Oriental Frill Pigeon: Complete Breed Guide | Profile | Characteristics

When it comes to Show pigeons, Oriental Frill pigeons are always amongst the top names. 

The short-beaked pigeons are beautiful birds that have been around humans for centuries. 

They are the result of years of selective breeding, and today, what you see is the result of the mixing and breeding that resulted in such beautiful creatures.

This guide is for you if you have never known about Oriental Frills.

What Is An Oriental Frill Pigeon?

Oriental frill pigeons are fancy pigeon breeds that have been known by different names in history. They are known as Classical Oriental Frills, Old Fashioned Frills, or Hunkari. 

Classic as these pigeons are human companions for a long time. 

This breed was specially bred for the Ottoman Sultans of Turkey. In the city of Ottoman, the Sultan requested a different breed, and breeders started the process. 

After years of selective breeding at Manisa Palace, they came up with an oriental frill pigeon. 

These birds have a round head, a very small beak, a whitetail, and beautiful feathers. 

One look at them, and you will understand why the Sultan requested these. They have large eyes, a frilly feathery chest, distinct feathers, and a small beak that looks as if there is none. 

The bird is native to Turkey, and it is still known as Hunkari there because it means the Sultan’s bird. It has white spots on its tail called Sultan’s seal on the bird, claiming it to be the native. 

The story of this beautiful pigeon breed reached England, and it arrived in the country in 1864. H.P. Caridia is known to have brought it from Izmir. Its name became 

Oriental Frill then. It made its first appearance in America in 1879 during an exhibition. 

In Europe, they are classified in the owl family, while they are known as fancy pigeons in the US. 

Related Read: Pigeon Breeding Techniques | How to Breed Pigeons faster – Detailed Guide:

What Does an Oriental Frill Pigeon Look Like?

The appearance of an oriental frill pigeon depends on its type. But the general appearance of an Oriental Frill goes like-

  • A very small thick beak
  • A frill breast
  • A crest on its peak
  • A wide round head
  • Their forehead is arched right from their beak to their crested peak
  • Large eyes
  • A short, thick, but strong neck
  • A whitetail
  • A broad forwarded thrust breast
  • Short legs covered with grouse muffs
  • Short two-winged tails, just above the ground
  • Well-developed tight plumage
  • Weight approx. 11-12 oz

From this, you can create a picture in your mind of a proud little bird with thick and close-to-body feathers, a thick mane, a cobby and compact back, with a round or oval head on top which has large eyes that look at you curiously.

What Are Oriental Frill Pigeons Good For?

Whether you are into bird-keeping or commercial exhibitions, Oriental frills should be your choice. This bird has been used for more than 200 years for exhibition due to its beauty. 

Even today, these pigeons have become part of prominent pigeon exhibitions, which are as famous among pigeon-lovers as dog races. If you are into pigeon entertainment, get yourself an Oriental Frill.

Besides, if you want a pet bird for your home, which is beautiful and which won’t give you a headache by flying away, this is your bird.

Related Read: How To Cope With The Loss Of My Pet Bird

Can Oriental Pigeons Fly?

Oriental pigeons aren’t known for their flying skills. They can fly but not very long distances. Their flight is short. 

If you are looking for something like homing pigeons or racing pigeons, these are not for you. 

Besides, they do not have a great sense of threat, so it’s better to not fly long distances and become a hawk’s prey.

Related Read: What Do Homing Pigeons Eat?

Related Read: Do pigeons fly at night?

How To Identify Male And Female Oriental Frill Pigeons?

As a beginner, you may find it challenging to tell a male Oriental Frill from a female, but their behavior gives them away. 

  • First, the male pigeons are heavier than the females.
  • Also, the female birds are very calm and gentle, while males are angry and keep dancing around. Males also coo and chase other birds, generally females. 
  • Also, the male bird has a straight tail if you hold it by the wing and shake it in the air. The female’s tail is usually upward. 
  • Last but not least, you can check their vent. Check under their tails for the bones. If they are close, it is a male bird, while a female has bones slightly at a distance to push out the egg.

Telling a male bird from a female is no child’s play. Even the experts can’t tell gender correctly sometimes.

Related Read: How to tell if a pigeon is male or female | How to sex a pigeon

Related Read: Do Birds Get Periods? | If So, Do Female Birds Bleed During Periods?

