PARAMYXOVIRUS VACCINE AVAILABLE AND FEATHER PARASITE SUGGESTION By Larry Foos
POLISH KING CLUB COMPLETES ITS FIFTH SHOW; SENDS GREETINGS
THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR A SUCCESSFUL START IN SHOW KINGS By Larry Foos
PURCHASING KINGS by Darvin Jenner
DISCUSSION- JUDGING THE SHOW KING
LEGENDARY SHOW KING BREEDER JOHN SCHROEDER by Larry Foos
PIGEON COLOR INHERITANCE by Gary Smith
NORTHERN FOWL MITES by Dr. Charles Bacon
Paramyxovirus Vaccine Available and Feather Parasite Suggestion
By Larry Foos (September 2017)
Two things that seem to be going against the pigeon hobby – outbreak of incurable strains of paramyxo disease the past couple of years and laws that make the sale of the vaccine unavailable. Not good news, especially in the wake of the spread of some strain of the disease throughout the U.S. last year during the winter. You probably know people, if not yourself, who were affected by that outbreak killing large numbers of pigeons, especially young.
Paramyxo cannot be cured once an untreated pigeon is infected, but if the bird has received an injection of quality PMV vaccine in their bloodstream two weeks before, it will likely resist the disease without any effects. I have been treating my birds every year with PMV vaccine for the past decade with good success, never getting the disease, and I certainly don’t want to stop that now, especially since I bring my Kings to several shows every year.
So I started checking around. All the main pigeon supply stores cannot obtain it but the good news is that one of the NPA officers owns a pet store in New York and is able to import a reputable brand of the PMV vaccine. I contacted him, ordered it and had it shipped. The brand is Nobilis and it comes in a refrigerated 20 ml bottle good for 80 dosages, which is a bit smaller than the one I got from Jedds, and it is more expensive. But it comes with a complete kit of several correct-size needles, syringes, instructions and even a record card to track treatment dates. It’s supplied by MSD Animal Health. The cost was $70 for one bottle, plus the special blue ice packaging for another $14.
The source is Andrew Franze, NPA eastern vice president, phone 718.994.7403 or email: Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org. He reassured me he will keep a supply and wants to get the word out!
It is very important that you continue treating your loft. If you find it too expensive to buy for all birds, then get one bottle to treat 80 young Kings plus others that you’ll take to the shows. One dose is enough per year if the bird is at least two months old in my opinion. Don’t take the chance – now you have a source!
Feather Parasite Treatment a Hit My feather treatment program has certainly evolved over the years, starting with simple poultry powder and fly spray (I still keep those for back-up and portability). Then I was using the widely known Permectrin used to mix in water and dip your birds into. That was effective for several years but noticed some yellow mites began to be resistant. Then I found out about sheep dip – a little more concentrated and more expensive variation of Permectrin and that worked well, but the lice and mites would make a recovery a few months later so I did it twice a year – dipping the whole loft. It’s a lot of work.
Last year well-known Show Racer breeder Brad Childs told me he uses Ivomec, which I didn’t know anything about. He said he just put a drop of that on the tail, and a drop in the mouth, and that took care of it for the year! I couldn’t believe it would work that well, and wondered about digesting such a powerful medicine. Ivomec is expensive compared to Permectrin but I had to try it because I loved the idea of not submersing birds in water for 30 seconds one at a time as I was doing. Last year I tried it on all birds, putting a large drop on the back of the neck, back area near the tail, and a small drop in the mouth. The instructions say it is okay to digest this and works to keep worms inside and parasites outside, although it is very distasteful for the bird so be prepared for an unhappy reaction (don’t put too much or they’ll throw up). Throughout the warm weather and molting, and throughout the Fall and show season, the parasites – both lice and mites – never came back! It worked the entire time until the next breeding season. I just treated all of my birds again expecting the same results. Ivomec is actually more common than I realized, buying it locally from a rabbit supply store. That’s my success story – what’s yours!?
Polish King Club Announces Fifth Show; Sends Greetings to AKC
(Photos of the event shown to the right)
On 19-20 November 2016 in the village of Miejska Górka the Fifth Exhibition of Pigeons for the breed Show King was held. The evaluation of the exhibits was preceded by a brief introduction of the principles to the participants of the course evaluation. Introduction was made by the chairman Stanislav Projs and Judge Klaus Olchendorf.
This important club meeting was attended by 12 exhibitors and judges were evaluating 186 pigeons. The evaluation of the exhibits was conducted by the German Judge Klaus Olchendorf, and assisted by Joern Krauze. The judge chose the winners in 11 colors and a champion of the exhibition, and awarded the three best collections.
Members of the Polish Club King celebrated the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the club and on this occasion with a jubilee ceremony combined with honoring the winners. Chairman Stanislaw Projs started the ceremony, welcomed the guests and in a few sentences presented the history of the PKK. Then he sent best wishes on the occasion of the jubilee to the President of the American King Club, Jim Murphy, and Publicity Director Larry Foos, and President of NKK German King Club Andreas Gerchman.
