Smith says he got his "Syrian Flappers" (PGNL 34 page 3) from Macklin.  Marvin Emery writes, "As I remember, Macklin called them Syrian Clappers; they were either purebred Syrian Coop Tumblers or same crossed with something else.  I only saw them once, briefly and they looked like the illustration in Levi, 1957, page 217.  They were light blue color, and when they flew, even a short distance in the loft, they clapped their wings loudly.  I did not see them tumble.  Macklin got them from the late Terenti Miller, who kept a lot of breeds and crossed practically everything he had."


Well, lots more to yak about a better close for this time--sorry for tardiness.  Don't forget-- y'all write!  Right?





Pigeon Genetics News Letter



Issue 37                                   January 1966


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Happy New Year!-- Our tenth; and unless someone else takes over the editorial work, our concluding one.  Lou Grau says "You can't stop PGNL because if you did then you would have to start writing individual letters again."  Well, it's amazing how many people survive without writing any!


They tell me I should be sure to go to the 1996 National Show because it is near Disneyland.  Too bad I'll miss both.  And you guys waiting out there to have me diagnose some weird color or illegitimate mosaic will just have to yank out some feather samples to send me.  Wait till after the judging so the bird can win that prize first.  Photos in color a big help to!


Joe Quinn wrote me in October "At our last Roller show I put on a 50-bird genetics display.  The PGNL's got much attention.  We'll try for a better job at the All-Ohio Roller Show in November."  How much admission charge to these freak sideshows, Joe?


In the November American Pigeon Journal, Wendell Levi had this question from a hopeful reader: "Could you please explain heredity or genetics with the breeding of pigeons?"  Wendell replied that it would take a book and the boys at college study three to six years to get a doctor's degree in genetics.  He should've added, "and see all the good it does!"


L. F. Tharp says "And there seems to be considerable interest in a replacement for the Passenger Pigeon.  Have you gathered any information on various wild dove experiments which are being tried?"  Never heard of any.  Colomba palumbus (the European Wood Pigeon) would be the most logical importation, I'd say.  A splendid big game bird, able to hold its own against hunters.  Probably the US government would fear it as a potential pest like the starling?


Ray Gilbert writes that he has started in with some ringneck doves, including the "rosy" color.  Also he says "Saw a few things while driving around Europe for nine weeks."  But apparently no pigeons.  Ah, Paris!


Dr. Hannaford Schafer has kindly sent me the new book "Breeding Better Pigeons" by Dr. Stovin.  It is a unique pigeon book--not a single picture!


George Neuerburg says "Good, older, or rare pigeon books have not completely disappeared off the market; it is just that the prices have increased and fewer fanciers seem to have any interest in them.  I offer more different titles than anyone else in the world and the buyers have diminished almost to the vanishing point.....  With all the books revealing inside secrets about politicians,



 why not one dealing with the frauds and charlatans in the pigeon fancy?"  George, don't you dare!


Al Porco and I have been having a sort of argument about breed boundaries.  Anyone else want to join in the fun predicting the future of birds combining Oriental Frill stenciling with Indian Fantail type?


Frank Nuzzo doesn't worry about boundaries.  His newest project is to produce white Frillback Fantails.  Also Frillbacks in new colors.


Kenneth Moore writes "I have a barless indigo dilute.  What is the proper name for this color?"  Well, at a show it has to be A. O. C.


Jack Wooldridge is making his own blue barless Racing Homers, starting from a Strasser cross.  "The Strasser by Racing Homer which I previously reported flying 200 miles (PGNL 35 page 3) flew 350 miles in good race time this year!"  And that ain't all: "The Tippler by Racing Homer which flew 350 miles in 1964 (PGNL 32 page 1) flew a tough race of 400 miles and finished off the '65 Old Bird Season flying 601 air miles from Council, Idaho to Watsonville, California."  Better document them records in a racing magazine, Jack.  PGNL ain't official.


Dal Stone says "I now have several 3/4 Homer-1/4 Modenas which are quite bronze and some 7/8 Homers but just moderately bronzed.....  Had some Homers that were slightly bronze to begin with."  Dal is also introducing other colors into Racers: dominant opal, almond, Archangel bronze, Suabian stenciling, and Oriental Frill stenciling (he hopes).


Frank Nuzzo says his bronzes are progressing also: "have better color every year, could get a good Show Pen Racer in Tippler bronze (Brander color?)  any time."  Need more details, Frank!