Different Types Of Oriental Frill Pigeons

There are majorly two types of Oriental Frill pigeon. These birds differ from each other based on their colors. These are called Satinettes and Blondinettes.


These are white-colored birds. Their head, neck, breast, and tail are almost white, but their wings are colored. 

They have a 10×10 white flight and have white moon marks or laces on their tails. 


These birds are completely colored except for their shoulders and wings, which bear different markings. 

Sometimes, they are laced, ticked, or pointed. They have the same tail as satinettes.

Both of the breeds have originated in Turkey. The modern breeds are bred from the traditional Old Style, Classic, or Old Fashioned Oriental Frills. 

These birds can live as long as 7-10 years if properly kept. 

Related Read: What Are The Longest Lived Birds ( Lifespan Of Birds List, Types, Care )

Different Oriental Frill Pigeon Colors

The Satinettes and Blondinettes are not the only types of Oriental frill pigeons. 

They are divided further into different color varieties, and also, there exist other kinds of Oriental Frills, which have been discussed below.


Blue-Laced Satinettes

These are white-colored birds with a pale-pink beak and dark brown eyes. Their head, neck, and body are white except their shoulder and wing coverts with a deep-purple hue. 

Each of their wings is laced with a blue color, marking the edges distinct. They have a dark blue band in the lower region and a dark purple tail, with every feather having a white moon spot.


These are also white-colored birds, with the only difference being the color of feathers around their neck and on shoulders which is dark red-brown. 

The marking is the same as in blue-laced pigeons.


Their shoulders and wing coverts are a deep blue with a blue tail and white marks with black in the lower extremity.   

Black and Dun-Laced

They differ from blue-laced satinettes only in the terms of their shoulder, wing coverts, and tail colors, which are darker, usually black or dun with darker tail feathers and flight.


These pigeons have pale sulfur or white ground color on their shoulders with dark-sulfur-edged feathers. Their tail is also dark and the same as blue-laced.


They have a brown tail with brown lower extremity and pale brown as in dove-colored shoulders and wing coverts.


They come with a grey tail and silver-grey shoulder and wing coverts. Rest, they are the same as blue-laced. 


Blue-laced Blondinette

They have a blue-colored body with red eyes and a blue tail with white moon spots, with a small, thick black beak. Their body is dark in contrast to their feathers which have white ground.


They have a flesh-colored cere, horn-colored beak, and acorn brown body and tail, the same as in a blue-laced Blondinettes.


Their body and tail are silver grey with lacings of the same dark color, accompanied by flesh-colored cere, yellow eyes, and horn-colored beak.  


The difference is their soft yellow-colored body, tail, and shoulder which have a darker yellow color lace. They have yellow eyes with horn-colored beaks and flesh-colored cere.


Again, their body is the same except for a deeply rich and dark red-colored shoulder, wing covert, and tail. They have red eyes with horn-colored beaks and flesh-colored cere.


They have a French grey body and the same tail with deep sulfur lacing on a light sulfur ground like blue-laced pigeons. 

They have yellow-gravel eyes, horn-colored beaks, flesh-colored cere, and deep golden sulfur head and neck.

Apart from these, there are other color variants, such as dun-laced, black-laced, barred-browns, barred-blues, bared-silvers, etc. 

Other than Blondinettes and Satinettes, there are some other varieties which are-


These are extremely rare pigeons that look exactly like satinettes apart from the fact that their head is a solid color and is clearly separated by marking from around the neck to their crest, making them look beautiful and quite distinct from satinettes. 

The rest of the markings and features are the same as the satinettes.


These are a little different from vizors and satinettes. Their neck is completely white, and their head is solid-colored like a vizor. Also, their shields and tails are solid-colored, and the rest of the body is pure white. 

They have feather-free legs, and they come in different color varieties, such as silver, blue, black, dun, etc. 

Their eye color and cere also differ according to their body color, as in Blondinettes.


These originated in England and are very popular in many European countries. They are good flyers and are classified as owl pigeons. 

The distinction that makes them Turbiteens is the oval-shaped spots on their cheeks and forehead. 

They have dark eyes, which differ as per their body color. They are also available in several different colors.   

Oriental Frill Pigeon Breeding Tips

If you want to breed Oriental Frill pigeons, remember, they are not bred in huge quantities. 