Also on this 5th anniversary occasion, a gala dinner was organized and each participant of the meeting was presented with a commemorative item by the chairman of the club Stanislaw Projs
On behalf of the members of the club we would like to express our gratitude and thank cordially all sponsors and everybody who contributed to organization of this event.
Chairman of the Polish King Club Stanisław Porojs
Polish King Club's Fifth Show display and parade
Polish King Show German judge at work
THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR A SUCCESSFUL START IN SHOW KINGS by Larry Foos
As a breeder of Show Kings at any level, whether you keep one pair or 25 pair, or if you’re thinking about trying them out, there are some key practices to follow to help you have a successful start. Show Kings today, especially those exhibited at the American King Club sanctioned shows, are truly a magnificent bird to look at, and what a pleasure it is to see them everyday walking around the loft floor at home, or the feeling you get when your first King eggs hatch. You really have a sense of appreciation when you realize what it takes to raise them. Here’s my advice: be prepared, because it does require a little bit more attention and loft arrangement to raise these big guys over your average exhibition or performance pigeon. Don’t become discouraged because you didn’t know some fundamentals.
Firstly, you will want to ask yourself, what are the reasons why I want to have Show Kings? If it is because you just like looking at them and want a pair in the loft with other pigeons, that’s fine, and much of what I have to say won’t apply. Kings can co-mingle with other pigeons, but they may not have quite the quality of life if they don’t have enough space. Show Kings are primarily ground pigeons and walk more than fly. Sure, they like low-level perches and roosting at night, but they need some space to have for themselves; otherwise, they will not flourish. Kings also are somewhat aggressive with other pigeons (although gentle with humans). If they’re with many birds, they may fight to have territory for themselves and/or their mate.
If you’re interested in breeding Show Kings, and hopefully with a further interest in exhibiting them at pigeon shows, then you really need to make sure you have some pen or floor space for them. For breeding, my experience is that mated pairs do best in individual pens between 10 to 15 sq. ft, or at least 3 x 3’ minimum (most of mine are 3.5 x 5’). Putting two or more pairs together require a large area with their own nest boxes and roaming area to mate and to get their food/water. This area should have no other competing pigeons except for these mated Kings. I would provide a minimum of 12 sq. ft per pair in an open area. Another way is to have a very large private nest box so they can roam around and mate inside that, and have a common area for getting food/water shared by a few pair and not need that much personal space outside, but you’ll still need at least an 8x8’ area for four to six pair with big nest boxes. If you’re limited on space, the best cure is the individuals.
You’ll also want a separate pen for your youngsters. The size depends on how many babies you raise. Eventually, when the young begin to mature and show their gender usually after three months, its best to separate the more aggressive cocks. But if you only raise say 10 or fewer babies, you can probably get away with a couple small pens in their first year while they are young and unmated. I did that myself for about five years before building my large lofts and fly pens.
The thing about crowding Kings is that they can get stressed, sick more often, and stay out of good show condition*. So you can try out Kings at a lower level, say two or three pair with just smaller pens, if you have some space for the young. A big part of the excitement and thrill of raising Show Kings is exhibiting them at shows, and to do that successfully you really need them healthy and in condition. A large part of that is having some space for them to not get into fights too much, have access to quality grain and getting bath water and sun light. Nature will take its course from there! Not so fast – you got some other work to do!
Show Kings, predominately the white bloodline, have lost much of their inherent parenting skills. You can train them to learn how to feed their babies by giving them 2 – 3-day-old squabs, but you can lose babies and have a slow, unproductive season that way. Most serious King breeders and exhibitors have foster parents now, or feeders, to lay on the King eggs and raise their babies. Popular feeders (also called “pumpers”) are Utility Kings, also known as Hubbles, Indian Mondains, and Homers, or a mixture of these. There are other breeds that are good too, but these are larger, utility birds that are prolific egg layers and have stamina to pump King squabs. You keep track of your King eggs, look or wait for feeder eggs, discard their eggs and give them the King eggs. Again, if you’re just starting out and not worried about getting lots of babies, colored (dark skin) Show Kings will have a better chance figuring out how to feed their babies on their own, and they get better at it as they go. Whites may or may not get it done.
Kings are also lousy nest makers and need a little help with a simple nest area. A simple thing like two bricks in a corner with sand at the base works. Encourage nest making by providing pine needles or other natural materials.
Fertility can be another problem with Kings. Don’t get discouraged yet! Everyone has that problem with the better birds, especially whites. White Show Kings have more issues probably due to the popularity of one or two bloodlines that have been inbred over and over again over the decades. But they were once, and still are the most widely-owned color choice among King owners, and largest class of Kings at shows. They have their own unique features, like beautiful red eye cere and feet, and hard, fine feathers superior to other colors. They are often more valuable due to their attractiveness and because owners are unwilling to let them go without a fair price having spent a lot of effort and time to produce them. But egg fertility in whites, and more so in colors, can usually be overcome with a little help from the owner. There are numerous things to help fertility that is covered in another article within this King Special. But the top things to consider: 1) treat all your birds with a recommended brand of pigeon vitamins and minerals in the water at start of the breeding season and repeat the process once or twice; 2) Kings get bacteria more often due to their bigger metabolisms and larger bodies, so good to treat all birds with Sulmet in their water for one week to help fertility; 3) trim vent feathers to help with successful contact; 4) ensure good lighting (very important!) and turn on lights during winter months if available for an hour or two at night; 5) If infertility still an issue, mix Vitamin E in the water one week; 6) Have extra hens available and if no fertility after 3-4 sets of eggs, re-mate; and 7) have some patience for young birds! Fertility is naturally best in April-June. Also get some fake pigeon eggs to let the Kings lay on them after you take away their eggs for 7-10 days before starting them over again.
