I will add to these topics as questions come up but for now I hope this provide some information to those interested in Tehran (Persian) High Flying Tumbler breed.
My comments here are all based on my own experience with this lifetime hobby of mine and it is intended to share my point of view. As you know there are many ways to skin a cat.
God bless and good luck ,
Here are a few topics I am often questioned by follow Fanciers :
1. What is the Standards for this Breed ........
Unfortunately because of lack of organized pigeon clubs in Tehran or in Iran for that matter, there are not any Standards established for this breed. Then again since Tehran High Flying Tumbler is a performing breed many will argue if there should be any specific physical and color standards that could select the best type when all the emphasis are around the flying ability, endurance and intelligence. Persian High Flyers are very attractive pigeons and I am sure they could make a fantastic addition to any rare breed pigeon show.
I am sure if there were pigeon shows in Iran, the masters of this breed would agree on preferred physical traits and characteristics that could present itself as a perfect and ideal specimen.
But lets not forget that the ultimate judging of these birds should be only when they are in their elements, up high in the sky.
Having said that, I believe the time is here to establish the standards for the "Persian High Flying Tumblers". The reason for that is that I have seen pigeons who have no resemblance to Persian High flyers but are called exactly that.
2. What is a good Tehrani should look like.......
That depends on the strain of course. But In general Tehrani or Persian High Flyer should be medium in size with long primaries, secondaries and tail feathers. Should have large round head and large eyes with medium face structure. This is the look that we all picture in our head when we talk about this breed. The feathers must be smooth and somewhat tight but not as tight as Homers or even Tipplers for that matter.
Then again, one must know that the physical characteristics and look alone is not enough to determine the flying, intelligence, capabilities and good qualities of any bird from this breed. Good strains of Tehrani Tumblers do indeed exist in all sizes and shapes, again depending on the Strain. Some are longer birds, some short and compact, and a lot in between. Some are mainly for competition and endurance races and are some for the high flying and performance and tumbling. You see It's all matter of preference and many years of concentrated hard work by it's master that has created a strain to create his own family of of Persian high flyers that constantly passes on the same genes and produce the same birds according to his preference.
There are some strains of Persian High flyers that have exceptionally long feathers and are loose feathered as well. Those strains are mostly are bred for the looks by fanciers who for some reason or another do not fly their birds and therefore concentrated on the looks and the size of their pigeons. Good specimen from these type strains are very popular among some Fanciers both in Iran and outside Iran. Bare in mind, not everyone is in the hobby of flying these birds. And some, eventhough masters of this breed, do not have the physical condition or the means to fly their birds.
But no matter what size or shape they are, wether on the ground and/or in the air the common similarities should be noticeable, for them to be considered pure Persian High Flying Tumblers.
The key here is anyone starting with this breed should start with good quality Tehranis according to his own preference and then create his own strain ultimately, which takes several years by the way.
Another point I am trying to make here is that in a well managed and established Loft, one should observe all the birds in similar shape and size with similar characteristics. Only then that his family of Tehranis can be called a STRAIN and reflects his experience and dedication. Lofts with Persian High flyers of all shapes and sizes and offspring's in a vast varieties provides a clue that the breeder is in a hobby of collecting his pigeons ratter than developing his own Strain.
3. How is a good Tehrani should fly like.......
What sets this Breed of pigeon apart from any other performing pigeon is the flying style and what I call the "True Standards of Tehran High Flying Tumbler". A good specimen should fly slow with wings and tail wide open. Only the tips of the wings (sare bal) should be flapping as if the bird is only using his major primaries to fly with. Among Persian fanciers is called "Shah Pari paridan". And that's exactly why this breed has longer primaries, secondaries and tail feathers. The tools he must have to fly the way he does. It must fly in small circles around the Loft only. If not he is not pure. They should never form tight Kits. Eventhough some may fly together, they should fly apart and occupy bigger space and not fly in uniform and tight KIT. It should fly High and capable of going out of sight even when is not in tip toe condition. Should not fly in yo yo pattern. By that what I mean is that it should not change his altitude in a speedy pattern. It should spend long durations in each altitude phase of the flight. This flying behavior is the same among all Persian High flying tumblers regardless of their physical characteristics or wether they tumble or not. If not they are not pure. The frequency of tumbling is also varies among the strains. Tumbling styles are also different among the birds. What is common is that the tumbles are in the form of individual and paused summersaults and never in rolling form. If not he is not pure. Tumbling styles include birds that climb straight up followed by 1 or more summersaults, birds that hover in one spot followed by 1 or more summersaults, and a few more varieties.
