The Carneau, a descendant of the rock pigeon, is a domesticated pigeon known for its large size and suitability for squab production.
Originally, they were very low maintenance birds, but every time they were bred and raised to consume later on as food. The Carneau birds interact well with humans and other birds.
Carneau Pigeon: Origin, Characteristics & Appearance:
The Carneau originated in Northern France and Southern Belgium.
It’s a breed of domestic fancy pigeon with a splendid appearance looking more attractive with bright and remarkable eyes.
Interestingly, the color of the eyes differs depending on the bird’s color. It has a large head which is broad and round from the wattle to the top of the skull, and also has a short and stout beak.
The Carneau birds have long and strong wings which help them hold their bodies tight. These birds have a wedge-shaped tail which extends to as long as an inch.
They grow to a maximum height of 13 inches and weigh around 640-740 grams — while an average feral Pigeon weighs only 300-500 grams — with a wingspan of 60-70 centimeters.
The legs and feet of these birds are brightly colored in red. These birds are found in red, yellow, or white; red or yellow with a white wing rose; red or yellow with a white lower back; red or yellow with a white wing rose and white lower back.
They may also appear entirely in reddish brown color. Its skin color is pink and strangely the feather shafts are also colored.
The red Carneau is the most popular of the Carneau varieties. It has some special features such as:
- medium sized head
- compact body
- upright carriage
- wings and tail somewhat larger than those of the White King
- tail clears the ground
- chestnut colored body
- not as procreative as the White King
Diet of the Carneau Birds
Just like any other pigeon, the Carneau diet is also quite typical. It includes fruit, nuts, berries, and mealworms, which provide the required vitamins for a pigeon.
They are not fussy-eaters and require crude protein (13.5%), carbohydrates (65%), crude fiber (3.5%), and fat (3%). However, including yellow maize and peas in their diet is a positive idea.
Breeding, Uses & Life span
This bird still remains as a popular pigeon in Northern France and Southern Belgium. In the year 1933, a club named Carneau Club Francais was formed.
In 2015, breeders from three countries exhibited 243 Carneau pigeons at the European Show in Metz. Gradually, the Carneau pigeon gained popularity in other countries in the early 20th century at an International Carneau club.
This breed is quite popular in the UK too. Later, this club came out with its own book, The Carneau Pigeon which was published in 1910. After this breed spread to the USA, the American Carneau Association for breeders and owners was formed.
Subsequently, the bird is no longer bred for meat, but raised for its beauty and used as an exhibition bird. People who breed this bird are particular about its color.
Once a free flying bird, the Carneau with the passage of time was selected for breeding and domesticated in well maintained habitats.
These lovely social birds have an average life span of 7-10 years. They can tolerate and adapt to almost all climatic conditions efficiently.
The Carneau pigeons come only second after the King pigeon for their excellent temperament and are popularly regarded as being the most poised breed of all.
They also come second after the King pigeon as the largest domestic breed of pigeon. These birds love to explore due to their inquisitive nature.
Hence, if domesticated, keep an eye on it.
Behavior of the Carneau Pigeons
On the other hand, the Carneau Pigeons are so well-behaved that they usually put very few demands on their owners, as long as they are taken care of.
As these birds have a good temperament, they also possess an extensive suitability for psychological experiments such as operant conditioning.
Due to their large size, Carneau birds do not claim a great talent for flying now, thanks to evolution and thereby selective breeding, although they used to earlier (well-known as a free-flying bird).
The breeding of Carneau pigeon is dictated by the breeders and the owners to increase the number of the breed, pairs for mating will be chosen based on their particular desirable traits and characteristics which will do with their size coloring and general good health.
A breeding pair of Carneau pigeons requires a total floor area of 0.6 m.sq. including 0.4 m.sq. nest area. Each pen houses 20-30 pairs of breeders.
The pigeons may be mated from the age of 6 months. The breeder raises the pigeon chick for only 30 days at this stage the Carneau chick weighs 330-340 grams or half of its parent.
Are Carneau Pigeons Good pets?
The Carneau birds serve as good pets as they are obedient. Unlike the other breeds, the Carneau pigeon requires minimum care and low maintenance.
For a good production and minimum disease risk, these pigeons should be housed in comfortable dry quarters along with good ventilation and plenty of sunlight which keeps the house dry.
Since a new breed of utility pigeons are found, some people leave the Carneau. Now they raise it as an exhibition bird and not a utility bird.
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