Another key point in keeping fertility and reducing birth defects is that you don’t want to mate too closely together on a regular basis. Never mate sister with brother, but cousins or half brothers/sisters are acceptable on occasion to bring back certain qualities in the bloodline. But eventually you’ll need to introduce a new bloodline to strengthen your fertility. Another thing, try to cull out birds that just don’t produce or fertilize. Make fertility and cocks that have a good “drive” a factor in determining what birds you keep!
In conclusion, start off right by acquiring Show Kings from reputable, serious King breeders who are members of the American King Club. King breeders have a soft heart for those trying to get started and will almost always under value a pair of Kings to someone who genuinely wants to give them a try. Join the American King Club, which is one of the longest standing, highest quality pigeon clubs in the U.S. You’ll need access to their outstanding quarterly color bulletins to learn about the happenings and shows. You’ll need access to the AKC King bands to band your babies and be qualified to enter in the AKC-sanctioned shows.
Keep in mind, when you are evaluating how you like raising Show Kings, it is really important you don’t miss an occasional King-sanctioned show, become part of the AKC, and meet the people in the hobby. This way you learn, you have more fun, you get into the competition, and eventually become recognized for your birds! It makes all this worthwhile.
Make this your hobby! I can’t wait to see you enjoying many years raising Show Kings.
*The definition of show condition for Kings is not just feather condition, but body weight and shape, and that adds up to a lot of points in the King standard and weighs heavily for judging.
PURCHASING KINGS by Darvin Jenner
New or established King breeders get excited about starting or adding breeding stock to their program. There may be more but I’ll cover three ways to start, or add Kings to your breeding program.
The first way, and the least desirable, is via the telephone, e-mail, or texting. You may get very good birds. On the other hand, one expects them to all look like the standard picture or of champions from various King shows. Shipping has gotten costly, so if you’ve gotten good stock fine. Otherwise you have wasted the cost of birds, shipping fees and your time. It is important, especially for new breeders, to maintain their interest in the hobby. Other than making a contact, it would be advisable not to secure Kings via this method.
The second way is to attend a district or National King Show. You will have a real learning experience, especially newcomers to the King hobby. If you are a newcomer to the hobby, don’t be timid about asking questions concerning what a good King should look like or how to best house them for breeding, etc. Now you can see the birds you purchase—including price and quality. Chances are you can buy better stock this way than via the telephone. Most established breeders won’t sell their best birds unless you have a very deep pocket book. So try to buy birds with as many desirable parts that you will need. Remember, champions don’t always raise champions. If that were the case, we would only need one pair.
The third was is my favorite. Contact the breeder of your choice and make arrangements for a visit at a time convenient for both of you. Usually this means late in the breeding season or after. Now you can also see housing facilities and other tips to help your program once you get home.
Most established breeders will be willing to show you their top birds, so you will also have a chance to compare them to what he will be willing to sell. My advice would be to try to obtain brothers or sisters to his best or other closely related birds. Don’t try to purchase numbers, but aim for the best quality that your pocket book will allow.
Another trip to the same breeder the following year may be advisable. He will know you are earnest in your efforts and sincere in trying to improve your Kings. Good luck!! It is gratifying but not easy. If it were, not one of us would stay interested in the hobby of showing any breed.
Another thing—don’t try to be competitive in all the colors. We have many. Pick the one you like best and work with it until you become competitive at the district or national level. You will save money, time and space.
A DISCUSSION - JUDGING THE SHOW KING
Note-The following article by Mr. W. B. Schroeder was delivered in the form of an address at the Fourth Annual American Pigeon Fanciers Convention held July 28-29 1973 at St Louis Mo. And printed in the American Pigeon Journal December 1973.
Properly applying the American King Club Standard of Perfection for exhibition Kings, to Kings in the judging theater, requires a thorough knowledge of this Standard and the understanding that a good show King must be a balanced pigeon; having the station, conformation, weight, measurements, appearance, show manners, and points of perfection described in the official Standard. The degree to which each individual King, in the judging theater, has these desired qualities determines its placing position in the class being judged.
There are no points allocated in the official Standard of perfection for station and conformation but the Standard does say that the official picture is the ideal for the station of the exhibition King. Neither does the official Standard list points for weights and measurements although it does say that the weights must be adhered to. The Standard also says that the cocks should be masculine in appearance and that hens should be feminine in appearance and that birds of unkempt appearance, or birds that refuse to show good station or proper show manners may be cut up to 10 points in a floating penalty that is not considered in the 100 point total of the Scale of Points. All of which means that a King in the judging theater must have the general appearance of the king shown in the official picture; and must approximate the weight, measurement, and appearance of the exhibition King, as set forth in the written preamble to the Scale of Points in the Official King Standard of the American King Club, if it is to receive serious consideration for top placing in its class.