Arvil Stone sends a copy of a letter from a breeder of Branders in Boulder, Colorado, named Hans Roettenbacher; "The only pure red Branders have had their white feathers trimmed out.  They all have a few white feathers.  Sometimes they are out of view, under a wing, though.  The white feathers begin to appear with the first molt."  Arvil comments, "My Ancient-Brander fits that description but the Brander-colored parlors from Ray Gilbert did not-- no white.  (PGNL 36 page 5).  The Gilbert cock by Ancient hen has produced one recessive red and one blue T-pattern.  Gilbert cock by a blue bar hen carrying e has produced one recessive red and one blue T-pattern also.  Help!"  (I echo: help!!)


Joe Quinn raves about Brander color ("Tippler red") in his performing Rollers: "This is a real beauty--brilliant red etched in black with black tail bar.  The single-dose grizzle is tortoise-colored with a brilliance I haven't found in any other color.  Any color carrying bronze seems to have deepened hue and increased luster."  Wonder how John Schabell is making out with analyzing his Rollers....  Dal Stone suggests "It seems to me that all of the factors which reduce the color of the spread areas produce better results with birds that are kited."


Leslie Bolling sets forth a mystery: "I had a brown check hen bred from a brown check cock and a black Roller hen.  The cock carried reduced and two or three generations back there was some almond.  Well, this brown hen mated with a bronze try Gazzi cock and they raised one young.  It looked like a red check till it molted and then it came in almond.  Looked like a pure Roller.  No other cock in pen.  Only almond in the pen was a Modena hen."  Well, if it isn't a mutant, possibly from a sperm before the bird was put in this pen?



R. L. Sears is puzzled about some Magnani Modena cocks "more or less sandy practically all over the body.  These birds go back to a bird of this color I had some nine years ago, of outstanding type.  Mated to well-colored hens their 'sandy' coloration appears to be dominant."  Well, we know that faded occasionally pops out of almond by mutation; possibly this sandy did also.


Sears also asked, "Does the color indigo work in the same way as blue poultry?"  I suppose he refers to the famous Blue Andalusian foul.  Yes, the analogy is fairly close, and S indigo pigeons here are often called "Andalusian."


L. F. Tharp reports progress with these new auto-sexing varieties: "The red-faded Kings are better, the English Show Homers look like English now, faded German Homers nearly as good as the blues and whites."


In Geflügel-Börse number 19 (October 8) there is an article by Dr. F. Hebeler on blue-laced Polish Lynx.  He says the cocks tend to have finer laced markings (" Schuppung") and a lighter effect than hens.  Successful breeders try to select hens with the lightest color, but "unfortunately these usually have more delicate build than those more coarsely laced."  Squabs as young as 12 days old can be sexed by the typical color difference with 80% accuracy, he says, so that a sex-hormone influence seems not the explanation.  He suggests sex linkage.  He also notes in support that when he crossed Lynx hen with a blue Mondain cock, the F1 hens showed no tendency to lace as compared with their brothers and F1 of both sexes from a reciprocal cross, which had visible lacing.  This sort of test should be repeated to see whether stenciling of the Lynx is a new sex-linked factor.  I had always thought it was the same as that in Toys; my crosses of the Starling  with normal gave no suggestion of sex linkage.  Jack Wooldridge has been starting Lynx-Homer crosses; what's say, Jack?


Dr. Hebeler also stated that most of the F1 from Lynx by blue Mondains had a few white flights, with no indication of a relation to sex.


Dr. Golley comments on "wry, split, or roached wings" in Blondinettes (PGNL 36 page 4): "It occurs in many youngsters and is many times cured or gone with the first molt.  In all cases I have known about the number of flights was normal, but the last one or two turns slightly so they did not fit under the secondaries."


George Neuerburg also comments: "Split wings-- 'duck wings'?  -- they have been a constant problem with me in English Show Homers and Carriers but never with the Scandaroons.  Rarely has affected more than one wing.  Taping the primaries in place at three weeks usually cures it."


Louis J. Caniglia writes, "Three years ago I raised a turtle dove and a ringlet together from young.  The ringlet is the male.  Last year they had eggs five or six times but none hatched.  This year they had eggs two or three times, none hatched.  I took the ringlet away and put in another ringlet male.  They had eggs twice--none hatched.  Is it impossible to cross them?"  I suppose he means mourning dove and ringneck.  The reverse cross produces sterile hybrids, but I don't know about productivity of this one.


Frank Barrachina III, has been trying some odd crosses: Turbit by Bokhara Trumpeter produced "medium-faced small bird, shell-crested, orange eye, grouse-legged, good flyer."  Frillback by African Owl produced "one with medium face, grouse legs, partial frilling on the wings."  Frank's specialty is English Pouters and Fantails.



