« ElőzőTovább »
fourteen tons. On mentioning this fact to several poulterers, they assured me that, far enough from falling short of the above quantities during the late season, there can be no doubt that they were greatly increased, even probably to half as many
Cambridge Bronze.-This breed of turkeys originated in a cross between the Norfolk Turkey and the old Cambridge Grey, the Norfolk turkey being undoubtedly tender, and n this we have a bird which, whilst larger and hardier than the Black Norfolk, yet retains a great deal of its flesh qualities. Its colour, however, is not so brilliant and lustrous as that of the American Bronze, nor does it reach the same size, although we have seen a male bird weighing thirty-three pounds when dead, under twelve months old. Except for the lack of brilliancy of plumage, the external characteristics of the American Bronze can be applied to the variety now under notice.
Black Turkey.-The turkey which is chiefly kept in the north of France is black in plumage, and the majority of the birds which are sent over White here every Christmas are of this breed. It is a hardy bird, its colour lustrous, but is. somewhat small in accordance with our ideas. Its quality, however, is as good as that of the Norfolk, and if it were fed in the same manner would probably in time rival our East Anglian variety. This breed is almost universally found all over northern France. Very few male birds attain twenty pounds in their first year, and although from certain points this may not altogether be a disadvantage, so long as we have the rage for big birds it is not so much in demand.
FANCY PIGEONS AND
THE cultivation of the domestic pigeon dates back to the early history of mankind. Like the dog the pigeon seems to be instinctively disposed to domestication, and to cast in its lot with human beings, whether these be civilised or only partially so. Of the origin of the manifold varieties of the Columbarian Genus much has been written-some ascribing them all to one common source, namely, to the Blue Rock pigeon, and others, I think more correctly, attributing their existence to crosses that in process of time have, either by design or accident, taken place between the half dozen or so aboriginal breeds, the natives of different portions of the Globe. Cross-bred pigeons are more prolific than those of any one of the breeds to which I have alluded; this very cross-breeding too has diminished the natural disposition to isolation and wildness appertaining to the Blue Rock and other like distinct breeds, the aborigines of different climes, and has rendered them more dependent on artificial modes of sustenance only to be obtained under laws of domestication.
White Turkey.-At nearly all our leading shows specimens of the White Turkey are to be seen, it not being so rare as was at one time the case. There do not appear to be any authentic records as to the origin, but as many turkeys in their wild state have a considerable amount of black in the plumage, the transition to white is not very strange. All self-coloured black fowls have a tendency now and again to breed white, and we owe several of our white plumaged varieties of poultry to this fact, the sport having been fixed and perpetuated. At one time this breed was more especially bred on the continent, for in one of the editions of Moubray we learn that in France especially the Whites were extensively bred, and held in good esteem, being thought to be more easily reared and more quickly fattened than any other kind. In Languedoc, Provence, they were almost exclusively kept, but in the Dauphiny all kinds were reared and equally esteemed. In our own country the Whites are not often seen, as they are considered to be less hardy and in every way inferior to the darker; but it is Turkey. probable that the prejudice which exists against whiteplumaged birds may have tended to discourage their being kept, without any sufficient reason or experience. White turkeys, however, with their snowy plumage, red hood and frill, and black ermine tuft on the breast, are remarkably handsome fowls, and not, therefore, unworthy to be reared, if not for their value as poultry, at least as ornamental fowls for the park or pleasure ground. It is said that this variety came originally to us from Holland, but whence our Dutch neighbours procured them in the first instance is not known.
The BLUE ROCK, whether it be the whiterumped inhabitants of European territories or the grey-rumped native of Asiatic regions, remains now what it has ever been: an unamed and undomesticated bird, living on wild
seeds, scantily supplied corn reapings, small snails and slugs, assisted by a considerable consumption of herbaceous matter. Its nearest resemblance among domestic pigeons is the Dovehouse breed, sometimes called the "Duffer.'