Station can be defined as the desired position of the bird when in its proper stance. Conformation can be defined as the form of the King resulting from the symmetrical arrangement of all items of perfection described in the official Standard. Balance is a state of equal relationship of station, conformation, weight, measurement, appearance, and the items of perfection described in the Scale of Points of the official King Standard.
With an official Standard that sets out the desired station, conformation, weight, measurement, and appearance of the exhibition King, without giving point credit for these items of perfection, per se, it becomes apparent that an ideal King is a balanced King scoring high in all items of perfection rather than in points listed in the Scale of Points of the official Standard. Therefore, a judge should not attempt to total points in his mind, of the various items of perfection listed under the Scale of points of the official Standard, for each individual King being judged, but instead, should use these points to determine the degree of perfection of each item listed in the Scale of Points as he compares one King against another.
A judge should begin his assignment by looking at each individual King in the class to determine how closely it resembles the station and conformation of an exhibition King as it is shown in the official picture of the exhibition King that has been adopted by the membership of the American King Club.
When looking at the profile view of a King a judge should see legs that are straight, and show no sign of cow hock*, and that are balanced in the center of the body at a point where a vertical line would run at a right angle from the floor up to the center of the legs to a point at the top of the neck where it begins at the back of the head. The breast should curve down from the front of the neck in a full curve to the front of the legs with that curve picking up the rump behind the legs, at the same level and continuing in a smooth line, showing no fluff, until it reaches the tail which at its tip is 15 degrees* above the horizontal level of the back. The wing flights should be reasonably short and rest smoothly on the rump and tail with the tips held approximately one-inch apart and approximately three-fourth of an inch shorter than a reasonably short tail. The wings should be deep with the body showing well below the wing butts. The neck should be full and balanced with broad shoulders and well rounded body and it should be carried perpendicularly. The neck should not cut back excessively under the beak and the beak should recede slightly from the extremity of the protruding breast and be carried in a horizontal position; and be short, stout, and pinkish white in color. The head should be moderately large with a well-rounded skull that is in proportion to a full neck and a broad body. The eyes should be prominent, round and bright and set approximately three-fifths forward from the back of the skull at a point where a line running up from the center of the beak would intersect through the center of the pupil of the eye. The eye cere should be perfectly round, fine in texture, and not over one-sixteenth inch wide, visible between eye and the feathers, and be beet red in color.
The front view of the King should show a broad skull, and a prominent breast that is broad and well rounded and shows well beyond the wing butts. The legs should be stout and straight, with greater width than height, and set at a width of two and seven-eighths inches from the center of one shank to the center of the other and showing two and five-eighths inches clearance between the floor and the bottom of the keel. The legs should be free from feathers and beet re in color. The toes should be straight, clean, well spread, and beet red in color.
The top view of the king should show a broad skull, a short, stout, beak; pinkish white in color, with a wattle in keeping with the size of the face and being small, smooth, powdered or frosted in color. The back should short, wide at the shoulders, and taper smoothly into a broad and thick rump and on to a tail not over two feathers wide at the tip*. The wing flights should rest flat on the rump and tail and show no sideboards and there should be no break or hinge in the rump.
When a judge takes a King into his hands to get the top view of the bird he should also get the feel of the bird and make a preliminary judging determination by segregating the King into one of three groups, namely, group number one for Kings that look and feel as the official Standard describes an ideal King to be. Group number two for Kings that show the station and conformation desired in an ideal King but lack the feel of a good King, and Kings that have the proper feel but lack the desired station and conformation. Group number three for Kings that neither show the station and conformation of an ideal King nor have the feel of an ideal king.
A King that feels good in the hands of a judge is one that has a short, broad, firm, deep, well-rounded body, with a short back that is broad at the shoulders and tapers into a full rump, and that has a rocker shaped keel that is straight and deep and ends as close as possible to the vent, with a full breast, and with feathering that is close and smooth. A King with this feel can score a maximum of 45 points, of the 100 points listed in the Scale of Points of the Official King Standard, for perfect body, back, keel, breast, and plumage. With head and neck elements of items in the Official King Standard receiving maximum total of 30 points, and all other parts of an ideal King 25 points, the King with good feel must be given preliminary priority consideration in judging for the same reason station is given that consideration: the Official King Standard places the most emphasis on these two items of perfection by picturing the ideal station of a King and by crediting a maximum number of points to those items that go towards the good feel of the bird. Kings that have a good feel are usually birds that feel larger than they look to be.
It is in the preliminary judging that a judge gives full consideration to the point credit of the 15 items listed in the Scale of Points of the Official King Standard. He does this as he handles the bird for the first time and places those that total the highest number of points into group one or two, depending on their station, conformation, weight, measurements, and appearance: as these items are set out and described in the preamble to the Scale of Points in the official Standard. After the preliminary judging has been completed, with all Kings having been segregated into one of three groups, the judge uses the point credits for the various items listed under the Scale of Points of the official Standard to help him determine the degree of perfection of each item which is established by the number of elements of that item that meet the description of the official Standard.
