English Carrier pigeon

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English Carrier Pigeon | Breed Profile
Breed Name English Carrier
Other Name None
Breed Purpose Flying, show, pets
Special Notes Beautiful birds, attractive appearance, excellent for flying purpose, good for raising as pets, strong and hardy, good for show, calm
Breed Class Large
Weight Around 500 grams
Climate Tolerance Native climates
Flying Ability Excellent
As Pets Good
Color Mainly dark
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin United Kingdom

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The Carrier or English Carrier is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. Carriers, along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons, are all descendants of the rock pigeon (Columba livia). They have a long slender body, with a long neck in proportion to the rest of the body, and distinctive features including a rounded hard wattle.

The English Carrier pigeon is a breed of domestic fancy pigeon from United Kingdom which has a long slender body and long neck. The breed has actually developed over many years of selective breeding. This breed and other varieties of the domesticated pigeons, all are descendants of the wild or feral rock pigeon.


The breed was actually developed in England from a combination of non-European breeds (including the Persian, Powter and Baghdad carriers. The English Carrier pigeon is the largest of the flying pigeon breeds, and it was actually used for sending messages.

The points in the standard of these birds were deemed to have been achieved by the mid 19tj century. And the breed was praised for it’s ‘perfectness to which all the points most admired have been brought’. Today the English Carrier pigeon is strictly a show breed. However, read some more information about this breed below.


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The English Carrier pigeon is a large bird with long slender body. It has a long neck in proportion to the rest of the body. It is a fine bird and is close feathered. These birds are usually of dark color. Their breast bone is straight and long. They have no feathering below their knees. Their eyes are usually of deep red color, and have a distinctive wattle. Their beak is long and thick, and it is of the type known as a box beak.

The breed was developed in England from a combination of non–European breeds, including the Persian and Baghdad carriers, and the powter. The largest of the flying pigeon breeds, the Old English Carrier was originally used for sending messages.

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By the mid 19th century, the points in the standard of the English Carrier were deemed to have been achieved, and the breed was praised for its “perfectness to which all the points most admired have been brought”. At this point the colors of the breed were limited to black, white and dun (a brownish grey color). Today, the English Carrier is strictly a show pigeon, and is not the modern homing pigeon. This modern homing pigeon is a breed known as a Racing Homer, a breed which was bred from eight different pigeon breeds including the English Carrier.

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darvinVartn10h_fig24   Charles Darwin

wrote of the Carrier in The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, “This is a fine bird, of large size, close feathered, generally dark–coloured, with an elongated neck”. Darwin compared the dimensions of the breed to the rock pigeon, showing the length of the Carrier to be nearly double that of the rock pigeon. It was also found that the English Carrier could open its mouth wider than the rock pigeon, 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) as compared to 0.4 inches (1.0 cm).

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The English Carrier is typically about 17.5–18.5 inches (44–47 cm) in height, with a long, slender body. The breast bone should be straight and long, as should the back which should slope towards the rump. They have a slender neck which should appear long in proportion to the rest of the bird and the legs should be solid, with no feathering below the knees.

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The English Carrier has typically deep red eyes, and a distinctive wattle which should be large but firm with a rounded shape and a powdery white finish on the surface. The beak is long and thick, and is of the type known as a box beak. The National English Carrier Club standard states that ideally the distance from the pupil of the eye to the tip of the beak should be not less than 2 inches (5.1 cm) in females, and 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) in males of the breed

Average body height of the English Carrier pigeon is about 44-47 cm. And average live body weight of the mature birds is around 500 grams.


English Carrier pigeon is mainly a flying breed. But today, the breed is strictly raised as a show breed.

The English Carrier pigeon breed is well-regarded as a very clam bird with a regal, and almost kingly bearing. It is a very hardy and active breed. These birds are easily tamed and also can be trained easily. Along with raising for flying and show purposes, the breed is also very good for raising as pets. Average lifespan of these birds is around 7 to 10 years. However, review full breed profile of the English Carrier pigeon in the following chart.


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2 thoughts on “English Carrier pigeon

  1. I am disgusted about what you have done to the poor birds beak and eyes. They look disfigured and I want to emphasize that in the photos of their cages they are standing and sitting in filth! Th Lee poor things! It’s amazing they do not have a disease. I suppose this breeding is all about money as usual. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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