Turbit Pigeon: Species Profile | Breeding | Care | Everything about it

Given the long association between humans and pigeons, it is not surprising that pigeons hold a unique fascination for humans. 

This passion led to the birth of several man-made varieties developed through cross-breeding and selective breeding. One such fantastic variety is the Turbit pigeon! Curious? Read on to know all about them! 

What is a Turbit Pigeon? 

A descendant of the rock pigeon (Columbia livia), the Turbit Pigeon is a variety of fancy pigeons, developed over many decades of selective breeding. 

The pigeon is known by several names like the Cravate Turbit, the Turbito, the Turbitmovchen, etc.  

The breed can be easily identified by its short beak, a frill of feathers on its breast, and peaked crest.  

Origin & Species Profile of Turbit Pigeons 

The Turbit Pigeon is believed to have been developed through selective breeding in the United Kingdom. In fact, it is a strain of the country’s national pigeon. 

The pigeon has been developed by the selective cross-breeding of the Anatolian Owl and the Show Antwerp varieties. 

The exact time of the origin of the bird is unknown, but it is believed that the bird has been around since the 17th or 18th century.     

The bird’s name Turbit is inspired by the Latin word, ‘turbo,’ meaning ‘spinning top.’ The name was given because of the bird’s unique shape.  

The Turbit pigeon is also famous as one of the breeds used by Charles Darwin to perform his experiments.   

The pigeon has also been referred to by Willubhy in 1679 and also by Moore in 1785. In 1894, Rev. F.W. Lumley also wrote a book, ‘The Turbit Pigeon,’ in which this famous bird was the main subject. 

Appearance, Characteristics, and Behavior of Turbit Pigeons 

The Turbit Pigeon is known for its compact body that flaunts an erect but graceful carriage. It is a small to medium-sized bird, identified by its unique characteristics described above.  

The bird’s length is about 28- 32 cm, and its average body weight varies from 225 grams to 290 grams. It is smaller than the average common pigeon. Its physique or body is dainty in comparison with its large head. 

Moreover, the skull is quite broad with a good frontal. There was plenty of debate and experimentation on the Turbit’s head during the breeding stage before the present one was finalized. 

Its wingspan is about 60-70 cm. 

The pigeon’s neck is very slightly arched and pretty broad. The eyes are large and prominent, while the ceres are most often white in color. 

It matches the bird’s body, which is generally white as well. However, the wings are colored to give the bird a unique and beautiful appearance.  

The look is completed with their medium-sized, red legs.  

As stated, Turbits are primarily white with colored wings. However, they are also available in color combinations of blue, black, silver, yellow, red, dun, mealy, and cream.  

By nature, Turbits flaunt a steady, amiable, and pleasant temperament that makes it easy to train them and keep them as pets. They also display intelligence that many birds of similar size lack.  

Types & Fancy Variations  

There are mainly two varieties of this breed. The first is the Old Dutch Turbit, and the second is the Oriental Turbit.  

Distribution of The Turbit Pigeon  

The largest population of Turbit Pigeon is found in the United Kingdom and across mainland Europe. 

However, its healthy population also exists amongst bird fanciers across the globe, particularly places like the United States, which even boast of a national Turbit Pigeon Club. 

Even Australia has a Turbit club.  

They survive best in a climate similar to their native place, i.e., the United Kingdom.  

Do Turbit Pigeons Fly? 

Turbit pigeons display excellent flying abilities and thus are widely used for flying purposes.  

What are Turbit Pigeons Used For? 

Being excellent flyers, it is no rocket science that many use this pigeon for flying purposes. However, simultaneously, their unique, graceful, and beautiful looks make them superb birds for the show, exhibition, and ornamental purposes.  

Their obedient and friendly nature and intelligence make them an excellent choice as pets. They also make a terrific choice as the first bird breed for all those amateurs who want to foray into the world of pigeon fancying.  

Feeding & Diet of Turbit Pigeons  

The diet of a Turbit Pigeon is not much different from an ordinary pigeon. Their staple diet consists of a mix of seeds, cereals, grains, and nuts.  You can buy the premix or mix them yourself.  

As occasional treats, Turbits enjoy portions of banana, popcorn, etc.  

If you are breeding the Turbits for flying exhibitions, you can use a pigeon conditioner. It helps the Turbits get into peak shape. A constant supply of freshwater is also required by them.  

How Long Do Turbit Pigeons Live? 

The lifespan of a Turbit Pigeon is the same as that of an average pigeon in domesticity. They can live anywhere from six to fifteen years and sometimes, beyond.  

Mating & Breeding of Turbit Pigeons  

This field is wide open to experimentation and controlled by the bird owners. 

The two birds chosen as couples are carefully selected based on the desired outcomes for optimum and enhanced qualities. The desired traits can be coloring, overall health, temperament, or even size.  

Caring & Maintenance of Turbit Pigeons 

Turbit Pigeons are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance and care. They need the same traditional conditions and habitats needed by any other fancy pigeon to thrive well. Few noteworthy tips include: – 

  • Being a social animal, pigeons must always be kept in groups and never in solitary confinement.  
  • The loft must be clean, airy, and offer adequate space and branch for the pigeons to fly about and perch.  
  • A regular supply of food and fresh water must be provided to them.  
  • Most pigeons like to be petted. Hence, you must show adequate love and affection for a deep bond to develop between you two.  
  • The loft should be clean, airy, and free from moisture as it helps the virus thrive. This can infect the Turbits and make them sick.  
  • The dropping of the pigeons should be regularly scraped off from the loft.  
  • Any sick pigeon should be immediately removed from the environment and taken care of till well.  

How Much Does a Turbit Pigeon Cost? 

Turbit pigeons can cost anything from $15 to $30. 

Wrapping Up  

We have compiled everything about this unique pigeon that is almost an all-rounder. 

It is an excellent flier, a show pigeon, and a terrific pet. We hope you enjoyed reading it. Do chime in below for any queries, suggestions, or feedback.  

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