Bob Clark reports that a pair of his brown squabbers has produced several pink-eyed-dilute young.  He thinks of these are not sex-linked dilute (khaki) since a couple of them are cocks.  Bob also notes that his stock of Hubbel birds (PGNL 33 page 3) is increasing rapidly.


Nolan Brown requested me to "outline a rigid form for linebreeding."  Rigid, me?!  Me, the number one booster of pretzel breeding!!!


Mrs. Gilligan writes, "Now am Honorary Secretary for United Fanciers Club" of New Zealand.  Well, guess that will stop her interest in Genetics cold.  But she finishes one important note on milky: "There are just as many gazzi milky Modenas about as Schietti."  Considering that milky is still rare in Modenas, that observation suggests that gazzi and milky are not linked.


Chip Johnson's "Giant Gazzi" he says have lost their bronze bars, but "Type and body progressing up, up, up!  But the Modena size pops out again and again."


Dr. Counsilman says "My observation on inbreeding in English Carriers--father to daughter, father to granddaughter, brother to sister, et cetera--for many generations is that there has been no decrease in fertility, stamina, size, loss of color, or any of the things that many fanciers attribute to 'close-breeding'.  Of course, I have no preconceived plan for inbreeding certain birds.  I put them together in the way they seem to be suited.  Their relationship is incidental.  Sometimes I turn up rather unexpected conditions--split tails, wry tails, etc.  Several years ago a certain mating produced a high percentage of top-notch birds, but a number of these had the peculiarity of carrying their heads at an angle, as if looking for hawks.  I broke up the pair and had never bred another one until this year.  The parents of the 1965 youngsters traced back to the two that produced those a few years ago.  Those that had this condition have all been long-neck and long-legged birds.  Perhaps an abnormal cervical vertebra??"


For the heck of it I crossed the S brown English Carrier hen that produced the Jacobin hybrids (PGNL 31 page 3; 33 page 4) with a blue Bagdadi cock.  Two progeny so far, indistinguishable from Bagdadi.


George Neuerburg wants to know more about those Jacobin-Carrier hybrids.  Well, I bred five cocks and three hens.  One cock never showed sex so I eliminated him and made up three matings for F2.  Most of the F2 are similar to the F1; none would be mistaken for a Carrier or a Jacobin!  One youngster had flights much longer than the tail; another looks like the Old Dutch Capuchine (" rose, mane, and chain," but short-feathered).


Fred Smith, has sent me the Helmet by self LFCL Tumbler (PGNL 36 page 1).  It is not really Helmet-Mark, but more like a Magpie (splashed face and neck).  Fred also sent me a red LFCL hen with mild cataracts in the eyes.  Condition has occurred in other birds of the stock, which he says he got in Kansas.  Al Westling, did you did it??






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 38                                   April 1966


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Does Parkinson have bats in his belfry, were pigeons in his Northcote?


Ted Smith, comments "There are still about eleven or eight things about genetics I don't quite understand."  For example, "One of our local Dutchman fanciers had a nice string of red and yellow full-marked Whitesides...  And a very nice marked black Whiteside, full-marked but with a little white in the neck."  (Another black Whiteside is shown in the Levi's new book, page 557.)


John Tidwell writes, "I have three young from a red mottle cock (red from a yellow mottle cock and a red Whiteside hen) mated to a blue barred self.  The three youngsters look like any other T pattern checkers."  Looks as if the mottle or Whiteside does not carry BA or S.  Necessarily? 


Bob Nesbitt writes from Puerto Rico, "I have tried to locate some pigeon men, but have only found a couple of farmers who keep a 'mixture of nothing' for the dinner table.  I have yet to see a banded pigeon and they keep no records."  Practically a Virgin Island!


Richard Burger crows "It does my heart good to finally have something on an expert geneticist!"  (Who dat?)  What he has is three "pied" Ringneck doves.  "To my knowledge they are all bred from Mr. Harry Rohrer's stock of Hagerstown.  When I questioned him on background, I got exactly nowhere.  They appeared to be weak from what I believe to be extensive inbreeding."


Malcolm Ellis says "What I don't understand is a method of breeding you call 'pretzel' breeding.  Are you breeding grandsire to granddaughter and grand-uncle to grand-niece?  If that is what you




are doing, well, that is the way I practice consanguinity, but I also use half-brothers to half-sisters, cousins, et cetera."  I'm afraid my pretzel breeding system is being taken seriously!


R. G. Silson writes that he has developed a simple theoretical "model" for predicting results in selection.  With this "It becomes much easier to see what are the causes of the limitations of present methods.  The causes of selection plateau are quite clear.  Full sib matings are at a critical threshold at which even the best possible selection is only sometimes successful in practice, very difficult to avoid fixing some unwanted alleles.  Half-sib matings are a safety valve."