The Duffer is the undoubted progenitor of all European and many Asiatic varieties of Fancy Pigeons. It is a small, active, hardy bird of slatey-blue colour, dappled or chequered with black on the shoulder plumage-some proportion of these display a whitish rump, and others are blue on the shoulders, marked only with two black bars, but the vast majority are of the uniform slatey-blue shade on the rump, distinct evidence to my mind of a dual ancestry, probably descendant from some distant cross between the European white-rumped and the Asiatic grey-rumped original Blue Rock breeds. Owing to its plain and homely appearance this pigeon has also been designated the "Runt," a term applied by Fanciers usually to the very largest breed of normally built and shaped Fancy Pigeons, birds of awkward and ungainly appearance.
The majority of pigeons belonging to old manorial dovecotes, inhabiting lofty public buildings in towns, or domiciled at isolated farmsteads, are of this Dovehouse race, and from
birds of its kind are descended all varieties of pigeons, bred either for flying or exhibition purposes, known as Fancy Pigeons.
The Fancy Varieties of pigeons come under several distinct sections or classes, as, for instance, birds remarkable for size, structure, skull, or feather singularity, and sundry physical peculiarities. In this short article I propose to describe those breeds best known to English speaking people, and from which sub-varieties have undoubtedly been produced, some of which have actually almost exceeded their progenitors in public favour.
The ENGLISH CARRIER.-This bird is known in the Fancy as the "King of Pigeons.' Most people run away with the idea that this highly-prized bird is the ordinary message carrier pigeon which returns by some wonderful power of instinct from far distances to its home; such it is not. The ordinary messenger pigeon is of a very modest and common appearance, much resembling the every-day blue and chequered pigeons so common. The English
Carrier is a pigeon, on the other hand, barely capable of returning to its home from a distance of half a mile -indeed, less. Its value consists in certain physical peculiarities of body structure and head adornment. These are as follows:Size rather large, carriage erect; legs moderately long, stout, and firmly set; the neck is long and slender, the shoulders are powerful and slightly protrude to the front of the chest ; the flight and tail feathers are rather long, the former being well carried over the latter. The properties of the head of the Carrier pigeon are very marked-the skull is narrow, equally wide at the front and back, it is also rather low on the crown; the beak shoots straight out from the front and is very long and stout. Both on the upper and lower divisions of the beak (called mandibles) a large walnut-like fleshy excrescence showing a white powdery bloom is found-this is called the wattle, and increases in size and perfection of shape with age. The nearer the top and lower wattle combined approach in formation to a large walnut the more highly is the Carrier esteemed. Around the eyes also a like growth of the eyelids, called ceres, develops itself, and the wider and
evener these are in size, regularity of circumference, and evenness in texture, the higher is the specimen's value, The stand a r d colours of the English Carrier
are black, dun, and white respectively. The BARB.-This pigeon is a native of
Barbary, and in many points is the exact opposite of the Carrier. In body formation and structure this pigeon is rather small and short on the legs; the neck is short, and wide at the lower part approaching the chest and back; the back is wide and the chest rather prominent, the wings at the shoulders being closely tucked in ; the flight and tail feathers are moderately long and carried the former resting closely on the latter; the neck as it approaches the headpiece is slender, thus giving a large and massive appearance to the skull, which cannot be too broad or too square in shape, the frontal or forehead being very short and wide as it comes down to the mouth; the beak is very short, and both mandibles are exceedingly stout; the skull is flat on the crown, rather rising to the sides over the eyes; the eyes are of a silvery pearl colour, surrounded by very round, wide, evenly shaped, fleshy eye ceres of deep coral red colour. The standard colours of the Barb are black, red, yellow, and white.
