French Mondain Pigeon

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Is the French Mondain Pigeon right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: N/A

Scientific name: Columba livia domestica

The basics:
The hefty French Mondain Pigeon is a solid, well-rounded bird that can weigh up to 2-1/2 pounds. This impressively chunky pigeon started out as an excellent utility pigeon that was raised for food – the fast-growing baby squabs. However, today these handsome birds are also bred for the show bench. There is some dispute about which birds are true French Mondains, so if you are planning to show your birds, it is important to educate yourself about your club's standards. There is a similar variety that is very popular in America, the Swiss Mondain. Know what you have, to avoid being disqualified.

The early food pigeons of France in medieval times were expected to free fly from the dovecotes in search of their own food – a far cry from their pampered descendants, the French Mondain Pigeon. Indeed, it's said that the word “mondain” comes from the French word for “earth,” given to these birds because they have mostly lost the ability to fly.

A large, impressive, well-rounded pigeon. Show French Mondains have a distinctive profile, since if you look at them head-on, they are very broad and boxy looking. Yet if you look down on them from above, they have a tapered look from the wide shoulders to the neat, trim tail.

850 - 1130 grams (30 - 40 oz.)

Average size:
40 centimeters (15.7 in.)

7 - 10 years

Behavior / temperament:
If handled from an early age, the French Mondain Pigeon is another bird in the “gentle giant” category. A pet will expect to spend time with you and can be tamed to come to your hand for treats.

Unlike most pigeons, the French Mondain Pigeon may enjoy a coop instead of a classic pigeon loft. These naturally chunky birds may not be able to fly very well, and you need to assume that they will spend much of their time on the ground. One breeder suggests that each pair should have its own coop with a minimum area of 6' by 7' floor space. It need be only 6' high, although if a tallish person is going to be able to walk into the coop, you'd want that roof to be a little taller.

Pigeons do bathe in water, so they should be allowed access to a shallow dog dish or similar bathing bowl to splash around in. Since they lower the head to drink, they will need a deeper bowl for the drinking water.

Coming from a background as a utility breed, the French Mondain Pigeon has been developed to thrive on a relatively simple diet. Most people start with a high-quality pigeon mix from a well-regarded source. You may also mix in quality grains such as millet, barley, wheat, whole corn, dry peas, buckwheat, oats, and so on, either from a good feed store with fast turn-over or from a health food store. Special pellets formulated for pigeons can be used to supplement the diet, to ensure that your bird has enough vitamins and protein. Chopped greens like kale, dandelion greens, spinach, or fresh sprouts should be offered each day. Some people offer high beta carotene foods like finely chopped carrot or papaya.

Pigeons need access to a high quality pigeon grit to help them digest the tough, uncooked grains they like to eat. A cuttlebone or another calcium source is also valuable. However, calcium may not be properly absorbed without sufficient vitamin D3 if your pigeon is an indoor pet. Therefore, it is important to choose a good avian supplement that includes D3.

Written by Elaine Radford

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