The Old Variety Canary
Association Presents “Perfectly Parisian”, the first of an annual
educational seminar presented at the National Cage Bird Show.
Parisian Frill - The Master of Beauty and Feather by Dr. Mac Saedi
The Parisian Frill, one of the largest canaries with an abundance of frill, goes back into the 18th
century in a small town around Paris France. A small group of French
breeders met and established a club which after much hard work and more
than five decades later resulted in the first Parisian Frill Standard in
early 1900. The current C.O.M. standard was adopted in 1978. Even
though the breed was created in France, today the popularity and
production of high quality Parisian Frill is far superior in Italy.
Parisian Frill Standard
general the morphology of the bird is a set of three fundamental parts,
head, trunk and tail. All three parts need to match one another and be
proportionate and symmetric. For example, a large head on a bird with a
modest tail, or vice-versa, makes it not proportional. Similarly a very
large bulky body with a short tail is not proportional and does not look
This color drawing model is useful in distinguishing the separation, pattern, and location of each particular curl.
Breast of Jabot or Craw:
On Parisians the abdomen ought to appear as one large curl, as if the
breast covers the entire ventral area, naturally, the feathers covering
the chest are always tighter than that covering the abdomen with no
opening or separation. Also, the feathers should be symmetrical and
full. In a bulky Jabot a level furrow ought to be visible to correspond
to the sternal section which gives the clean ideal of a “double” breast.
Such a furrow is considered to be an excellent characteristic.
Side or Flank:
Side feathers must be bulky and long, very symmetrical, also curled
toward the higher position of the back as far as the shoulder, and
curved toward the back. So in birds with a heavy plumage it is noticed
that the anterior part has a tendency to open. There should not be any
separation between fin and trunk. They should give the illusion of
feathers connected together as one piece.
Head and Neck:
The feathers should adhere together, which gives the bird a very bulky
head. It is important that there not be any separation between the head
and neck feathers. The feathers of the head, neck and cheeks make
Calotte or Helmet:
It is composed of plumage that arises from the central area of the top
of the head, and then falls down toward the sides as far as to cover the
eye forming a skull cap. There should not be any separations on the
helmet. If there is too much soft feather it could cause a separation on
the helmet. Also, feathers on the head might form a different shape.
More likely if all the feathers fall on one side, called a simple head
top, double or symmetrical. This feather is divided to both sides of the
Wings: Should be close to the body, not crossing each other, and end at the top of the tail with no drooping.
Feet and Legs:
The thighs should be completely covered with feathers so that no skin
is visible. The feet should have a long curled nail. This is a sign of
strength as it is necessary for the toe to be very strong for good
standing and balance on the perch. A weaker toe will result in problems
standing tall. The young bird nail needs to show clear sign of
The tail must be complete, straight, and with cock feathers. The cock
feathers are a set of long feathers which hang on both sides of the
tail. Very long cock feathers unbalance the bird. Strong tail feathers
are another sign of strength. End of the tail should be square and
tight, also in line with the trunk, no angulations between tail and
The feathers of the back are called the Mantle. The mantle should fall
symmetrically from the central parting over each shoulder, the feathers
being long and broad, giving the appearance of extra width across the
shoulders. The mantle should extend well down the back and end above the
rump. At the end is a bouquet or rosette of feathers. The bouquet is
another sign of a superior bird as it is always difficult to produce a
bouquet on Parisian Frill. This is easy to achieve on a Northern Frill
where it is a fault.
The bird should be level, clean and in good health. To improve feather
quality, bath water should be supplied as often as possible and contain
one teaspoon Listerine per gallon of water. Healthy birds are achieved
through controlling parasites, mites, lice and other pests which may be
present in a bird room. This is especially important during the hot,
muggy months of summer.
The size of Parisians should be not less than eight inches long or
nineteen centimeters. It is very important that the bird stand erect,
fierce, lively and mostly the head, trunk and tail must be in line
approximately 50 degree angle while standing.
are two common defects. First, A - visible horizontal angulation less
than 50 degrees and B – tail not lying in line with the trunk, mostly
hanging down, (Robin Tail). The first mentioned defect is known by the
expression “frog like appearance”. This is more common in giant size
birds. The problem could depend on the weakness of the claws or from the
rigidness of the posterior claw, (The English Slip Claw). It is
recommended to pay close attention to this problem because it would be
automatic disqualification. This problem occurs when the bird remains in
horizontal position and has the inferior claws so flexible and weak,
that the stomach leans on the perch. The problem is frequently common in
birds raised individually in a nest or raised in cold climates. This
problem also contributes to automatic disqualification because it does
not represent the typical characteristic of the Parisian Frill as it is
safe to say that this problem is not a genetic defect. By using small diameter perches, the English Slip Claw could be corrected. Some fanciers prefer to tape the claw up to the leg. These methods most of the time will correct the problem.
second defect is also common in the large bird and is noticeable
because of the angulations between the trunk and tail therefore, the
trunk is insufficiently erect. This is in part due to the heavy tail and
lack of strength of the tail muscle. This problem is hard to cure.
Using a flight cage for a period of time may improve the problem
somewhat, but will not cure it because it is a genetic problem.
This is the most important for a bird in captivity. Sufficient diet for
different times of year should be provided. Diet must contain and be
balanced with proteins, fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, trace
elements and water. The breeder must avoid protein toxicity which causes
Pairing the birds, the breeder must: 1) know the origin of both male
and female, 2) know if any fault exists with any one of them, 3) study
them carefully before pairing them in order to assure that one is not
repeating and reproducing the same fault again.
factor is the type of feather. Choosing the right feather is essential
to produce good curls. There are three types of different feather in
existence: A – soft or non-intensive, B – medium soft feather (which is
intermediate between yellow and buff), C – intensive or hard feather.
The best match is pairing soft feather to hard feather. It is a mistake
to repeatedly pair soft feather to soft feather as this will cause the
feather to become loose. The curly frill becomes indistinct and the fins
will slope excessively and mingle with the breast curls. Also it is a
mistake to pair clear hard feather to clear hard feather as the young
will lose size, feather quality and texture.
Additional Tips: Use a minimum of 15 hours for breeding. Wean chicks at 30 days. Introduce show cages when youngsters are 2 or 3 months old.
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
2 cups baby cereal (rice or mixed)
4 Tablespoon wheat germ
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon iodized salt
1/4 cup fructose
Mix all of the above well and keep in refrigerator.
Mix one grated hardboiled egg to two tablespoons of the baby food mix.
you Dr. Saedi for a very informative seminar and for permission
to post a summary of your lecture on this blog.