The TUMBLER is divided into two sections called Short-faced and Long-faced. For many years the Short-faced Tumbler has been so highly esteemed as to cause it to be known as the "Queen of Pigeons." The Short-faced Tumbler is essentially an English breed like
the Carrier; also, like the Carrier, its name scarcely denotes its individual attribute, for it has been so highly bred for other aims that it has altogether lost the peculiar manner of tumbling head over heels, from which it derives its name, a mode of flying still appertaining to sundry kinds of pigeons known Long-faced Tumbler. as Long-faced Tumblers; these are birds of ordinary pigeon build and size, sub-divided according to certain feather markings to which their appellations are attributable, such as Baldheads, Beards, White-sides, &c. But the Short-faced Tumbler is altogether a pigeon of very high culture, whose chief peculiarity, however, is centred in its head formation; its body is of a round, plump shape, the neck is short and rather thick at the base, and the breast very prominent and rounded at the front, making the head to appear thrown back; the wing and tail feathers are rather long and wide in web, and carried low down to the ground; the legs are short, but have a jaunty appearance, as the bird appears to rest on its claws rather than on the palms of its feet; the neck is rather slender towards the throat; the skull is very round, viewed from every side, and, for the size of the body, large; its most remarkable feature is the fulness and prominence of the forehead or frontal from which the very small thin beak shoots forward at a very sharp angle; this is called the "stop." The mouth is very wide, and the beak about the size and shape of a barley-corn, very fine at its tip. The eyes are rather prominent, like those of a fish, and the iris is very clear silvery white. In colours and markings all Tumblers are of many varieties, the most highly-prized of which is the almondground coloured bird, which is singularly spangled with black-and-white breaks patches in the flight and tail feathers.
The ENGLISH POUTER.-This pigeon is one of the largest of those known in England. Its head and eyes, beak, &c., are of the ordinary common pigeon type. The body is large, and the carriage very erect; the legs are very long, in fact, compared with those of other pigeons, decidedly stilty; they should, however, be very closely set together. This is termed "long and close limbed," a great property of excellence in the Pouter. The tail and wing feathers are very long; indeed, the flights are longer, when stretched out from the tip of one wing to that of the other, than those of any other kind of pigeon, not excepting the gigantic-bodied, ordinary-shaped pigeon known as the "Giant Runt." But, though the Pouter is so large a pigeon, it is so on account of length of limbs, neck, and feather, rather than in body proportions. Compared with the other portions of its anatomy named, the trunk of the Pouter is small and slender, especially round the girth. Its chief peculiarity, however, is to be found in the singular power it has of distending the baggy skin substance of its long neck. When in good condition, a moderate-bodied Pouter can inflate this pout, carried over the crop and
The EnglishPouter. the neck, to the size of a very large cocoa-nut, rather round than oblong in shape-a kind of feathered air balloon, almost concealing the head from view, and far exceeding the rest of the bird's bodily proportions. It is a great point that this globular extension should be as round as possible, being particularly so blended off at the base as to give to the upper part of the body a very slender waist or girthsemblance. Pouters are of all colours-whites, if without any dark feathers, however, are the only whole colours that are regarded as of standard meit; most of the other colours, such as blues, blacks, red and yellows, should have longer flight feathers, and a crescent - shaped patch of feathers on the upper part of the chest below the throat, white. This white-crescent patch of feathers and the long white flights constitute what are called pied" markings. The Pouter is so very popular in Scotland as there to be called "The King of Doos."
The FANTAIL.-This is the most popular and generally known of Fancy Pigeons in B:itain. The pigeon with the peacock tail in shape is familiar to all, but it is a great mistake to suppose that the sole characteris tic feature of this pigeon is its tail. Of course its tail is its raison
d'étre, but it has several other standard essentials in order to entitle it to
be a pigeon of the first order. The two other abso. lutely necessary points in this pigeon are carriage and action. A well-known Scotch Fantail fancier once curtly described the difference between the common Fantail, whose peculiarity consists solely of a large widely spreading tail, and a standard specimen, in which the three beautiful characteristics of this variety of the Columbarian Genus are combined, as that existing between the most perfect marble sculptured representation of the human body and the human body in its prime condition of life and intelligence. Continuous motion of head, neck and limbs, combined with an upright carriage, with head well thrown back so as just to touch the rise of the erect tail (called the cushion) constitute a model Fantail pigeon. The head is rather fine and oval in shape, the beak long and slender; the neck is long, thin, and gracefully arched in swan-like fashion; the chest is very prominent ;the body round and rather small; the legs are short, placed rather widely apart, the claws are rather long and very elastic; indeed, in its continuous action, the Fantail seems rather to stand on the tips of its toes than on the palms of its feet. Fantails are of all colours, the whole whites being those generally seen; but whole blacks, black-barred blues, reds and yellows are now also frequently met with, besides others-white in body and coloured only on the wing coverts. The Common Fantail is a very prolific pigeon, but when the higher standard is attained some difficulty is experienced in order to ensure fecundity: for this reason Fantail breeders cut short the tails of their stock birds in the breeding season.