Strains that won't tumble should fly in the same style. If do not they are pure. Most these strains are bred to compete with for endurance therefor the breeder has hidden the tumbling gene via many years of selective breeding. Most often one can bring back the tumbling gene by reversing the breeding selections.
Unfortunately when Hawks are around , our birds have to fly in constant fear which will forced them to fly faster and different from their norm and at times could ruin some of them. The best is to stop flying your birds during time of the year when Hawks are very active.
4. What are some qualities that a good Strain of Tehrani should poses.......
The same good qualities that other performing pigeons should poses. It must be intelligent. It must have strong homing instinct. Poses healthy stamina with good bone/muscle structure necessary to be trained , pushed and developed into a endurance flyer. Without these traits, trainer's hard work will not produce success.
These are the genes that must be concentrated on when developing a good Strain.
Strains of unflown pigeons developed basically for their looks, physical characteristics, and colors most often deteriorated, hide or lack these good genes !!!!!
5. What color of Tehranis are the best.......
Question mostly asked by a novice. One should note that color of a pigeon, color of his eyes, or the color of his beak for that matter does not have anything to do with quality and capability of a bird in this breed.
Performing pigeons in general come in all colors. Again, it is all matter of preference.
In case of Tehran Tumblers, in some Strains, mixed of many colors and patterns, certain color offsprings can tell his breeder a few things!! This is a sign that only the experienced and the master of that family of pigeon can recognize, nobody else! And as a result you may find masters with good strain of Tehrani birds mostly in the same color or pattern. This refers as Khaleh kaftar among his master.
I am sure that is the case among other performing pigeons as well.
But a breeder that develops his Strain based on colors or patterns, especially if he utilizes unflown and unproven birds will in time end up with inferior Strain of deteriorated birds in his favorite colors.
6. Which Birds to breed from.......
Your best flyers that poses other good qualities as well such as good homing instinct, intelligence , good health, and other things per your preference. Bare in mind that some birds with these good genes or some combination of birds both with these good genes may not pass it on to their offsprings. That's when you should change their mates. Some birds may never do it no matter what. But the key here is no matter what , you must always use your best in your breeding. Because you can be sure of one thing, he is got in him what you are after. Your chance of ending up with good offsprings is a whole lot higher using your BEST birds.
Now if you have some average birds from a very good family, eventhough you did not get the best of them to start with, don't be too concern. They carry the genes you want but it's hidden. Do not give up... eventually you will get what you want. It may take a little longer but eventually you will. That's the price each one us has to pay when we start. The key is patience. After a few years you will learn all you need from them, you have bred some good birds and you are on your way to create you own strain that passes on the good genes in every clutch. Most novices will give up the first year just to look for some other birds and ending up doing the same thing year after year and finally end up with many mixed birds with huge gene pool , mostly bad genes, only to make it much harder to extract the good genes. This is when they get disappointed and a need to start all over again.
But the most important aspect in breeding and to create your own family is to find your "FOUNDATION BIRD".
Most of the top lofts in the world are based around a single pigeon they call their Foundation bird. The foundation pigeon has that special quality that every serious breeder should be looking for. That quality being the ability to reproduce progeny that are very superior in performance in the air and more importantly in the BREEDING PEN. One must always be in search of the bird or birds that meet the definition. The Foundation birds are usually not for sale. You must breed them yourself. When you are lucky enough to own such pigeon or pigeons, you are on your way to create a very enjoyable and competitive family of true Persian High Flying Tumblers.
7. How can one tell if a bird is good Flyer.......
No one can tell just by looking at a bird and handling it alone wether he is a good flying specimen or not. But what it will provide you is the condition of the bird and some clues that if they exist, then the bird has the potential and could be a good flyer.
What you need to look for are:
1.The bird needs to be alert .
