The Capuchine pigeon is one of the older pigeon breeds and likely dates back to the Middle East, Greece or India for its origins. Dutch sailors probably brought Capuchines back to Holland no later than the 1500's by Dutch sailors. We know of its presence in Holland in the 1500's by its depiction in several of the Dutch Masters works of art. Imported into the United States in the 1960s, the Old Dutch Capuchine has enjoyed relative popularity as a rare breed.
Appearance is graceful, medium small size pigeon, medium high, with a horizontally carried body. Short, broad between shoulders, gradually tapering off towards the tail. The horizontal carriage is highly desired. A vertical line is dropped from the center of the eye, should locate about 30 mm in front of the leg. The head is of medium length, very well rounded. It is not "pinch faced" and broad enough at the back to be a sound base for a broad hood.
The beak is Medium in length, with slightly curved at the tip. Colors of eyes are Iris, pearl white and lively. Ceres of fine texture, red to flesh colored. The neck is of medium length. Tapering to blend smoothly into the breast and shoulders. The breast are broad and full, carried just forward of the tip of the beak when stood at attention. The throat is free from gullet, well cut back. The back is broad between the shoulders, gradually tapering off towards the rump. The wings are not too long, carried well up i.e. lying properly closed on the back and tail terminating about 1 cm from the end of the tail. The tail is short rather than long in proportion to length of body. Rather narrow and well closed.
The legs are medium in length; shanks and toes are not feathered. Legs are bright red in color. Thigh feathers not so long as to make the legs look short. The hood is upright and broad, not pinched or ‘V’ shaped, with as many feather layers as possible. Fully feathered down the back of the neck (mane) with no breaks. The mane to blend imperceptibly with the chain below the rosette. The collar (chain) is unbroken line from the hood to the lower part of the shoulders, to blend with the mane. In no case should the chain feathers from either side meet in the front. They must keep distance from the cheeks and reach up to the lower part of the eye ceres when viewed from the side. On either side of the neck there is an elliptical rosette, set as low as possible.
Capuchine pigeons are bred in monk markings with the solitary exception being white self’s. Even in tigered varieties, the monk marking should be discernible. The head is white until half to three-quarters of an inch below the beak. Also white are 7 to 12 primary flights, the tail, and the underbelly. Old Dutch Capuchines are found in a wide variety of colors such as red, yellow, black, dun, tigered, barred in blue, silver, mealy, and cream, self white, and some of the rarer colors like almond, andalusian, dominant opal, reduced, and brown.
Chinese owl when crossed with capuchine results in an Almond colored capuchine. In order to get a clear and actual almond color capuchine keep on crossing the almond color capuchine with the original capuchine.
Dominant Opal Capuchine
Flying roller when crossed with red capuchine results in a Dominant Opal capuchine.
Blue Bar Capuchine
Barred Capuchines have never been very popular and as a result, have lagged behind other colors in quality. There has been a recent surge of interest in the barred colors and the quality is beginning to rise.
The heads of andalusian Capuchines are often "Komorner Tumbler like" and this fault has proven very difficult to eliminate.
Reduced is a sex-linked recessive factor and easy to introduce to a new breed by using a reduced cock bird for the initial cross. All hens from such mating will be reduced and can be used for further breeding. These reduced hens mated back to cock birds of the desired breed will produce sons who carry reduced and daughters, which do not. Discard the daughters and mate the sons to hens of the desired breed. These pairs will produce mostly non-reduced offspring but will occasionally breed a reduced youngster, which will always be a hen. Then the process is repeated indefinitely until the reduced birds are as good as the desired breed. At this point a reduced hen can be mated to a cock bird carrying reduced to produce the occasional reduced cock bird. When such a cock bird is bred it can be mated to a reduced hen and produce only reduced offspring. This is a fairly easy genetics project.
There are some major faults like hood falling forwards on the head (capping), too long and narrow in build. In the region of the eyes, the chain feathers too long are obliterating the side view of the eye. Open feathering anywhere on the hood, mane and chain. Poor head markings less than 7 and more than 10 Primaries and 2 secondaries flights being white. Slip flighted (colored feathers in between white). Eye color other than pearl white color. Visible white wing arch (bastard wing). Colored feathers on thighs or on abdomen in front of thighs. Poor colored toenails. Bad carriage, the closer the tail tip is to the floor the worse the carriage. Minor faults include colored feathers along the side of the rump and in the vent area stained beak.
An often-asked question is which came first, the Capuchine or the Jacobin? It seems likely that the Capuchine is the forerunner to the Jacobin since the main difference between the two breeds is the feather length. Seldom does one go from long feather to short feather when developing a breed. The natural shaping of events indicates that enterprising breeders interested in a very long feather length developed the Jacobin. Even as recent as the mid 1800’s there were disagreement among Jacobin breeders about how long the featheration should be. Those desiring the longer feather won out and formed today’s Jacobin.
Since the Capuchine is not as extreme as the Jacobin it took a backseat to the newly formed, longer feathered bird and was not widely bred as a show pigeon until the 1970’s. One of the unique characteristics of the Capuchine pigeons is the low-set rosette on both sides of the neck accompanied by the chain, which is formed by the front portion of the rosettes. The chain flows smoothly out of the hood to form an upside down letter U when viewed from the front. Although there are numerous breeds of pigeons that are crested, only a very few have the large rosettes and chain of the Capuchine.
Old Dutch Capuchine breed well and easily raise their own young. This breed is one of the older fancy breeds having originated no later than the 1500s. The Capuchine has a well-developed hood with elliptically shaped rosettes on either side of the neck. The breed should have relatively hard feather and not the soft, long feather found in Jacobins. One of the very attractive traits is the horizontal station with the tail held parallel to the floor. Capuchine are an easy breed to rise and are sometimes used as foster parents for other breeds. They are always ready and willing to help any newcomers to the breed.