In the late 1970s I added the dominant opal gene to Old Dutch Capuchines. In the early 80s I spent 18 months in Germany doing church service during which time I was forced to give up my birds. Upon returning I was unable to locate any of my previous stock and the opals appeared to have vanished. In 1984 I repeated the cross of a flying roller with a red Capuchine and began the project anew. Opal Capuchines have done reasonable well in competition with a yellow opal winning champion at the first Lancaster National and an additional yellow opal being rating Highly Superior at the second Portland National. The bird pictured is a blue bar Dominant Opal bred by Cody Taylor of Castle Dale, Utah.
Barred Capuchines have never been very popular and as a result, have lagged behind other colors in quality. There has been a recent surge of interest in the barred colors and the quality is beginning to rise. The blue bar pictured was bred by Hans Hellmann of Ketsch, Germany. I photographed this bird during my visit in December, 1995. American blues are not yet as good as the European birds but progress is continual and the next few years should reveal some very fine blues.
Andalusian was added to Capuchines in the 1980s by Howard Bruensteiner of Sebastopol, California. When Howard had to give up his pigeons in 1993 Frank Soto was the recipient of the andalusians. Frank shared the stock with Jay Beals and the two of them have been the primary breeders of this color. Currently there are a handful of breeders working with andalusian and the quality is beginning to rise. The heads of andalusian Capuchines are often "Komorner Tumbler-like" and this fault has proven very difficult to eliminate. The bird pictured shows very dark color with barely discernable lacing. A lighter color is preferred.
The reduced gene is well named as it reduces the amount of pigment. In a black pigeon, the color is "reduced" to a greyish coloration generally with a darker lacing effect around the edge of each feather. The breast is usually much lightened forming a silverish crescent. In some expressions of reduced black the lacing is quite delicate with the bird being a light silver with fine lacing in the wings. Other expressions are more a charcoal grey with very little lacing. The reduced gene has great variability but one of the key effects is the lightening of the breast feathers. Other expressions of reduced which are attractive are reduced blue t-pattern and reduced blue bar. The t-pattern is a rusty ashy color with dark grey lacing. As a child I bred this color in flying rollers where it was called "pink lace". The reduced blue bar has a light pastel blue-grey ground color with rusty pink bars with dark grey edging. A very attractive color and one which I hope to breed again in the future.
Reduced is a sex-linked recessive factor and easy to introduce to a new breed by using a reduced cock bird for the initial cross. All hens from such mating will be reduced and can be used for further breeding. These reduced hens mated back to cock birds of the desired breed will produce sons which carry reduced and daughters which do not. Discard the daughters and mate the sons to hens of the desired breed. These pairs will produce mostly non-reduced offspring but will occasionally breed a reduced youngster which will always be a hen. Then the process is repeated indefinitely until the reduced birds are as good as the desired breed. At this point a reduced hen can be mated to a cock bird carrying reduced to produce the occasional reduced cock bird. When such a cock bird is bred it can be mated to a reduced hen and produce only reduced offspring. This is a fairly easy genetics project.
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