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All races of breeds of domestic pigeon columba livia domestic have been evolved from rock pigeon also called a rock dove columba livia or our jungli kabootar (wild pigeon) that cohabits with man every where in the world. The domestic pigeon breeds are believed to have been developed in the east and Europe had no original breed of its own. According to the Marco polo, trade in pigeons was at its peak during his time along the silk route. This is because pigeon fancy was a status symbol amongst the mughals elite and gentry. Mughals are also supposed to have introduced this pet into the sub continent. The first fantail in Britain was gifted to Queen Elizabeth by great mughals emperor Akbar in the 16th century. In crusades Muslims used pigeons frequently as messengers. 

  The mughal Emperor Babar wrote in his biography about the sport of pigeon keeping, but Akbar the great was crazy about pigeon keeping. Abul Fazal (one of his senator) wrote that whenever king (Akbar) goes on a trip his men carry pigeons with him. Normally more than two thousands birds went with him. They were kept in special carriers. In his book (Aieen e Akbri) he told in detail about the kinds, breeding techniques, their special feed for flying, buying and selling of pigeons. He told about the techniques used by Akbar the great about in a good flying pigeon. Raising pigeons was very popular and prestigious hobby amongst mughals and pigeon houses were an essential part of the palaces. Havelies, etc of the elite rich, Nawabs Rajas and kings of those times.  

  • Keeping of pigeons

In almost all the cases tipplers are kept on the rooftops. Every cage should be one pen made of wire mesh either in front of the main door or on top of the cage. These pens can be seen in my picture gallery. Normally breeding pairs are kept separately. The male and female that are flown in the competition should also be kept separately. Good breeding seasons are mid October till mid May. The month of June till September males and females are kept separately.

  • Feeding techniques

     Normal feed consists of grains like wheat, pulses, rice, millet and corn. Although tipplers flyer donít like corn given to their birds. Apart from normal feed many prescriptions of local herbs are given. It is difficult for me to translate them in to English, but I will try to add them. But normally almonds are used extensively for keeping flying birds in top condition. Flying birds are always under fed and over feeding is avoided at all costs. Water should be given very little when the birds return after his flight.

  • Sign of a Good flying Tippler

 The good flying pigeon should have many features but according to my experience and after getting help from the experience of other fancier the good flying tippler should beí

  • Flight      

Should start flying early and more time is spent in the air more it is better

  • Intelligence       

Should be very early familiar with his place and always return to its place.

  • Beautiful

It looks beautiful and good-looking.

  • Brave

          In difficult conditions especially in bad weather it should fight like a solider

  • Art of Feeding to the flying birds

  For flying birds we should give food once in a day normally after noon at about 4.00 p.m.

  • Art of Flying Tipplers

This is very time consuming laborious and hard working excersise, especially in our hot weather when temperature is above hundred in the month of May and June. This is my experience that the weight of the pigeon is very important when flying and over weight pigeon could not fly longer times. I think barley is best to be given to the flying birds although many fanciers give them millet. Three months before the competitions all the flying and wings of the tail are plucked. During this time the pigeon should be served with protein rich diet (pulses, soybean, calcium and dry milk) other wise the wings could be weak. The pigeon when flown should be hungry. If the pigeon are flown early in the morning around 6.00 Am. the last food should be given a day before at about 4.00 p.m. but water should be given two hours before flying.  Many teachers (competitions are normally done under the supervision of Ustad (teacher) gives tablet of almonds for energy. In our competition local prescriptions (given to the flying birds to enhance their time in flight ) are numerous and many, all are given by teachers. The role of teacher is very important; he is the most respected and honorable person in pigeon competitions.


  • Competitions

      Tipplers are flown twice in a year. Once in the month of May and June and at the end of September or start of October. Normally five or seven pigeons are flown in the competition known as bazi. Normally three or five games are held in one competition and winner would be who won two or three of the games respectively. The total hours are computed for the final result.  

       Normally in the month of February the males and females are separated and their primary flight feathers are plucked. After ten days all the tail feathers are plucked. The birds are never flown when their flight feathers are not completed. They should be properly served with multivitamins, and other protein rich diet is given to the birds.  In normal feed they are given wheat and pulses.  After the completion of their flight feathers they should be kept in pens. The pigeons are dewormed before the competition. Then are kept outside so they flew away according to their will and should be closed after noon and given food. In early month of April flew them at 10 am and reduce the timing gradually. First two days only males should be flown and next two days only the females flown. When their timing is prolonged they should be given rest. For example the pigeon who flew more should be given two days rest and who donít flew too much should be given one day rest. In this manner the pigeon donít lose weight so rapidly. On the rest day the pigeon should be given bread boiled in oil. When they flew back they should be given water but very few.  The bird after flight should be held in the hand and its arms and legs should be messaged. First they should be given bread and after ten minutes the water should be given. At this stage the role of teacher is very important because according to the temperature on that particular day the medicine should be given to the pigeon. Few prescriptions are hot for the pigeon and few cool them off.  Normally the rice cooked in boiled water given to the pigeons. The record of every bird flight should be maintained. One day before the competition the pigeon who are going in the completions should be served at In the evening only water should be given. At 10.00 p.m. if their crop is empty they are given bread cooked in oil. The pigeons should be kept completely undisturbed during the rest of the time. In the morning a few drops of water should be given. The pigeon are flown in kits usually of 5 or 7 birds.

  • Teacher

Normally all the competitions are held under the supervision of a teacher. A knowledgeable teacher is very respectable person in pigeon flying peoples. The students are very proud of winning the races and they respect their teacher very much. Normally competitions are held in the name of the teachers and not in the name of students. Teacher looks after the pigeons when they flew back, select and decide the pigeon for flying, give medications to the pigeon during the training period and especially when pigeon returned after their long flight. He selects the pigeon that would be flown in the competition.

  • Judges

      The competitions are supervised by munsifs (judges).  He is also very respectable person and treated with great honor. He acts as supervisor of the game. The appointment of judges is mutually agreed by both the parties or by the club. All the pigeons flow/n in the competition should be affixed stamp on their tail feather one-day before the competition. This stamp is checked when the pigeon is returned to its loft. Judge notes the touch down time of the pigeon. Heavy betting is involved in pigeon flying so the chances of fraud are too much. The judge should be a very experienced and active fancier.


  • Disqualification in the race

The pigeon that disqualify from the race would be as under: 

1- when it landed on the roof top of some other house other than its own

2- The pigeon who landed is without the stamp mark affixed on the pigeon one day before by the judge

3- The pigeon when came down should be come straight from the sky and not if it comes flown lengthwise.

A few photos of the tippler birds


Click here for Article on Pigeons flown in Kits

Click here for Article on Fancy Pigeons

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