Fantail Pigeon – What’s Good About Them, What’s Bad

There is no denying that the Fantail pigeon is one of the most beautiful looking pigeon breeds in the world. On this page, we want to introduce you to everything that the Fantail pigeon brings to the table.

This will help you to decide whether this is going to be the right pigeon breed for you or not.

Fantail Pigeon
Photo by shankar s.

Where Do Fantail Pigeon Comes From?

The thing with the Fantail pigeon is that we do not know exactly where the pigeon originates from.

Some would say that it comes from Europe, and others state that it comes from Asia. It is likely that the latter is the more common belief, partly because this bird is not really bred outside of Pakistan now.

However, there are subspecies of this breed that can be found in other places, with the English Fantail probably being the most common of these.

The interesting thing about this pigeon breed is that it has its own place in history.

This is because the Fantail pigeon was an example given by Charles Darwin when he discussed his theory of evolution. He correctly speculated that the Fantail pigeon had evolved from the Rock pigeon.

The Amazing Look of the Fantail Pigeon

The Fantail pigeon is a medium-sized bird. It is available in several different colors.

Photo by Luc Coekaerts

The standout feature of this pigeon breed is the feathers that it boasts on its tail. It has 4x as many feathers in the tail as a ‘normal’ pigeon does.

This helps to create a fan-like effect.

The Indian Fantail (one of the most common breeds) will have feathered feet. The American Fantail, which is probably the one that you will be encountering the most, will not have feathered feet.

It holds its body a little bit taller than other Fantail breed variants.

As said; there are several different colors for the Fantail pigeon. While most of them can be found throughout the world, there is one that cannot.

This is the Thai Fantail. This bird is completely white and has stripes on the fan. This is actually another one of the breeds that Charles Darwin wrote about.

This bird cannot be bred outside of Thailand. Well, it can be, but it is exceedingly difficult. This is the one breed that you are not likely to encounter unless you live in Thailand, we guess.

As a Show Pigeon Breed

As you can probably imagine, the main purpose of the Fantail pigeon is as a show bird. If you head to any bird show that features pigeons, then it is likely that the Fantail pigeon will be on show.

The main aim of the breeders is to create a pigeon that has the most beautiful feathers imaginable. This had resulted in a genetic mutation in some fantail pigeons. These pigeons are known as ‘SIlky’ and have a laced look to their feathers.

Due to their popularity as show birds, Fantail pigeon breeders with award-winning pigeons tend to make a lot of money selling on the pigeons that they have bred.

Those that have managed to breed the Thai Pigeon outside of Thailand are making a lot of money with quality specimens.

The Fantail Pigeon as a Pet

Most pet owners there are interested in pigeons want something that looks fairly decent. This means that the Fantail pigeon is incredibly popular among those that are looking for pets.

Luckily for pet owners, the Fantail pigeon is exceedingly easy to raise. It doesn’t really have any special care requirements, beyond making sure that the tail feathers stay in decent condition.

The bird is incredibly friendly, and if you raise it from a hatchling, it bonds well with humans.

Other amazing pigeon breeds you might be interested in:
Lahore pigeon
Jacobin pigeon
Frillback pigeon

Archangel pigeon

Some people report that the Fantail pigeon doesn’t work incredibly well with other breeds of pigeon. However, this is something that most people report isn’t a real problem.

Although, you probably wouldn’t want to be raising it alongside other birds unless you have a large aviary.

Most people will raise their pigeons in pairs, as long as they are planning on breeding them.


As long as you are not breeding the Thai Fantail, this bird should be fairly easy to raise. Like pigeon breeds, the parents will be good at raising their young. For the most part, these birds are good hatchers too.

To be honest, we wouldn’t really recommend breeding the Fantail pigeon if you are not planning on showing it off, or selling on the hatchlings.

Pigeons can be difficult to look after when they are young. Since they breed so easily, it isn’t uncommon for you to run out of space too.

Other Uses for the Fantail Pigeon

It is rare that the Fantail pigeon will be used for food. While we are sure that there will be some people that enjoy the meat or the eggs of this bird, there are far better options out there if you are looking for a bird for food purposes.

The initial breeding stock for the Fantail pigeon will be far too high in cost. Since it is a medium-sized bird, it will not have a lot of meat on it anyway.

Outside the world of show birds, the Fantail pigeon is used by racing pigeon owners. Not so much in terms of racing, but they are used to attract the racing pigeons back.

These pigeons will be known as droppers. If you do not know much about the world of pigeon racing, this means that the birds exist to try and encourage the racing pigeons (or endurance pigeons) to come back and eat.

Their tail feathers make them ideal for this purpose.

Final Thoughts About This Pigeon Breed

The Fantail pigeon is one of the most popular show birds for a reason. It looks good. While their feathers will take a little bit of caring for, they are pigeons that are fantastic to raise as pets.

Although, do bear in mind that the cost of these can be a little bit higher than other breeds.

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