The JACOBIN. This is another of the strangely feather-formed races of pigeons. The Jacobin depends for its existence as a Fancy Pigeon solely on the reverse growth of its feathers
at the back of the head, down the sides of the neck, and partly also to a rather irregular growth of its feathers at the back of the neck further, all the feathers on these parts of its body are exceptionally long and consequently ather wavy and curled. The feathers on
The Jacobin. the back of the skull, just where it joins the neck, are all reversed, and rising upward fall over the crown of the head, extending right over the frontal, at times fitting so closely as actually to hide the skull from view, leaving only the tip of the beak to be seen. This reversal of back skull plumage is termed the "hood," and is the highest and most essential feature in this variety. Next comes the continuation of long reversed feathers, commencing from an unbroken connection at the two lower sides of the hood, and running down either side of the neck midway between the centre of the chest and the butts of the wings at their shoulders. This line of reversed feathers is called (the two sides combined) the "chain." The feathers constituting this chain should be so long on either side of the neck as to close and join apparently over the front of the neck and across the upper part of the chest. A "long close chain
is the feature of second importance in the Jacobin. The third point is the "mane"; this consists of long, rather erect, feathers, projecting from the back of the neck; these should be very long, and appear to bend, those on the one side of the neck towards those on the other side, so gradually from the hood at their upper extremity, downward to the hollow of the back at the base of the neck, as to constitute an unbroken continuation of long, raised feathers, seemingly a continuation of the hood to the bottom of the neck, on to the juncture with the base of the sides of the chest, thence imperceptibly blending in with the long feathers forming the base of the chain. pigeon possessing this apparently unbroken continuation of reversed hood, chain, and mane feathers, all of considerably abnormal length, is a grand specimen, and highly esteemed. The body of the Jacobin is small and long. It appears to be a much larger pigeon than it really is owing to its flight and tail feathers being unusually long. Its legs are rather short; its length of neck is great, but this is hidden from view owing to the abundance of feather surrounding it. There are whole white Jacobins, with beautiful silvery pearl eyes: but the usual standard colours are black, red, and yellow; all these have the skull of the head, the major flight feathers, and all the feathers on the rump and tail white.
The OWL.-While the Carrier may be regarded as the representative of most of the long-faced and beak-wattled varieties of pigeons, the Owl can most certainly be designated as the parent of all short-faced and stout-beaked breeds of pigeons. However much these may differ from one another in size, shape, colour, or markings, they all strongly exhibit traces of the skull and beak characteristics of the Owl. In size the Owl is of medium proportions; the carriage is bold and erect. The chief characteristics of this very unique pigeon are centred in its head. Proportionately with the size of the body the head is decidedly large; it is very round, especially well filled in the front and on the crown of the skull; the sides of the head also display considerable fulness, and the mouth is wide. The eyes appear to be more centrally placed in the head than those of any other breed of pigeons; the beak is very short and thick, the upper mandible bending down a little over the under one; the whole body build of this pigeon is "cobby - that is, round and rather short. The neck is short and thick, widening down towards the shoulders; the chest is very prominent and is adorned with a beautiful display of ruffled feathers in its centre in rose-like shape; this is called the "frill," and is a property common to most varieties of short-beaked, round-headed pigeons. Another singular feature of the Owl is an elongated projection of skin substance extending from the base of the under mandible to about half an inch down the front of the neck-most short-faced, round-skulled pigeons of the Owl tribe possess
this singular display, which is called the " gullet." The shoulders are wide and well tucked in at the sides of the chest; the flight and tail feathers are wide and short, the former are carried well over the latter; the legs are moderately long, and present an agile appearance. In colour the Owl is generally blue or silvery grey, showing only two black bars across the lower part of the wing coverts and a similar bar across the extremity of the tail. There are also wholecoloured blacks, reds, yellows, as well as whites: but these, as a rule, are inferior in skull and beak properties to the blues and silvers. The Owl is a smart, active pigeon, and a good flyer and breeder. There is a small variety of pigeon said to come from the northern coast of Africa called the African Owl; but it very seldom has the remarkable roundness of skull of its larger namesake, which is also sometimes called the English Owl in order to distinguish it from the small African variety.