Dr. Michael Galton of Dartmouth University Medical School rights, "We have been studying chromosome replication patterns in pigeons, similar to Schmid's work with the fowl."


Mrs. Gilligan's cross of White LFCL Tumbler cock by black Gazzi Modena gave three F1 white with occasional reddish feathers in the neck (PGNL 31, page 2).  Two F1 cocks were mated back to black and silver Gazzi.  She reports on 15 squads: two of these were red check, showing that the original White Tumbler had  BA.  All the squabs were Gazzi or white except two, one  of which died before feathering out but looked dark, and the other "bronze Schietti with a white crescent on breast."  She did not observe any grizzles.  This is a strange segregation.  I would've expected some grizzles and some real selfs.  Linkage??  Hope the project can be repeated.


Paul Rogers wants some summaries of PGNL items.  Will try to do something of the sort or index before we go pfthhtt.  Paul says, "Short-beaked hens (PGNL 32, page 4): I asked around and all of the short-beaked Rollers that anyone remembers were hens."


Wilmer Miller has been trying for years in vain to obtain the albino type of ring doves reported by M. Tange of Japan.  Last month he learned from Japan that Tange is now retired, and the doves seem lost forever.


George Neuerburg comments on "The Wood Pigeon," a 256-page book by R. K. Murton, London (1965).  "Excellent, many surprising revelations about their diet.  Here they would be a worse scourge than starlings (PGNL 37, page 1).  A local financier has some and bred from them.  Man who now has them also breeds from them.  Except for the dark beak and red legs and minor differences in markings they look the same as a Western Band-tailed pigeon."


George also comments on Branders (PGNL 37, page 2): "Andrews' Branders are mostly solid- a few have very small and few white feathers on head and upper neck.  Most that I have seen and had did not carry a single white feather!"


Arvil Stone sends feathers of a Brander-like Oriental Roller (PGNL 36, page 5), which was bred from a pair of blacks; "beak is very light, no black stain on end.  Now that I've seen and owned pure, real McCoy Fireback Brander's, I know that my Brander-like birds are something else.  My birds did not necessarily have white, increasing with each molt as do real Branders.  These of mine and Ray Gilbert, out of blues and blacks carrying e and being smoky.  These birds, so produced, are a blending of blue and e, smoky and T-pattern."  Guess that leaves the "real McCoy" still a mystery.


Al Westling writes, "I recently purchased two pairs of Show pen Racers from Earl Deal.  They are beautiful with lacing almost like a black laced Blondinette.  Dark heads, all other parts almost




white pale black edge on each feather.  A laced effect but not quite as distinct as in the Oriental Frills.  Earl says they are a combination of indigo (spread) plus 'pale'."  Sounds to me more likely just homozygous indigo S.  See Levi's new book, page 153.


Norman Lindsay apparently has homozygous indigo in Modenas.  "Red-laced almost like Argent."  (Juvenile?)  R. L. Sears also has a pair.


Kenneth Moore was trying to introduce brown from Baldhead Roller into Komorner Tumbler.  Unfortunately the Roller was dominant opal so his base color it was only imitation brown.  Anybody got a real brown small bird?


Bob Kendrick writes, "Leslie Bolling got me started in pigeons.  I'm working on developing reduced brown and black and intense brown in Pensom Rollers."


Harvey Ablon says, "I now have a good strain of indigo Rollers, also faded.  I'm working on faded dilutes.  These seem rather weak, even more so than the plain dilutes.  The shell crest rollers are now perfect in performance."  Harvey thinks shell crest is dominant to peak in a cross.


Joe Quinn is developing ice color in Rollers.  "The 7/8 birds perform some and fly well."  The source of ice was Damascene in one family, Ice Pigeon in another."


Arvil Stone says, "I have reduced Rollers that perform well, also indigo Rollers that perform well.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the introduction of stencil (from Catalonian Tumbler) into my Rollers.  These crosses are absolutely exotic."


Arvil also says, "After working with dominant opal from Show Racer and that from Roller, I'm convinced that they are different.  The Roller type is lighter than the other in almost every instance."  I asked Carl Graefe about this, and he replied, "All the existing old Show Racers got it from Strasser, via Earl Klotz, if I remember correctly.  The white barred blue Rollers we had here at one time were nicely marked Baldheads.  I had a pair mated together and they produced a one barred blue baldhead, which seemed to me to be adequate proof that the old birds were heterozygous.  They're nice clean white bar I laid to the fact that they were pied birds which seemed to come more contrasty in stencil areas than selfs.  At any rate I have never seen a white-barred Roller with a colored tail."


