Pigeon muscular system – By Leon Lam

As pigeon fanciers we want the best athletic birds possible -powerful pigeons

Superior pigeons

When handling a pigeon we are looking for birds to have muscles

We feel with our fingers and we look with our eyes certain features of a pigeon

Wing butts and Wing

Stance-How it stands

Back muscles

Pectoral muscles

Breasts muscles

Overall structure etc

Most of what we learn is from discussions with other pigeon fanciers and our own personal understanding.

To understand muscles we need to do some basic study on a pigeons anatomy and what is muscle and muscle function

Without getting into too much complexity these are my thoughts

What is muscle

Muscle is the meat/tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. …

There are 3 types of muscles

Skeletal Muscle

Which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body

Muscles are attached to bones by tendons and help them to move. When a muscle contracts (bunches up), it gets shorter and so pulls on the bone it is attached to. … Therefore muscles have to work in pairs to move a joint. For example when a pigeon flaps both wings move together simultaneously

Tendons are bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones. They are so strong and flexible

Muscles are all made of the same material, a type of elastic tissue (sort of like the material in a rubber band). Thousands, or even tens of thousands, of small fibers make up each muscle.

Cardiac Muscles

Heart muscle is called “cardiac muscle.” This muscle can be observe by looking at a birds breathing rate and the colouration of the throat. A nice pink colour indicates a good healthy heart rate /contraction. A more accurate way would be to see your local vet.

Smooth Muscles

Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called “smooth muscle.” We also look at a birds dropping to determine its health. Canker and other diseases can affect the bowel . If you experience any problems with a pigeons dropping it’s best to consult a vet.

Muscle Mass

Muscle mass includes the weight of the muscles in your body in kilograms or pounds and does not include body fat.

While the body fat percentage measures the amount of fat your body holds

Muscle mass includes smooth muscles, skeletal muscles and water contained in the muscles.

Muscle mass can increase with the right training and correct feeding .

Healthy pigeons will have greater muscle mass compared to one that is not in top health

Breeding from top quality race performance pigeons and selecting for stock strong pigeons will sustain and also increase muscle mass in your stock birds

My own personal observation and notes I have found that muscle mass varies in age

A pigeon’s muscle mass ranges are:

Peak levels

Age group

1 to 4 years old muscle mass at maximum

5 to 7 years old muscle mass 80 percent

8 to 10 years old muscle mass 60 percent

10 to 14 years old muscle mass at 50 percent

A more accurate assessment can be achieved by a blood test

A pigeon can have low muscle mass and we don’t want to keep those birds

If a pigeon has high muscle mass density you can feel the power of its pectoral muscles and wing butt muscles with your fingers . Muscles should feel firm and spongy.

As you observe the bird you can also see the way a pigeon stands and holds itself its physical structure.