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These articles are compiled here for the benefit of you, our visitor. We hope you find them both helpful and informative as well as add to your enjoyment of the Roller Pigeon in all its variations. A Special Note: We appreciate the effort of all the authors and their willingness to share their work with the Roller Pigeon Hobby. We welcome any articles you may choose to submit that pigeon breeders will find useful. Send them to: Support@Roller-Pigeon.Com.

 


  SERIES: Flying Young Birds Part 5 of 5: A Real Kit!

After about 2 weeks or so, your birds should be kitting without a glitch. However, in these early stages (first several weeks), it is normal to see different birds stick out from time to time, but given the opportunity, these birds will improve based on the habits you are establishing with them. At around this time, you want your kit of young birds to be flying about 30 minutes and then as the weeks go by, you want them steadily increasing their daily airtime to about 45 to 60 minutes. 

 
  SERIES: Flying Young Birds Part 4 of 5: Developing Into A Kit

Now that you are letting the birds out everyday and calling them in and everything is running smoothly, you may be wondering why they are not all flying together like they are supposed to. Well, it is natural for them to spend a few days getting a feel for their wings and “learning” to fly. The more “air-time” you give them, the sooner they will finally start flying together into what might be considered a kit of rollers.

 
  SERIES: Flying Young Birds Part 3 of 5: Flagging Your Rollers Up

The next step and very crucial part of the process is is getting them into the air and flying. Some of your birds may have already done this and you are jumping ahead to read what you should do…

 
  SERIES: Flying Young Birds Part 2 of 5: Releasing Team First Time

Be sure to release your team on a day where you can spend a few hours with them as you may need to be around to help your birds find their way back into your yard or even into the kit box. This could take some time. Releasing your birds for the first time is a critical moment in the training of your team. Things can go wrong very quickly and become overwhelming to you as well as the birds.

 
  SERIES: Flying Young Birds Part 1 of 5: Settling Young Birds

Settling rollers is an important step in the process of flying a good kit. There are different techniques and methods to doing it based on if you are flying the birds from out of a loft or using a kit box. My approach is to use a wire cage or pen and place it on top of the box or loft they are flying out of. I will usually settle my birds for about 10 to 15 days before they are released the first time. 

 
  Culling And Selective Breeding In Birmingham Roller Pigeons

Culling is the process by which an animal is removed from a group due to its lacking certain characteristics or having those that are undesirable. There are several cases in which culling practices are utilized today. In each instance, however, strict culling guidelines and criteria are implemented. For instance, in the area of livestock, male chicks are culled shortly after being hatched due to their lack of use in egg production. Culling in wildlife occurs with the hunting of certain animals to deal with overpopulation, and is often put into practice when certain species of animals are tested positive for contagious diseases, in order to prevent the spread.

 
  Using Iodine In The Water
 
  Induced Roll
 
  Eye To Eye
 
  Maximum Nutrition
 
  Physiology of a Roll
 
  Another Mans Opinion
 
  Crossing Family(s)

nicksiders I have heard of breeders pairing only birds of the same family and believing that this is the way you maintain solid performers. I have also heard of breeders pairing best to best no matter what family(s) are involved and this is the key to maintaining solid performers. Can you give the pros and cons of either program? What is the most common and successful practice?

 
  Don Simpson, The Old Almond Cock, and Their Role in the History of South Carolina Rollers

In the spring of 1970, a young man named Frankie Reece rode his bicycle up to Don Simpson’s pigeon pen, still located at his dad’s house a short way from where Don lived with his family. Frankie had a box of young Pensom rollers that he had just that same day acquired from Lloyd Bagwell of Williamston, South Carolina. Bob Welbourne, of Greenville, South Carolina was the man responsible for bringing the Pensom family of rollers into the Carolinas in about 1956-’57, obtaining them directly from Bill Pensom. He (Welbourne) bred them pure and flew them until his daughter became terminally ill with leukemia. Along about 1970,Welbourne finally divested himself of his rollers to a friend in Greenville in order to focus on carrying for his daughter.

