Click For More Pigeon Articles > Culling Young Birds That Don’t Fly


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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.

I think a better way to improve the situation is to allow your breeders to produce more rounds of youngsters to get more of those willing to fly and perform up to the standards needed to fly a world-class kit. Call me too hard on my young birds, but once I detect even one with just a slight aversion to flying I remove it. I only began doing this after having witnessed over a couple of seasons these kinds of rollers pulling down others with them when they land and ruining them. 

Just a couple of releases with these kinds of underachievers will ruin other youngsters that would otherwise have not had any problems. They are ruined as they build up the habit of flying for just a couple minutes and then wanting to land as the underachievers frantically look for any place to land. 

 Now I would rather just remove the guilty party and have done with it. Since I started this practice, it is amazing how those rollers that would have been ruined, are now kitting and stepping up to the nest level. Tips To recognize these underachievers: 

  • Will need extreme coaxing to fly

  • Will ignore normal flagging, loud noises and other attempts to encourage flying

  • Want to land almost immediately

  • Will alight on surrounding buildings

  • Will often fly just above rooftop level

  • Will look panicked

  • Will avoid flying with the kit

 Do keep in mind that the age of the roller and its maturity will play a part in the developing desire to fly. A healthy young roller with the proper temperament and abilities should want to fly not land at all costs!  They will go through a process of making small flights around the back yard and with minimal effort on your part will begin flying for longer periods of time until they have gained the strength to fly, as you need them to.

While there are many who are willing to invest time trying to break rollers with these bad habits, I would rather not. Once I see I am going to have a problem, that bird is removed. I know from experience that these underachieving rollers can make a fanciers blood boil with frustration and anger. Why put up with it? Rollers should do what you want them to do with reasonable effort on the fancier’s part. Once a single, problematic bird begins to occupy my attention it is removed right away!  

Now after saying all this, there are exceptions I will make to the “rule”. If a youngster is from a very good pair lets says a foundation pair, and if it has the right temperament, type, I will go ahead and make an attempt to break the bad habits. But this is only when the right circumstances have been met.

Tony Chavarria

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