After each King has been handled and placed into one of the three groups enumerated above the elimination process begins in group three with the judge discarding the least desirable King in that group first, and then the second least desirable King when judged in accordance with the official Standard of perfection, and continuing in this manner on through that group into group two and through group two and then through group one until all Kings have been placed down to the last bird in the class which is then the first place King. While working through group three a judge will sometimes find a bird showing excellent station that it was not showing the first time he looked at it and this bird might then be judged against birds in group two and go on to place higher in the class than some of those Kings originally placed in group two. When working through group two it is always good practice for a judge to be slow to eliminate a King from further competition that has exceptionally good feel. This bird may not be showing when the judge first looks at it because of fright, which may come form rough or unfamiliar handling in being transported from the holding pen to the judging pen or from having been cooped in a lower tier in a dark corner of the showroom before being brought out into the bright light of the judging arena, and after it grows accustomed to the new surroundings it begins to show station and will hold that station for the balance of the judging. When the judge reaches a point in his judging where he feels he should eliminate from further competition a King that is outstanding in feel, but lacks proper station, he should move forward to grade the rest of the Kings in group two by lining them up in proper order in their judging cages. He should then go forward into group one and follow the same procedure of grading Kings and lining them up in proper order in their judging cages. He should then come back to group two and if the King with outstanding feel is still not showing proper station it should be eliminated from the class because no matter how good the body and feel may be it is not a good King if it has not by this time shown proper station as portrayed in the official picture of the exhibition king. We sometimes hear exhibitors say that they had a King place high in its class at one show and then had it eliminated early in the class at a second show. When this happens, assuming the judge of the first show placed the King properly, and the quality of the competition was the same, it results from one or two things: Either the bird was not in the same body and feather condition at the second show or the judge eliminated it too quickly from the class and before he had given it a fair chance to show.
A King is not necessarily a good exhibition King because it has outstanding body and feel, or because it has breath-taking station, or superior leg setting, or a beautiful head and neck. To be a good show King it must score high in all the items listed in the official Standard of perfection in a manner that blends them together to create a bird of perfect beauty.
There are 15 items listed in the Scale of Points of the Official King Standard and each of these items is made up of a number of elements with each element receiving equal credit toward the total points listed for the particular item of perfection. These 15 items added to the 6 items set out in the preamble to the Scale of Points give the judge a total of 21 items to consider as he compares one King against another in the elimination process. Which means that the King that is best in 11 or more of the 21 items would eliminate the bird against which it is compared and go on to be compared against another King where the same method of determination would be used to eliminate one of the Kings from further competition in the judging. By following this procedure down through the class the judge determines the relative excellence of each King and winds up with the best balanced bird in the class as his first place bird.
A judge starts the elimination process by comparing the birds in group number three, picking what appears to be the poorest King in that group and placing it in the end coop of the judging theater, and then comparing it against what appears to be the next poorest King and continuing on in that fashion to line the birds up in their proper order in the judging coops with the poorest King in the end coop and the second poorest King in the next to the end coop and continuing this order of placement down through the group but not eliminating any of them from competition until all Kings in that group have been compared. When this has been done the judge returns to the end coop in which he has placed the poorest King in the class, and the elimination process then goes quite quickly as the birds have been lined up in their proper order and it now becomes a matter of the judge checking his original judgment of each King to be sure it was correct. If he finds it was not correct he moves the bird or birds up through the class until he finds their correct position and then goes back to the bottom of the group to continue the elimination process. When the judge gets down to the last bird in group three he compares it with birds in group two and it then becomes a part of that group until eliminated from further competition. He follows the same procedure of comparing Kings in group two and lining them up in their proper order and then going back over the group to eliminate birds from further competition until he is down to the last bird in group two which then becomes a part of group one. The Kings in group one are then compared for the number of items of perfection they possess and are lined up in the judging coops accordingly. The judge then goes through this group of birds from the poorest to the best, checking on his original judgment as he proceeds with the elimination process, to find the best balanced King having the greatest number of items of perfection as those items are described in the official Standard.
In comparing one King against another the judge should first of all determine which of the two Kings has the best station and then continue by determining which of the two kings has the best conformation, whether the Kings fall within the weight limits, whether they answer the measurements, which King is masculine or feminine in appearance, and which King has proper show manners. A King with proper show manners will be alert, yet unafraid, and will be well poised, showing no sign of fear or aggressiveness as the judge reaches into the coop to pick it up. After the judge has compared the two Kings on the items of the perfection listed in the preamble to the Scale of Points of the Official Standard, he proceeds by comparing the first item listed in the Scale of Points which is the beak. He determines if the beak of the two Kings he is comparing against one another are short, stout, pinkish white in color, and carried in a horizontal position: as the official Standard says they should be, or if these beaks are long, narrow, stained, and down faced. If the beak meets the description of the Standard it will receive 5 points or 1 and ¼ points for each of the four elements that go to make up a perfect beak. And it will be cut 1 and ¼ points for each element of the beak that does not fit the Standard description. The King having the beak coming closest to what the Standard calls for will be the beak having the greatest number of elements of perfection. The judge then compares item number two in the Scale of Points, which is the wattle. He examines the wattle on the beak to determine if it is small in keeping with the size of the face, smooth, and powdered or frosted in color. If it meets with this description it receives a credit of 3 points. If it lacks any of these elements it would receive a one-point cut for each lacking element. The judge follows by comparing the head, eyes, eye cere, neck, breast, body, keel, back, wings, tail, shanks, toes, and plumage of the kings, keeping in mind the number of elements that go to make up the number of points listed in the Scale of Points for each of the above named items, and then crediting or cutting items on each King in accordance with the manner in which the elements answer or fail to answer the official Standard description.