 
  Commitment: That Nasty Word

Put together a string of a few winning scores in the NBRC and World Cup competitions and it is highly likely that a roller fancier will receive the highest compliment of many requests for his birds. And what hobbyist can resist the urge to “try” a bird or two from a fellow hobbyist when he observes the kind of awesome performance that he has been looking for, whether he competes or not?

 
  Big Frank.. Standing Tall..!!

As main man in the organization,
Franks’ efforts let to many a roller revelation.
While all this number stuff remains a mystery,
Frank is a master of the pigeon pedigree.

 
  Judging Roller Families

Do not believe the rhetoric about a strain that you can just throw them in a cage and viola you are in. You are, breeding pigeons, dealing with genes and genetics and it is not that simplistic. I know a guy who had a family for six months and bashed them and guest what he is trying to get them back again because the guy he sold them to is now spinning pigeons like crazy.

 
  Bird Extinctions Inevitable: Over 4 Million Bird Deaths Daily

Bird Extinctions Inevitable, Over 4 Million Bird Deaths Daily by Mark Almond Birds in North America are in trouble. There is no question, at this point, that we must have a complete analysis of what is causing the rapid decline in bird populations. The current explanations of this problem are incomplete and misleading.

 
  James Turner: The Man Who Put Color Into Spin

The Carolinas are home to many great roller men. Names like Clay Hoyle, Joe Bob Stuka, Jay Yandle, Bob Simpson, Wendall Carter, John Castro, Don Simpson, Don Greene, Larry Williams, Bob Welbourne, Ed Garett, Tony Roberts, and James Turner are all synonymous with competence in breeding quality, depth, speed, frequency and kitting ability in performing rollers. But most importantly, these names are synonymous with competition, with winning, with judging, and with support and commitment to the NBRC.

 
  Medication For Dying Birds & Green Droppings?

QUESTION "Hi Tony, a few of the pigeon guys are having an issue with their pigeons, quite a few are dying.  What is the best medication for green droppings, loss of weight which must be causing their death. I would really appreciate it if you could recommend what the best course of action is..."  "As Spring is rapidly approaching what would you recommend for the guys that are having issues with their hens not laying eggs?..."

 
  A Modern Day Bill Pensom?

Some have asked recently what it would take to be a modern day Bill Pensom. Many may believe that a person only has to be a good breeder and flyer but we must have overlooked the reason why Bill Pensom was who he was and that was due to his characteristics and values as well as his knowledge of the Black Country Rollers known in America as Pensom’s.

 
  Rolling Styles To Look For In Rollers

Since the death of W.H. Pensom there has been a gradual change in the Roller fanciers, and their attitudes. They seem to live in fear of losing sight of the true Birmingham Roller, as they believed was known only to Pensom himself. I cannot deny the fact that Pensom was an outstanding authority of the rolling pigeon in his time, but his time was in the past.

 
  Evolution of the Birmingham Roller Fancier

This article is based on something that never seems to be talked about very often in the Birmingham Roller world, especially to new fanciers… and that is the Fancier himself! The birds dominate most every discussion including; feeding, flying, training, breeding and the list goes on. The development of a Birmingham

 
  Is Competition Destroying The Roller Hobbyist?

Our human nature for fellowship and competition creates a drive to improve our management, breeding and training techniques; hopefully culminating in our participation in the annual events of the World Cup Fly and NBRC Fall Fly or at the very least the local fly clubs.

 
  My Idea For Finding The Best Overall Champion Flyer/Kit

The National Championship Fly (Formerly Fall Fly may not be broke but but in my own opinion, "1 fly does not a flyer make". I believe there is a more equitable way to determine who has the best kit in a given year...

 
  (Fall Fly) Time For A Change?

The NBRC Fall Fly, also known as the James Perry Memorial Fly, has become one of the most prestigious competition flys in our nation, thanks to the dedication and perseverance of many men over several decades. We take this time to acknowledge these men for their excellent accomplishment; for their supreme effort; and for their commitment to the NBRC and to the competitive flying of performing rollers. In what has become our national championship fly, roller men from all across the nation gather at each other's lofts under the scrutiny of a judge and the watchful eyes of their peers to showcase the results of their breeding programs; their selection of performers; and their proficiency in the training and preparation of a competition kit of rollers.

