As a supplement on the article about the Antwerp bearded bantams (Number 1- October 2005) we can now inform you that the superb hen on the photo that we received from The English Breeder Club is not from an English breeder, but from a Belgian one. The well-known breeder Jeroen Muijs. Immediately after the issue of our Number 1, Jeroen mailed us that he had recognised his hen on the picture.

Honour to whom honour is due!




We would like to show you another photo of one of Jeroen’s Antwerps, a quail coloured little cock. As you can see, this very old Belgian breed still exists in Belgium in a superb quality!


Photo’s: Jeroen Muijs


















Do you have a special photo which deserves a place in ‘THE FRAME’?

Just send it over by e-mail to

With the issue of each new edition, we will choose the most beautiful, the most special or maybe the most bizarre photo, to glitter in this frame for the next two months.






Decorated with your own photos. To be printed out at home. Ask for the complete and clear instruction manual at Also possible with 12 original photos of Aviculture Europe; please mention that in your application.











A keeper of the old Dutch breed Kraai­koppen, is hoping that one of the readers can tell him what is wrong with his chickens. After moulting, the birds, which were blue coloured, regained a lot of pure white feathers. They are still ‘young’ birds, only 1.5 years old.  

May be somebody has had the same experience, with this breed or another breed? Or does someone have an explanation for this phenomenon?

Your reactions please via
















My granddaughter Celine loves to draw and paint. And when grandma is baby-sitting, that mostly will keep her busy and happy. So one day I asked her, if she should like to make a painting of one of granddad’s pigeons? In those days I had probably a hundred pigeons, of various breeds and colours. The weather was fine, and she went outside with her drawing book. After some time she came in again and very proudly she showed me her painting. However, it surprised me a lot! For a little girl of only 6 years old, this was a very pretty painting, but I proposed that she had probably mistaken the one for the other, as in my opinion she had painted one of my double laced Barnevelder bantams. And with remarkable perception; such as there were the yellow legs and beak, and the red brown feather colour with some ‘lacing’. To this very day, she says that it was really a pigeon that she drew. To granddad it does not matter, I loved it anyway, and herewith I challenge every pigeon keeper to breed something like this!

Nico van Benten











By: Ruud Kreton.


Stinging-nettle – Urtica

( supplement of the article ‘Concerning poultry’ in this issue)


Stinging nettle is the name given to common nettle “Urtica dioica” and garden nettle “Urtica urens”. The generic name comes from the Latin word uro, which means "I burn." Originally from the colder regions of northern Europe and Asia, today this herbaceous shrub grows all over the world. Stinging nettle grows well in nitrogen-rich soil and blooms between May and September.


Urtica dioica has a rather stout, ribbed, hollow stem which grows 2-4 feet tall. The somewhat oval, long-stalked, dark green, opposite leaves are a few inches long, with a rough, papery texture, and very coarse teeth. The leaf tip is pointed, and its base is heart-shaped.

Nettles are covered with tiny, nearly invisible stinging hairs that sting you because the hairs are filled with formic acid, histamine, acetyl­choline and serotonin (5-hy­droxy­­tryptamine), plus un­known compounds. The acid is the same acid ants have in their saliva glands. When touching the nettles, the tiny hollow hairs break off and release the acid which irritates the skin and causes white itchy spots to appear.


picture: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé- Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz. 1885, Gera, Germany  


It is a perfect defence mechanism, but not against all herbivores; some caterpillars just love nettles! The Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma and Red Admiral Butterflies lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves so the young will have a meal as soon as they hatch. So the plant is also useful to wildlife.


The difference between the two species is in this: Urtica dioica is a dioecious plant, with male and female flowers growing on separate plants. The species name, dioica, means "two households" in Greek: By late spring, some plants have clusters of tiny, green female flowers, hanging from the leaf axils in paired strands. Other plants possess diagonally upright male flower strands, poised at the tops of the plants, sometimes producing so much pollen that the whole plant looks dusty. Flowers later develop into seeds which are blown off the parent plant and grow nearby. Stinging nettles also spread using rhizomes or underground stems that shoot out to the side.


Urtica urens is annual and has male and female flowers on the same plant. They spread by seeds. This nettle is much shorter; the size tends to vary depending on the amount of light and moisture.


Nettles can be eaten by humans and are very beneficial for instance to poultry. See article: Concerning Poultry. Many of the homeopathic benefits of the nettles are due to the plant's very high levels of minerals, especially, cal­cium, magnesium, iron, potas­sium, phosphorous, manga­nese, silica, iodine, silicon, sodium, and sulphur. They also provide chlorophyll and tannin, and they're a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and B complex vitamins.

Nettles also have high levels of easily absor­bable amino acids. They're ten percent protein, more than any other vegetable. Besides healthy qualities, nettles have some culinary value as well; such as the old fashioned Dutch ‘Kruudmoes’ and nettle soup. The English brew nettle beer and even nettle lemonade. Nettle juice can be used as rennet in cheese-making.

In the old days, nettles' long, fibrous stems were important in Europe for weaving, cloth-making, cordage, and even paper. Native Americans used them for embroidery, fish nets, and other crafts. You can even extract a yellow dye from the roots.

Moreover: Stems and leaves steeped raw in a bucket of water for 24 hours released the formic acid into the water. The stems were then removed and the water used as an organic pesticide and applied to plants with mites or aphids.


Collect nettle leaves before they flower in spring. Collect them using work gloves, and wear a long-sleeved shirt. The young leaves are the best part of the plant. They come off most easily if you strip them counter-intuitively, from the top down.