Leon Stephens crossed a blue white-bar Silesian Swallow hen with a black Swallow cock and got an apparently dominant opal S daughter.  This F1 mated with a rich red cock produced a pale red, probably dominant opal recessive red.  So the Silesian Swallow is another source of Od, instead of true stencil.


David Bruce asks about unusual shades in his dominant opal Homers.  One (4360) seems to be dominant opal with recessive red, a sort of cinnamon-custard color; another (4341) is deep almost violet colored, probably Od on smoky T-pattern.  Dave is also combining dominant opal with recessive opal.  Tricky operation.


Myron Berger writes, "Got a chance to see a nice display of rare colors in Show Racers at Boise, Idaho, the first part of December.  About 40 in all.  Most of them belonged to Bob Christen of Washington.  He really didn't know what all his colors were, and thought some of his ash-red spreads were opal."



Alfred G. Jones, a protégé of the Don Shaw, now at Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), writes, "I would like to know if there are any papers on the genetics of the Antwerp and Roller."  Anybody know?  He is also experimenting with hand-feeding baby squabs.


Eddie Blair inquires, "Would you have any information on genetics of pigeons as to color patterns, size, and other traits?  I am writing a research paper on dominant traits in pigeons for my eighth grade science class."  Egad, lad!


Joe Quinn writes "The weirdos are hatching now!"  He also reports that Star-tailed Roller (red magpied) "mated to blue gave me black F1 and dark checkers F2."  This puzzles me as I would expect some BA and no S black.  How about more details, Joe?


Bob Clarke writes, "I can't tell a faded recessive red hen by looking but flatter myself that I can tell a homozygous cock every time-at least in my own flock.  They are lighter color than normal red but are easy to tell from yellow."


George Schroeder says his "faded blacks produce whiteish cocks which have clear black flecking, making a rather startling black and white splash, more black as they get older."  Sound like imitation almond.


Donald S. Baker writes that he bought two "almond splash" LFCL Tumbler cocks which turned out to be simply B A S with very heavy flecking of black.  More imitation!


R. L. Sears produced three cream and two silver young Antwerp Smerles from a Silver (dun bars) cock by cream bar hen.  "One of the creams shows every sign of being a hen.  Three cocks have all mated with 'her'.  When with other hens 'she' showed little or no interest.  Is an hermaphrodite known in pigeons?"  Yes, but never laid eggs in spite of well developed oviduct.  Genetically male.  (See Levi.)


Werner Moebes has recently reviewed two ancient Dutch pigeon books: (1) "Handleiding voor Duivenvrienden," 1839 by "E. B.", published by Verlag J. Oomkens of Groningen, Holland.  62 pages.  Apparently it is largely a translation of the anonymous 1790 German pigeon book from Ulm.  However, E. B. gives also a good history of the Homing Pigeon.  Moebes' review is in Die Brieftaube (Essen, Germany), December, 1965, page 1423.  (2) "De Duivenfokkerij" by A. H. Hedden, 1844.  Published in Amsterdam, Gebroeders Diederichs, 131 pages.  Moebes reviews this in Oesterreichischer Kleintierzüchter (Vienna, Austria), February, 1966, pages 21-22.  The author seems to have been well informed, so that this work is an important source on breed histories; species hybrids are also included.


Derek Goodwin writes about his observations on wild species of pigeons and doves in Australia: "As it was primarily a collecting trip not nearly as much observing as I would've liked.  I did, however, see all the pigeon species that could have been hoped for in the areas we worked (the interior of South and Western Australia mostly), that is Common Bronzewings, Crested Pigeons, Plumed Pigeons, Peaceful Doves, Diamond Doves, and one Flock Pigeon.  The introduced Spotted Dove, is abundant in Melbourne, and both it and the African Laughing Dove are abundant in an all around Perth.  The Laughing Dove is also widely spread in towns and villages in Western Australia.  Feral C. livia are common in towns and also in many places nest in hollows in large gum trees growing along creeks.  No Australian species in or near towns."




Another traveler, Al Westling, says "When in England I noticed eye cataracts in some red self CL Tumblers in the loft of A. Kirby.  Quite a few American reds have found their way to English lofts so perhaps we are to blame.  (PGNL 37, page 4).


Geflügel-Börse (München, Germany) is now giving its readers a beautiful separate color photo (e.g., Holly Cropper) with each issue (every two weeks).


                                    Mosaic Notes:


Paul Golley wrote December 12, "At Louisville show there was a black mottled Trumpeter with a khaki crest.  It also had two khaki tail feathers but someone removed them during the show.  Also, Alex Boyd had a red laced to Blondinette with shiny black tail."  That Trumpeter may be the same as reported by George Kleinpell in PGNL 33, page 4.


