The Working Thief Pouter
All pouter breeds are believed to be descended from pigeons taken to
However, a fascinating sport has developed during the last 2 centuries that requires a pigeon that can fly well, has a high sex drive, but also have a great sense of self-preservation to prevent it from being trapped into a strange loft. The sport has its origins in
The sport of flying Working Thief Pouters is still very popular in
Although differing slightly from country to country or indeed from one back yard to the next the principles are the same the world over. The cocks and hens are kept in individual boxes out of site of other pigeons. They are individually released with the intention of ranging in search of a mate and then returning home with new mate in tow. Each bird, be it cock or hen requires a high sex drive and a natural instinct of self preservation to avoid being captured in a strange loft. If your birds have those attributes then you will catch more that you lose.
The Working Thief Pouter:
The birds differ throughout the world being mainly cross breeds designed with the sport in mind and not for exhibition. The Working Thief Pouters differ from their show counterparts in that looks are second to ability. Crosses of the various Spanish breeds or Horseman Pouters ( most of which now have a high proportion of Spanish blood unlike their show counterparts ) Dutch Valenciana’s, Holle Croppers, and even a touch of homer blood to increase the ranging and homing ability, may make up the Thief Pouters.
The Working Thief Pouter in
Several years ago I was looking at getting back into pigeons after a break of 4 years. I wanted a flying breed as I no longer had the time to travel to shows but I also didn’t want a large number of birds as that would then make it time consuming and also cause potential problems with neighbours. I had previously read on the internet about working thief pouters so I decided I would give that a go. The next problem was getting birds suitable to use as thief pouters. I remembered reading that the Dutch Thief Pouters had a cross of Valenciana in them and I knew that Mario Fenech had Valenciana’s so it was a phone call to Tassie. Once Mario new what I was after he sent me some Valenciana’s but also gave me 2 cocks that have become the cornerstone of my development of Working Thief Pouters in Australia. The first was a spread brown Marchenero x Valenciana and the other was a red checker Marchenero x
One of the key factors when creating a family of Working Thief Pouters is what are we out to catch. As I was the only person flying thief pouters the objective had to be catching ferals and stray homers. Many of the flyers in
This breeding season will give me the birds I require to commence flying the Working Thief Pouters. My intention is to fly about 6 cocks and 8 hens as this is about the norm overseas. I would like to promote this sport in Australia as it is perfect for those that don’t have the time to look after a large team of birds as with other flying varieties or may have problems with neighbors that prevents flying big teams. Competition would be great but is not essential as there are plenty of ferals out there to catch and you get to interact with those real characters of the pigeon world, the pouter pigeons.
In 2011 I moved from Horsham, Victoria to Dimboola, about 30km North West. When I arrived in Dimboola I found that due to the close proximity of a large feral pigeon population I no longer required the homer crosses, so commenced breeding the crosses we still use today. These crosses are made up of Valenciana and Gaditano and work extremely well for us.