 
  EUTHANASIA OF POULTRY (Pigeons)

In any poultry production system, it is inevitable that some birds will become ill, debilitated, or injured. If the bird is unlikely to respond favorably to treatment, or if treatment is not feasible because of economic or public health considerations, euthanasia may be the best option to prevent the bird from suffering. In addition, healthy spent hens may be killed on-farm for subsequent rendering because their low market value makes it impractical to send them to a processing facility. This pamphlet is designed to aid producers, transporters, and veterinarians in making appropriate decisions regarding euthanasia and on-farm killing of poultry.

 
  Great Threat To Our Hobby

GREAT THREAT TO OUR HOBBY

"... If new laws in a city as renowned as Chicago can pass a ban on all pigeon-keeping, a precedent is set which will undoubtedly get the attention of other cities and towns and their attorneys... Each one that falls will make it easier for the next..." Butch Guericke

"... I see this as the greatest single threat to the hobby..." Bob Berggren

"... Many pigeon men will bicker to no end about minor matters of pigeon politics while their hobby is pulled out from under them by municipal politics..." Bob Munson

"...The pigeon men in Illinois were asleep at the switch..." Tom Monson

"... I think the officers of the NBRC need to get together and officially get into the fight and come up with a game plan...this is now a war...for our rights to raise pigeons.....You can't say it enough....United we stand....Divided we fall..." Paul Fullerton

 
  Use A Pre-Potent Cock To Build A Family

Question: If you had a stock pair that placed three high quality birds in your A-kit, of the ten young that they produced in a breeding season, would you:

a) Pair up the best of the offspring?
b) Keep the original pair together?
c) Pair up father/best daughter and mother/best son?


Similarly, if you had an average cock on a very good hen that produced a very high quality performer that is better than either parent, would you?

 
  Stable Rollers Are Quality Rollers

The roller fancier who unwittingly breeds from unstable rollers will find his time full of disappointment and frustration and if a solution is not found, will probably end up quitting the hobby out of frustration.

 
  Starting Out

“Starting out” with rollers seems to be the hardest part. Like any project in life, “starting out” seems to be the scariest. That first step into the unknown is the biggest step. Everyone wants to start out on the right foot. There are many ways to skin a cat and I am going to just give you one that I feel worked for me. Of course there are many opinions on many subjects in the roller world. From feeding, selecting breeders, flying, color, judging and the list goes on and on.

 
  My Friend Les Manz: How I Turned His Karp & Bygraves Families into Mottles & Whitesides

I am currently 85 years old and started in the pigeon hobby when my aunt, Rose Hurley, brought me two common youngsters that fell from the eves of her house in 1927. Shortly after that time, a local Ophthalmologist helped me to get a solid start in the hobby by giving me ten young Tipplers from his loft. When I was 8 years old, I noticed a strange but beautiful looking grizzled pigeon that flew into my little loft while I was training my Tipplers. That Grizzled pigeon, I soon discovered, belonged to a Mr. Fred Alfred, who lived on the other side of town. Mr. Alfred came to my home to claim his pigeon and invited my father and me to his home to see his loft of roller pigeons. My father and I had never seen pigeons fly like these before. Flying, rolling, and spinning in the air. A sight I will never forget.

 
  The Heritage of my NAHF Rollers

The true North American High flying Roller first appeared in the loft of George Stevens of Toronto, Canada in 1869. Stevens was known to breed for high quality, fine color, vivid markings, and most importantly their ability to fly high, fly long, and to roll deep.

 
  Avoiding the Ills of Inbreeding Rollers

Inbreeding creates a restricted pool of genetic material when both partners in each pairing have some genetic kinship and similarity.  This combination strengthens the qualities that exist, but it can also quickly reveal many faults that could stay hidden in an out-breeding system.