2. Handle the bird and check his overall condition. He must be healthy. If not forget it.
3. Feather condition and feather structure. If too loose forget it.
4. Clear and shiny eyes regardless of the color. Color mean nothing unless you are very familiar with it's strain.
5. He should have a good bone structure and muscle formation around his chest area.
6. The wings must be somewhat tight and strong.
7. The head structure must be big and round.
8. Why should one concentrate to create his own strain.......
Performing pigeons are much easier to train if they all respond the same way to any specific training program. Persian High Flyers are no exception. Among the Persian High Flying strains, there are some that are slow starters, some quick starters, some may take months to bloom, some need more feed to get going and then some are from a hardier family and can be pushed on small ration. On the top of that, some have different flying styles as well. Believe or not, some strains do eat faster than others too. Therefore each strain requires for you to adjust to suit their physical needs and behavior.
You see, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to train birds with different needs and behavior simultaneously.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting with birds from several GOOD strains. But in time via selective breeding, you can create your own family of birds with the same behavior and flying style. You can also adjust for your own geographical location and time available on hand. The ones that respond to your ways and conditions are the ones you select and through selective breeding and raising 100's of offsprings in 5 years or so, you will eventually get lucky and come up with your foundation bird or even better foundation birds. Utilizing line breeding to your advantage you will have your own family of birds that will respond the same way to your training. They also fly the same style which will reinforce the endurance factor.
Of course if you are not a serious flyer, what I said above is irrelevant even though every Novice breeder knowingly or unknowingly, in time is creating another family of birds anyway wether for his preferred performance, looks or colors, unless he is introducing birds from other strains to his breeding program every year which is absolutely detrimental to any breeding program and many novices constantly guilty of.
9. How should one introduce a new blood line to his own Family of performers.......
The most important thing one must make sure of that the new birds are better or at least the same quality as his own. To be sure, the best way is to visit the master of that strain and see them perform before you acquire them. But I know that is very hard to do since we all live in different part of the world and at times almost impossible.
Therefore get a pair or two from a master of this breed with the type of birds you prefer. Breed and fly the offsprings for a couple of years. If you like what you see, select the best one or two HENS out of the offsprings and cross breed with your own. Eventually dispose of the original birds and the rest of the offspring. Use the selected hens for just a few years and then stop using them in your breeding program. This system will ensure that you have kept your own family pure and have boost them up a notch with new genes.
10. What should one feed his Persian High Flyers.......
In general pigeons need more protein during breeding and molting seasons and more carb during the training and flying seasons. During breeding, feed must be available to birds at all times. 17 to 18% protein, 6 to 8% fat, about 55% carbohydrate with moderate fiber is an ideal feed to raise offsprings with strong muscle and bone structure and good feather condition. One can provide the birds with the same high protein, high fat feed during molting as well. Feed should be available all the time to birds during molting or if offered once a day , the birds should have all they can eat.
Now during conditioning and flying, feed should contain 12 to 14% protein, 4 to 6% fat, about 65% carb and moderate fiber. High carb content will provide the energy they need to fly.
There are many premix pigeon feeds available in the market but is the best if you could mix your own feed based on what your birds are used to and like the best. By giving them what they like you will eliminate or reduce waist especially during breeding.
A good Breeding mix includes Pees for protein, seeds for fat and grains for fiber. Parent birds like to pick mostly small seeds the first 4, 5 days after the eggs are hatched and gradually go to larger peas. Millet, Canary seed, and Hemp are my favorites. Among the peas I prefer the smaller ones such as Trapper peas, Austrian, and Vetch. Vetch being the smallest of peas and very high in protein is definitely my favorite. In the last ten years or so Safflower seed has become very favorite. Being very high in protein and fat is a perfect addition to any mix.
During training and conditioning I prefer white millet. Not only It contains the carb and fat the birds need, it's also small and does not fill the birds too fast so it is ideal for settling and training the birds. But millet alone it is not a ideal feed through the entire flying season. It lacks the protein and fiber the birds must have for the entire flying season. I like to add Kafir and a little rice to millet to make it ideal mix for my flying season. Because Rice holds water it makes a good feed especially if you live in a hot climate like I do.
One thing to remember is that the feed during the flying season must not change to keep the birds in same and fixed routine with total control to eliminate any confusion.
Now for preparing the birds for the race, a feed up program is required which is a science by itself and each fancier has his own recipe and secrets.