Hungarian Giant House Pigeon: Breed Guide

The Hungarian giant house pigeon is one of the most unique varieties of domestic pigeons and the reason for that uniqueness is its size.

It is one of the largest pigeon breeds weighing up to 2.2lb/1kg and with huge wingspans of up to 3 feet.

Origins of the Hungarian Giant House Pigeon

Although previously known as Hungarian House, Turkish, Rural among other names, as their name clearly suggests, the current iteration of this breed originally hails from Hungary, its roots however are probably in antiquity in Turkey.

Between 1541 and 1699, Hungary was ruled by the Turks and it is known they introduced large, heavy meat pigeons into the country and these were most probably the “starter” birds for what was to become the Hungarian giant.

There are records of what is now known as the Hungarian giant pigeon in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It is known that the heavy pigeons were still being bred for meat up to the 20th century, but in the mid-1930s they began to be crossed with other breeds with large features.

Known features considered desirable in creating this new independent breed were feet with vulture-like feathers and beautiful caps.

The first Hungarian giant House pigeon was exhibited in Budapest in 1950. The breed was then exported to Austria and Germany in the late 1960s and beyond from there. 

Distribution And Habitat of the Hungarian Giant House Pigeon

Like many selectively-bred pigeon types, the origins of the Hungarian house giant are in the wild but they are now a fully domesticated breed and as such, their habitat is domestic.

The difference to most other domesticated breeds is that due to their size, they need more space than other, much smaller pigeon breeds.

Hungarian Giant House Pigeon Appearance

Their stature is truly the aspect of the Hungarian giant house pigeon that sets them apart from the rest.

They are incredibly large, weighing anywhere from 860 grams to 1000 grams (2.2 lbs), and sometimes with a wingspan as big as 100 cm (3 feet)!

They have a distinctly horizontal posture that can actually work to make them look smaller than they are, but in reality, these birds can be as long as between 45 and 50 cm!

Good feather ornamentation is the aim of breeders.

This pigeon has an abundance of feathers that helps to make them look bulky including large extravagant feathers on their feet (muffs) but the feathers should be close together and firm to avoid a scruffy appearance.

Another characteristic feature is the head which should have a wide shell hood with a well-developed crest (comb.)

Hungarian giant house pigeons are bred in a variety of different colors including white, black, red, yellow and blue with a separate variety of different wing band colors as well.

It’s Hungary and Germany where most of the Hungarian giant house pigeons are to be found, and interestingly, the show standards for each country in terms of allowable colors are different.

They are big solid, powerfully-built birds and handlers will find they need two hands to hold them.

If perchance you have a Hungarian giant with flat feet, unfortunately, no matter its other features, it is automatically disqualified from being a show pigeon.

Flat-footed types are considered to be good for pigeon meat only.

The character of the Hungarian Giant House Pigeon

The Hungarian giant house pigeon may indeed be a giant, but the birds are well known for being very gentle in their temperament, which is a good thing considering their overbearing size and potential strength.

If their temper matched their size, a mixed loft would not be a safe place for many smaller species!

They are incredibly alert and have decent flight ability but are primarily kept as show birds.

Hungarian Giant House Pigeon Diet

The Hungarian Giant House pigeon enjoys a regular pigeon diet – they just need bigger portions than other breeds.  

To ensure they get all the vitamins pigeons need, their diet should contain:

  • Seed mixes.
  • Grain mixes
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

They also require grit for digestion and plenty of freshwater.

Mating And Breeding Hungarian Giant House Pigeon

Breeding can be a painstaking process and one that involves the breeder selecting specific birds with specific traits in order to have them combine and produce a set of young Hungarian giant house pigeons that boast even stronger characteristics and visual flares than their parents.

The mating process and the processes of raising the chicks from an egg and taking care of the babies is no different to the general practice of breeding any other type of pigeon.

Taking Care of Hungarian Giant House Pigeons

Their naturally gentle nature makes Hungarian Giant House pigeons very easy birds to take care of and they will happily co-exist with other breeds in a mixed loft.

All of the standard pigeon care tips and advice come into play with regards to keeping a clean environment and providing plenty of fresh food and water.

The one thing to keep in mind is that this extra-large pigeon is going to need much more room than other, smaller breeds.

Make sure that you provide enough space in their living environment to keep them healthy, happy and comfortable.

Denise Bereford

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

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