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Oriental Frill Pigeons: Deforming their bodies also deforms their lives

From Palomacy: It's Pigeon Diplomacy
February 2024

Winnie is a breed called an Oriental Frill (OF). These poor birds are in the class of breed called Owls. Owl pigeons have been bred to have large eyes and small beaks. Most owl pigeons can feed their babies. OFs, however, have been selectively bred to have an almost non existent beak, leaving them unable to feed their babies. The babies have to be hand reared by people. They can barely feed themselves. 

Pigeon Winnie

The way baby pigeons eat is by inserting their beaks into their parentsí throats and swallowing crop milk and regurgitated seed. In order to do this, they must have a beak. OF babies canít do this, so they and their parents are denied all the benefits that come from being raised together.

Pigeons like Winnie canít preen their and their mateís feathers. They canít defend themselves in conflicts with other pigeons and their big eyes are extra vulnerable to injury. Deforming their bodies also deforms their lives.

Winnie was surrendered to Oakland Animal Services and one of our wonderful vet friends agreed to take her. She arrived very skinny and also had a malocclusion of her beak (cross beak Ė where her upper and lower beaks didnít align properly). I think this was a result of the person who was feeding her prior to surrender to OAS, opening her very soft beak time and time again in a way that wasnít natural can cause misalignment. Winnie must have been hand fed by someone for at least a year if she was hatched in 2022 as her band suggests. Thatís a lot of wear on on the jaws and beak of a young pigeon.


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Pigeon Winnie

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