The judge will not try to remember the point totals of the items of perfection of the Kings he compares against one another, but, instead, will remember which of the two Kings scored highest in a majority of the items of perfection to help him select the best balanced bird of the two. He then eliminates the King with the fewest items of perfection from further competition and goes on to compare the other King with another bird in the class, eliminating the poorest of these two Kings from further competition as determined by their number of items of perfection, and continuing on with this practice until he has eliminated all but one bird in the class which is the top placing and first place bird in the class.
With an Official King Standard that sets out 6 desired items of perfection without giving them point credit and then lists 15 items of perfection which do receive point credit. It becomes obvious that a good exhibition King is a well-balanced bird that scores high in all desired items of perfection rather than being outstanding in some and poor in others.
Judging Kings, if done properly, is hard work and it requires an intense concentration of the eyes and mind of the judge to the point where he does not see or hear anything in the showroom other than the birds he is judging. A judge should be thoroughly familiar with the wording of the Standard and have a mental image of what an ideal King should look like as he goes into the judging arena to pass on the birds. He should be well rested as he begins his judging assignment as intense concentration can be tiring and a tired judge will not be as observing as he otherwise can be and this could cause him to misplace birds in judging competition. Judges sometimes travel hundreds of miles to fulfill an assignment and traveling can be tiring, and sleeping in a hotel or motel can be anything but restful, so a judge must be in good physical condition and mentally alert if he is to do his job properly.
A judge must not visit with exhibitors or talk to individuals, other than show officials, while he is performing his judging duties. He should not attempt to explain each of his decisions to exhibitors and spectators watching the judging as this often involves him in a discussion and becomes too time consuming in large classes of Kings and it serves little purpose as most exhibitors today are as knowledgeable as the judge is on what constitutes a good show King and they are usually only interested in reasons for his decisions on the top placing birds in each class. The judge may tell his Steward, in a few brief words, as he hands him a bird being eliminated from further competition, why that bird is being eliminated and the Steward can pass that information along to the bird carrier for the benefit of any interested party. Doing this makes it possible for a spectator to know why a bird was eliminated and it serves the purpose of educating the Steward, who may be interested in becoming a judge, in judging procedure. In classes where the competition is exceptionally good the judge may explain why he has picked the first place bird over the second place bird and the second place bird over the third, but to go beyond that takes more time than the judge usually has available to him and it may unduly tire the judge to the point he is not as effective as he should be on the balance of the classes to be judged. An exhibitor who has a question concerning a particular decision or bird can always see the judge after he has finished his judging assignment and will usually find the judge more than willing to talk to him.
A judge should never break faith with those fanciers who have honored him, in selecting him to judge their birds, by drinking any form of intoxicating beverage while carrying out his judging assignment even though he is invited to do so by the exhibitors. Doing so may not affect his judgment but it will certainly lesson the respect that some exhibitors have for him.
Most judges make a personal sacrifice of time and money when they judge a pigeon show and the only rewarding compensation for judging any pigeon show comes out of the personal satisfaction of knowing you have done a good job in placing the Kings in their proper positions in each class. Do not jeopardize that personal satisfaction by reporting for a judging assignment in anything other than a well-rested physical condition and an alert mental condition. Do not get involved in time consuming and judgment distracting conversations with exhibitors or spectators and, above all, do not say or do anything that could reflect on your personal integrity. Keep faith with those who have honored you, and who have devoted much time and effort in breeding, conditioning, and training the Kings you have been assigned to judge, by selecting the best birds in each class as the first place birds and by picking a Champion that on that particular day and at that particular time was truly the Champion of the show.
LEGENDARY KING BREEDER JOHN SCHROEDER
By Larry Foos, AKC publicity director (published in the 2008 AKC bulletin)
Nestled in an inland hillside community of San Diego, the home of Master Show King Breeder John Schroeder has produced more champion white kings than any one person will probably ever equal. But John has seemingly retired from the competition, and his home is not so much regulated by what he keeps in the back lofts, but it’s more about just hanging out and taking it easy. It’s a home he helped build and where he and his wife, Betty, have resided for more than 40 years.
Living just a few miles due South, I asked John if he would oblige to an interview and update everyone some of things going on in his life. He agreed, and on Saturday, May 2, I came over, sat in his living room and had this conversation with him.
Larry: How’s your health? And your wife?
John: I’m doing pretty good. I’m not quite as strong as I use to be. I’m 84 years old, so that means a lot. Betty’s in good health. She’s a little younger than I. She’s 80 now.
Larry: Did you think in 2009 you’d still be raising pigeons?
