The American Kazan tumbler is a very rare breed of pigeon. Kazans are now bred world-wide with the American version
having its own standard recognized by the National Pigeon Association. Youngsters must have a seamless NPA band in order
to be shown at any of the pigeon shows throughout the United States.
They have an interesting history.
They are one of fifty or more Russian breeds in the category of "Statnijie", the word meaning "carriage or stationing" of
which there are three sub-varieties: Trisuni; Kachuni; & Vislokrile. All the "Statnijie" breeds of tumblers
have three characteristics in common--wings down; tail up; & triangular trail. The Kazan tumbler belongs to the
Pigeons belonging to this group may vary as far as markings and coloring
and structure, but they have certain traits in common. One of these traits is the way they hold their tails at an even
level or at a 45 degree angle. One way of imagining this is to consider a pancake turner turned upright. The graceful
sloping upward bend describes how this bird's tail should angle in regard to its body. Kazans have stacked (accordion-like)
bushy tails with the tail feathers held tightly together and the tail lifting when the bird is excited. As the bird
walks, the neck shakes. The Kazan is a small bird with a medium-sized beak on the short side, an important characteristic
allowed in the American standard. The original Russian Kazan tumbler which gets its name from the city of Kazan on the
Volga River in Russia had a very short beak. Because of this, it needed foster birds which hatched and fed its young;
it could not feed its own offspring, a factor which may have contributed to its extinction during World War I.
eastern and western Eu8ropean countries imported the old Russian Kazans before they became extinct and used them to create
other breeds such as the Berliner Shortfaced Tumbler. This made it possible for North American breeders to import certain
European breeds to bring them back (up to a point). The modern Kazan tumbler is a different bird even though it has
many similarities of the Kazan. While the American Kazan is also very similar to European Kazans, there are differences
and one cannot show an American Kazan using, i.e., the British or German standard or vice versa.
this country, the Kazan tumbler remains one of the rarest. It is a challenge to breed them because of this rarity.
We got into breeding pigeons when we took over our daughter Chrystal's loft. She bred Frillbacks (a medium-sized pigeon
that looks like it stepped out of a beauty parlor after having had a permanent). Chrystal had one lone Kazan tumbler
cock given to her by one of the judges she knew. She had shown him several times and won a trophy with him. Because
of his smaller size and his very attractive stance and his strong white ribbontail marking, we sold her Frillbacks and began
the hunt to find a hen for him. We finally located a breeder in Arizona who was advertising over the internet.
From him we purchased a hen plus a mated pair of Kazans and that got us started.
Five years of breeding
and having crossed the two lines several times over caused me to began searching for new blood (unrelated line of Kazans to
improve health and vitality of our line). Searching for this new blood became an even greater challenge than locating
a hen for our first Kazan cock. While we found other birds that breeders were calling "Kazans", I realized after seeing them,
most were outcrossed birds and too far from the standard to risk breeding into our line. We did finally locate a breeder
in Texas and bought several of his birds, two of which we bred into our line. It took the better part of a year to find
that new blood.
Because the American Kazan is a relatively new breed (1990's), they are still a "work-in-progress".
This is not a hobby for the uncommitted. many breeders are impressed with them when they see them at shows as they are
a small, stylish and tame bird. However the challenges of breeding them to standard, finding buyers for their offspring
(somewhat difficult because they are not well known), and finding good new blood can discourage potential breeders.
Much work remains to be done in the form of writing and publishing material about them and showing them at as many shows
as possible to attract new breeders. Their fine qualities and their well-balanced appearance make it all worthwhile.
It would be a shame for the American version of the Kazan tumbler to become extinct for lack of interest. After all
the effort our family has put into the breeding of them, we pray this will not happen.