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Pretty Pigeon Breed On The Way Back
Pretty, but low maintenance. That’s what Kathy and Lew Wescott appreciate about Classic Old Frill pigeons. Photos of them date back to 1890, says Kathy Wescott, secretary/treasurer for the National Classic Old Frill Club.
  “I like them for their beauty,” she says. “They’re very sleek, have a nice stance, and the most adorable little face. They’re a nice calm bird that’s good for kids.”
  The breed is often used as “droppers” by breeders who race homing pigeons. They won’t fly away from home, so they’re released as a homing pigeon returns. The frill returns to the loft right away and the homing pigeon follows.
  At shows, frills are divided into 2 general groups, both of which come in a variety of colors.
  Satinettes have an all-white body with color on their wings and tails. “Blondinettes are whole-colored birds, which also possess white bars or lacing on the shields and Moon Spots or lacing on the tail. Some varieties have the lacing extending over most of the body,” Wescott says.
  Features for judging include a pointed peak at the top of the head, a full mane down the back of the head, and a long frill and chest feathers that part down the middle. Because they have tight feathers, males don’t need to be trimmed around the vent to fertilize eggs like some breeds. They also have a large enough beak to feed their young, unlike similar breeds such as the Oriental Frill that has a tiny beak.
  “They (Classic Old Frill) are not super flighty and can be trained. They are not nervous and bothered by people,” Wescott says.
  The breed is becoming more popular after years of declining numbers. Now they have their own shows as well as their own category at all-breed shows.
  Frills are affordable at $25 to $50/bird with offspring from champions selling slightly higher. They require the same care as most pigeon breeds and do well in all climates. Some pigeon owners have heated lofts to condition pairs for breeding.
  With growing interest in careful breeding, Classic Old Frill pigeons continue to improve. Wescott encourages people interested in more information or connecting with breeders to check out the club’s website.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, National Classic Old Frill Club, www.classicoldfrill.org; kathy.wescott@gmail.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2