Note: This cross, which would be interordinal (Galliformes × Columbiformes), requires additional confirmation.
Videos exist on YouTube showing birds that appear to be chicken-pigeon composites (example). Thus, the bird at right is reported as having been produced in China in 2017. In general, these animals have the heads of pigeons, but the body of a chicken.
Those who believe that such a hybrid would be impossibly distant assert that such birds are merely a chicken-like breed of pigeon and not hybrids at all. However, people often forget that many existing breeds of both birds and mammals are known to have been produced via hybrid crosses, the beefalo (from bison × cattle) and the red-factor canary (Serinus domesticus x Carduelis cucullata) being prominent examples. So the mere fact that they have been described as breeds (e.g., Modena breed, or Banat Chicken Pigeon breed) does not preclude the possibility that these birds had a hybrid origin.
Indeed, there are old accounts of breeders producing pigeon-chicken hybrids, which would explain how the various breeds that look like pigeon-chicken hybrids were first developed. Thus, in explaining how to produce various avian crosses, the Neapolitan scholar, polymath and playwright Giambattista della Porta (1658, p. 45), who spent the larger portion of his life on scientific endeavors, claimed to have produced pigeon-chicken hybrids and gives his readers instructions for how to do the same themselves:
So the direction of this cross would be male pigeon x hen. It should perhaps be pointed out that, if these breeds were in fact developed from such hybrids, then at least some of F1 hybrids initially produced from this interordinal cross must have been capable of producing offspring. And, like most hybrids that are able reproduce themselves and that eventually become breeds, their origins tend to be forgotten, because there is not the sterility, as in the common mule, that lingers on to remind us.
The incubation time of a pigeon egg is about 17 days, that of a chicken’s, 21.Another avian interordinal cross >>
By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).
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