The pigeon is on the list of birds that everyone want to keep and breed. People usually produce them for racing and shows. Though most of the population do not like it as an edible, but a few people still do it. In my opinion, these people should avoid eating it. Moreover, pigeons are available in many colors and very attractive. Mostly, their common colors are grey, brown, or mixed colors. Also, white and black pigeons are ubiquitous in our surroundings. This article will provide you with the details of a specific breed known as the “Fantail Pigeons.” They are renowned for their beautiful and thick tails that look like fans, and this name is given due to this characteristic.
In this blog, we will inform you about the types, traits, build, and many other things you need to know before petting them. Moreover, we will clarify whether you should own this or not, and the blog is for you if you are fantail pigeons lover.
A few words about fantail pigeon
No one can deny that the beauty fact of this particular bird among the list of pigeons. Other than its attractive looks, it is also the oldest pigeon living in the world. Though they have the same characteristics as the others, but their tail shape makes them unique and different from the rest of species.
Furthermore, they are loved and liked by people because of their diverse locations. Initially, this breed started in Sub-Continent and China, but now it has gained worldwide fame. Besides, pigeon racers do not prefer to keep these birds, because they are not good flyers.
History of fantail pigeons
There is a conflict about this pigeon’s history. The fantail pigeon was bred in the 12th century for the first time. Initially, these pigeons were known as Indians or the Garden. According to some historians, this breed was initially introduced in Spain. But the majority found evidence in favor of India and Pakistan (Sub-Continent). However, they are more common in Pakistan and India as compared to the rest of the world.
The colors that we see today were not seen in ancient days. These have now become common with the help of crossbreeding. It took decades to change the color of their bodies and feathers.
How does it look?
The fantail pigeon is a medium-sized bird with a stunning look. Its identification by fan-shaped tail, having 30 to 40 feathers. While a typical bird has 12 to 14 feathers on most pigeon family members. A fascinating lace effect is produced by its tail feathers thanks to a mutation known as Silky. “Silky” or “Lace Fantails” refer to fantails with this mutation. Moreover, Indian and American Fantail pigeons are this breed’s two most prevalent subspecies.
The feet of the Indian Fantail, one of the most popular breeds, are feathered. The American Fantail, most likely the species you will see, do not have feathered feet. Compared to other Fantail breed varieties, it holds its body slightly taller. As already mentioned, the Fantail pigeon comes in various hues.
Regarding the traits, these birds are very friendly and docile in nature. Another feature that make them 1st choice for people is its beauty, and their calm nature. Moreover, other than the calm nature they do not frightening of others. Birds are usually vocal and make noise, but the scenario with fantails is totally different as they do not make noise. The male and female pigeons produce the same “coo” sounds. But the male has a loud voice and coos a lot. On the other hand, female sounds are very calm and do not produce high vocals. Most of the people believe that it is an explorer bird and observes it surrounding. Doing so help them to have a stress-free life, because they keep an eye on the enemies and threats around them.
These birds are known as monogamous, and spring and summer are suitable mating seasons. If male want to have a mutation process, he will dance to impress the partner, while the female will drop the feathers.
For mutation, the female preference time is in the afternoon to evening. When the babies are hatched from eggs, both male and female parents feed them by providing crop milk. The childhood phase of a fantail baby is four weeks or a month. After a month, they are ready to leave their nest, fly, and find food.
Types of fantail pigeons
In the early days, these particular pigeons were available in only one type. As time passed, the number of varieties increased thanks to breeders. This process boosted when pigeon trading between India and the USA started. To this day, there are still almost five types of fantail pigeons.
They are proud pigeons with an upright chest. First, pigeons from this family have heads lying on their chests play the role of a cushion while resting. Moreover, they are lovely birds with 30-40 feathers on the tail. The Head and bottom of this breed are more significant than the others owing to the weight of 350-380 grams. They are easy to spot in all pigeon colors, but mostly their color is tan, white, and grayish brown.
English fantail pigeons
The English fantail pigeons were bred when the British government ruled India, and trading between India and America started. These pigeons did not look the same as they look now. The feather digit is less than the Indian pigeons, and they are not better flyers than the originals.
It is also a common type of fantail. It was first sent from Thailand to the United States in the mid-20th century. These pigeons weigh 430 grams on average, with 20–25 feathers on the tail and have quite resemblance with Indian bird. Thai pigeons mostly have white and black hues, and are grouse-legged. A fact about this birds is not having oil glands like Indian pigeons.