 
  Apple Cider Vinegar (AVC)
Ancient cultures used vinegar for its medical benefits and it was used for healing bruises, disinfecting wounds, snake and insect bites.  Vinegar is antiseptic which kills germs on contact and also antibiotic. Apple cider vinegar contains over thirty important nutrients, a dozen minerals, more that half a dozen vitamins and essential acids and several enzymes, which makes apple cider vinegar a substance that contains many outstanding qualities that are beneficial to you and to your rollers.
 
  Outbreeding Rollers Made Simple
Most breeders begin in the roller hobby by outcross breeding utilizing the selection of unrelated stock possessing many of the desired features as far as visual form is concerned for because of the lack of knowledge of the family history of their rollers other than what were told by the seller. 
 
  Inbreeding Rollers Made Simple

Breeders wishing to build a strain of rollers possessing family type uniformity can only achieve this by using an inbreeding system of one form or another.  The heritable makeup of each adult bird is unalterable but by skillfully matching, the breeder can only hope that the mating will nick and advance the quality of his strain.  The breeder skill in this will be evident in the quality of the young he rear.

 
  Line Breeding Rollers Made Simple

Line breeding is a form of inbreeding, in which the breeder uses distantly related stud of rollers to achieve the objective to preserve the genetic line of descent, thereby retaining with a family group of rollers the genetic influence that produces stock of rollers akin to the Ideal.  By inbreeding, the breeder pairs down the direct line of descent.  Line breeding is often thought of as pairing across the board.  The drawback with line breeding is that it does not increase the genetic influence. 

 
  Outcrossing Rollers Made Simple

There comes a time for all strains when it becomes necessary to introduce an outcross.  How long can a breeder continue without an introduction of new blood will depend on variety of things?  Many of strains have been bred for more than thirty years without an outcross being brought in.  Much will depend upon the inherent character of the foundation stock, and upon the breeder vigilance in selection and culling birds possessing any weaknesses.

 
  Inbreeding Ten Commandments

Bare in mind, always, it is just as possible to breed genetic dominance for defect into your strain as it is a quality.

 
  Outbreeding Ten Commandments

10 useful tips to remember when bringing in a an outcross to an already established family of rollers.

 
  Sky Predators…An Ecological Benefit

All hawks and owls are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 USC, 703-711).  These laws strictly prohibit the capture, killing, or possession of hawks or owls without special permits.  State and federal permits are required to trap and relocate hawks and owls.  If possible, experienced bird banders or trappers should do the trapping.  Landowners, however, can safely trap hawks and owls if they follow instructions and are careful when handling the birds of prey.  It is against the law to shoot hawks and owls.  State and federal permits are required to shoot them.  They may be issued only where there is a serious public health or depredation problem and when non-lethal control methods fail or are impractical.

 
  Table of Wieghts and Measures
A conversion table useful for administering proper medicinal dosages and feed amounts for pigeons.
 
  Rollers and the Moult

It is necessary for us to understand something of nature’s process by which the normal bird is supplied with its feathers.  Nature has provided that a bird shall grow one coat of feathers each year.  In the wild state, this takes place in our latitude and in the northern hemisphere in the latter part of July, in August, and the first part of September.

 
  Can We Breed Champion Spinners?
One most common question on the minds of roller fanciers is how can we breed champion spinners? As we all hear that sometimes a mating is stumbled upon a pair of rollers that produce a high percentage of champions.  You often read of a single roller that consistently breeds champion spinners, irrespective of the mate chosen for it.  Such rollers often carry a name such as the producer hen or the Goldmine cock.  But why is it that only a few rollers consistently produce the desired goods and yet the majority fails to produce any creditable youngsters?
 
  Devils Ear Rollers

The most impressive factors of any rolling action are described in these photos attached. I refer to what I have termed” devils ears” displayed in the photos.I  like to refer to my birds as “devil rollers”. The bird in the photo is a blur,( neither hole” A” nor “H”.)  This bird rolls 1.8 seconds, 24 times in 20 minutes and is currently 3 years of age. She only started rolling at the age of 9 months.

