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Pigeons Breed Antwerp Smerle

Photo of a pigeonOrigin: Developed in England in the 1920"s from the Belgian Exhibition Smerle of Antwerp which was crossed with various other breeds, the Turbit being the most influential. In the United States attempts to both recreate this breed and expand the existing gene pool have been successful by crossing Racing Pigeons with Turbits.

General Impressions: Moderate in size, hard in flesh and tight and smooth in feathers. The body is cobby in shape. Upright carriage, bold and alert, with the head thrown well back so as to bring the eye perpendicularly over the ball of the foot.

Head: When examining the profile, the outline of the head should be of a medium length and should form an unbroken arc from the extreme end of the upper mandible to the back of the head. The back of the head should merge evenly into the neck. The highest part of the arc should be over the eye. When viewed from above, the head from the eyes to the tip of the beak should appear in the shape of a wedge. The widest part of the wedge, which should be wide as possible should be at the eyes. The face from the eyes to the beak should be well filled, containing neither hollowness nor bulge. The cheek should be rather full, leading to a distinguished appearance to the lower part of the head.

Beak and Wattle: The beak should be of a medium length and should possess considerable substance. The mandibles should be of equal stoutness which adds strength to the face. The mandibles should fit closely together, with the line of the mouth between the mandibles being almost horizontal with the slightest possible downward appearance. This line if extended towards the back of the head should pass through the center of the eye. The wattles should be as small as possible, fine, and smooth in texture. The wattles are flesh colored. The wattle is "V" shaped which allows feathers to grow as near center of the top of the peak in order to give a perfect start to the head"s profile.

Eye and Cere: The color of the eye should be dark (bull), the iris being practically the same color of the pupil. The eyes are rather large and full, bright and well open. The eye cere should be as small as possible and the cere is the same color as the wattle.

Throat and Neck: From the base of the lower mandible to the top of the frill (when viewed from the side), the throat should be well cut in a pleasing and even curve (about one third of a circle). This cut eliminates any appearance of a gullet (dewlap) and gives the appearance of a desired slenderness to the upper part of the neck. The neck should be rather long and it should appear somewhat slender at the throat and then widens somewhat rapidly to the shoulders.

Chest and Shoulders: Broad full back, wide back, and shoulders.

Frill: As long as possible. Bifurcated at the top and widening very considerably on the chest, where it should terminate with the appearance of an open rose.

Legs: The legs should have strong, well defined thighs which are set well back on the body. They should be of sufficient length to keep the tail clear of the ground so that the bird displays the correct carriage (station). The legs are free from feathers below the hocks and the feet and hocks are bright coral red in color.

Body Markings: The body and tail are white in color. Not more than ten or less than seven white flights. The wing coverts are colored and when the wing is closed it should form an oval and display an even "V" of white at the nape of the neck. There should be four colored "fingers" on each wing. These are the somewhat pointed feathers about an inch long that cover the roots of the primary flights.

Colors: Selfs in: Black, red, yellow, and dun. Barred varieties in blue, silver, cream, and mealy. All colors are to be rich and bright with an even shade throughout the wing shield, free from any "ticking" or smudges. The bars of the blue should be of dense black color, those on the silver should be as dark as possible (nearly black), those of the cream should be yellow and on the mealy they should be red. The bars (two on each wing) on all the barred varieties should be wide and even in appearance. Checkers are permitted in all colors and this pattern should be even sharp, and distinct. This pattern should be of a rich coloration and show a marked difference between the colors on the wing shield.

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