Singapore pigeons resemble Indian fantail pigeons just as much as Thai fantail pigeons. But the tail and body structure of Singapore fantails is outstanding. However, they were created at the end of the 20th century. Although their actual origin is uncertain, but most enthusiasts believes it was Singapore. The Singapore Fantail Pigeon, in actuality, is a hybrid between Indian and American Fantail Pigeons. Compared to Indian fantails, they are slightly larger and have heavier tails. They only exist in in Pakistan because of their developed there. Singapore was neither the birthplace nor the home of this breed.
The only difference between Silky Fantails and other types is that they have delicate, glossy, lace-like feathers. They are also known as lace fantails. Their genetic makeup has smooth repercussions. Unfortunately, because their feathers are easily damaged, they have trouble flying and rarely make it through the day. Silky fantails are sensitive and relatively rare. A silky fantail pigeon pair should not breed. The offspring of two silky fantail pigeons are frequently malnourished and have a high death rate. When producing Silky Fantails with regular Fantails, fanciers like to generate more Silky Fantails.
Habitat and diet
Most of these bird species coexist in similar ecosystems and habitats. Although various species have varied preferences for their environments, many species share the same habitats. A tropical rainforest is where the great majority of fantails live. They also inhabit mangrove swamps, deserts, cities, and farmland. Some species are more particular about their habitat, only surviving in places uninhabited by people. Other animals have more adaptable environments.
As far as the diet is concerned, fantails are insect eaters. The birds are incredibly proficient at flying and catching insects out of the air and capture most of their meals on the wing. Some species wait on perches for their prey to get close enough so they may swoop down and catch it. Other species flush away insects by hopping through the shrubs in quest of their game. They eat everything from flies, mosquitoes, moths, and beetles to spiders, centipedes, and other terrestrial insects.
Breeding and seasons
This bird should be relatively simple to grow as long as you are not breeding Fantails. The adults will be skilled at nurturing their offspring, like pigeon breeds. These birds are typically good hatchers as well. Since you won’t be showing it off or selling the hatchlings, we wouldn’t strictly advise raising Fantail pigeons. When they are young, pigeons can be challenging to care for. You frequently run out of space since they can reproduce so quickly.
Fantail pigeons begin mating at six months old and continue for nearly 8 to 10 years. They reproduce all year round without having any set breeding seasons. However, they breed more frequently in the summer because of the ideal breeding and growth conditions of warm temperatures. Usually, 4-6 times a year, fantails reproduce. However, they only produce 2–3 times a year as they age.
As a show pigeon breed
The Fantail pigeon’s primary function, as you may undoubtedly guess, is as a show bird. The Fantail pigeon will probably be on display if you go to any bird show with pigeons. The primary objective of the breeders is to produce a pigeon with the most beautiful feathers. Some fantail pigeons have developed a genetic mutation as a result of this. These pigeons are referred to as “Silky” and have feathers that look interwoven. Award-winning Fantail pigeon breeders typically make a lot of money selling the pigeons they have produced due to their appeal as show birds.
The fantail pigeon as a pet
The majority of pigeon lovers there choose pets with a respectable appearance. It follows that folks looking for pets find the Fantail pigeon very appealing. The Fantail pigeon is, fortunately, a straightforward pet to care for. Beyond ensuring that the tail feathers remain reasonable, it doesn’t need any extra maintenance. When raised from a hatchling, the bird forms strong ties with humans and is highly friendly.
Uses of a fantail pigeon
It is uncommon for the Fantail pigeon to be consumed as food. Although we are confident that some people may love the flesh or eggs of this bird, there are much better options available if you are seeking a bird for food. It will be far too expensive to purchase the Fantail pigeon’s original breeding population. Since it is a medium-sized bird, there won’t be much meat. The Fantail pigeon is utilized by racing pigeon owners outside the world of show birds. They are employed to bring back the racing pigeons but aren’t used for racing.
There is a good reason why the Fantail Pigeon is one of the most well-liked show birds. Good appearance. They are beautiful pigeons to raise as pets, even if their feathers require maintenance. Remember, though, these can cost a little more than other breeds. You can make a lot of money if you take good care of this bird.