Brown Stippers in Danish Tumblers
Rare colourings have a hard time. In fancy pigeon breeding, poorly
informed breeding committees and reporters contribute to this. Also,
artists with fantasy products, which are mistaken for reality by
collectors and are repeatedly posted in the social media without
reflection. They spread uncertainty about breeding goals and genetic
backgrounds and discredit what exists. In some cases, accompanied by
many 'likes' by art lovers, they can mean the end for rare
colourings. This is also not quite strange for breeders of Danish
Brown and Yellow Stippers, called Copper and Gold Stippers in the
old German literature.
Reality and Standard Drawings
In the composition of photographs of Brown Stippers, the drawn
standard images stand out more clearly than when viewed in
isolation. The first three pictures show Danish Brown Stippers from
Danish breeders. Then the standard drawing for Brown Stippers on the
homepage of the special club in Denmark. The basic coloration is not
dark brown, but red. Then in the picture of Brown Stippers by the
author in continuation of the Danish line of Kristian Schriver (DK)
in Germany over several decades. Finally, the standard drawing on
the homepage of the German Special Club. If one takes the
unsuccessful drawings of the special clubs as a yardstick, the
pigeons shown in Germany and Denmark are not Brown Stippers.
Danish Brownstippers from Denmark and Germany and standard drawings
from the Special Clubs in Denmark and in Germany
For Germany, the author of these lines could also read that years
ago as a then breeder of Brown and Yellow Stippers in a German
poultry newspaper. It had not succeeded so far to breed completely
unicolored browns with black splashes, so the statement.
Danish Brownstipper as standard drawing at the homepage of the
German Special Club and Brownstipper cock from the own loft in
continuation of the line of Kr. Schriver, DK.
Tracing the inspirations for the misrepresentations in art
Where the artist got the idea of such a breeding target was not
apparent at first. The written standard said otherwise, then as now.
Was it perhaps the colouring of Brown Stippers before the Second
World War? No. Wriedt and Christie, who had extensively studied the
stipper colouration of Danish Tumblers and reported on it in 1925
with many b/w pictures, did not know such stippers. However,
Schachtzabel (1910) was the first to find them. In his plate 82 he
shows a monochrome brown-golden pigeon from head to tail and to the
half-covered wings with black splashes. Obviously, the imagination
of the artist, who was inspired by his phantasy and considered the
text to be of secondary importance. As with the more recent drawing
in the German Standard. In the book 'Taubenrassen, 2009, the picture
at Schachtzabel has already been commented on.
Source: Sell, A., The German language book ‚Taubenrassen, Entstehung,
Herkunft, Verwandtschaften‘, Achim 2009, with the quoted plate from
Schachtzabel 1910 and a Brown Stipper cock from the own loft.
From the time before 1900, moreover, preparations are preserved,
which show that the Danish Stipper already had the Stipper gene at
that time. And this provides a white ground in the flight feathers
and tail. This becomes less with the years, but then replaced by
black, and not by red.
Quelle: Sell, A.,
Taubenrassen, Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften, Achim 2009
The official written Standard requires a dark brown ground colour,
not the red in the Danish standard drawing. This applies to the
Danish Standard as well as to the German Standard based on it.
Standard: Brune: Bundfarven skal være jævn, mørkebrun,
med stærkt fedtet, rødlig metalglans. Stænkene skal være sorte.
Halen og slagfjerene skal være lyse, med mørke og brune stænk.
Danish Standard translated in English: "Browns: the
ground colour must be even, dark brown, with a strongly oily,
reddish metallic sheen. The splashes must be black. Tail and
feathers must be light, with dark and brown splashes."
Standard: Braunstipper: Grundfarbe sehr gleichmäßiges
tiefdunkelbraun mit starkem rötlichem Glanz und schwarzer
Stippung. Schwingen und Schwanz auf möglichst hellem Grund
längliche Zeichnungsflecken in verschiedenen Farben.
Sources: Homepage of the Special Clubs in Denmark and Germany
and the English translation of the Danish text.
Genetics of the Brown Stipper
The main hereditary factors responsible for the colouration of Brown
Stippers were identified by Wriedt and Christie in the 1920s. The
stipper factor was transferred from English Almond Tumblers to
Danish Tumblers. As pure-bred Stipper cocks lack vitality, the
complementary colours Agate, Kite and DeRoy are systematically used
in breeding, as in English Almonds. The inheritance mechanisms
correspond to those in English Short Faced. Yellow Stippers are
dilutes and form different colour classes with Yellow Stippers,
Goldduns and Yellow Agates.
Source: A. Sell, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic
Pigeon, Achim 2012
Breeding-wise, it cannot be clarified whether the bronze factor of
the kites at Brown Stipper families is genetically identical to that
of the English Short-Faced Tumblers in almond breeding. Probably
also no longer molecularly. The genetic make-up has changed in
colourings that were on the verge of extinction for decades and were
partly newly bred. For comparisons of today's kites with those of
the past, one needs the genetic material of the kites of that time,
which one no longer has.
This also applies to Brown Stippers. If geneticists choose a red
pigeon for their molecular genetic analysis, as in the current
standard picture on the homepage of the Danish Special Club, they
will be in for a surprise. Their probable result, the cocks are for
black pigment heterozygous ash red with ink splashes. They will no
longer find the stipper gene. Such misjudgements of colourings by
breeders are not unique: Bruder et al. had already pointed out in
their molecular genetic study of the stipper gene (2020, 11/25) that
some of the samples submitted as stippers were genetically not
stippers. In the case of Brown Stippers, such a result could mean
the 'official' and supposedly scientifically approved end of a
Bruders R, Van Hollebeke H, Osborne EJ, Kronenberg Z, Maclary E,
Yandell M, et al.
(2020) A copy number variant is associated with a spectrum of
pigmentation patterns in the rock pigeon (Columba livia).
PLoS Genet 16(5): e1008274.
Schachtzabel, E., Illustriertes Prachtwerk sämtlicher Taubenrassen,
Sell, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon,
Sell, Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften.
Faszination Tauben durch die Jahrhunderte, Achim 2009
Sell, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015
Wriedt, Chr. und W. Christie, Zur Genetik der gesprenkelten
Haustaube, Zeitschrift für induktive Abstammungs- und
Vererbungslehre 38 (1925), 271-306.