Pigeons revive interest in pea varieties!
Tannin-rich pea varieties, which for a long time have not been seen in protein pea breeding programs, are making a comeback in pigeon racing. Under the Brexit procedure, the CTPS section for protein plants has processed an application for a variety of tannin pea developed for grain use in the pigeon market.
At the request of the CTPS section meeting on 7 November, the VCU expert group – extended to experts in animal feed and poultry – examined the application for the RAINBOW variety. This spring pea variety has marbled seeds, is rich in tannins and is destined for the bird market to be used in pigeon racing.
Pigeon racing is a big market and there is strong demand for this type of original tannin variety, particularly in France and Belgium. The group proposed the registration of this variety on List A of the French National Listing alongside the creation of a new category: “tannin varieties, colourful flowers”. Pigeons are attracted to coloured (dark) grains, and tannins seem to have a positive effect on the digestive system (antiseptic and fortifying properties according to observations from breeders).
If further applications for tannin varieties are submitted to the CTPS in the future, the RAINBOW variety will become a point of reference. Within this new category of tannin varieties, it is foreseen that experts and the section will have to decide on varieties claiming an adaptation to other uses. Evaluation methods and thresholds will be defined accordingly using this information.