John: No I didn’t. You know, after my trip to the hospital and all the birds were gone I thought that was it for me. But when I came home, I missed them so much that I had to have a few more to keep in the backyard.
Larry: How long have you been raising pigeons?
John: I had Kings since 1963. I grew up with (pigeons). I had them since I was about 5 years old—just common pigeons. I grew up in Texas—mostly in the area of Waco. I got to San Diego because of the Navy.
Larry: You think you’ll ever show again or judge again?
John: No, I’m out of that category. I just keep my own in my backyard and get visitors from overseas just about every year, two or three of them. And sometimes I sell them a few.
Larry: You’ve had a big track record of Nationals you won—how many and which was the most gratifying?
John: I won 23 Nationals. And I think the one most gratifying was in Houston, Texas. Bill Haudrich was judge. And the bird was #898, young white hen. I still know the number (laugh). It was in 1973. That was my first one. There probably was 500-600 Kings there. I won Nationals with up to 700 birds exhibiting.
Larry: You got in an accident in 2007. What happen?
John: Well, I was cleaning the loft and as I went out the door, I caught my heal in the door. It had those springs on them. And I fell on my buttocks. I got up, finished the cleaning and everything. A few hours later it started bothering me and I went to a chiropractor. He gave me a treatment. The next day I couldn’t walk. Both legs were paralyzed! I went to the hospital to run tests. They said the problem was the sciatic nerve but both legs were affected. Don’t really know. My wife couldn’t care for me—you know I’m too heavy and I was in a wheel chair. So I was in a convalescent home. In there 29 days…the worse 29 days of my life! My grandson and wife told Ron Zych to pick up the pigeons. I couldn’t take care of them. He picked up everything.
Larry: I remember you had an empty loft and in October, 2007 I brought all my birds to your house because we were being evacuated due to fires. I remember coming over for those few days every day and you seem to be enjoying them again.
John: Yes, that’s right. I realized I could raise them again. Just for my own enjoyment.
Larry: Do you have a different outlook now raising pigeons?
John: Yeah, it gives me self-satisfaction. I go out in the morning, or whenever I feel like and I look at the birds and I just enjoy them you know. I don’t need to show them to enjoy them. And I compare them with one another, which is the good ones, so forth and so on.
Larry: I remember you telling me that (last year) was one you enjoyed raising Kings more than a long time.
John: I would say so. I enjoyed it more and this is 2009 and I’m enjoying it now. And I’m a lot stronger than I was before (at time of the accident). Of course you don’t know at my age how long you’ll stay strong (laugh).
Larry: So you think raising pigeons had a big part of your recuperating?
Larry: Your mental health and well being?
INHERITANCE OF COLOR IN PIGEONS BY GARY SMITH
The King pigeon hobby has three (3) base colors; ash red, blue/black (black is spread blue), and brown in that order of dominance and the dilution of each color.Three patterns; check, bar, and barless in that order of dominance (I am not aware of any barless kings).We also have spread birds (solid colors).Spread hides the true pattern of the bird, it is still either a check or bar patterned bird.We also have white’s; white is not a color, it is the absence of color;the bird is still either ash red, blue/back, or brown and has a pattern; either check or bar.In order to get spread colored offspring, at least one of the parents must be spread (white and recessive red are not true spread, so it is not necessary to have a spread parent to get a white or recessive red young).
Symbols I use to identify my birds:
Colorcheck patternbar patternspread
Ash Redash red check (ARC)ash red bar (ARB)spread ash (SA)
True Silver/true silver check(TSC)true silver bar (TSB)
Brownbrown check (SC)silver bar (SB)brown (BRN)
Khakikhaki check (KC)khaki bar (KB)khaki (KH)
Indigo =/Iexample: ARC/I
Any other color =/AOCARC/AOC
Then we have factors;indigo, opal, grizzle, faded, reduced, toy stencil, milky, pale, and recessive red to mention a few.These factors distort or change the appearance of the true color of the bird, which must be one of the three main colors.Outcrosses from other breeds can produce almond/magnani colored birds, however our three main colors are it for most Kings.I see in our June bulletin the Cajun King Club is having a RARE Futurity to include Almonds with the 3rd and 4th District Show in November.All I really know about Almond/Magnani is that it is dominate to all our standard King colors.So Iassume that all 1st generation offspring would be almond and the cocks would carry a 2nd color of one of our standard King colors.
When speaking in terms of our base colors, keep in mind that the cock bird may have and often does have a second color, the one you see and the one he may carry.The same is true for a white or recessive red cock, except you will not see either color.Yes, you can indeed have a white or recessive red cock (for example) hides a first color of ash red, and a second color of black or brown.These colors will express themselves when the bird is mated to a non white or non recessive red.The cock birds color (the one you see) will always be the color of most dominance, so you will never get a brown cock that carries black or ash red, nor will you get a black cock that carries ash red.The hen does not carry a second color nor dilution, but may carry a second pattern (check carrying bar).The cock may carry a second pattern and carry dilution.