John Tidwell sends color photo of a yellow check Turbit cock large dun area extending from the left shoulder.  Also, he says, "I have picked up a Modena hen that is khaki on one side, and either dun or spread brown, depending on who is looking at the bird, on the other side"






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 39                                   July 1966


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


Issue number 40 will celebrate completion of 10 years of PGNL by presenting an index of a sort.  After that we will revert to private correspondence.  Perhaps, like Snow White, PGNL may be revived at some future date by a noble young man with high ambition and surplus energy.  Meanwhile some rumination and experimentation seem in order.  If you lack any back issues of PGNL, let me know and I shall try to supply them.  May become collectors items.


Well, everybody says that there is nothing to write about this time, so here goes just that.  Norman Lindsay philosophizes "How many discoveries have been made by people that were not aware that it could not be done.  If they had known, they would not have tried it."  Maybe so, but it has also been said that chance favors the prepared mind.  Norman continues "Do we know, within an inbred family, what genes of intelligence may be linked with coloration?  (Racing Homers)  Many is the time I ever heard an old-timer say 'if you get so and so color out of that (inbred family) it will be a good flyer.'  It seems to have worked too many times to be purely coincidence."  Linkage probably wouldn't do the job either, Norman.  Maybe just a "correlation"?  Calling all statisticians!


Paul Rogers comments on Bob Kendrick's plan to produce brown Pensom Rollers (PGNL 38, page 3): "By definition, a Pensom Roller must be pure strain and free from outcross."  Pure to the last bloody drop?  Back to Birmingham, Bob.


Jack Wooldridge says his Lynx is a hen (PGNL 37, page 3); with white bars.  Crossed with a blue bar Racing Homer she produced four young.  "Each has reddish brown bars where the stenciling should be.  At least one of the young is a female-she just laid.  I checked what Hebeler said in PGNL 37.  One difference is I'm working with bar, not laced.  I do find an agreement on white flight; three out of four had white flights-neither the Homer cock know the Lynx hen had white flights."  How sure are you that that hen was a Lynx, Jack?




Suzanne Kroeger, writes "I have a blue bald head Roller hen with white bars.  I tried to find a blue bar cock but was unable to.  However, a friend of mine who raises pigeons had a young silver cock with dun bars so I gave her the hen and she mated them.  They now have two babies about three days old.  What we want to do is get as many white-barred colors as we can.  Will this mating produced silver white bars?"  She goes on to ask about Isabel, white-barred red, sex linkage, recessive versus dominant, et cetera.  "I will stop with the questions now.  I rather imagine that I have asked enough."  Mrs. Gilligan you are not alone!


Paul Rogers says, "Re: white-barred Rollers (PGNL 38, page 3): some years ago Bill E. Patrick, a local fancier, crossed a white-barred blue bald head Roller cock on a blue self hen.  From them he raised a light blue hen with white bars but otherwise a self.  The bars showed a very faint tint of pink and I believe the tail bar was faded or absent but was blue rather than white.  He flew the bird for years as a lead bird in his kit."  Sounds like dominant opal.


Al Porco unintentionally produced a pure white Oriental Frill cock.  "Crossed him with a dark laced-tail Dun Satinette hen and produced a real good laced Brunette Satinette with a white tail."


I mated a white-tail red Hamburg Tumbler cock to a red hen (no white feathers) and so far have had three squabs, all with a fair number of white rectrices.  Doesn't agree with Reichenbach's Toy cross (PGNL 36, page 1).


Ted Smith says, "This year might get some Gazzi -marked Tumblers."  He is hoping for 25% from five segregating pairs.  "Having a little trouble with the flights coming white, especially in the recessive reds after they molt."


Don White is testing his Genetics knowledge with some of the less-common colors in Turbits: lavender (S BA), mauve (d S BA), strawberry, yellow-tick, kite, et cetera.


Phil Roof has succeeded in introducing grizzle into the Turbit from the Racing Homer (PGNL 32, page 4).  This one that lived is a T-pattern cock.  Phil's project to produce blue barless Turbit (PGNL 32, page 3) is progressing: "3/4 Turbit-1/4 Tumbler youngsters look very much like Antwerp Smerles but are as small as a Turbit.  Out of the five living, only one is crested.  Practically all are Turbit-marked in the wings, but some are full tail-marked (like Oriental Turbit)."  Phil crossed a silver 1/2 Turbit-1/2 Tumbler with a blue check Racing Homer hen, and produced a bunch of interesting progeny: "The cocks are slightly larger than Racing Homers and hens are smaller.  (Sex-linkage?)  All are much tamer than Racing Homers.  The one half Turbit-Tumblers are very tame."