It has taken years to breed the modern Oriental Frill pigeons and get the desired colors. Besides, your breeding depends on the color you are looking for. 

The general tips for breeding Oriental Frill pigeons are discussed below, which must be followed to breed disease-free, healthy birds.

  • Making them a loft is the first step. Every bird requires a nest which they can call home. Put in soft materials like grass or soft leaves to make it comfortable for them. Ensure it has perches or branches for them to roost and play.
  • If you want to give your birds more freedom, you can make them a fly pen. It can be a great way to give them their much-required liberty without caging them. You can make it as big as you want, depending on the space you have to spare. It also keeps your birds safe and doesn’t allow your neighbors to complain.
  • For healthy offspring, ensure that your pigeons are properly vaccinated. Take them to a vet before their mating season and learn about their needs. 
  • Give them some space for mating. Sometimes, a male pigeon may easily find a female, while sometimes, it takes time for them to get acquainted and start a family together.
  • Contamination-free ration and water are essential. Give them proper nutrients through nuts and grains, rich in essential vitamins and protein. Keep changing the water several times a day and wash their bowl every day to keep it safe from contamination.
  • A mated couple must be kept separately from the bachelors in your pen. Make their separate homes, where they lay eggs, hatch them, and feed their younger ones properly. 

How Many Eggs Do Oriental Frill PIgeons Lay?

Usually, they lay two eggs like every other pigeon breed. The hatching period is generally 18 days, where both males and females hatch the eggs. 

It is often said that you need feeders for their babies. The answer is yes and no. Some breeds are so viciously deformed that their beak is almost non-existent. 

Yes, they need feeders. But, not every pigeon is the same. They can generally feed their babies quite easily. 

It’s better that you notice it beforehand. If your birds find it hard to take a seed and eat it in one go, then you may need a feeder when the baby comes out. 

How Long Do Oriental Frill Pigeons Live?

The lifespan of an Oriental Frill pigeon is 7-10 years if you take good care of it. It is not much, but it is quite some time for a pigeon.

Are Oriental Frill PIgeons Good Pets? Are They Friendly?

Every bird can be made a friend if you raise it from a baby. 

Yes, Oriental Frill pigeons make good pets. If you have kids, they will love this bird. It is also called doll bird as they are curious, wide-eyed, and keep tilting their heads all the time. 

When tamed, they allow you to caress their heads, lift them, kiss them, and pat their heads. 

Females are usually calmer, while males can be angry. They might peck at your hand, but time heals all. They come around. They might not be very friendly during mating season, or once they have laid eggs, but they are good.

How To Take Care Of Oriental Frill Pigeons?

Like racing or homing pigeons, these do not require any special attention. They don’t need a daily practice of flying or training for long hours. 

Since they don’t fly much distance, they make good companions. The thing you must be worried about is their feathers. 

The loft or aviary should be free of any wires which may damage your bird’s wings. Their wings are what makes them so beautiful, so it is a responsibility to keep them intact.   

Feeding Oriental Frills

You need not follow a dieting regime for your Old Frills like racing pigeons. These birds are fed to keep their bodies fit. 

You can give them several nutrition-filled seeds, grains, fresh veggies, fruits, corn, etc. 

Related Read: Marathon Pigeons: Complete Guide | Everything about Long Distance racing Pigeons:

Training Them

They don’t need distinct training, but they should at least know how to get back home. Yes, it is possible to train them. They are not very great flyers and are often prone to predatory attacks. 

Leaving them in the open is not a good idea, as their sense of detecting threats isn’t very good either. 

If you let them fly out, keep an eye and don’t let them fly farther than a block.

How Much Does An Oriental Frill Pigeon Cost?  

The price of an Oriental Frill varies depending on the type and color. The price usually starts from $30 and can go as high as $100. 

Related Read: Do Birds Need Vaccines? ( Everything About Vaccination For Birds )

Final Words

This is an exclusive guide on Oriental Frill Pigeons. These fancy birds are still raised and bred among fanciers. If you are into pigeon shows, several shows are held across the globe. 

You can witness them in action during major pigeon events. They also make good birds, and if you need a bird companion, bring one home. Their beauty is mesmerizing, and they are very low-maintenance. 

You will find the rest of the details in the article above. 

Good Luck!  

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