 
  The Power of Diatomaceous Earth

To use it in food storage, you should mix thoroughly one cup of DE to every (40) forty pounds of grains such as barley, buckwheat, corn, wheat, oats, rise, and a mixture of these grains.  This works out to approximately one cup of DE to every (5) five gallon bucket full of grains.  You need to make certain that every kernel is coated so it is better to do the mixing in small batches where you can insure more even coating.

 
  Coffee & Roller Please

I can truly say that one of the things I enjoy most in life is watching a kit of my Ruby Rollers fly on a clear crispy cold morning along with a steaming hot cup of coffee in hand flavored with hazelnut creamer.

 
  My German Shepherd & Roller Pigeons

Working with my German Shepherd dog around the pigeons and getting good results is satisfying and very useful (chasing young birds off the ground). I encourage anyone with a problem dog that you have to “lock up” when working with your birds to go through the process of training so it can become your “assistant” and be fun to hang around with you and your pigeons.

 
  Nutrition and the Rollers

The belief of most experts in avian medicine is that malnutrition probably the common cause of disease in domesticated pigeons and particularly rollers. These domesticated pigeons that suffer from malnutrition have developed the conditions as a result of being maintained on an almost diet of seeds exclusively.  The effects of malnutrition become more evident during periods of high nutritional demand such as moulting, breeding and/or exposure to disease.  In other words, malnutrition leads the rollers to many other diseases that they could have easily avoided had their diets been more complete and balanced.

 
  Frequent & Seldom Performing Birmingham Rollers & Breeder Selection

As I review my birds and contemplate future breeding of pairs, I always consider the more frequent bird to be of higher value than the less frequent one. This frequency in performance is something I like to see passed on or maintained within my Ruby Roller family of Birmingham Rollers.

 
  Outbreeding Rollers Made Simple

Most breeders begin in the roller hobby by outcross breeding utilizing the selection of unrelated stock possessing many of the desired features as far as visual form is concerned for because of the lack of knowledge of the family history of their rollers other than what were told by the seller.

 
  Unpredictable Results

QUESTION: These questions are hard to answer, can you help...What do the unpredictable and uncontrollable effects of development and unobserved genes explain about why siblings in closely bred families exhibit such different performance abilities?

 
  English Rollers

QUESTION: Roller enthusiasts, I hear from time to time someone mention English rollers. Or "that person flys English birds".  I'm curious:

 
  Bill Pensom's Ability To Judge Rollers

All roller fanciers who can read and have the good sense to subscribe to the APJ and read Bill Pensom articles on rollers and the condition the fancy is in today. Before every roller fancier dashes off into print and makes a fool of himself, let me bring a few facts to light that may give some of you some extra food for thought. First of all, it is easy to condemn what you do not know or have not had the good fortune to see. Bill Pensom to me was a near myth that I was sure was surrounded by more foolish tales of false ability than any one in the history of pigeon culture.

 
  Eye Sign: Two Required for Maximum Performance

I spoke to publisher and pigeon enthusiast Mr. Silvio Mattacchione about eyesign recently and he had much to say! He has offered this article which he has previously published to be posted here. Although the eyesign "theory" in racing homers is held in high esteem by many long time breeders, he has come up with powerful logic to expose it as bad science and a general waste of time.

I present this here for your entertainment and leave it to you to make up your own mind. If you have compelling evidence for the eyesign theory, please submit it so we may present this side as well to our site visitors.

FLY ON! Tony Chavarria

 
  Sorry, But There Is No Eyesign For Rollers

Sorry, But There Is No Eye Sign For Rollers.First, the eye sign theory says that the circles in the eye, pupil, iris, the lines of separation, the lines crossing over, the splashing effects are all indicative of some physical or mental characteristic in the roller being examined.In the world of racing homers, many people point to eye sign as a way of identifying champion caliber pigeons. It appears to be demonstrable in racers therefore the eye sign is studied and believed as fact in rollers.

