|The Norwich Cropper
|By Bryan Neuner—Westport, KY
"Daisy" Blue Bar young hen and the
family pet. Champion Norwich at the
2001 NYBS Louisville, KY. Reserve
Champion Norwich at the 2001 CCPC
Bred by Bryan Neuner
"Niffertiti" Mealy young hen, Reserve
Champion Norwich at the 2001 NYBS,
Louisville, KY. Champion Norwich and
Reserve Champion Pouter/Cropper at
the 2001 CCPC "Buckeye Classic" She
is also nest mate to "Herecules".
Bred by Bryan Neuner
I remember the very first time that I saw a Norwich Cropper. Even though I was just a kid back then I knew that
someday I would have a loft full of them. This time had come to me back in 1993. After being away from birds for
a few years, I had purchased my first Norwich Croppers. I have always considered myself very fortunate to have
been able to purchase the birds I was looking for, and even more fortunate to breed the type of bird for which the
standard calls for. I had found that the breed had under gone some major standard changes and things were a
lot different than from when I was a boy.
The body and waist were much thinner, and the legs were much longer, with these changes came a more
attractive bird. The globe is kind of an optical illusion. With the thin waist the globe was not as big as it appeared,
and for this reason nor did it have to be. The thinner waist also gave the globe the appearance that it was very
large and also allowed it to form a good clean break from the body and be round when viewed from all angles. A
long neck is also an important trait to have. It allows the bird to have a larger blowing ability, while a shorter neck
would not. A good back globe is a must to help with the roundness appearance of the globe. A misshaped globe
and rearing due to over blowing is considered a major fault and any bird showing these faults should not be
considered for breeding or showing purposes.
The length of the leg should be at least four inches an straight and not stilted and placed inside the body and not
set wide apart. This placement is usually correct when the bird has a slim waist, a bird with a wide body would not
have the correct leg placement. The legs should also be clean and free of any feathering. Over the years I have
had a few birds with foot feathering. If it is a show bird and there are only a few then they should be removed one
week before the show. This is a minor fault and can be best solved simply by not breeding two birds together that
share this fault.
A medium sized tail is a must to allow for the proper upright station. The wings should be held somewhat up off
the tail to show a good waist when viewed from the side, but not too high or the flights will cross. A split or wry tail
is also sometimes seen but not too often and you should be very careful to not let this trait begin in your line of
The pied markings are the finishing touches and sometimes the toughest to stay consistent when breeding
Norwich. An excellent bird of type with no markings may not belong in the show pen but certainly should be
considered for breeding purposes as the same goes for an over marked bird. The same should also apply to a
bird with cracked or bull eyes. It is also very important that your Norwich are overall well balanced, this balance
will only occur with the proper leg placement and length of leg. After reviewing all of these factors I hound that
this new standard of Norwich could move about the loft or show pen with much more grace and beauty than that
of the old style birds with thick bodies and short legs.
The one characteristic that still remained true to the breed through the years; this was the fantastic personality.
After several years of breeding with the birds that I first began, I then purchased a few key birds that would
ultimately still today be the foundation of my line of Norwich Croppers. These three particular birds were all cocks,
brown bar, mealy and blue bar.
As I look back not every breeding season was perfect, but to breed five or six key birds that I needed for my stud,
kept me very satisfied. There is not a more fulfilling feeling than when I go to my pigeon loft and see my Norwich
Croppers puffing their globes just at the sight of me. The hens are very voice responsive and they are pretty
much the family pets. I do have a few cock birds that get so excited that they walk around the loft with their wings
held straight over their heads, and clapping them loudly!
Like most breeds of pigeons the Norwich Cropper has its negative attributes as well with the two worst being sour
crop and crop bound. I will not go into detail with remedies but I will say that they are sometimes not easy. Just as
the old saying goes, “You take the good with the bad.” There are several rules which my father had taught me
right from the beginning and which I still follow and will pass on to a new fancier:
• Obtain the very best breeding stock possible.
• Always be a gentleman when purchasing or selling birds to someone else.
• Never forget where you came from and who helped you get there.
I could never end this without giving credit where credit is due and that is to my mentors of the breed, Ron
Johnson and Carl Rodgerdts. A big thanks to these two fine gentlemen for helping me get started with breeding
stock and for teaching me the finer points of breeding Norwich over the years.
If you are interested in the most powerful blowing breed of all pouters and croppers then why not give the Norwich
a try. Maybe then you to can have the same feelings about this breed as I do, “Satisfaction Guaranteed”!