Clean and chop nettles wearing rubber gloves. Once you’ve cooked them a little, the stingers are deactivated, and the plant becomes wonderfully eatable.


Altogether the nettle is a stinging but valuable plant.














This plaque of wood and brass, which measures about  6 x 4 inches, has an image and inscription about English Cockfighting. It was given to me by a friendly pigeon keeper, who had no further information about it. May be one of our readers can tell me more about the origin and significance of this?

Your reactions please via 







Warwickshire Cockfighting Association

All Cocks must be inspected

before entering the ring

  1. Carlin – Honorary Secretary –

                April 1843



in Dutch:

Graafschap Warwick Hanengevechten Vereniging

Alle hanen moeten nagekeken worden

voordat ze de ring inkomen

A. Carlin - Eerbiedwaardige Secretaris - April 1843














This young male was the winner of the international show from El Francoli in Valls, Catalonia (Spain), held in Januari 2004. A really beautiful bird in all chief characteristics. In the first place, he presents the right strong body and is rather short than moderate in length. By the nice upright appearance, the desirable good rounded chest is very well shown. This upright position is often a problem for Show Homers. We have  seen many Show Homers too horizontal in stance and as a result they look too long. The most important feature of the Show Homer (and this bird confirming it) is the head. This head shows length and volume, with a clean-cut throat and a great curved head shape. The beak is nice and short and from a good substance which is not interfering the head curve. Also the wattles are (still) fine in texture and good shape. Even the eye is acceptable white, something we often find too dark, especially with young birds. Feather colour and quality are in combination with the bars, simply perfect. Although Show Homers often show bars which are a bit free and broad. Even the legs and toes are clean and free from feathering. All the honour for the breeder of this bird; Ramon Amenos i Cos. This man is not only a great breeder, also for Exhibition Homers, Scanderoons, Cap de Freres and Figurita frills, but for more than 20 years he has been the big promoter in Spain for the fancy pigeon and other small animals. Presently he is the president of the yearly international show in Valls, Catalonia (Spain).

The photo was made by Ad van Benten.









Do you prefer to read the articles in your own language? May be you can help us to publish Aviculture Europe in more different languages!


We are looking for:

Enthusiastic pigeon-, poultry- and waterfowl lovers, who want to become a member of our team as translator:


* Dutch to English, French, Spanish, German



* English to French, Spanish or German.


You do not have to translate the whole edition, may be just the pigeon-part or the poultry-part or a single article only. Any help will be welcome, preferably at a regular base of course. Many hands make light work.


Please contact Nico van Benten













N.V.C. (Dutch Flying Tippler Club)  - Result ‘Long Day’ match 2005


Midden: P.v.d.Werf


The tippler-team of P.F. v.d. Werf from Oosterbierum was once again the best! The blue, blue silver and grizzle hens flew a new Dutch record, a flight time of 20 hours and 31 minutes.  Just not a continental record, as that was flown in Germany by the team of Imer Saipi, being 20 hours and 35 minutes.

Piet reports: “At the start it was still dark and cloudy. Fortunately that improved soon. It was perfect flight weather all day and the team was super ‘in form’. 

At 00.31 hrs I gave the signal to the 2 judges (amongst them our tournament leader H. de Jong) to end the match.  Real quick I had my pigeons back on the aviary again. But after more than 20 hours of flying, they had to come round a bit. Happily I had the team back in the box in time. A perfect flight day and a very contented owner!”                     Photo’s below: het team van Piet v.d.Werf




In the category without judge another absolute  loft record by A.S. Knobbout in Ede. His yellow whiteflight hen and a red and a red whiteflight cock flew at 20 hours and 58 minutes. Pity that Steven flew in the category without judge. It does not bother him a lot, and he moderates: “More than once I was docent of the year, and that is my aim. Pigeons? Just a fascinating hobby!” As known there can only be flightrecords

A.S. Knobbout

in the category ‘with judge’. But nevertheless it is a fantastic time, and the longest flight time ever on the continent. Only in England (the origin of the tippler sport) and in Ireland, longer flying times have been realised.

Photo’s under: de kit of A.S. Knobbout





Are you interested in this fascinating flying tippler sport, please contact our secretary Mr. A.S. Knobbout or visit the website of the N.V.C. (Dutch Flying Tippler Club) at  (English version!)

There you can find the results of all this year’s matches.











New utilisation for old breeds

In many countries, Christmas is celebrated with a fir tree. For that purpose, firs are cultivated in plantations throughout Europe. Clever minds have now linked necessities to usefulness: To save expenses and efforts for cutting down grass and weeds and for fertilizers (potassium, nitrogen), Mangalitsa pigs (Wooly pigs) are kept in the plantations. They are easy to keep because of their modesty and their resistance to cold climatic conditions, only needing some scattered huts and igloos.

As the animals are distributed over a large area, soil compaction rarely develops. The pigs do not even harm the trees after having taken roots. It seems to be a classical win-win situation: the owner does not need to apply any chemicals, saves work and even creates income through the pigs. The meat, of excellent quality, is easily sold.

SAVE Foundation will give examples for unconventional utilisation of old breeds, particularly if the make sense and can be applied on a broader basis. It is very important that old breeds can settle in niches where they do not have to compete with modern performance breeds. Thus, they can conquer a place in the economic cycle.

The SAVE team sends Seasons greetings and a Happy New Year to all readers!

Elektronischer Informationsdient der SAVE Foundation, Paradiesstr. 13, D-78462 Konstanz, Germany

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