Mookee Pigeon: Breed Guide

The Mookee pigeon is a small to medium-sized breed of fancy pigeon, a result of selective breeding.

Whilst it may have a recognizable coloring, there are physical attributes and traits that really make the Mookee pigeon stand out from the crowd.

Origins of the Mookee Pigeon

India is a major player in selective pigeon breeding and the pigeon-loving country is responsible for the Mookee.

It is believed to be one of the oldest fancy breeds that India has produced, with records dating back further than the vast majority of other Indian pigeons.

a mookee pigeon side profile
Image Credit: Image by John Adams on Flickr

It is known to have been imported into England as early as the mid-1600’s as it is mentioned in The Ornithology of Francis Willughby that was first published in 1676.

England was a natural route because of the long-established trade routes with India and from England, the pigeon was exported around Europe. The first official record of import to the USA is in 1941 by Karl Koch, an employee of the San Diego (CA) Zoological Gardens.

At some point, the breed almost disappeared in England, but it was reimported back in during the 1960s from the USA and South Africa.

Mookees are also a popular breed in Germany – another great pigeon fancying/breeding nation.

Mookee Pigeon Appearance

The best way to describe the Mookee is as sprightly, bold and jaunty. It walks on its toes which adds to its sparky posture.

mookee pigeon
Image Credit: Mookee Pigeon by Jennifer Graevell on Flickr

The most striking physical trait that sets the Mookee pigeon apart from other breeds is its distinctive head and neck. The neck is curved at a severe angle that gives the breed an almost “S” shape in profile!

A thick mane helps to exaggerate this shape – the pigeon looks like it is wearing a collar with just the crown of the head and forehead being in a much lighter color, usually white, similar to the Helmet and Nun pigeon breeds.

The mane should end in a well-formed peaked crest. 

Their eyes are large and expressive with big irises, the cere is small and fine-textured.

The beak is of medium length, and the Mookee pigeon has a breast that sits high and prominent, looking proportionately large compared to the rest of the slender body.

Mookee pigeons can be bred in a variety of colors but always rich and lustrous. The main colors are black, dark brown, yellow, blue, silver and totally white.

One of the characteristics that show birds are judged on is the number of white flight feathers in the wings, with the number “allowed” depending on the body color.  

Adult Mookee Pigeon60-68cm25-34cm400gBlack, dark brown, yellow, blue, silver or totally white.
Average Feral Pigeon64-72 cm32-37cm300-500gBluish gray with some black.

On average, a mature Mookee pigeon will grow to be 13 cm in height, up to 34cm in length and weigh in the region of 400 grams with a wingspan of up to 68cm.

Mookee Pigeon Character

Mookee pigeons have very good and gentle temperaments and get on very well in numbers as well as with other pigeon breeds.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the Mookee is that when it gets excited it quivers – its neck is particularly tremulous.

They are intelligent and inquisitive but rarely get aggressive with humans and/or other birds.

Diet of the Mookee Pigeon

Like most pigeons, the diet of the Mookee pigeon mainly consists of grain and seed mixes  – the foodstuffs for which the pigeon’s beak was designed.

The diet is very much in the control of the owner so they should make sure to fill their bird feeders with food that contains a mix of seeds, grains, nuts, berries and grasses to ensure they give their birds all the vitamins a pigeon needs.

Mookees also need a constant supply of fresh water and grit to aid digestion. Diets can be supplemented with fruits, vegetables and mealworms.

Mating And Breeding Mookee Pigeons

Another trait that makes the Mookee pigeon popular with fanciers is that they are efficient and prolific breeders.

In the right circumstances, a Mookee pigeon can nest three or four times a year, usually producing two eggs each time.

Image Credit: Image by John Adams on Flickr

Mookee pigeons are very caring and attentive parents to their young.

This breed is a great bird for beginners and experienced pigeon fanciers.

As well as being easy to keep, they also present a great challenge for breeders who want to produce prize exhibition birds.

Although breeding is easy, maybe only five out of any twenty to thirty birds will be of show quality.

Taking Care of Mookee Pigeons

The care of a Mookee pigeon is very much about following the standard rules for pigeon care for the majority of breeds.

Experienced pigeon fanciers will already be well aware of what these rules entail, but for those of you who are looking to home a Mookee pigeon as a first-time experience, then these are some of the best tips to keep in mind.

  • A home environment that is nice and dry, and protected from snow and rain if you live in an area where those conditions are possible.
  • A food source that is protected from the threat of contamination.
  • Access to rations of minerals that are also protected from contamination.
  • Access to water that is also fit for human consumption. If you wouldn’t drink it, your bird shouldn’t have to either!
  • A clean home environment that has plenty of protective floor coverage, along with a commitment from yourself to keep the floor clean.

A striking if not classically beautiful bird, Mookee pigeons make a lovely pet for someone who wants an enjoyable bird but also a nice challenge for a patient breeder who wants to test their eye for detail.

Denise Bereford

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

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