The Helmet is a rather old breed originating in Germany, probably during the late 18th century. It was fairly popular there, and the original helmet was a tumbler breed. It was imported to the USA about the start of the 20th century and gained a certain measure of popularity which extended through the 1930's before waning for a period of time. As late as the early 1950's, it was a rather dormant breed kept in a few lofts scattered throughout the country. There were occasional entries in area shows, but it began to gain popularity in California in the mid 1950's when a small group of young people formed a small club, which grew into a national organization in 1958.
There are two variations of structure, namely the Medium Faced and the Short Faced. Both appear in Crested, the most popular, and the Plain-head.
Short Faced were somewhat popular on the east coast, centered around New York City. During its development in the 1950's, the Medium Faced variety was well known as a strong flyer, and as late as the 1970's were frequently flown, and as stated, could tumble occasionally in flight. All varieties soon evolved into primarily show birds. They were very prolific and excellent parents to their young.
Outcrosses to other breeds were made during the late 70's and 80's to improve certain desired features, such as head shape and beak length. While the attractiveness was greatly enhanced, there was a loss of parenting ability, so that the modern Helmet is often an indifferent parent. As a result, foster parents or hand feeding of young is now a common practice. The Medium faced Plain has not been hampered in its abilityas a parent. In spite of these drawbacks, the Helmet has a fairly large following, and the American Helmet Association http://www.americanhelmetassn.com/formed in 1958 is very active today and has been joined by specialty clubs in Canada and Australia where very large showings of a hundred or more are found.
The Helmet is a very attractive and is usually a very calm breed and is easy to tame. Its all white body, and markings of a colored tail and head (From which it gets its name) makes it a very attractive and lovable breed. Similar to the Nun, with which it shares a common ancestry, it is lacking the colored flights and "bib" of the Nun. The following pictures are of the three most popular varieties.
This is a Plain Head that won champion in Canada a couple weeks ago.
This is a red Short Faced Crested, also known as Hamburg Helmets. These always need feeders.
This is an outstanding yellow Hen, Medium Faced Crested that won Champion in Salt Lake City last week.
The development of "Muffed", or feather legged Helmets has occured in the last few years in all varieties, but have some way to go before they are the same quality as .
If you are interested in learning more about the breed, follow the link above and access the website above, and you will find everything you will need to know about the breed! And maybe more....
Last edited by risingstarfans; 7th November 2008 at 10:00 PM.. Reason: addition
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