Pigeons can be seen in abundance everywhere, while some are meant for flying the others now are only bred solely for exhibition.
The fancy descendants of Columba Livia ( rock dove) are the Modena pigeons. They come in different colors, species, profiles, breeding conditions, and maintenance requirements.
What is a Modena pigeon?
The breed of fancy pigeon developed with selective breeding that takes many years is the Modena pigeon.
Like the other domestic pigeons, the Modena pigeon is also the descendant of Columba Livia (rock dove). Their status of conservation is common.
Centuries ago the Modena pigeon was first bred in the City of Modena, from where the name of the pigeon comes. Modena pigeon has an Italian origin with a beautiful appearance and is sized averagely.
It is also called the domestic fancy pigeon. It is also believed that they come from the family of wild rock pigeons or feral.
All around the world, many people believe them to be the world’s top pigeon to be exhibited. The story of the origin of the Modena pigeon begins in the early 1300s and thus it is an old breed of pigeon.
In the earliest of their appearance, they were small and slim performing birds. The reason behind its raising is solely for show purpose.
Origin & Species Profile of Modena pigeons:
The Italian-origin Modena pigeon is rare with a medium breed class. The weight of the bird is around 350 grams and the average height of matured Modena is about 24 cm, with a variety of colors they have a tolerance to all types of climate.
The bird was first bred in the city of Modena which gives the bird its name. This bird has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years.
Appearance & Behavior
The beautiful Modena pigeon is known for its exquisite appearance which makes them a show bird. The average-sized bird mainly has a striking curvy shape.
It has uplifted wings, a prominent chest, and a high carried tail. They give an overall impression of a proud, round bird.
The bird has generous breasts, a rounded head that is arched evenly with a smooth forehead, the color of the eyes can vary from orange-red, dark color, and light color.
The Modena pigeon has a harmonious neck with a throat that cuts out, the base feathers are fluffy and the rest are flat and smooth.
The tails are well closed and short, the legs are strong, folded and the feet are not feathered. The wings are short and the beak is medium length and strong.
They have varieties of colors out of which the two main are Schietti and Gazzi. The pied marking Modena pigeon has the Ghazi color at their head, wings, tail, and throat, and the rest of the body is white. The Schietti colored Modena pigeon is non-pied.
What makes them excellent for the show is that they are calm and gentle. However, the male Modena pigeon can sometimes come across as aggressive.
The Modena pigeon is the domesticated pigeon but is considered as the stockier variety who also have fertility problems with their partners. The birds are raised for exhibition but can also be bred for being a pet.
Types & Fancy Variations:
The types of Modena pigeon are English Modena, German Modena, which has a chicken-like appearance, and Triganino Modena.
German Modena pigeon is a variation in the breed. They originated in Germany and also have breeds that have been selected and developed many years ago. It’s also called as the Modene Type Allemand and also Deutsche Modeneser or the Modenese Tedesco.
In comparison to English Modena, the body shape and features of a German Modena is less rounded. Its wings are less up tilt and its tails are not carried that much high.
Unlike the English Modena, they have fuller breasts and longer necks. They are easier to take care of when compared with English Modena.
The Triganino Modena pigeon is the category with European standardization. The variety of the breed originated from Italy.
Before the early 1900s, they were used for flight games and messenger for small and medium distances. Their ancestors are believed to be hen pigeons.
The characteristic shape of this pigeon is called ‘Barchetto’. It has a triangular body shape. They can fly very rapidly.
The English and the German Modena are derived from this variation of the Modena breed.
English Modena is the variation found in the UK. They have small necks, medium-sized breasts, uptilted wings, and high carried tails.
Difference between king and Modena pigeon
The king and the Modena pigeon are different. The king pigeon belongs to the utility breed and the Modena belongs to the fancy breed. They differ in the size and shape of head, beak, and color.
The Modenas are more colorful and have a beautiful appearance.
The king pigeons are large-sized while Modenas are small or average-sized, the king pigeons have higher suitability for squab production.
The country of origin of the king pigeon is the United States but the Modena pigeon originally belongs to Italy. However, the one similarity is both the pigeons can be used for show purposes.
Do Modena pigeons fly? All about Modena pigeon flying
Back then in the early 1300s and after some centuries Modenas were used for sport which involved flying to attract not only people but also other birds from different lofts for catching.
It can be said Modenas back then were used as thief pouters. In the 1960s Modenas was small and found to have a good ability in flying and surviving in the wild surroundings.
