Saddleback Pigeons Characteristics & Best 10+Information

The Saddleback pigeon is a breed of fancy pigeon. Saddleback pigeons are a type of domesticated pigeon that have the white rump and chest feathers striped black and white. They are used in competitions where they strut on the ground, perform neck stretches, twist their heads unnaturally to the side, and flap their wings like flattened-out flying saucers.

The breed is produced from crosses between feral rock dove pigeons and fancy pigeon hybrids. The name comes from the wild rock dove’s white rump and saddle, which is featured prominently on the saddles of these pigeons. Saddlebacks are also sometimes called “squab pigeons” because they produce squabs. They are a great pet/show/breed.


How to identify saddleback pigeons?

Saddleback pigeons are very distinct in appearance, the white rump and breast are striped black and white. In some breeds, they may have the whole chest black and white with no white on either side of the breast.

Saddleback Pigeons HOUSE
Saddleback Pigeons HOUSE

They usually have a small crest, but often a crop of hair on their head or neck, which is not a disqualification, as all breeds can be crested or not crested. The best length of tail for a saddleback is about half an inch, but some consistently lengthier tails get disqualified.

Behavioral characteristics:

Saddlebacks have many behavioral characteristics which separate them from other breeds. They are very quiet in comparison to other varieties of pigeon. This is because they do not need to vocalize since they are primarily kept as pets, meaning that if talking is not a necessity, then they don’t talk. When flying, saddlebacks tend to look like a flying saucer with extended wings. This often perplexes people, who have never seen saddlebacks in action.

Saddlebacks also have a wide range of behavioral characteristics which are very unusual for other breeds of pigeon. When strutting and flexing their necks, the birds always keep both feet off the ground at all times. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of this breed and is responsible for many judges’ disqualifications for tail length. The most popular manner in which a saddleback will prove his or her breeding credentials is by performing a “neck-stretch”.


In pigeon competitions, they perform neck stretches and various other tricks. They are also used to produce squabs for the table. Because they are a common breed of pigeon, many people keep them as pets due to their graceful and quiet nature.

Saddleback pigeons as pets:

Saddleback pigeons make great pets because of their gentle nature and their undeniable beauty. They don’t have many common health problems like other breeds of pigeon have, so their care is very simple and easy. They will not get on your furniture and they are quiet, which ensures that you can keep them in an apartment. They are also very easy to feed, as long as you provide them with grain.

Health issue:

Saddlebacks don’t have many health issues, but there are some that you should be aware of. They are more prone to eye problems than other breeds of pigeons. The most common eye ailment is cataracts. Because their eyes are so small, they can be susceptible to cataracts and corneal dystrophy.

Corneal dystrophy is a condition that results in blistering of the eye surface. It is most often caused by vitamin A deficiency or exposure to sunlight. To prevent these issues, make sure you always provide your saddleback with a deep-lofted nest box so that they can’t fly into anything when they are going about their daily business.

Special Considerations:

Because of the unusual shape of their wings, saddlebacks are prone to injury. If they are flown or kept with other birds that fly, there is a chance that their awkwardly shaped wings will be injured.

Be sure to closely monitor your saddleback for any signs of wing damage. If you notice any feather loss, bumps, or bruises on the wings, keep them off the loft until they have healed properly. Saddlebacks can sometimes be aggressive toward humans as well as other animals; it is usually only toward cats and dogs.

Best 10+information:

Breed Name:Saddleback.
Origin:England, France, Germany.
Breed Purpose:Fancy, exhibition, pet.
Size:Medium sized .
Diet:Pellets, seeds, and a daily supply of greens.
As Pets:Yes, even house pets.
Color:White and black, scattered spotting.
Temperament:Calm can be aggressive.
Flying Ability:Yes, Good.
Life expectancy:10 years.

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