Fantail Pigeon

The Fantail pigeon is one of the oldest and best known breeds of domesticated fancy pigeon. It is very beautiful and a very popular breed.

It is easily characterized by it’s fan-shaped tail. The breed is actually thought to have originated in China, India, Pakistan or Spain. There are many sub-varieties of this breed.

And common sub-varieties of this breed include the Indian Fantail, English Fantail and the Thai Fantail.

Charles Darwin used it as one of the examples in the first chapter of On The Origin Of Species. Read some more information about this breed below.

Fantail Pigeon Full Breed Information

Fantail pigeon is an average sized bird with very beautiful appearance. It is easily characterized by it’s fan-shaped tail composed of 30-40 feathers, abnormally more than most members of the pigeon family, which usually have 12-14 feathers.

There is a feather mutation called Silky that gives an interesting lace effect to a Fantails tail feathers. Fantails with this mutation are known as Silky or Lace Fantails. There are actually 2 common forms of this breed, which are American and Indian Fantail pigeon.

The American Fantails stand on tip-toes and leans way back, with head almost buried between the breast and tail. While the Indian Fantail pigeons are much larger in size, crested and have feathered feet.

They also have a fairly natural stance. There are many color varieties of the Fantail pigeon which include black, blue, dun, red, white, silver, yellow and various splashes.

Fantail Pigeon Origin

Fantail pigeons are believed to have originated in India, where they were selectively bred for their distinctive tail feathers. They were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century and later spread to other parts of the world.

The exact origin of Fantail pigeons is not clear, but they are thought to have been bred from several different types of domestic pigeons, including Indian Natives and English Carriers.

Over time, breeders have selectively bred Fantail pigeons for their unique feather patterns, tail feathers, and other physical features, resulting in the striking and beautiful birds that we know today.

Fantail Pigeon Characteristics

These birds are named for their distinct fan-shaped tail feathers, which are the result of a genetic mutation that has been selectively bred over many generations. Here are some of the characteristics that make the fantail pigeon such a fascinating and beloved breed.


As mentioned, the most distinctive feature of the fantail pigeon is its tail feathers, which spread out into a fan shape when the bird is in flight or excited.

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The tail feathers are made up of 30 to 40 feathers and can be up to 12 inches in length. The fantail pigeon’s body is medium-sized and compact, with a rounded breast and a small head. They have bright, clear eyes and a short, curved beak.


Fantail pigeons are known for their friendly and docile personalities. They make great pets because they are relatively calm and not easily frightened.

They also tend to be quite curious and love to explore their surroundings. However, they are not particularly vocal birds and do not make a lot of noise.


Fantail pigeons come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Some of the most common colors include white, black, blue, red, yellow, and silver.

Some birds are solid-colored, while others have a combination of two or more colors. The patterns can be intricate and beautiful, with markings such as bars, checks, and lacing.

Fantail Pigeon Housing

When it comes to housing fantail pigeons, it is important to provide them with a safe, comfortable, and clean environment. Here are some factors to consider when setting up a housing arrangement for your fantail pigeons.

Space Requirements

Fantail pigeons are medium-sized birds and require enough space to move around and spread their wings. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 2 to 3 square feet of floor space per bird. However, this can vary depending on the number of birds you have and their individual needs.


Pigeons need shelter from the elements, so it is important to provide them with a suitable shelter. A well-ventilated and weatherproof coop or aviary is ideal for housing fantail pigeons.

The shelter should be large enough to accommodate all of the birds and should be easy to clean. The coop or aviary should also have perches for the birds to roost on.


The bedding material used in the shelter should be clean and absorbent. Pine shavings, straw, or shredded paper are all good options. Avoid using cedar shavings, as they can be harmful to birds. It is important to change the bedding regularly to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Nesting Boxes

If you plan on breeding your fantail pigeons, you will need to provide nesting boxes. The boxes should be placed in a quiet and private area of the coop or aviary. The boxes should be large enough for the birds to comfortably nest in and should be filled with clean bedding material.


Pigeons are natural perching birds and require perches to roost on. The perches should be sturdy and spaced far enough apart to allow the birds to move around freely. The perches should also be positioned away from the walls of the shelter to prevent the birds from soiling the walls.


Proper ventilation is important for maintaining a healthy environment for your fantail pigeons. The shelter should have adequate ventilation to allow fresh air to circulate, but not so much that it creates a draft. The shelter should also be insulated to keep the birds warm during the winter months.

Fantail Pigeon Feeding

Feeding fantail pigeons a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health and well-being. Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your fantail pigeons.

Commercial Pigeon Feed

Commercial pigeon feed is the easiest and most convenient option for feeding your fantail pigeons. These feeds are specifically formulated for pigeons and contain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. You can find pigeon feed at most feed stores or online. Make sure to choose a high-quality feed from a reputable brand.

