A.P.P.C 100 Years
by Mike Pope, Secretary APPC from January, 2000
In 1900 the very first Pigmy Pouter Club in the United States was formed at the residence of Edward Schmidt in Washington, D.C. This was on February 7th 1900. This new club was named the American Pigmy Pouter Club.
l00 years later on January l5th 2000 the APPC will be celebrating a full century of Breeding, Training, Showing and Promoting, "the Worlds Greatest Show Bird" the Pigmy Pouter.
I think that the founding fathers would be pleased with the current day Pigmy Pouters as I am sure they epitomize what their dreams and visions were in producing and improving the ideal Pigmy Pouter.
To my knowledge their has been no real Standard changes made from the original other than improved language and a Standard drawing. A real tribute to the vision of those men who spent many hours laboring over a Standard that would stand the test of time.
In 1954 APPC member Clyde Kienbortz came up with the slogan "Worlds Greatest Show Bird. " This slogan was adopted by the club and continues on today, a fitting description for this fun loving Pouter who seem to love putting on a show for anyone who will take the time to watch.
I am not sure of the date but another old time member wrote a short article on why he believes that the Pigmy Pouter is deserving of being called the "Worlds Greatest Show Bird." Here are Ed DeMooy's thoughts:
The Pigmy Pouter, "The Worlds Greatest Show Bird"
- When the APPC adopted the above as their slogan, they sure made a bold statement and one that might lead to much controversy, as it must be admitted there are many other varieties of fancy pigeons which must be classed as grand show pigeons.
I make no claim to being an expert on all varieties; however, I have watched about all of the best breeds being judged and in my opinion, the Pigmy Pouter leads them all as a show bird. The breeder of Pigmy Pouters has more points to consider to produce a good show bird.
Above all it must have a perfectly round globe. The saying among Pigmy breeders is that it should give the impression of a ball on the end of a stick. The globe should break cleanly from the body with a slight bulge at the back of the neck to retain the appearance of roundness.
The body should be very slim, the back should be flat or slightly concave. The wings should be narrow and well tucked in so that the wing butts are not prominent. The length and placement of the limbs is extremely important. The limbs should be placed well back on the body so as to show a long waist. They should be as long as possible and when the bird is in action show no sign of straddling, but step out like a fancy cake walker .
To obtain all these points as called for in the Standard, the breeder must show unusual skill, and unusual amount of patience. Possibly the most important point of all that goes to make the Pigmy Pouter "The Greatest Show Bird of All" is it's wonderful friendly disposition. The Pigmy with very little training loves to be talked to and played with. It seems to get so happy it can hardly contain itself. - Ed DeMooy
I guess that it is only natural to wonder what Pigmy Pouters were like in the early years? What if any progress has been made? Another short article by Ed DeMooy which was taken from the American Pigeon Keeper in December 1931 will give us a little insight to this question:
- I have been breeding Pigmy's now for about twenty five years. I have been thinking of the improvement that has been made during that period and what we still have to accomplish to produce the ideal Pigmy, or as near the ideal as we can hope to come.
I think the greatest problem confronting the breeder was to get length and closeness of limb. Most birds were entirely too wide and short in limb; they were also thick in girth and lacked length of waist; birds that buckled badly were also common. Some fanciers who have come into the game of late years, I believe, feel that some of us old timers lay too much importance to long close limbs. It has been a long hard struggle to get them where they are today. We have at last got the birds close enough, now our problem is to avoid straddling.
A Pigmy Pouter when showing should lift up its feet and step out like a high spirited horse on parade. Limbs must be narrow and carried close to the body, showing no wing butts. One of the most charming and essential points of a Pigmy is a perfectly round well sprung globe. Birds with well sprung globes are still very rare.
Will the Pigmy of twenty-five years from now excel the present Pigmy by as much as our birds today excel those of twenty five years ago? I venture to say that they will. - Ed DeMooy
Now that we have had a "blast from the past," let's focus our attention on today's Pigmy Pouter and the APPC and its future into the 21st Century.
Today's Pigmy Pouter has improved tremendously since I joined the club back in 1973. Today we see a far more balanced bird from what was being raised back then.
Breeding for longer legs was in fashion but it resulted in many birds walking spraddled, knees hocked and horizontal stationing as opposed to the upright position that the Standard calls for.
The Pigmy of today in order to overcome the problems of the past have actually gotten smaller. This statement may come as a shock to those who think that the Pigmy Pouter is getting too big. The reason that Pigmy's seem to be larger today is that they are more upright. The Standard says that the eye should align itself over the ball of the foot. The more upright a Pigmy is the taller it will appear. Far removed from the Pigmy's of the past who if they could have stood up would have been taller than today's Pigmy but there horizontal station prevented that from happening.
Today's Pigmy's are also smaller in body size. We no longer see the heavy wide bodied birds of the past which I believe contributed to the problem of horizontal stationing. Nice slim upright birds are what we are seeing today along with long close set legs and well sprung globes. Ed DeMooy and the breeders of his day would be thrilled with today's Pigmy pouter.
Although the APPC has been around for a long time it has never become a large club, but it has been fortunate to have a very dedicated and loyal membership.
In October of 1973 at the National Young Bird Show, in Louisville, Kentucky, six Pouter & Cropper Clubs joined together to put on the greatest display of Pouters & Croppers seen anywhere in the world. This show was christened "The Pouter & Cropper Extravaganza. " The American Pigmy Pouter Club spearheaded and supported that effort by having every year but one the largest entry of all breeds of Pouters & Croppers. (we came in second)
Due to the accessibility of our supporting members, we have been holding our Annual Meets in Fremont, Ohio each year. We average between 150 and 200 Pigmy Pouters and the best breeders in the U.S. and Canada are there to butt heads each and every year. This show and the NYBS are not for the fainthearted.
On January 151h, 2000 Fremont, Ohio will set the stage for the greatest gathering of Pigmy Pouters in the history of the APPC. This show will only come around once for those of us living today and we are going to make the most of it. We will have more awards than ever before, we will give out more cash awards than ever before. In every 12 bird class we will pay a cash award to 4th place. We will have a lot of those this year as we are looking to have an over 300 bird show.
We are looking for members to be there that have never shown with us before. It is going to be a very fun and exciting time.
Although we are not an English Pouter Club, several members are showing them at the NYBS and Fremont and interest in English is at an all time high. It's a lot of fun watching Pigmy's and English together, kind of like David and Goliath.
So where do we go from here? Let's stay the course. Continue to promote friendship in the club, because that is what is most important anyway. Continue to help new members get a good start in their desire to raise and show Pigmy Pouters. Continue to have fun Breeding, Training, Showing and Promoting "The Worlds Greatest Show Bird."
These are not very earth shattering goals, nor are they original. But they have worked for the first l00 years, they will work for the second 100.
HAPPY BIRTDAY, AMERICAN PIGMY POUTER CLUB, 100 YEARS OLD AND STILL SHOWING.