Modena - Pigeon-Talk
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yellowking yellowking is offline
Posted 20th November 2008, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 150


The Modena pigeon was bred many centuries ago. The breed originated from Modena, Italy, hence the name. Believe it or not, the purpose of the original breed was bred for flying. They flew in kits, similarly to the kits of the flying Birmingham rollers today.
Later on, the breed was imported to German were it was selectively bred to a standard known as the German Modena.

This type of breed is slim and surprisingly small. It is roughly ¼ the size of the modern English Modena. Here is the standard for the breed (Source: German Modena Club,

Head: Round, evenly arched, smooth forehead not low down.

Eyes: Iris is orange-red. The edge or cere is small and dark in dark birds and light in light colored birds.

Beak: Medium in length, comparatively strong. It should be black in dark colored birds and light in light colored birds. The beak is not important in Magnani’s. The wattle should be short and flat.Neck: Harmonious, rising evenly towards the head. The throat should look a little cut out.

Breast: Full and wide, nicely roundedBelly: Full and nicely rounded: backside full of fluff. The breast and belly should form an unbroken round.

Back: Short, not sloping down, wide in the shoulders.

Wings: Short, carried slightly loose at the breast, primaries fairly closed without crossing. Carried on the tail and not reaching the tail end.

Tail: Carried slightly high, as short as possible, not wide and well closed.

Legs: Showing much thigh and strong: not feathered on the feet.

Feathers: Base, fluffy. The rest of the feathers should be smooth and lying flat.

Shortly afterwards, the breed was imported to England and the United States. Here, the breed took another transformation as the breed was again selected to another standard. This standard is the more common and the typical breed of Modena that we see at the shows today.
For the purpose of this article I will be focusing on the modern Modena, the English Modena.

Of course, like any other breed, there will be a knuckle head in the flock. Nevertheless, the Modena breed is a moderate and gentle breed. Though they do not mind perching up high, they prefer to sit out at the bottom of the loft as the other breeds enjoy perching as high as they can. This makes the Modena a great breed to mix in with other breeds if you plan on keeping many types of pigeons. Modenas are show birds, therefore are being handled quit often and very acceptable to human interactions.

Similarly to other pigeon breeds, if provided well maintained and proper living and breeding spaces, the Modena should be able to produce without many problems.

There is a catch though the ultimate consequence of being a larger breed is that they struggle with being fertile. Even with vitamins and fertility pills today, you will eventually run into a pair or two that just won’t cooperate. But like any other breed, if you give them time and experience, the pair will eventually pull through.

Another advice you should keep in mind is that since these are larger breed they require a larger nest bowl. I have seen people use regular dog bowls in small confinement and expect them to breed. This breed is very sensitive when raising young. If they feel that in the middle of raising their young it is too much of a hassle, they will abandon their young.

As you would imagine, the squabs will be big, therefore requires massive amount of energy and milk. This is when I recommend having a few foster parents on stand by for emergencies. I have had many problems in the past where first time parents were unable to keep up with the demands of the squabs. If this happens they will eventually abandon the squabs.

"I want to share a story with you. In return I hope you share it with another person. As a result, that person shares it with another person and so on. When one day someone tells me that same story, I will know that I have contributed to make this world a better place."

Last edited by yellowking; 10th January 2009 at 05:15 PM..
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yellowking yellowking is offline
Posted 8th January 2009, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 150
The English Modena is breed specifically for color. There are two distinct color type when showing Modenas. The first type is known as a schietti. Schietti is the description of a solid colored bird. For example a solid red spread, solid bronze, etc. The second type of color is known as a gazzi. Gazzi is where the bird has a solid white body, with a colored head, tail, and wings. Breeding a gazzi is much harder if you plan on showing, a single feather that is mismarked is a disqualification. Here are pictures of the two different types:

Perfect example of a schietti.

Perfect example of a gazzi.

Here is the show standard for the English Modena (Source: National Modena Club,

There are plenty of these birds out there. You will find them at almost any pigeon show. Price ranges from $5 to $100 depending on the quality of the bird and if it is standard. If you truly desire to find a pair, go to your local swap and sell event and you will bound to find a few for less than $20!

As you would imagine these are huge birds right? Actually they are relatively small if you compare them to show kings, and giant homers. Regardless you need a big room for just a pair. I use a 3ft by 4ft by 4ft individual pen for a pair of modenas, as I use the method of separate breeding. As for my general population modenas, I keep them in a big loft where I keep all my other pigeons.

I think the most crucial thing to keep in mind when trying to breed modenas in small confinement is to have enough height for the cock to mount the hen. If the cock cannot mount the hen, they will not be in the mood for mating. It is quite easy to turn them off. The cock will always be the cock, where he will try to mount the hen, but the hen will never be receptive if she feels that it is too much of a hassle to breed. If this happens, the hen will drive the cock to sexual frustration. Domestic violence will eventually follow. If the hens refuse to mate, the cock will attack her in frustration. Always have enough room for them to mate and perch if need be.

In addition, these birds eat a lot. Especially when raising youngs. Always have plenty of food and water, whereas the squabs requires large amounts of milk. Plan on spending more than $100 per month on feed if you are thinking about raising mucho modenas!

Also, plan on fighting with the weather depending on where you keep the birds and where you live. I live in Minnesota, and I deal with all different types of elements. During the harsh winter months, my modenas do extremely well. I feed them regular mix, and extra whole corn as it helps them maintain the fat they desperately need to get through winter. Surprisingly summer is when I have the most difficult time with this breed. In the hot summer of Minnesota my modenas always struggles. Since the birds are large and they get hot very easily you must always provide a cool place for them with plenty of cool water. My homers and rollers do fine, as they can sit in the sun for a quite while without discomfort. My modenas on the other hand would rather bathe in the cool water I provide them with. They will also abandon their eggs and youngs if it is too hot or your loft is too moist.


Last edited by yellowking; 10th January 2009 at 05:22 PM..
yellowking yellowking is offline
Posted 8th January 2009, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 150
Here are some of mine:

Blue bar hen, and a solid white (sold to a friend):

Perfect example of a mismarked pair, these will be disqualify (sold to a friend):

My two girls hanging out together:

"I want to share a story with you. In return I hope you share it with another person. As a result, that person shares it with another person and so on. When one day someone tells me that same story, I will know that I have contributed to make this world a better place."


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