French Mondain Pigeon: Breed Guide

The European French Mondain is a fancy domestic pigeon, a result of selective breeding.

It is a large, heavy pigeon with its distinctive feature being an impressively rounded body.

french mondain pigeon

Origins of the French Mondain

De Mondain was originally a utility breed in France. It is an ancient breed that was widely farmed for meat and also for showing.

Originally, there were three strains:

  • Large Mondain – known to reach the size and weight of a small chicken, this type was very big, very heavy and characterised by its red eye ceres. Sadly, its bulk translated into a clumsiness and adult pigeons regularly trampled and crushed eggs during incubation.
  • Middle-sized Mondain – similar in size to a 3-month old chicken, this was the most common type of Mondain, mainly because they bred well and were excellent parents.
  • Berlin Mondain – this type arrived in France from Prussia in 1808. It was this type that was chosen to be selectively bred to produce the French Mondain pigeon we know today.

In the early 20th century, the intention was to take the Berlin form of a long pigeon with a narrow breast, long legs, powerful head, robust beak, broad ceres and well-developed nose wattle to create a sleek and elegant pigeon with a broad chest and shorter legs which may be either clean or feathered.

french mondain pigeon

It is known the Berlin Mondain was crossed with the Giant Runt and Montauban to produce the impressive chest.

Distribution And Habitat of the French Mondain

In terms of distribution, you will find that French Mondain pigeons can be found in domesticated settings all over the world kept as show pigeons and pets.

They are very tolerant of most temperate climates.

As a domesticated bird, there is no concern about the conservation of this breed.

Appearance of the French Mondain

French Mondain Pigeon65 – 75 cm38 – 43 cm900-1400 gSelf (white, red, yellow and black), barred, grizzled and chequered in multiple variations
Average Feral Pigeon64 – 72 cm32 – 37 cm300 – 500 gBluish grey with some black

The French Mondain is a very large and impressive breed that boasts a well-rounded body.

Traditionally, they are very broad-bodied and boxy looking, but if you look from above you will see that they have a tapered look starting at wide shoulders and thinning out to a neat and trim tail.

The pigeon’s head is small and well-rounded with a prominent forehead sitting on a neck that widens rapidly to blend to the contours of the shoulders and chest.

The beak of the French Mondain is stout, short and broad, and their eyes are very bright but not as prominent as some other breeds.

The neck is short and full, but very powerful.

Colours cover quite a range.

Self-coloured birds (i.e. one main colour all over) are white, red, yellow and black.

The birds also come in various pattern ways including barred, grizzled and chequered with blue, brown, white, silver, buff and grey mixing in with the self colours.

In any colour, there should be a layer of short, glossy and narrow feathers closely tight to the body over a large amount of down (underfeathering).

Its wings appear powerful and add to the impressive bulky look but are not well-proportioned to the bird’s weight to enable good flight.

Character of the French Mondain

The French Mondain is known for being a breed of pigeon that is very easily tamed, which makes it an excellent choice for raising as a pet or for a beginner in the world of pigeon fancying.

They are as equally happy in a loft with other birds and different breeds as they are with a cage as a home.

One thing that is notable about the breed is that due to their very large size, they are not known for their abilities in the flying department.

Their increased weight makes getting up in the air much more difficult, and as a result, they tend to stick to the ground and are regarded as floor dwelling pigeons.

In fact, their name is derived from the Latin word monde which means “earthy”, referring to its ground-dwelling nature.

They grow fast and the average lifespan of a French Mondain is 7 – 10 years.

Diet of the French Mondain

The French Mondain diet is typical of what most pigeons eat.

This is mainly granivorous with a heavy focus on seeds and grains, with a few extras added in for variety and nutritional benefits like vegetables and bananas.

Your French Mondain may enjoy the occasional handful of popcorn.

They will also require a supply of fresh drinking water and access to grit.

Mating And Breeding French Mondain Pigeons

Being domestic fancy pigeons, the breeding of French Mondain pigeons is very much controlled and dictated by owners and breeders.

The modern version of the breed has had its clumsiness bred out of them so you can be confident of eggs that will be looked after rather than crushed.

Taking Care of French Mondain Pigeons

The general care of a French Mondain pigeon does not require anything out of the ordinary.

They require all of the same things as most other breeds such as a clean, spacious living habitat, access to lots of fresh food and water and a well-covered floor that should be cleaned regularly.

Choose a French Mondain pigeon if you want an impressive-looking breed that is easy to care for and you are more interested in fancy pigeons that show well rather than race.

Denise Bereford

Denise Bereford is a full-time writer and researcher with a long-standing passion for pigeons.

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