 
  The Birmingham Roller: A Brief Introduction

The Birmingham roller pigeon is a smallish bird compared to some of the other pigeon breeds such as racing pigeons, modenas, runts, weighing in at about 12 ounces and a little more for the bigger sizes. It is hardy and will do well with modest care.

 
  Culling Young Birds That Don’t Fly

Removing young problematic Rollers will save you alot of grief and aggravation and let you enjoy those more promising ones that are able to work with your kit training program. I know that there are a few things that one can do to try and salvage a young roller with bad habits, but I don’t think it is always worth the time and effort to do it; keeping it in for several days or weeks, releasing it when the kit is circling to land, placing it with younger birds while it matures some.

 
  What Is A Birmingham Roller

Lewis Wright says that the true Birmingham Roller "turns over backwards with inconceivable rapidity through a considerable distance like a spinning ball," and this sentence provides an excellent standard for the performance of a Birmingham Roller.

 
  The Pancake Cock

I’d like to tell you a story about a member of the Bakersfield Roller Club and this Black W/F Cock. The members name is Lamar Alvarez. Lamar has had birds all his life. He had a bunch of squabs last year that he raised off of 12 pair. So on Friday he called me and said he had a nice kit and this cock bird was just ripping up the sky

 
  Chapters 1 & 2 from "The North American Roller Pigeon"

Just when Birmingham Roller Pigeons where sent to North America is unknown, the breed is thought to have first arrived into Canada; then introduced to the United States from Canada. Whatever the case, Chas Lienhard of Cincinnati, Ohio was breeding them in the late 1870's.

 
  The Hole Is Not A Hole -Just Open Space Surrounded By A Roller

The first time I read Carl Hardesty's article on "The Hole" (Bulletin ~48, pages 12-13) I thought, "This guy is needling someone."  Then I read it a few more times just to make sure. I don't think he's kidding.  What he says is not at all funny for the roller fancy.  He sums up his personal experience and observations with:  "...I don't believe it possible, so please don’t say come to my place and see it."

 
  Aerodynamics And True Rolling Type

The other angle of viewing the roll is from the side.  When reduced to geometric terms, the rolling pigeon is actually a revolving triangle.  One side of this triangle is formed by the back of the neck and head as they are thrust backward to meet the second side of the triangle-the tail. Each of these two sides hinges on the critical "base" of the figure, which is the bird's back. (Fig. 3) The pigeon’s back is actually a number of vertebrae fused together to form one solid bone.  The back of the pigeon does not flex during the roll or at any other time.

 
  The Champion

What is a champion? I will try to explain. First, a champion is the greatest of all performers, a bird difficult to obtain but not beyond the reach of any fancier who cares to produce one. As a performer, its qualifications have no bounds. It can roll perfectly for any distance up to a maximum of about eight yards. It can regulate depth at-will, rolling one yard, two yards or more at its own pleasure, according to its mood and the circumstances under which it is flying.

 
  "Roller Matters"

...Mr. Carter’s question as to whether tumbling and rolling is the same? My answer is: No. I can only conclude, unfortunately, that you have not yet seen a Roller.

 
  More About Rollers

As the breeding season is again with us, I wish to bring to the minds of roller fanciers the fact that the majority of the so-called “rollers” of today are not genuine rollers as represented, but are none other than the West of England High-flying Tumbler. In the days of the early English fanciers the name “roller” was unheard of, but was then called the tumbler, of which there were two types: the high-flying tumbler, that performed long and often, and the strong-flying tumbler that seldom tipped over.

 
  Competition Flying With Rollers

Does competitive sport with rollers improve the quality of the bird as a roller? Myself, as a fancier of about twenty years, I think not. We know that a given number of birds are flown in competition, and the kit making the most turns is judged the winner including, of course, the style of fly, but the quality of the birds, which should come before anything, receives no notice or attention

 
  The Small Hole

After reading the last two NBRC bulletins and after reviewing the rules for NBRC kit competitions.  I would like to offer the membership the following for their consideration.  The performance and development of the true Birmingham Roller is very often misunderstood and hopefully I can shed some light of this subject.Kit flying competitions should measure the abilities of the fancier.

 

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