Pigeons Breed Norwich Cropper
Origin: England, in the vicinity of Norwich in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. It appears to be a derivative of the Powting Horseman and/or the Dutch Uploper as described by Moore in 1735. Both breeds are now extinct.
Description: It is an exhibition breed, very friendly and companionable. It is very erect, usually standing on tiptoes. It holds the inflation of its crop for long periods of time. It is of medium size with an average weight of 15 to 16 ounces. It is plainheaded and clean legged. Its large round globe, which stands out from its body at right angles, the continuous inflation of its crop, and the erect station of its body are its outstanding characteristics.
Head, Beak & Eyes (5 pts.):
Head – Small in proportion to the size of the body and globe, narrow, with a smooth, low curve from wattle to back skull, which merges smoothly into the curve of the back globe so as not to interrupt the globe’s roundness; centered in the globe when viewed from rear.
Beak – Medium length with a slim upper mandible that is slightly curved at the tip; small near wattle; color even without stains or blemishes.
Eye – Rather bold with fine, thread-like eye cere; eye color to be in the red-orange range except white, which have bull eyes; cracked eyes (interruptions of the red-orange of the iris) are undesirable.
Globe (25 pts.): As large as possible consistent with the size of the bird and its ability to control the globe gracefully spherical from all views; driven well forward and breaking at nearly right angles outward from the waist and shoulders; rising at the back from a point well down between the shoulders upward in a full, smooth outward curve to merge imperceptibly into the curve of the back skull. The globe should be well under control at all times and carried comfortably when in full show. Flat tops, straight or concave back gloves, and uneven or lopsided globes are serious faults, as are obvious creases in the globe ahead of the beak, bare patches and feathering so thin that the skin shows through. Over-blowing or inflating the globe so that the head is forced back and the beak upright is a fault, as is failure to inflate the globe in the show coop.
Body & Feathers (15 pts.):
Body – Should be cone shaped, tapering in straight lines to the tip of the tail to contrast sharply with the roundness of the globe; widest part of the body at the shoulders. The wing butts are carried high and tight to the sides so that the waist is visible from a side view. The back is short and hollow, with a straight, fine smooth rump. The breast is shallow and straight with very little keel. Length should not exceed 15 inches from tip of beak to the tip of the tail.
Feathers – Hard, tight, and silky, fitted very close to the body, particularly in the thigh and vent areas. Bare patches and long, loose, weak or soft feathers are undesirable.
Wings (4 pts.): Medium length, held close to body yet well defined to show waist and thighs. Edge of primary flights to resemble well worn kitchen knife in order to continue the desired wedge shape of the body; the flight tips to rest on tip of tail without crossing, about ¾ inch from the tail tip. Flights that are long, narrow or curved are faulty.
Tail (4 pts.): Close fitting and carried just clear of the ground. Blacks, blues, browns, silvers, blue checks, and kites should have the same tail color as the body color; whites have a pure white tail; reds, yellows, creams, mealies and strawberries should have tails as near white as possible. Loose, wry, or split tails faulty.
Legs & Feet (10 pts.): The legs set well in center of body, well separated from the beginning of the globe; straight when viewed from both front and sides; thighs to be set about one inch apart so that movement is easy and natural; leg length to measure 3 ¾ to 4 inches from inner setting thigh to the ball of the foot; thighs tight feathered and trim merging smoothly into lower legs; the lower portion of the legs and feet are free of feathers and are bright red; bent legs, crouching, and stilting are faults; the bird should stand as if reaching upward from its toes.
Action (10 pts.): Free, showy, merry, and graceful with an easy upright appearance; the eye should be directly above the ball of the foot; the bird should stand plumb and comfortably on its toes with the ball of the foot clearing the ground. The crop should be inflated but under full control at all times, while the wings are held tightly to the body. The Norwich Cropper has a gentle and playful disposition responding to people by bowing, strutting, spreading its tail and dipping its head. Crouching, standing at a 45 degree angle, or overblowing so that the head is forced back and the bird sits on its tail are all faults.
Color (10 pts.): All colors should be rich and even in hue throughout. Fading, mottling, or faint evidence of bars or checking in self (or spread) birds are all faults. Because of the nature of ash red, the white base of the red tipped feather tends to show as a mottling effect when the feathers are extended or separated when the globe is inflated; this should not count against the ash red bird unless it is extreme. Standard colors are black, blue, dun, brown, silver, red, yellow, mealy, cream, strawberry, and white.
Crescent (6 pts.): A neat white crescent moon marking on the globe ending on each side just below the eye with a chuck or bib of colored feather extending beyond the beak tip.
Rosettes (3 pts.): A circular patch of 6 to 8 feathers dotting the upper third of the wing and arranged in a flower like cluster.
Flights (3 pts.): White with 10 X 10 primaries.
Lower body markings (5 pts.): White from a sharp line across the waist to the base of the tail in the blue, black, brown, dun, silver series, and to the tip of the tail in other colors including the feathers under the wings and across the rump.
All markings should be sharply edged and even on both sides of the bird. Colored primary flights should not be mixed with the flights that are white, the crescent should not encircle the neck, and the rosettes should not extend over the wing butts (bishoping). Colored feathers should not appear on the head above the beak.
Faults: Generally, any trait which does not contribute to the total Norwich Cropper picture as described in previous sections. Specifically, those traits listed as faults under various headings.
Serious faults: Any bird possessing lopsided globe, badly bent legs, crouching body type, split tail, excessive over marking, and a lack of globing abilities should not be considered for any high placing when being judged.
Disqualifications: Failure to conform to show rules. Sickness, disease, or generally poor condition, or physical deformity. Excessive trimming or plucking of feathers. Faking in any manner such as artificial globe inflation. Interference with or harassment of the judge, or other overt unsportsmanlike conduct.
Standard colors: Colors should conform to descriptions generally agreed on in the pigeon fancy for other breeds: ie black: intense jet black with green luster, etc. Strawberry in Norwich Croppers results from the ash red expression being confined to the feather edging, resulting in a "red lace" appearance. Dark strawberries have a base feather color of pale gray rather than white.