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The English Pouter is a breed of fancy pigeon that has been shaped by years of selective breeding, descending from the rock pigeon like all other domesticated pigeons. Charles Darwin, in his landmark work "The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication," noted the breed's unique characteristic of an enlarged crop.
The origin of the English Pouter is a matter of debate among pigeon experts. William Bernhardt Tegetmeier believed it to be a cross between the Dutch Cropper, Uploper, and Parisian Pouter, all of which date back to the 17th century. But John Moore had a different theory, suggesting that it was the result of crossbreeding between a type of cropper and horseman, both 18th-century pigeon breeds. The breed was previously known as the Pouting Horseman due to its association with the Horseman breed, and modern cropper breeds like the Norwich Cropper have their roots in the English Pouter.
As a fancy pigeon, the English Pouter is kept by pigeon enthusiasts as part of the fancy pigeon group, separate from the Flying/Sporting Pigeons or Utility pigeons. It is long-limbed with an enlarged crop and a large body, characteristics developed through years of selective breeding of specific individuals.