But with time Modenas are only used for show purposes, they roll up in the station and are called the bird of curves, they have a bull frontal with legs locked. They became ornamental with time however they were originally birds with flying abilities.
German Modenas can fly around the loft. The large King American type Modena pigeon is only for show purposes and cannot fly.
Related Read: Birds Flying | 17 Interesting things to know
How long do Modena pigeons live?
Modena pigeons are considered the old breed of pigeons and have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years and sometimes 12 years.
Although they are descendants of rock doves which are said to have only 6 years of lifespan, Modena pigeons live longer than their ancestors.
The lifespan of Modena pigeons depends upon the conditions and factors of their breeding and where they are raised and thus varies.
They are domestic pets that are raised for exhibition purposes because of their colorful and beautiful appearance that attracts the attention of many.
Modena pigeon color chart
The color chart of the Modena pigeon is mentioned below
- German Modena Schietti
- German Modena Magnani
- German Modena Gazzi
- Yellow Triganino
- Modena English Bronze
- Modena bronze blue bar
- Modena bronze blue bar grizzle
- Modena bronze blue bar check milky
- Modena bronze T-pattern blue check
- Modena bronze blue check
- Bronze Argent Gazzi Modena
- Modena bronze dilute
Are Modena pigeons good pets?
Pigeons are beautiful, smart, and gentle birds and like other types of pigeons, the Modena pigeon is also proved to be a great domestic pet for its owners.
Usually, Modena pigeons are only raised for show purposes but some people raise them as their pets. The birds are selectively bred and have calm and gentle behavior.
The breed of fancy pigeon can have good health as a domestic pet when kept in well-maintained conditions. They live happily with pairings or in groups but can also be seen as loving pets when raised alone.
Owners find them attractive because of their style, color, and power. Raising and maintaining a Modena pigeon is not difficult and is worthy of time and effort.
Feeding & How to maintain them as pets:
The Modena pigeon needs food for strength, ability and to maintain its beautiful appearance. Additionally, this bird eats a lot, so the owners must feed them at regular intervals.
Like any other pigeon, bird owners can take the option of pigeon mix quality food. The food or the mix can include wheat, grit, spinach, milo, barley, corn, peas, duns, and safflower.
The food needs to be fresh and finely chopped.
They need an aviary or loft to live in, the place needs to be clean, airy, and out of drafts. The owner keeping a pair needs a nesting box and space.
For keeping the pigeon healthy and well-shaped, the housing must be hygiene with a good maintenance routine, practices like regular worming can be done.
Guide on breeding Modena pigeons
The Modenas pigeons can breed easily. The babies of the birds are fed and raised by their parents and thus owners of the pet do not have to put so much effort.
The owner must look out for breeding spaces, proper living, well maintained, and hygiene areas for Modena pigeons to breed.
The Modena pigeon incubates the eggs, feeds the young one milk, and takes care of them. Modenas are a great breed to be mixed with other breeds as they are gentle.
With proper conditions, the Modena pigeon does not face many problems while breeding. They are large breeds and thus need large nesting for breeding.
The pair needs time and experience to lay eggs and take care of them. They need special care in the season of summer as they get hot and sweaty easily.
Related Read: How long can pigeon eggs survive without incubation?
Related Read: Can You Overfeed A Baby Bird? How To Feed A Baby Bird
Modena pigeon breeders & club- History of them:
The Modena pigeon breeders raise them to either make them a domesticated pet or for exhibition.
The National Modena club is held at regular intervals for exhibitions in many countries like America, Great Britain, South Australia, Germany, and Italy.
The Great Britain club of Modena pigeon has the authority over English Modena.
The German Modena pigeon club has the standard authority over Germany originated Modena pigeons.
The national Modena club was established in 1936 for supporting the Modena pigeons and their enthusiasts.
In North America, it is the largest specialty club for pigeons. It has different award programs. It displays the bird in shows that are held at different regional places and districts.
Maintaining of Modena pigeon
Like any other pigeon, the Modena pigeon needs fresh and clean water, proper living conditions, a hygienic loft, space, proper nutritious food, and love and care.
Keep them safe from predators and other kinds of harm. Keep the pigeons away from the direct sunlight, their cage or drafts needs to be protected.
The Modena pigeons come in interactions with humans and other birds thus they need to be prevented from viruses or loft risks.