Fresh Water

Access to clean and fresh water is crucial for pigeons to stay hydrated and healthy. Make sure to provide your fantail pigeons with fresh water at all times. You can use a water dispenser or a bowl, but make sure to change the water regularly to prevent bacterial growth.

Fruits and Vegetables

In addition to commercial pigeon feed, you can supplement your fantail pigeon’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some good options include spinach, kale, carrots, apples, and berries.

These foods can be chopped up and mixed with the pigeon feed or given as a treat. However, be careful not to overfeed your birds with too many treats, as it can lead to obesity and health problems.


Pigeons need grit to aid in digestion. Grit is small, hard particles such as small stones, gravel, or sand, that help grind up food in the bird’s gizzard. You can provide your fantail pigeons with a separate dish of grit or choose a pigeon feed that already contains grit.

Calcium and Mineral Supplements

Calcium and mineral supplements are important for maintaining strong bones and overall health. You can provide your fantail pigeons with a calcium supplement in the form of crushed eggshells or oyster shells. Mineral supplements can also be added to the pigeon feed.

Feeding Schedule

It is important to establish a feeding schedule for your fantail pigeons. Offer the pigeon feed and water in the morning and again in the evening. You can also provide treats and supplements throughout the day.

Fantail Pigeon Breeding

Breeding fantail pigeons can be a rewarding and exciting experience for bird enthusiasts. Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind when breeding your fantail pigeons.

Choosing Breeding Stock

Before breeding your fantail pigeons, it is important to choose healthy breeding stock. Look for birds that are free from any physical deformities or health problems. Ideally, the birds should be of a similar age and size. It is also important to choose birds that have compatible personalities and temperament.

Nesting and Breeding Environment

Creating a suitable nesting and breeding environment is essential for successful breeding. Provide nesting boxes that are clean, dry, and lined with appropriate nesting materials such as straw or shredded paper. Make sure the boxes are large enough to accommodate the birds and provide privacy for the mating pair.

Mating and Egg-Laying

Fantail pigeons are monogamous and will typically mate for life. The male will often perform a courtship dance to attract the female. After mating, the female will lay eggs in the nesting box. Eggs are typically laid 2 to 3 days apart, and the clutch size can vary from 1 to 3 eggs.


The eggs will typically hatch after 17 to 19 days of incubation. Both the male and female will take turns incubating the eggs. During this time, it is important to provide the breeding pair with adequate food and water. Avoid disturbing the nesting box during this time to minimize stress on the birds.

Care of Chicks

Once the chicks hatch, they will require constant care and attention from their parents. Make sure to provide the breeding pair with adequate food and water to ensure that they can provide for their young. Avoid handling or disturbing the chicks during the first few weeks of life to prevent stress on the birds.

Weaning and Separation

After approximately 4 weeks, the chicks will be weaned and ready to leave the nesting box. At this time, it is important to separate the young birds from their parents to prevent inbreeding. Provide the young birds with their own shelter and feeding arrangements.

Caring Fantail Pigeons

Caring for Fantail pigeons involves providing them with adequate shelter, food, water, and regular veterinary care. Here are some tips on how to care for your Fantail pigeons:


Fantail pigeons need a safe and secure place to roost and sleep. Provide them with a spacious coop or aviary that is dry, clean, and well-ventilated.

The coop should also protect them from extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold, and rain. Make sure to clean the coop regularly to prevent the build-up of droppings and other waste.

Food and Water

Provide your Fantail pigeons with a well-balanced diet that includes commercial pigeon feed, fresh fruits and vegetables, grit, and supplements as needed.

Access to clean and fresh water is crucial for pigeons to stay hydrated and healthy. Change the water daily and make sure that the water container is always filled to the brim.

Health Care

Fantail pigeons should be regularly checked by a veterinarian to ensure that they are healthy and free from any illnesses or diseases.

Make sure to provide them with regular vaccinations, deworming, and other preventive measures. Monitor your pigeons’ behavior and health regularly, and take them to a vet if you notice any unusual symptoms or behavior.


Fantail pigeons need regular exercise to stay healthy and maintain their physical fitness. Provide them with enough space to move around and stretch their wings. Encourage them to fly and exercise by providing them with toys, perches, and other forms of stimulation.


Fantail pigeons are social birds and thrive in the company of other birds. Provide them with a companion or group of pigeons to keep them company. Make sure to introduce new birds slowly and monitor their behavior to prevent aggression or other issues.

Fantail Pigeon Uses

The Fantail pigeon is raised mainly for exhibition or ornamental purpose. It is also good for raising as pets.


Fantail pigeons are often kept as pets because of their beautiful plumage and docile temperament. They are easy to care for and make great companions for bird enthusiasts. As pets, Fantail pigeons are known for their gentle and affectionate nature and can form close bonds with their owners.

Ornamental Birds

Fantail pigeons are also kept as ornamental birds for their aesthetic value. They are often bred for their unique feather patterns and colors, making them popular choices for bird shows and exhibitions. In some cultures, Fantail pigeons are also used for ceremonial purposes, such as in weddings and other special occasions.