The TURBIT.-This pigeon bears marked points of resemblance to the Owl, and is indeed, I believe, a cross between the English and African owls. The body build and size of the Turbit is about the same as that of the English. Owl, if anything rather smaller. Its skull is very remarkable, for while the front of the forehead is high and well bulged, there is a very slight depression or flatness on the crown of the head, which should be wide and also broad at the mouth; the eyes are very prominent, and, combined with the width of the mouth, the broad skull The Turbit. and slight depression on the crown of the head give to the Turbit an appearance so singular as to cause it to be termed frog-headed." This "frog-headed appearance is a great point of merit in the eyes of genuine pigeon fanciers, and is accounted the first requisite in this variety, denoting a true breed characteristic. The Turbit should be wholly white with the exception of the shoulder coverts and small scapular feathers at the upper part of the back-this marking seems best explained in being termed shields of dark plumage on either side of the body; this shield marking is of many colours, some black, others red, yellow, blue, and so forth, the blue shields being barred at the base with two black stripes, crossways. The Turbit is "cobby" in build and short in flight and tail feathers; it is rather short in legs, and has a jaunty carriage, the head being well thrown back. A long, well-shaped frill of reversed feathers adorns its chest, and like the owl it has a well-developed gullet projecting from the base of the under mandible to about half-an-inch down the front of the neck. At the back of the skull a crest of feathers like a raised peak gives to this pigeon a beautiful finishing point, and the higher and more pointed this peak is the more perfect does the Turbit appear. Like the Owl, it is a good breeder and flyer.
Besides these high-class pigeons there are many other varieties of the Columbarian race, more or less resembling those I have selected for description, some, like the Carrier and Owl, depending on skull properties, others, like the Fantail and Jacobin, remarkable for feather display.
I would, in conclusion, give a few practical and always be mixed. An occasional handful of brief notes on the management of pigeons and the bread crumbs and salt is much appreciated by pigeon loft.
the birds. I now come to the staple food. 4 THE MANAGEMENT OF PIGEONS.-- great deal of the success or failure in breedirg The generality of pigeons are hardy, and easy pigeons in confinement depands on the supply to keep in health, while a few require special both as to the quality and quantity of food treatment ; as to these, I must refer the reader given to them. It has always been my habit to manuals written concerning them, which can to feed pigeons twice daily, and that by throw. be obtained from such journals as
ing the food on the ground rather than placing Bazaar,”
“The Feathered World,” or the it in dishes, pans, and so forth, and always to “ Fanciers' Gazette." The pigeon can stand allow the birds to have just as much as they can cold well, and it is wonderful how it can fight without inconvenience consume at one meal, aiter against hunger, but it is very prone to the ill which nothing should be allowed to lie about till effects attendant on unwholesome air and im- the next lot of food is thrown down to them. proper food. To ensure a good supply of whole- Over-feeding does the birds much harm, while some air attend well to the ventilation of the just keeping them a little hungry does them good. pigeon-house, especially allowing a good cur- Of course, it must be borne in mind that when rent of air at the top, and being very careful to pigeons are rearing young they require a larger prevent bad drainage. Above all guard against supply of food than when not so doing: As to damp; out of doors pigeons will stand wet well, the kinds of food most suitable; when not but damp walls and partitions are to them a breeding, the best diet for all varieties is old hard death-trap, and result in colds, roup, canker, and maple 'or grey peas, and plump barley The all kinds of infectious disorders. In the autumn larger varieties, such as Carriers, Antwerps, remove all nest pans and boxes from the pigeon- Dragoons, and Pouters, may have a liberal house, and