Order of dominance:
Intense colorDilutionSymbols for chart
1stAsh redAsh yellowARAY
If the cock carries dilution, he should produce half the hens dilute of his two colors when mated to an intense hen.A dilute cock on an intense hen will have 100% dilute hens, and 100% intense cocks ,which all carry dilution.A mating of an intense cock and a dilute hen will produce 100% intense young, but all the cocks will carry dilution.A mating of an intense cock that carries dilution to a dilute hen will produce both intense and dilute young of either sex.Mating a dilute cock to a dilute hen produces 100% dilute young.
*=Cock carries dilution.
Scenarios of intense/dilution matings:
1.IntenseIntense=100% of young intense
2.Intense*Intense=C- 100% intense, 50% *
H- 50% intense,50% dilute
3.IntenseDilute=C- 100% intense*,H- 100% intense
4.Intense*Dilute=C- 50% intense*,50% dilute
H- 50% intense,50% dilute
5.DiluteIntense=C- 100% intense*,H-100% dilute
6.DiluteDilute=100% of young dilute
When the cock throws either his first or second color recessive to the hens color, or the hens color is recessive to either of the cocks two colors,all baby cocks second color will be that of the recessive color……….Example;AR cock carries B/B mated to a BRN hen…if the young cock is AR or B/B he will carry BRN, because BRN is recessive to both of his color options.The cock will contribute one color gene for the young, the hen may or may not contribute a color gene.When she does the young will be cocks, when she doesn’t the young will be hens.So a cock has(+ +) two colors genes, and a hen has (+ -) one color gene.Any time the hen throws the blank (-), the young will be a hen because it has only one color.If the cock has two colors the same, then he is known as being homozygous in color, meaning he has no second color, or is pure in color.
Any time you mate a cock to a hen of a color with higher dominance, it is a sex linked mating and the baby hens will be one of the colors of their father, and the baby cocks will be the color of their mother.It is also a sex linked mating to put a dilute cock on an intense hen, because dilution is recessive to intense.The baby cocks will beintense and all hens will be dilute.This does not apply to patterns;check is always dominate to bar.
Although the color charts above should be accurate in 99% of all pairings, I will say that seven (7) times in 16 years Mother Nature has produced ash red young in my loft out of pairs that were B/BxBRN combinations………….all turned out to be hens……….this is not supposed to happen!It is important to understand that when it comes to Mother Nature and pigeon colors, “there are no absolutes. “
Northern Foul Mite
CONTRIBUTED BY DR. CHARLES BACON
The Northern Fowl Mite: I have read and have talked over this past year about the problem with a mysterious mite that infect the Kings, and in some instances killing an adult bird. From the descriptions presented to me during these events, and what I have read, I believe this is the action of the Northern Fowl Mite. Some king breeders have made some written comments on the problem but I do not recall an identity of the suspect agent. The Northern Fowl Mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) is an 8-legged white, grayish, black or deep red tiny mite that consists of many stages of development ranging from pearly white eggs, to larva (a non-feeding 6 legged translucent whitish variant), a nymph (another 8-legged organism like the adult whose color ranges from grayish to deep red, depending upon the amount of blood is has consumed. The time from egg to adult is only 7 days. Both the adult and nymphs do the most damage, and they differ from the usual chicken mite in being always present on the bird, even during the day. The usual chicken mite hides during the day and get on the birds at night. Further, the Northern Fowl Mite can only survive off the host for a limited number of days, perhaps as long as 3 weeks. The usual chicken mite can survive several months without a bird and without feeding. On pigeons and other birds the Northern Fowl Mite is found in large numbers and congregate at the vent, tail, back and neck. In pigeons they are found in large numbers at the vent and between the legs. The eggs are laid in the fluff of feathers, especially vent feather fluff, which when viewed appear at it a fungus (mycelium) is attached to the feather at the shaft enters the bird’s flesh. The eggs as at first white then vary from white to gray and also appear blackish, and in such numbers (well over 5,000) that the lower half of each feather shaft appear fuzzy and can be mistaken for fungi. Within a period of 8-10 weeks, some 20,000 mites can be found on birds and at this level of infestation the bird is considerably weakened. As a result of such server infestations the birds suffer from severe anemia and finally death. Death may occur either from blood loss or from an impaired immune system. Other side effects are weight loss, a peculiar feeding habit (feed picking is hampered), pale eye cere, black scabs on the skin, which may enlarge into a very large area of the abdomen, reduce egg laying in flocks, and heavy infection prevents the ability of cocks to mate. Caution: these mites can and do infect humans producing severe skin irritations.
The recommended control ranges from garlic oil to chemical pesticides. My favorite is permectin, which is absolutely harmless to the bird but immediately kills mites or insects as well and remains as a residual kill for at least 4 weeks. There have been other recommendations using a mixture of pesticides which I know should work. I believe the reaction from some for such harsh treatment is due to an assumption that the feather-egg combination is still observed and some believe this material is not dead, but the data says they are dead. It takes time for these eggs/larvae to detach and fall off the birds. However, you always run the risk of re-infestations for these, as they and the regular chicken mite can crawl off and re-infest the bird, especially with some pesticide that do not have a residual kill as permectin. Hope this helps.
Dedicated to the Breeding and Exhibition of the Show King Pigeon since 1915.