Racing and Homing

Fantail pigeons are sometimes used in racing and homing competitions. These birds are known for their exceptional homing instincts and can navigate over long distances with ease. They are often used in pigeon racing, a sport where pigeons compete to see who can fly the fastest back to their home loft.

Show Birds

Fantail pigeons are popular choices for show birds because of their distinctive appearance and striking plumage. They are often entered into competitions where they are judged on their physical features, such as the shape and size of their tail feathers, their posture, and their overall health and condition.

Educational Purposes

Fantail pigeons are sometimes used for educational purposes in schools and universities. They are often studied for their behavior, physiology, and genetics, and can provide valuable insights into the study of avian biology and evolution.

Special Notes

The Fantail pigeon is a unique breed with wonderful appearance. It is often used by the pigeon flyers in the training of racing and Tippler pigeons.

They are used as droppers in that they are placed on the loft landing board as a signal to the flying birds to come in and be fed.

Along with show and ornamental purpose, the breed is also good for raising as pets. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameFantail
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeExhibition, ornamental and pets
Special NotesBeautiful, good for exhibition purpose, good for raising as pets, not good parents
Breed ClassAverage
Climate ToleranceAll climates
Flying AbilityAverage
As PetsGood
Country/Place of OriginProbably India

7 Interesting Facts About Fantail Pigeons

Fantail pigeons are a unique and fascinating breed of domestic pigeons that have been bred for their striking appearance and graceful movement. Here are some interesting facts about these pigeons:

  1. Fantail pigeons are believed to have originated in India, where they were first selectively bred by pigeon fanciers to produce their unique fan-shaped tails.
  2. These birds are known for their graceful, elegant movements and are often kept as show birds in exhibitions and competitions.
  3. The fan-shaped tail of a Fantail pigeon is made up of 30-40 feathers, which are arranged in two rows on either side of the tail. These feathers are held upright and fanned out, giving the bird its distinctive appearance.
  4. The Fantail pigeon comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, blue, red, yellow, and silver.
  5. The average weight of a Fantail pigeon is around 10-12 ounces, and they can reach up to 12 inches in length.
  6. These birds have a calm and docile temperament, making them excellent pets for both novice and experienced bird keepers.
  7. Fantail pigeons are very sociable birds and thrive in the company of other pigeons. They are also known to be very affectionate towards their owners.
  8. These birds are excellent flyers and can easily fly for long distances. However, their fan-shaped tails can sometimes hinder their flight, and they may require some training to fly properly.
  9. The Fantail pigeon is a relatively long-lived bird, with an average lifespan of around 10-15 years.
  10. These birds are excellent parents and will diligently care for their young. They are known to be very protective of their nests and will fiercely defend their eggs and chicks against predators.
  11. These pigeons are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods, including seeds, grains, insects, and small vertebrates.
  12. These birds have a unique way of drinking water, where they dip their beaks in the water and then throw their heads back to swallow.
  13. The Fantail pigeon is a popular breed among pigeon fanciers and has been selectively bred to produce a wide variety of sub-breeds.
  14. The sub-breeds of the Fantail pigeon include the English Fantail, Indian Fantail, American Fantail, and German Beauty Homer.
  15. The English Fantail is the most popular sub-breed of Fantail pigeon and is known for its large size and beautiful feather patterns.
  16. The Indian Fantail is a smaller sub-breed of Fantail pigeon, known for its beautiful fan-shaped tail and bright colors.
  17. The American Fantail is a sub-breed of Fantail pigeon that is known for its distinctive head shape and beautiful feather patterns.
  18. The German Beauty Homer is a sub-breed of Fantail pigeon that is known for its large size and beautiful feather patterns.
  19. Fantail pigeons are often used in crossbreeding to produce new and unique breeds of pigeons.
  20. These birds are very popular among pigeon fanciers and are often exhibited in pigeon shows and competitions.
  21. The Fantail pigeon is recognized by various pigeon organizations, including the American Pigeon Breeders Association and the National Pigeon Association.
  22. The Fantail pigeon is a hardy bird and can adapt to a variety of climates and environments.
  23. These birds are often kept in lofts or aviaries and require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure their health and wellbeing.
  24. The Fantail pigeon is a peaceful bird and will rarely engage in aggressive behavior towards other birds or animals.
  25. These birds are not known to be particularly vocal, and their cooing is soft and gentle, making them an excellent choice for people who live in urban areas.
  26. The Fantail pigeon is a popular breed for pigeon racing, although their fan-shaped tails can sometimes hinder their speed and agility.
  27. This pigeon is a beautiful and fascinating bird that has captured the hearts of pigeon enthusiasts all over the world. Whether you are interested in keeping them as pets or showing them in competitions, these birds are sure to provide you with years of joy and companionship.

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