George Neuerburg writes, "One question: re the question on genetics of the Antwerp and Roller (PGNL now 38, page 3) there's a difference with them as compared with other pigeons?"  Well, do they have a specific unique breed characteristics?  Je ne sais pas.  Same old problem of when is a breed.


Fred Schultz had an inquiry from a Peace Corps worker in Spalding, Jamaica (B.W.I) for information on "squab rearing" and production for market.  Fred sent two copies of U.S.D.A.  Farmers Bulletin 684.  (Manfred Gottfried lives in Jamaica part-time and is a squab expert, but wasn't consulted."


Bob Clarke writes "The Hubbell crosses (PGNL 33, page 3) continue to get better with each

succeeding generation, and there are enough of them now to furnish most of the squabs I'm



saving for breeders.  The best thing about the Hubbells is the fact that the factors making up their beautiful bodies are mainly recessive."


Bob reports further data on his pink-eyed mutant (PGNL 37, page 4): "The pink-eyed mated to normal blue hen has given nothing but normals (5) so far.  Now have a pair of their F1 mated together.  The normal original brown pair that first produced pink eyes continues to give me an occasional pink-eyed squab.  So the question is when and where did the original mutation take place?"  Could have been a long time ago.  My pink-eyed (pd) came out of squabbing Kings nearly 20 years ago.  We'll have to arrange a test to see if they're identical.


Dr. George F. Dales at the University Museum in Philadelphia tells me that the Harappan civilization some 3000 years ago in the Indus River Valley area left "abundant examples of bird representations.  Most of these are terra-cotta figurines of doves, parrots, peacocks, et cetera.  Also paintings on pottery (peacocks are most common, then doves, water hens (?)  And bittern (?)."  (I'll try to examine some of these, in hopes of finding a Fantail.)


More recent pigeon history is discussed by S. T. Van Gink in Geflügel-Börse (München, Germany), 87 (11): 4-6, 1966: "Der Altholländische Kröpfer -  eine Studie über den Urasprung seiner Sippe."  (Origin of croppers.)


I have raised many F1 from Swing Power by normal, all perfectly normal.  The F1 do not "blow" and they are not unusual in flying behavior.  I'll need to get a lot of F2 and backcross data, however before units can emerge.


Cortus Koehler says that getting hybrids from pigeon by ring dove isn't so easy when one is in a hurry.  He even tried artificial insemination; no luck.


Jack Wooldridge says, "I have a friend named Walter Smith at Aromas, California, who has over 5000 pigeons-all breeds and varieties.  I've been looking at some of the wildest colors and patterns-someday these will show up on my racers where they can be appreciated."  That would be a good place to visit with color camera.  Sounds like a great rival of Don Andrews.


Arvil Stone is pursuing the Brander problem (PGNL 37, page 2).  Between him and John Schabell the genetic basis of bronze may be considerably clarified.


Mrs. Gilligan writes, "Finally raised one of those red performers (Tumblers) with ribbon tail.  Dismayed to find with molt that he is changed-tail now all red, and wings that were all red now heavily mottled with white."  Probably not a true ribbontail but a recessive red with a nutritional fault bar.  Try an outcross to BA.


I gave a Red Miroite Lebanon cock to Matthias in Des Moines to cross with Red Carneau.  He got an F1 cock (maybe others too) which was very Carneau-like, and such a rich and extended red that the ribbontail effect was practically lost.  To the uninitiated the bird would pass for recessive red, but it wasn't!  The Carneau must have a plethora of red-enrichment modifying genes.  How little we know!


Kenneth Moore reports nine squabs from Komorner (Magpied) Tumbler by self Homer, reciprocal matings.  All squabs are black with some white flights; two young hens out of Komorner males have a bald head.  None show crest.  Ken is also crossing brown Mookie by Komorner to introduce brown into the Komorner.




Norman Lindsay says he had a homozygous almond (Magnani) cock which produced a dun daughter.  "He was pure white except for some dark primaries, and had the bad eyes to go with it."  Of course I responded that the bird couldn't produce a dun.  After thinking it over, I can see one loophole, mutation (if we grant that no other cock got into the act)-possibly the daughter was not a dun but faded S, which may look somewhat like dun.  Progeny test of the daughter oughter settle the matter.


Norman also enters the Racing Homer orientation debate: "Eye sign-the thing I look for is an eye on each side that they can see out of.  I also proved that a one-eye bird can home well."  What does that do to the pecten theory, Lou Graue?


