Tumbler Pigeons

The Tumbler pigeons are varieties of domesticated pigeons which are descendant from the rock dove. They have been selected and raised mainly for their ability to tumble or roll over backwards while flying. And the breed is named so because of it’s ability to tumble backwards in flight.

This ability has been known in domesticated pigeon breeds for centuries. And it is believed to be a survival skill that these birds developed to evade aerial attacks by birds of prey.

In Wendell Levi’s book The Pigeon, reference is made to pigeons with this tumbling ability existing in India before the year 1590.

Charles Darwin, in his book The Origin of Species, makes reference to the Short Faced Tumbler which was a popular breed during his lifetime, and still can be found exhibited at pigeon shows today. Read more information about this pigeon variety below.

Origin And History Of Tumbler Pigeons

Tumbler is a very old and popular pigeon breed which has a rich history that traces back to ancient times. These pigeons were first bred for their ability to perform backward somersaults during flight. There are many varieties of Tumbler pigeons originating from the Middle East and India.

Some historical records suggests that, Tumbler pigeons were popular among pigeon enthusiasts in Persia and Egypt as early as the 14th century. Today, the breed is popular and available throughout the world.


Size of the Tumbler pigeons vary depending on the variety. And they appear in a wide variety of plumage colors, body types and as well as feather configurations.

The head of these birds is usually round, with a forehead that appears to be protuding a bit if compared to the regular pigeons.

Most Tumbler varieties usually have short or medium length beak. Color of the beak can vary depending on the variety. Their neck is usually thick, but should not be too short.

Color of their eyes can also vary depending on the variety. Pearl or yellow colored eyes are preferred in some breeds. Their average weight vary depending on the variety. Photo from Wikipedia.

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Berlin Short Faced Tumbler Pigeon

Tumbler Pigeon Varieties

Today there are many different breeds that have descended from the original tumbler stocks. Some of the most popular Tumbler breeds today include:

Housing Requirements

For raising Tumbler pigeons, you have to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable housing environment. Ensure good ventilation system to provide adequate airflow. And make the house in such a way so that it can protect the birds from predators and adverse weather conditions.

It will be good if the house become spacious enough to allow the birds to move freely, with separate areas for feeding, nesting, and perching. Providing nesting boxes is very important for the breeding pairs to ensure privacy and security.

Always try to clean the house on a regular basis. Cleaning the house regularly helps to prevent parasites and diseases.

Dietary Requirements

Like many other domestic pigeon breeds, the Tumbler pigeons also require a nutritious and balanced diet to maintain good health and performance. Generally, their diet primarily consist of high-quality grains and seeds, such as wheat, barley, millet, and peas. These types of seeds and grains helps to provide the birds with essential carbohydrates and proteins.

Supplement their diet with minerals, vitamins and grit, because grit aids in digestion. You can also offer your pigeons with fruits and vegetables occasionally for adding nutrients and variety. Provide your birds with additional protein during breeding or molting periods.

Along with providing your birds with very good quality and nutritious food, always provide them with enough clean and fresh drinking water.



Like many other domestic pigeon breeds, the Tumbler pigeons are also naturally very good breeders. Select the Tumbler pairs based on their physical characteristics and tumbling performance to enhance these qualities in their progeny.

These pigeons generally bond for life once paired. And they share responsibilities together such as building nest, incubating eggs and for rearing the chicks.

The female Tumblers lay one or two eggs per clutch (two is most common). Then both male and female incubate the eggs for about 18 days. And after hatching, both parents fed their babies with crop milk for the first week, followed by regurgitated food until they are weaned around 4-6 weeks old.


The Tumbler pigeons are known for their friendly and social behavior. Generally, they are very gentle and can form strong bonds with their keepers. Their calm temperament has made them suitable for both novice and experienced pigeon keepers.


The Tumbler pigeons are generally very strong and healthy and require relatively less caring. Although, taking good care of them ensures good health and performance. Their caring process involves ensuring their physical health, mental stimulation and overall well-being.

