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Pigeons: Indian Fantail

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Description [edit]

Indian Fantails are a fancy pigeon breed that have been developed through selective breeding over a number of years. As with all types of domesticated pigeons, Indian fantails descend from the Rock Pigeon. %%AFC-ADVERT%%

History
Indian fantails originate from India and were introduced to the western world thanks to a happy accident. In 1926, they were shipped from India to the USA as food for pythons that were being delivered to the San Diego Zoo. There were two left by the time they arrived stateside. Zookeepers were so impressed with the fantails that they decided to keep them, and would later breed them. It is said that these were the very first two Indian fantails to leave India.

Appearance
Since that time, these birds have spread throughout the world and take form in a number of different appearances. They all have one thing in common though: their tail. The tail is perhaps their most distinguishing feature. As the name suggests, the tail is shaped like a large fan on the back of the bird.

Mostly, fantails are white with tan spots. There are a whole variety of colours available. Their feet have feathers on them. The average length is 28cm and they usually weigh about 370g. When they walk, they do so on their toes, and their chest is upright.

Indian Fantail Diet
The typical Indian Fantail diet consists of seeds, wheat, barley, peas, corn, and millet. They drink a great amount of water as this softens the hard grain.

Indian Fantail Reproduction
The breeding behaviour of Indian fantails is not unlike that of a common pigeon. Normally, they will mate for life and they will construct nests that are slightly flimsy and made of twigs and grass. Females lay up to two eggs which are incubated for about 18 days. Once the young have hatched, they drink pigeon milk regurgitated. Chicks are ready to leave nests when they are 4-6 weeks old.

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