whitewash the walls and all nooks mixture of good old tick beans at the evening and corners with a lime preparation, in which a meal. The small varieties, such as Short-faced small portion of Condy's or some similar fluid Tumblers, African Owls, Turbits, and sundry has been mixed. This will not only give a Toy kinds, should have old tares mixed with the healthy tone to the pigeon - house, but it will peas and barley. During the breeding season go a great way to destroy insects or grubs, continue this diet, adding proportionately tares, which, if not checked, prove a source of much sound wheat, and dari—that is, about two-thirds discomfort to the young pigeons during the of the latter to a third of the former. I have succeeding breeding season; in fact, it is a known most satisfactory results to attend the good plan to sprinkle a little disinfectant whole breeding season by giving solely a mixture powder in the nest pans and boxes, and, after a of two-thirds of peas and tares to one-third of pair of youngsters have come off a nest, destroy plump barley and clean dari, not forgetting a the latter completely, allowing the parent birds supply of salt and mortar mixed with the dried to construct a new one with fresh materials. crumbs. When pigeons are moulting, a very The supply of clean water, both for drinking small supply of hemp seed after the evening meal and bathing, must be rigidly seen to.. Never is of great assistance to them in casting off the allow the pigeons in confinement to drink foul old feathers and growing the new ones. or soiled water. Place in some corner of the
*** The illustrations in this article are from aviary, or pigeon loft a good supply of mortar
blocks supplied by the courtesy of the proprietors grit, in which a small amount of salt should
of " The Feathered World."
DISEASES OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS.
By W. B. TEGETMEIER.
Distemper.-Cats, badly fed, are subject to Skin Diseases. The medicine used in the this very distressing febrile disease, which is Zoological Gardens for the larger feline animals, largely propagated by cat shows. For this there when in a febrile condition, is chlorate of potash,
is practically no remedy. The animal should be which, when finely powdered, is given in their
kept perfectly quiet. In severe cases two or meat. Cats with mange and irritation of the
three grains of chlorate of potash may be given, eyes benefit greatly if from two to five grains of in milk, daily, and the strength of the animal it be administered daily in the milk ; or a slight supported by strong beef-tea. incision may be made in a piece of meat and the Discharge from the Ears.--Many cats, es. powder placed inside.
pecially those of the long-eared variety, are Poison.-Domestic cats sometimes suffer from subject to an offensive discharge from the ears. eating the dead bodies of mice that have been This depends on a disease of the bones of the killed by arsenical poisons, or from eating the internal ear. The cats are not unfrequently poison themselves. The fur becomes exceedingly deaf. The remedies, to be of any effect, must rough, the animal refuses food, and becomes syringed into the ear, and the cases may be remarkably thin. No effectual remedy can be regarded as hopeless. given in this case ; all that can be done is to feed Parasites.-Fleas.--The fleas with which cats the animal on milk or a little strong beef-tea are infested are not bred in the fur of the animal, until the disease has terminated.
but in its bedding and other surroundings. By Feeding. - Cats are naturally carnivorous keeping these clean and brushing the animal with animals, which in a state of nature would a hard brush, especially if the latter has been in receive but one meal per day. The practice of the slightest degree scented with benzoline, they feeding cats at every meal of the owners is may be got rid of. exceedingly injurious, and tends to produce skin Fits.--Cats,especially the long-haired varieties, diseases and many other disorders from which are very subject to epileptic fits. In these they they would be exempt if fed only once daily. dash about furiously, especially on any effort being When one meat meal is given they may have a made to control thein. They should be allowed saucer of milk at another time of the day,
to remain perfectly quiet and undisturbed in any