Provide your birds a clean and spacious loft with adequate ventilation and protection from predators and harsh weather. Always give them a balanced diet of high quality seeds, grains and occasional fruits and vegetables. And always ensure the availability of adequate clean and fresh drinking water as per their demand.

Clean their house on a regular basis to prevent parasites, diseases and other health problems. Perform regular health checkups and take necessary steps as soon as possible, and vaccinate your birds timely.


Tumbler pigeons are mainly valued for their unique acrobatic abilities. They are also very good for raising as pets.


Popularity And Price

Tumbler pigeons are very popular throughout the world. They are highly popular in many countries around the world mainly for their captivating aerial acrobatics and amiable nature.

However, it’s very tough to tell their exact price. Because their price can vary from place to place and depends on some factors such as lineage, performance ability, age, and physical characteristics. Common Tumbler varieties might be relatively affordable, ranging from $20 to $50 per bird. While rare or highly prized specimens can command prices of several hundred dollars.


Similar to many other domestic pigeon breeds, average lifespan of these birds is between 10 and 15 years. In some cases they can even live longer with proper care and management.

Pros And Cons

Like many other domestic pigeon breeds, Tumbler pigeons also have some advantages and disadvantages. Here we are trying to list most common and notable pros and cons of these pigeons.


  • These pigeons exhibit captivating aerial acrobatics
  • Gentle temperament
  • Friendly behavior
  • Enjoy social interaction
  • Breeding opportunities to preserve and improve desirable traits
  • They also have cultural and symbolic significance


  • Require specialized housing needs
  • Susceptible to parasites and some diseases
  • Predator risk

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Popularity of pigeon farming business is increasing gradually in many countries throughout the world. That’s why many people are trying to learn more about this business. Especially, the beginners ask us many questions about starting and operating a successful pigeon farming business. However, here we are trying to list the most common questions about Tumbler pigeons and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

What is a Tumbler pigeon?

Tumbler is a type of popular domestic pigeon breed which is known for it’s unique ability to perform acrobatic flips and rolls in the air. This behavior is called “tumbling”, and it distinguishes these birds from other pigeon breeds.

Why do Tumbler pigeons tumble?

The tumbling behavior of Tumbler pigeons is believed to be the result of a genetic trait that has been selectively bred over generations. Although, the exact reason why they tumble is not fully understood, it is thought to be linked to a neurological or muscular quirk that causes these pigeons to perform flips and rolls during flight. This tumbling action might have originally been a spontaneous behavior in some pigeons, which breeders found intriguing and selectively enhanced through breeding programs.

What is the price of Tumbler pigeon?

Common Tumbler varieties might be relatively affordable, ranging from $20 to $50 per bird. While rare or highly prized specimens can command prices of several hundred dollars.

Can Tumbler pigeons fly?


What do Tumbler pigeons eat?

Generally, their diet primarily consist of high-quality grains and seeds, such as wheat, barley, millet, and peas. These types of seeds and grains helps to provide the birds with essential carbohydrates and proteins.

What are Tumbler pigeons used for?

Tumbler pigeons are mainly valued for their unique acrobatic abilities. They are also very good for raising as pets.

How to train Tumbler pigeons?

Training Tumbler pigeons involves a combination of proper care, regular handling, and specific flight training techniques. By providing a supportive environment, consistent training, and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train Tumbler pigeons to enhance their natural tumbling abilities and enjoy their captivating aerial displays.

How many types of Tumbler pigeons are there?

There are numerous types of Tumbler pigeons, each with distinct characteristics and tumbling styles. Some of the well-known types of Tumbler pigeons include Armenian Tumbler, Australian Performing Tumbler, Berlin Short Faced Tumbler, English Long Faced Tumbler, English Short Faced Tumbler, Indian Tumbler, Iranian Highflying Tumbler, Komorner Tumbler, Limerick Tumbler, West of England Tumbler etc.

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