G. L. Clark of New Zealand sends me photos of a blue LFCL Tumbler hen without any wings.  New Zealand's famous native birds (Moas, etc.) are wingless.  Coincidence?!  He also notes that in "Pigeons and Pigeon World" for September 1965, page 15, B. Parker says he bred a silky out of a pair of mealies, and Clark bred another from the same strain.  Sounds like a recessive, probably not through silky.


Dr. Clark's treatise "The Self and Barred Tumbler" (1960) has been revised and put out as a printed book of 95 pages with the title "The Long Face Clean Leg Tumbler" (published by the author).  Quite a lot of interest from the Genetics angle, as well as the history of the breed.


Leon Whitney writes about his inbreeding program (PGNL 36, page 3): "My chief trouble has been with pairs producing youngsters all of the same sex.  One pair had six, another five cocks.  The sex ratio in the fifth-generation was a little over two cocks to one hen.  Possibly more hens die with paratyphoid.  I did have a lot of that in one loft where I bred the inbreds."  My Lebanons (rather inbred) also run short on viable hens.


Dick Berger says his Show Cumulets have the opposite trouble-too few cocks.


R. L. Sears' "wrong sex" Antwerp Smerle (PGNL 38, page 4) actually laid eggs, and hatched them.  He has an article in "Pigeons and Pigeon World", April 1966, page 1 giving the whole story.  Well, for a highly unusual bird I suppose we will need a highly unusual hypothesis.  Sears suggests a "sex chromosome crossover."  Non-disjunction (on the sire's side) would be a preferable term instead of crossover.  Off-hand I know of no other well-documented example in pigeons.  Now I wonder if there is any flecking in the birds plumage.


Al Porco comments on hand-feeding baby squabs (PGNL 38, page 3): "For the first six days I use half-and-half cream (lukewarm), adding baby Pablum from the second day on."


                                    Mosaic Notes:


A discussion of polyspermy and birds is given in a recent paperback book, "Fertilization", by C. R. Austin, published by Prentice-Hall.


Paul Rogers reports "a young muffed Roller, over-all spread ash-red, possibly some grizzled (hard to tell) with recessive red inner secondaries on one wing and in a few feathers going over on the back."






Pigeon Genetics News Letter


Issue 40                               October 1966


Edited quarterly by W. F. Hollander, Genetics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.  Sponsored by Iowa State University Agricultural Experiment Station.


This is our swan song (squab song?), concluding 10 years of mutual cooperation in research (also known as brain picking), and it has been fun.  Also often puzzling and even a bit of work.  We have made some footnotes to history, and while we were kidding around we recorded the publication of a number of books and articles on pigeons and doves which may well stand as monumental.  Wonder whether we overlooked any, and whether the next decade can compare.


At the moment the future is dark.  Carl Graefe has been trying to work out some way to continue PGNL, but people are so busy buying feed and cleaning lofts (!).  Personally, I think a vast amount of research remains to be done, and I hope more effort can be devoted to it.  Meanwhile I shall try to keep up my end of correspondence; please write when something significant appears.


The index covers issues 1 through 39.  It is admittedly biased, erratic, incomplete, unhandy, and perhaps even wrong in places.  Therefore we have left a lot of blank space at the end for you to plump it out with your own agenda, corrigenda, and propaganda.


There are a few more back issues available for those of you who have gaps in your file of PGNL.


Carl Graefe writes, "B. ('Bert') Peterson died on August 23.  He was 81 years old, had been a fancier pigeons, chickens, and rabbits since boyhood in the Boston metropolitan district.  Never met anyone with his memory for individual birds and development or evolution of many breeds."  We might add that Bert had a sound grasp of Genetics too, remarkable in such an old-timer.


L. F. Tharp and wife visited in August.  He was very tolerant of the monstrosities here--possibly because some of them traced to birds from his loft.


Richard Berger writes that the pied ring doves (PGNL 38 page 1) when crossed with non-pieds have produced a number of squabs, none pied.


Phil Roof's project to produce barless Turbits produced a silver (dilute) barless with shell crest and no frill.  "It appears that shell crest is the original rather than the peak.  This agrees with Turbit history."


Lee Snyder writes that he worked last Spring "For Charles Walcott at Tufts University, on his pigeon navigation project.  Martin Michener, the junior member, has constructed a really superb transmitter which apparently hinders pigeons flight gar nicht."


Mrs. Gilligan reports the only mosaic this time.  It was "long-down all over, but the left breast is yellow, the right breast red, head and neck mainly red with some yellow at back of head and neck.  Wing shield yellow, flights appear yellow, belly all red with the odd small patches of yellow."  The mother was a yellow mottle, the father a red mottle, both Tumblers, but other cocks were also present.                                   

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